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Ghost Canyon

'Shade: Special Edition' [Blu-ray]
(Sylvester Stallone, Melanie Griffith, Jamie Foxx, Gabriel Byrne, Thandie Newton, et al / Blu-ray / R / (2013) 2019 / MVD Marque Collection)

Overview: The hand is quicker than the eye in L.A.'s underground gambling scene, hustlers get hustled and fortunes ride on every deal.

Three small-time grifters devise a plan to beat the ultimate card mechanic - The Dean (Sylvester Stallone). But a seat at the Dean's table doesn't come cheap.

Blu-ray: In truth, 'Shade' is not and original concept for a movie, by any means, but it's sharp and has good dialogue and features some rather interesting characters.

Secondly the cast is excellent. When you think straight to video you think of Eric Roberts, Gary Busey, Dolph Lundgren, Jean Claude Van Damme, headlining and perhaps one or two other recognizable faces.

But this one has a great cast, with Stuart Townsend, Gabriel Byrne, Thandie Newton, Jamie Foxx, Melanie Griffith and of course Sly Stallone.

The card scamming "team" is introduced with some comic book-like announcement schtick, where just as the villain enters the scene, their title flashes across the screen under their face (e.g.: Tiffany as "The Turn").

It was nice though to see Hal Halbrook as "The Professor" still doing films back then as he does a good job of lending an old world charm and decency to the film.

Townsend is excellent as "The Mechanic," basically the guy who can manipulate a deck of cards to his advantage, he is the key to the group of grifters consisting of him, Newton, and Byrne.

They have a big score in mind, to take down master cards-man and king of all mechanics, the Dean played by Stallone. Now Byrne and Newton are both excellent, but this is a great role for Stallone.

Also the intro is really cool. An old scene of people playing cards with the young Stevens, who get's busted by palming a card while some mugger tells him to put his hands in the air.

A gun fight begins and then the demonstration of bottom dealing, push-through shuffling, revelations reveals itself (with a very nice Shade sound at the back ground, if yer know what's I mean!).

And yes, Sly gives a great performance in this and it's a role that requires an inner depth and a subtlety and Stallone delivers.

That said, there is a ridiculous reunion/old flame air with Stallone and Meg Ryan, although it is intended to add weight to the Dean's character to balance that of Townsend's.

I guess you could really say the movie about these two. Everything else is just decoration in the movie's attempt to try and involve more conflict and character developments. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2:35.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the main feature in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio
Audio Commentary with writer/director Damian Nieman and actor Stuart Townsend
The Making Of Shade featurette (SD, 8 min)
Tricks Of The Trade featurette (SD, 14 min)
Interviews with Cast and Crew including writer / director Damien Nieman and stars Sylvester Stallone, Stewart Townsend, Thandie Newton, Gabriel Byrne, Jamie Foxx, Melanie Griffith (SD, 18 min)
Original Theatrical Trailer (SD)
Subtitles: English and French
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1 & Spanish Dolby Surround Stereo