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IFDB Review: Shadow Strikes!, The:


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Bionic Bob has prevented a fanedit from ever being created.Because The Shadow is one I had been considering to edit some day, and in a way that'd be very similar to this: B&W, cutting out bad humor, removing the opening. It wouldn't have been the exact same thing, but close enough.However, The Shadow Strikes leaves me so happy that I no longer feel the need to do it myself. THIS is The Shadow for me now.The original is, I think, a very mediocre movie, but with much to like in it: gorgeous production design and costumes, a cast of supporting players to die for, an amazing Jerry Goldsmith score, and of course the fact that it's about The Shadow. The original Batman! But it was weighed down by a weak script, stock Hollywood shoehorned humor, and uninvolved and uninvolving lead performances. I know Bob disagrees, but I find Baldwin wooden and dull in this role, and the attempted Nick and Nora dynamics fal flat because he and Penelope Ann Miller never achieve a millionth of the sparks Powell and Loy created. As such, I might have reduced that a bit for the edit. But the rest? Huge improvement overall. Removing the opening not only spares us the sight of Baldwin in a silly wig, but enhances the character by making him more mysterious, we don't exactly know how this Ying Ko was and why he is so legendary, which certainly beats presenting him as a skinny Jabba the Hutt cosplaying as Fu Manchu. And don't get me started about the one-liners. “Next time you get to be on top”? WHAT?Being that this movies is the 1990s (expensive) equivalent to the 1930s and 40s (cheap) B-movies, it not only looks great in B&W but also gets an aesthetic that completely embraces its origins. I would have even gone more extreme in the contrast/brightness tweaking to make it more era-appropriate, but it's nice enough as it is. Extra features are a nice addition, particularly one of them gives us both a lot of great Shadow covers AND the removed Original Sin song! What's not to like?I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'd love to live in a parallel universe in which Bionic Bob's edits play in drive-ins. They deliver exactly the kind of fun good B-movies are supposed to deliver. Thanks so much for making them!

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