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Down The Shore (BLU-RAY)

James Gandolfini (The Sopranos) stars As Bailey in Harold Guskin’s debut film Down The Shore. Bailey is a down on his luck rides operator whose life has gone nowhere. His best friend Wiley (Joseph Pope; Pride and Loyalty) is married to Bailey’s former high school sweetheart Mary (Famke Janssen (X-Men) and holds a dark debt over Bailey that slowly but surely comes into play.

Bailey’s sister Susan (Maria Dizzia; Martha Marcy May Marlene) disappeared, taking with her a large sum of money that Bailey had squirreled away. One day a Frenchman named Jacques arrives to tell Bailey that he was married to Susan in France and that Susan has passed away. Here’s where the film gets interesting.

Were introduced to Jacques in the early moments of the film, but in a very brief and vague few minutes of story. The next time we see him he’s telling Bailey that he was married to Susan and that she has passed away, along with some other interesting bits of information, such as Susan has left Jacque half of the house that Bailey is living in.

Though Jacques only asks for his space in the house and to work alongside Bailey at the shorefront carnival ride he operates, there is a cloud of suspicion hanging about. Such as-  Is Jacque really Susan’s husband? What are Jacques motivations? Does he have a con going on that will reveal itself further down the line?

The story itself is pretty depressing. The setting is a gloomy gray area of the world that is made even grayer by the dark secrets that are always floating around between Bailey, Wiley, and Mary. Plus, as the film progresses the characters become darker and darker and you have to start weeding out of the darkness exactly what bad deed is being performed with a positive outcome in mind.

While the film does leave much to be desired in the end, it does wrap itself up in a very blunt, though somewhat open ended, kind of way. It’s not exactly a Nolan ending but it leaves some questions that stifle the end progress of a couple of characters. If anything I’d say it was very Kubrick in character design by allowing your mind to end the film with what you know of humanity. It will probably be different for several viewers, but worth checking out at least once.

Down The Shore doesn’t exactly blow you away as far as the picture goes. Like I said, the film takes place in a very gray environment that saps the color from the film. Definition is pretty decent in well lit scenes but a lot of the film is performed in shadow or within the gray. For what it is Down The Shore has a pretty good picture quality, just don’t expect to have your mind blown by vibrant colors or massive detail illumination. 

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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