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Episode 141 - The Shadow: LIVE! (w/ Pete Davidson)

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Throughout the episode, The Shadow is repeatedly referred to as being a "hero" or "superhero," but is he though? It is certainly implied in the movie that he is, but we are never really shown that. There's never a "save the cat" moment or just a scene of him doing something good for the sake of doing good. In the movie, we only see The Shadow rescue one person, and immediately afterward, we find out that it's not because he was doing it out of altruism, but because the man he was saving held a position that could perhaps be beneficial to him. How do we know The Shadow isn't fabricating some of these situations just to enlist people? How do we know he didn't invisibly push Peter Boyle in front of an oncoming truck, quickly become corporeal in time to snatch him from the jaws of death, and then say, "I guess I get free cab rides for life now, huh?"

 

And while I think the idea of a true anti-hero is interesting, I think it ultimately hurts this movie that we never really see him realize the latter part of that word. He just comes off as some spoiled douchebag who is just fighting crime for shits and giggles and accruing a network of followers like they're points in a shitty, single-player arcade game.

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Throughout the episode, The Shadow is repeatedly referred to as being a "hero" or "superhero," but is he though? It is certainly implied in the movie that he is, but we are never really shown that. There's never a "save the cat" moment or just a scene of him doing something good for the sake of doing good. In the movie, we only see The Shadow rescue one person, and immediately afterward, we find out that it's not because he was doing it out of altruism, but because the man he was saving held a position that could perhaps be beneficial to him. How do we know The Shadow isn't fabricating some of these situations just to enlist people? How do we know he didn't invisibly push Peter Boyle in front of an oncoming truck, quickly become corporeal in time to snatch him from the jaws of death, and then say, "I guess I get free cab rides for life now, huh?"

 

And while I think the idea of a true anti-hero is interesting, I think it ultimately hurts this movie that we never really see him realize the latter part of that word. He just comes off as some spoiled douchebag who is just fighting crime for shits and giggles and accruing a network of followers like they're points in a shitty, single-player arcade game.

 

Er, didn't he prevent Shiwan Khan from conquering the world?

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Er, didn't he prevent Shiwan Khan from conquering the world?

 

That was purely out of self interest. Do you know how long it would take to rebuild that pneumatic tube network if that bomb went off?

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I believe the live audience members missed an opportunity for a great sequel title...

 

The Shadow's Nose

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Er, didn't he prevent Shiwan Khan from conquering the world?

 

I have four responses to that:

 

1) Not until the end of the movie. "Saving the Cat" typically occurs in the First Act.

 

2) He lives on Earth so it is in his best interest to keep Kahn from ruling it.

 

3) Kahn is already trying to kill him. He could just be trying to save his own skin.

 

4) Think of the social cachet he can get from rescuing New York City! You're kidding yourself if you don't think the next day everyone in the city didn't receive a red ring in the mail with a note that reads, "You owe me--The Shadow."

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In this movie, The Shadow is a Tweener, to use pro-wrestling vernacular.

 

An anti-hero does the right thing, using nefarious means (Look to Kratos of the God of War series for a good example of this).

 

A tweener on the other hand is someone acting entirely in their own self interest, If they fight the villain, he's not the good guy, because he himself will be the villain if needs be.

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i don't think tim curry committed suicide. the shadow killed him. i mean technically he killed himself but it was the shadow made him do it. after Daniel Baldwin throws him to the ground he tells him to "get outta my sight". so curry runs out of the room and then the shadow makes an exit sign appear on the window. so thinking it was an exit curry runs through it but ... nope ... crafty shadow..

 

b.t.w. the CGI for the exit sign makes me really question how much the studio interfered with this movie. i mean look at it ... they must have said "we really want an exit sign here cause people really need to get it! ... i don't care if its due out tomorrow ... just do it!!!"

 

ezgif_com_resize.gif

 

... but i loved tim curry in this .. stole the show

 

i think the studio sent alot of notes for this one because it made no sense. they took out stuff we really needed to see and left in things nobody wanted to watch ...

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2) He lives on Earth so it is in his best interest to keep Kahn from ruling it.

 

Isn't this the same motive for a lot of other heroes/superheros though? Don't destroy Earth, I keep my stuff there.

 

At least The Shadow didn't abuse his powers to pull a Mel Gibson from "What Women Want" to manipulate women into sleeping with him? My hero!

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Isn't this the same motive for a lot of other heroes/superheros though? Don't destroy Earth, I keep my stuff there.

 

At least The Shadow didn't abuse his powers to pull a Mel Gibson from "What Women Want" to manipulate women into sleeping with him? My hero!

