She’s Just a Shadow (2019) Movie Review

Director: Adam Sherman

Writer: Adam Sherman (Screenplay)

Starring: Tao Okamoto, Haruka Ade, Kihiro, Kentez Asaka, Mercedes Maxwell, Marcus Johnson, Haruna Ayane

Plot: A beautiful Japanese madam and her ladies. A deranged, drug-addled Tokyo gangster and his crew. A sadistic serial killer on the loose. The intersection of these stories, and the interior world of the characters, plays out against a dreamlike backdrop of ultraviolence and orgiastic sex, as everyone tries futilely to rewrite their futures and cheat death.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Sex, Drugs, Repeat

Story: She’s Just a Shadow starts with Irene (Okamoto) a pimp in Tokyo that supplies the girls for the like gangsters drug addict Gaven (Kihiro) and his partner the ultra-aggressive Red Hot (Asaka), all in the back drop of a serial killer that pleasures himself to his victims while waiting for them to be run over by trains.

When the serial killer starts to target Irene next, he puts together his plan to get her alone, while Gaven fights for control of the whole city against his rival from the other side of town.

Thoughts on She’s Just a Shadow

Characters – Irene is the pimp for the gangsters, she supplies the girls as part of a family traditions, nobody dare touch her because of the connections she has, she does what she can to protect her girls, when the serial killer is picking off the local prostitutes. Gaven is the drug addict gangster, he is spiralling out of control with his actions. Red Hot is the aggressive gangster, if anybody starts a fight, he will finish it no matter how many people get killed in the situation.

PerformancesThis is a movie where it is hard for the main cast to perform, because of the excess pointless orgy scenes. When we get solo scenes, we do some strength, but not enough, Tao Okamoto is one of the few parts of the film you want to see more from, Kihiro becomes hard to watch as his drug addict side of things. Kentez Asaka does the loose cannon stuff well, but is basic for the most part of the film.

StoryThe story here follows pimps and gangsters who are in a battle for power, who are being picked off by a deranged serial killer and set out to stop him. When we break this story down, the side that involves the serial killer, is interesting and risky because of just how twisted the killer is. Whenever we get into the gangster and pimp side of the film, we are going through the same drug filled orgies that just don’t seem have have any point to them. We get more scenes that feel like music videos that don’t push the story forward in any way, than actual progression in taking on the serial killer.

CrimeThe crime side of the film puts us in the world most of these characters would operate in, filled with drugs and prostitution, it is the extremes of this world too.

SettingsThe film is set in Tokyo which takes us to the main locations the seedy underworld the criminals would operate in.


Scene of the Movie – The serial killer side of the film.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The pointless filler scenes of orgies and drugs, most serve no purpose for the story.

Final Thoughts This is a film that seems to forget how to tell a story and spends nearly all of the film just make music videos, while letting the interesting side of the film slip away from the audience.

Overall: Painfully experience.

ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – W – The Walker (2007)

Director: Paul Schrader

Writer: Paul Shrader (Screenplay)

Starring: Woody Harrelson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lauren Bacall, Ned Beatty, Moritz Bleibtreu, Mary Beth Hurt, Lily Tomlin, Willem Dafoe

 

Plot: An escort who caters to Washington D.C.’s society ladies becomes involved in a murder case.


Tagline – Everyone loves a good scandal

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Mystery

 

Story: The Walker starts as high society walker Carter Page III (Harrelson) keeps the ladies of the Washington high society company, with Lynn Lockner (Thomas) being one of his most famous clients. When Lynn discovers a murder, Carter takes up a position to help her not ruin her name for being at this location, while the rest of the society Natalie Van Miter (Bacall), Jack Delorean (Beatty) try to learn his involvement in the murder.

As the case continues to grow, Carter becomes the prime suspect being targeted by the police and the high society that want somebody to take the blame away from their own circle.

 

Thoughts on The Walker

 

Characters – Carter Page III has made a career out of mingling around the women of high society, where he walks them in parties to keep them entertained, his actions never put the rumours in the air, until one of the ladies is involved in a murder, Carter sees the once always open doors closing around him, forcing him to uncover the truth to save his own reputation.  Lynn Lockner is one of the most frequent clients for Carter, they have a close friendship which is tested when she is involved in the murder of a man, did she discover the body or have something to do with it? Natalie Van Miter is another one of the high society that enjoys Carter’s company only she doesn’t always play fair with the others in the circle. Jack Delorean isn’t the biggest fan of Carter and certain members of the high society, he is always looking for dirt on them.

PerformancesWoody Harrelson is the highlight of the film with his engaging performance in an otherwise forgettable story. Kristin Scott Thomas, Lauren Bacall, Ned Beatty bring their big name presence to the film without making the impact to make you care about their characters.

StoryThe story takes us into the high society world where the rich believe they can get away with anything, we follow a walker that mingles with the ladies to keep the business with gossip etc, when a murder is committed, he becomes the prime suspect and must figure out how to clear his name before his reputation is ruined. This story is just like you would imagine, it is a series of conversations from people that are always looking down on people who just want to take each other of their high horses through the eyes of a man desperately trying to stay within the circle. This story could have been extended to give more development to the characters through a television series, which would have been a lot more interesting to watch.

Crime/MysteryThe crime side of the film follows the aftermath of the murder which adds to the mystery as to who committed it and why, we do get plenty of suspects, but most people we meet seem to have a shady reason to be in the position they are in.

SettingsThe film is set in the Washington high society world, with flashy parties, massive apartments, everything you don’t see people in natural life.


Scene of the Movie –
Reporting the murder.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not enough time to address the real issues touched on within the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a story that had potential to be much bigger and more interesting only for it to become mostly forgettable with the slow pacing and weak character development.

 

Overall: Slow and disappointing.

Rating