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SHADOWBOXER - 2006

SELECT ANOTHER FLICK CHICK MOVIE REVIEW FROM THE FILM CRITICS IN BLUE
J. ThorburnV. AlexanderPolly PelusoErica Vital
Shannon OnstotJacqueline M

ERICA HECTOR VITAL

"SHADOWBOXER" TAKES A STAB AT THE INCONGRUITIES OF LOVE

By
Erica Hector Vital
Red Rock Review
Las Vegas Round The Clock
http://www.lasvegasroundtheclock.com

ericavital@cox.net
ericav@theflickchicks.com
ericav@lasvegasroundtheclock.com

Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

The Shadowboxer
Directed by: Lee Daniels
Written by: Willam Lipz

The Shadowboxer
Takes a Stab at the Incongruities of Love

It was as a producer that Lee Daniels brought the brutal melodrama of Monster’s Ball to the screen. The film paired two souls on opposite sides of small town America’s racial divide as starlet of color Halle Berry played the black single mother beset by unspeakable tragedy to Billy Bob Thornton’s stony, white prison guard whose heart beneath the Teflon veneer had been tendered by tragedy of his own. What made Monster’s Ball, and yet another Daniels produced film, The Woodsman, so sensational to watch was the fact that both films brought us moments that were hard to bear. THE SHADOWBOXER is the two-time producer’s directorial debut. The film continues in the Daniels-onian tradition of giving us tales that are indeed hard to watch and often too much to bear, yet too good to turn away from.

Along with an esoteric sense of story, Daniels’ strength is in his willingness to go beyond Hollywood pairings of patently beautiful people. As a director and producer, it’s clear Daniels’ mission is to show-n-prove that love and the violence, disillusion and subsequent discovery that can come with it, is rawer than a Gap ad, more fevered and complex than the slick exteriors of two pretty people locking lips could possibly convey. Love itself, Daniels tells us in every frame, can be brutish, bitter, hard to explain or contain. Therefore,THE SHADOWBOXER, is not only layered with moments of cruelty and grace, it is also populated by alarmingly odd couples.

Vanessa Felito is Vickie, a nice girl, soon to be a mother, yoked by the velvet rope of privilege to a pyschopathic thug. Stephen Dorff is the thug – hedonistic, sadistic and murderous. Joseph Gordo-Levitt is a skinny white boy physician and flawlessly phat black comedienne Mo’Nique is his girl. And in a pairing that has been used once or twice before on screen – but never quite this passionatley – Helen Mirren is Rose, a cultured assassin to Cuba Gooding, Jr.’s, silent and focussed, Mikey, a hitman who takes the business for what it is, just business.

The configuration of Gooding, Jr. and Mirren throws in the added scintillation of race, class, nationality (Mirren is British, a Dame to boot), along with age. And it works. The complexity suits both Gooding and Mirren well.

Cuba Gooding Jr. hasn’t looked so flagrantly sexed up, macho and haunted since Boys In the Hood and Jerry MacQuire; and Mirren, many years his senior, matches Gooding glance for glance in seduction and hard-heartedness as a woman assassin who comes face to face with her own mortality only to find repentance in delaying the hit of Vanessa Ferlito’s Vickie.

Daniels’ pace as a director is leisurely one moment, taut and bloody the next. His influences are deft and over the top dramatists like himself – Coppola, Bill Duke and DePalma. An idyllic, dreamlike moment in a glade between Mirren and Gooding is straight out of Boorman and the 1981 Brit-fantasy classic, Excaliber, in which Helen Mirren starred as Morgana, the incestuous sister-lover to King Arthur.

THE SHADOWBOXER is modern film-noir, textured and oftentimes deep. The film’s rewards come, not from the sensationalist moments of passion between mixed couples, but in the raw honesty of the passion, fear, and incorrigible nature beneath the mix.There is in Gooding, Mirren, Dorff and Ferlito’s performances the ferocity of the ego, the inescapable capacity to be cruel, loving and achingly violent that are universally compelling.

Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

SELECT ANOTHER FLICK CHICK MOVIE REVIEW FROM THE FILM CRITICS IN BLUE
J. ThorburnV. AlexanderPolly PelusoErica Vital
Shannon OnstotJacqueline M

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