 

To your first point, yes, that's true, but we also see superheroes rescuing people from burning buildings and stopping bank robberies. What they don't do is save people specifically for their own gain. We usually get a, "No need to thank me. Just doing my job." So when other superheroes save the Earth, we already know they are doing it because they are genuinely good. Had The Shadow just rescued that guy and asked for nothing, then yes, I'd say that was Heroic. But of course, that's not what happened. The Shadow had obviously been keeping tabs on Dr. Tam and the situation. He could have stopped the bad guys at anytime without the the doctor ever knowing and could have been somewhere else that night rescuing another person from a mugger or something. No, instead, he waited until this poor guy's life was in immediate peril! As presented in the film, the only reason he was there to rescue Dr. Tam in the first place was because he knew who he was and he knew what he could get from him.

 

Look, I love a little moral ambiguity, and if done well, it can be very interesting. Like I said, had The Shadow just rescued him, I wouldn't have had a problem. But, since this was the only "heroic" feat performed by him in the movie (that didn't directly involve the main plot), I think it's fair to question his motives.

 

And to your second point...we don't know that. He definitely uses his powers to appear more attractive and interesting to her.

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Isn't this the same motive for a lot of other heroes/superheros though? Don't destroy Earth, I keep my stuff there.

 

At least The Shadow didn't abuse his powers to pull a Mel Gibson from "What Women Want" to manipulate women into sleeping with him? My hero!

 

I love that movie, I have no idea why, I just do.

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i spent alot of this movie admiring the sets and stuff. one of the things i noticed was this billboard

 

vlcsnap_2016_07_22_18h48m54s009.jpg

 

i know theres a piano company called baldwin so the billboard is probably for them but when i saw it i thought "oh, a little nod to the star of the movie there". but basically thats what i did for most of the movie ... just looked at the background .. might explain alot of my own confusion

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Pretty sure the knife portrayed all the cutlery in American Beauty. You know, Social Network style with a bunch of doubles for the non speaking knives.

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Just one more post about this. The Shadow doesn't have any guarantees that the people he rescues will accept the ring and become a Shadow Bro or change their minds later though. If a superhero offered me a chance to be included in his gang, I'm not sure that I would jump at that chance.

 

And to your second point...we don't know that. He definitely uses his powers to appear more attractive and interesting to her.

 

I dunno...he cleaned up nicely. How much more attractive does he need to be? Was he clouding my mind with formal wear?

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I want the knife... please.

 

It's really too bad that you guys didn't do a back-to-back with The Golden Child.

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1. Did Lamont Cranston derive his wealth from his (former?) opium trade? In this film, he's depicted as being a socialite in the Bruce Wayne mold, but his dad is just the chief of police. A high rank sure, but did police chiefs make enough to to foster their progeny's flamboyant, late-for-dinner lifestyles?

 

2. Why was the "Shodowmobile" a supped-up cab and not simply a supped-up limo or coup? I get the whole "hiding in plain sight" angle, but when compared to the Batmobile (and it's so painfully obvious this film was gunning for Batman territory with it's budget-Anton Furst production design and Danny Elfman-lifted soundtrack) a cab is a lame substitute to a tricked-out hero wagon.

 

3. What New York bridge is this supposed to be? For the "city that never sleeps," there is absolutely no other people or traffic on it at all. And it's so rinky-dink and narrow, it looks like it would only allow for two lanes of traffic at most.

 

4. In the back of the cab when The Shadow calls the professor he just saved by his name and gives him a mini-bio, did anyone else hear Alec Baldwin's narration from The Royal Tenenbaums?

 

5. Was that title card crawl at the beginning of the film inserted by the studio because they thought that audiences wouldn't get the idea that Cranston came back to New York and started his crusade after being trained by his master during the last seven years?

 

6. The Cobalt Club: was there any other color that defined the 1990's more than cobalt blue? Beige, perhaps, but cobalt blue was the shit back then.

 

7. How did no mention the line, "Next time, you get to be on top"? It comes during the scene where The Shadow goes to The Professor's building to save him from Khan's gang. At one point, The Shadow lifts one of the henchmen up off the ground by his helmet, and, in a physics-defying move, is flipped over by the henchmen WWF style, and the two go tumbling over the side of the building. They fall and land on a eagle/gargoyle thing jutting-out from the building, with the baddy landing first and The Shadow immediately on top of him. It's a really weird line read. I mean, "Next time..."?!?

 

8. No one (kids, homeless people, the curious, etc.) would wander into the empty lot where the shrouded building is? Sure, everyone is hypnotized into thinking the building was torn down and there is an empty lot with a rickety fence surrounding it there now, but are they also whammied into not going into the lot?

