Shuffle (2011)

Shuffle

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Memento for Dummies.

I should make a point in telling you all that it’s been several years since I’ve actually seen Memento, so while most people would compare Shuffle to Memento in a heartbeat, I wouldn’t feel right doing that because it’s been too long to make an accurate comparison. However, from what I do remember, the similarities are kind of shocking. However, Shuffle wasn’t meant to ever be super confusing, it was just meant to be an interesting ride filled with some pretty valuable messages strewn throughout. Of course I had to watch it because I’m a fan of T.J. Thyne. Heck, he even brought a few co-workers from Bones along for support. Overall, it’s an interesting flick.

To give you an idea of what this movie is all about, it follows around a feller named Lovell who unfortunately has a wicked case of narcolepsy but every time he falls asleep, he wakes up at a different point in his life, his life experiences are shuffled if you will. Basically, anywhere around age 8 and age 92, Lovell finds himself waking up and trying to piece together why he is introduced to this specific memory, and what it means in the big picture, and how to change drastic events before they occur, or how to change events that have already occurred as well. It’s basically Memento meets The Butterfly Effect.

I should start right off by saying that the budget in this movie is rather poor, and you can tell ($500,000). If it wasn’t for T.J. Thyne, I probably wouldn’t really care for the film, or even know of its existence. I can say that I’m pretty glad I saw it, though, because it really was pretty interesting. Yeah, it’s not the most original idea in the movie business, but the way that it handled itself and went about the plot was enough to keep me pretty interesting. Half of the time, I was on the edge of my seat. But again, the budget is enough to keep people away. It looks and feels cheap. The plot writing is decent as far as doing their own thing, but dialogue could be better, acting could be better…everything could be better, really.

I mean, I love T.J. Thyne and I think he did a great job with what he had here, just like he does with everything, but everyone else was more or less terrible. It was cool that he brought some co-stars from his show, Bones along for the fun, but seriously, the rest of the cast has a lot to learn in terms of acting, because as much as they tried, it always felt off. I never believed the characters. As for the other post-production things – a low budget film like this usually has to stoop to easy filters to change the film’s mood. We’re talking drag and drop effects from like, Premiere not specifically made for the film. It’s an effort, yeah, but something anyone can do. Just look at Instagram. Photo filters, yay! Most of that budget was probably used on the old guy makeup T.J. wore as the 92 year old. Honestly, you don’t see makeup that good in low budget projects like this.

I think in the end, it’s really hard to tell a story out-of-order, but they succeeded here, and that gets major props by me. The timeframes are all out of order, but his mind is in chronological order, so it gets that nice weird feeling that keeps the audience involved, and for the most part, that’s the film’s greatest strength.

The Good:

T.J. Thyne is awesome in anything he does, I strongly advise you to check out his work in Bones and anything else he’s done. I know it’s not much, but he’s got some chops. Also, as unoriginal as this plot goes, they took it and molded into something very easy to understand and potentially very exciting.

The Bad:

Poor budget translates into poor quality film. The acting is mediocre, the dialogue is meh, the photo filters were drag & drop…there’s just not a lot of pull for anyone to watch it, but it is at least a little interesting if you ever have a lazy Saturday sometime.

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