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Shadowboxer
DVD disk
11.16.2006 By: Sturdy
Shadowboxer order
Director:
Lee Daniels

Actors:
Cuba Gooding Jr.
Helen Mirren
Vanessa Ferlito

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An assassin duo decide to not carry through with a hit and instead help their target give birth and raise the kid. Unfortunately, their change in lifestyle doesnít sit well with the guy who paid them to kill his wife.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
SHADOWBOXER tried way too hard to be something it wasnít. I think it was trying to be a sophisticated and touching tale of two sinners that decide to do right. However, with incredibly empty and emotionless characters, it really didnít have a chance to be much of anything. I appreciated the effort, but thereís only so much slow-motion cameras and slow music and make up for.

I guess now would be a good time to point out the fall of Cuba. No matter what kind of role heís in, he always has a look on his face like the school-yard bully thatís trying not to cry. Iíve never been impressed with his performances, but I do think heís a better actor than this film required. Stephen Dorff makes a good bad guy, but after BLADE, every bad guy role he does seems like itís mirror image.

I will also say that there was way too much nudity in this film. Most of it was male nudity, which is always unnecessary. The abundance of naked butts didnít do anything for the story and typically only served as a distraction. Given the trouble Mr. Daniels had with the flow of the movie, he didnít really need anything to hinder his efforts.

It bears repeating that none of the characters really have any reason for the situation theyíre in. We get a little back story on Mikey (Cuba), but thereís a lot of years in his life that the audience never hears about. Mikey is a strange cat and his current mental state deserves explanation. The other characters didnít even get the effort put into their back story and so the audience is left asking ďwho cares?Ē.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with Lee Daniels and Cuba Gooding Jr.: Waaaaaayyyyy too many pauses to be an interesting commentary. This one was rough because neither of these guys have anything to say.

Making of Shadowboxer (12:21): This is a decent look at the making of the film featuring heavily on Cuba and Stephen Dorff. They talk about the film, but focus a little to heavily on the zebra.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
This film is too scattered and unfocused to be enjoyable and the characters are unlikable and extremely shallow. Unless youíre dying to get a gander at Cuba Gooding Jr.ís buttocks, I canít recommend this film to anyone.
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