 

9. So, at the beginning, when the opium farmer takes Cranston's like-a-father-to-him by knife-point, how shitty and telegraphed was that move? The answer: incredibly.

 

10. One of the five-star Yahoo movie reviewers commented on the attention to timeliness of this film, noting everything being period correct. Did they not hear the dulcet Kenny G-like smooth jazz during the scene in The Cobalt Club when Cranston introduces himself to Penelope Ann Miller's (or, P.A.M., if you will) character?

 

 

Oh, and regarding Tommy guns in movies, there are only a few instances I can think of where someone isn't wielding one all out-of-control. The best (and, to my mind, most bad ass) version is the scene in Miller's Crossing when Albert Finney's Leo gets the drop on the goons that come to his house to assassinate him. The entire scene is great, and the sound effect for this gun pretty awesome in an over-the-top Indian Jones's sound effect kind of way.

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Just one more post about this.

 

Ah, don't make promises you may have to break :)

 

The Shadow doesn't have any guarantees that the people he rescues will accept the ring and become a Shadow Bro or change their minds later though. If a superhero offered me a chance to be included in his gang, I'm not sure that I would jump at that chance.

 

That's not quite the same thing as whether or not he's heroic, but you're right, he doesn't threaten them--he just waits until they're about to die, rescues them, and makes sure they recognize that he's the only reason they're still alive. I'm not saying they can't turn him down, but I think if someone legitimately saved my life, I would be so thankful I would do just about anything for that person. What I'm saying is, The Shadow seems to be manufacturing a feeling of gratitude in people to get what he wants.

 

I dunno...he cleaned up nicely. How much more attractive does he need to be? Was he clouding my mind with formal wear?

 

I'm not talking about physical attractiveness. I'm saying he reads her mind and acts upon that knowledge. It's not like he's walking up to a stranger, striking up a conversation, and hoping against hope that he says the right things to keep the conversation going. He knows what she's thinking, so he knows exactly what to say to keep her interest piqued. He's manipulating the odds. And if he's willing to do that to her, a beautiful woman he's never met before, I have no doubt that he's probably done it before. The catch is, with Margo, she's able to do it right back to him--which, of course, he doesn't like at all.

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more useless information for you ... the production coordinator and her assistant put their names into the log that the doctor signed at the end of the movie

 

Untitled_3.jpg

 

theres also a chuck herrmann (property assistant) and a jeanie daniels (payroll)

 

thats all i can figure out but there might be more. id guess this is a pretty common thing to do on sets. i know id do it at every opportunity. i hope they didn't use their real signatures

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I told y'all today's guest was fuckin' amazing

 

Really?

To me it felt like he didnt want to be there.

He googled the knife and then proclaimed he didnt care repeatedly.

 

 

I saw this in the theater in 1994 when I was 15.

Overall, I thought it was about making a nonsensical radio drama for the (then) modern day summer blockbuster.

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Really?

To me it felt like he didnt want to be there.

He googled the knife and then proclaimed he didnt care repeatedly.

In all fairness I wrote that post before I finished the episode, cause I generally love his comedy and his crazy blunt personality, but he was a lot quieter than I had expected him to be. He did say at one point that he was always on a lot of drugs so I'm gonna go ahead and assume that he was crazy high that night, coupled with the fact that he really hated this movie. Plus he could have been reading the room and saw how in the moment Jason and June were because they were legit on top of it in this episode. I don't think they've bounced that much off each other in a long time lol.

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For my money, Shiwan Khan is the absolute highlight of this movie. He was charming and had a delightful sense of humor. I mean, how can you really hate a guy who has at his disposal all the telepathic, hypnotizing powers in the world, not to mention a sentient floating demon knife, but still chooses to pull the old hide-among-the-mannequins-by-standing-really-still ploy just to allude a couple of feeble old men?

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For my money, Shiwan Khan is the absolute highlight of this movie. He was charming and had a delightful sense of humor. I mean, how can you really hate a guy who has at his disposal all the telepathic, hypnotizing powers in the world, not to mention a sentient floating demon knife, but still chooses to pull the old hide-among-the-mannequins-by-standing-really-still ploy just to allude a couple of feeble old men?

 

And his polite insistence on paying for his bourbon was his downfall.

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Oh, wait!

 

What about the scene where Cranston is being followed by one of Khan's henchmen (in full armor, no less), and he alludes him by standing in a shadowed doorway. The henchmen passes, Cranston emerges, walks a foot or two and BAM! It's Chinese New Year Street!!!

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