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DVD Reviews: Shiner

The Final Say!

Review Score
Reviewed by Adam Dumicich
Review Date: 10 May 2004
Distributed by:
Universal Pictures
Running Time:
96 minutes





Billy ďShinerĒ Simpson (Michael Caine) is an ex boxer trying to make as a major promoter. He has the fights organised, he has the venue, and he has the big name title fight all prepared. His major fighter is by no chance his own son, and at only 20 years old, he is definitely no the way up. The problems however soon become evident. The fighters lined up for the earlier fights of the nights are nowhere near up to standard as to what will be expected, Billyís son has a bad case of the nerves, and on top of all this, the police want to arrest Billy for his involvement in an illegal fight that went bad.

Facing financial ruin if his son looses the fight, Billy is under enormous pressure, and he has a way with people that make them assume more than there fair share of the worry he would normally be under. When his son looses the big fight, it becomes the belief of Billy that he was paid to take a fall, and now he must find who is responsible.

Being in a similar vein to Guy Ritchieís ďSnatchĒ itís hard not to compare the two (especially considering the time they were made being relatively close together), the worlds are close together, with the main difference here being a slightly more legal bunch of characters, and a much drier sense of humour. The characters on a whole are far less likeable, but the story is what counts. Speaking of which, it all seems to be going well up till the last 15 odd minutes, when the seams start to show fairly badly.

All up itís a highly watch able movie, not as enjoyable as either of Guy Ritchieís London underground films though. Michael Caine gives an impressive performance, and everything else is about what is to be expected. It is dirty, dingy, and there is foul language a plenty. As for the ending, well that one thing is out of the ordinary. Itís not all that original, and you wonít get dragged in as much as other movies, but itís still worth a watch.


The movie was made in 2000, so itís no surprise to hear that the picture is not a victim to great amounts of visual problems. There are some film artefacts here and there, but nothing to spoil your viewing pleasure. They are the most prominent of the errors, there are some minor instances of edge enhancement, but again itís not going to ruin anything for you. All up itís a pretty good transfer.


You get a fairly decent 5.1 channel mix on Shiner, although not the best Iíve heard, itís far from the worst as well. The surrounds and subwoofer are used sparingly, but theyíre used when needed. The voices are clearly audible thankfully, and with such thick English accents this is a big plus. Thereís also a 2.0 channel mix there if you donít have the necessary equipment to make use of the good stuff.


You get the almost mandatory theatrical trailer as well as a fairly substantial making of documentary. As you can tell thereís not heaps there to keep your attention, but itís good to see thereís more than the bare minimum at least. More again would better still, and considering the fact that itís only 4 years old, you could fairly expect there to be some more included, but such is life.


  • Theatrical Trailer
  • ĎMaking ofí


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