Let me be clear, I love The Shadow! Not just the legendary figure of pulp and radio, but this film in all it's dark, clever, adventurous fun. I saw it in theaters when I was 12, owned the VHS and eventually upgraded to DVD so that a year would never pass that I didn't get a chance to watch it again. That's why I was wanting more from this blu-ray experience.
Like Dick Tracy meets Batman (who The Shadow inspired), this 30's period adventure is a fun, stylized action film that benefits from great performances by Alec Baldwin, Penelope Ann Miller and John Lone. The tone of the film waffles a bit between dark/gritty violence and camp fun, but it always errs on the side of entertainment.
It's true that the film was a box office bomb upon it's release, with not even a cult following that I'm aware of (unless I can be counted as a cult of one). But if Universal is going to release it on blu-ray, why not give us a transfer that doesn't remind us the film was made in 1994? And I won't even tell you how saddened I am by the lack of extras.
Watching this blu-ray was a frustrating experience. The clarity varied wildly from scene to scene, with some darker ones(usually featuring ancient CGI)looking like a blizzard of black ash was taking place in the background. Now maybe this had to do with how the film was originally shot in '94, but it's as if they restored only 50% of the film and said, "eh, good enough".
Now the beautiful dream sequences really do benefit from the blu-ray treatment, but those few minutes are not enough to justify the purchase of this blu-ray. I hate to give this disc a bad review because I so enjoy the film, but I have to remind myself that it's the disc production and not the movie that is getting 3 stars.
Love the film, disappointed by the disc. You're better off just sticking with the DVD where the whole presentation looks slightly fuzzy/grainy, than to be periodically shown what could have been and shaking your head in dismay. The Shadow Knows...this blu-ray isn't worth your time.