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Movie Details

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Directed By
Kurt Kuenne

Written By:
Kurt Kuenne

T.J. Thyne, Chris Stone, Meeghan Holaway, Dylan Sprayberry, Elle Labadie, Michelle Krusiec, Patricia Belcher, Tamara Taylor, Whitney Anderson, Colleen Crabtree, Josh Drennen, JoJo Henrickson, John Kelly, Andrea Lwin, Jon Molerio, Kendra Munger, Kinsey Packard, Scott Poythress, Angela Rachelle, Mary Scanlon, Mackenzie Brooke Smith, Robbie Tucker, Tom Wade

Shuffle (2012)
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Movie Review by Mike Thomas
August 19th, 2012

Quantum Leap of the Mind

Favorite Movie Quote: "Pay Attention, Dummy!"

Lovell Milo (T.J. Thyne, of the TV series "Bones"), walks into a psychiatrist's office (played by Patricia Belcher, also from "Bones") and tries to explain that he been moving through his own life, but out of sequence. He says the first thing he ever remembered was being 92, then 8 (played by Dylan Sprayberry), then 26, and so on. He retains the memories and skills (he is a professional photographer - that's important later), but suffers from a kind of temporal narcolepsy, where he falls asleep, and wakes up in a different time. His only constants are his childhood "girlfriend," Grace (played by Elle Labadie, and as an adult by Paula Rhodes), his mother (Meeghan Holaway), and his father, Dr. Orson Milo (Chris Stone, not from "Bones"). Everything else he experiences he responds to automatically; he doesn't know how, he "just knows."

He is not a happy person. He is tired all the time, he has no friends, and on several occasions he proclaims he "doesn't want any children" (also important). As he stumbles haphazardly from life event to life event, he is visited by entities, who tell him he has a gift, if only he would "pay attention." Not knowing what that gift is, or what he is supposed to pay attention to, Lovell begins to chronicle everything, with nowhere to store it but his mind. Soon, he gathers his life as a series of disjointed experiences, that leads him to a life-affirming revelation.

Roll Credits.

SHUFFLE, the work of writer, director, and composer Kurt Kuenne, is a combination of SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE and A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Lovell experiences his life as a series of deliriously happy times, and crushing devastating moments, all completely out of his control. Imagine being "unstuck in time," as Kurt Vonnegut explained it in his aforementioned novel. At times, he begged to make it stop, but to no avail. Thyne gives a bewildering performance as a man who knows what is dilemma is, but cannot explain it, else everyone thinks him mad. Stone plays the catalyst to most of the drama as Lovell's emotionally frigid father, who has demons of his own. Holaway, plays the mother, almost as a spectator to the dynamics of Lovell and Dr. Milo. His only rock and support is Rhodes as the impossibly chipper Grace, the self-proclaimed "Queen of Surprises." As the movie progresses, Lovell's episodes become less frequent and longer in length, until the answer is revealed to him. Rounding out the "Bones" trifecta is Tamara Taylor, who plays an important role later in the film. Despite the dynamics of this ensemble group, it is Thyne who is the glue to all the characters in this jigsaw puzzle that is his life. As a spoiler, despite all that happens to Lovell, Kuenne manages to squeak out the most out-of-left-field Hollywood Ending that you'll never see coming.

On my personal rating scale of with "5" being drop everything and see the movie now; if you're female, bear the producers' children and "0" being burn down the theater, murder the movie staff, and violate their dog, this movie earns a "3.75," using my patented Bell Curve for independent movies. SHUFFLE has all the makings of a sappy Frank Capra film, but this reviewer has to admit that when the ending came, I got somewhat gooey inside. It's rated PG-13 for some coarse language, and a mild sex scene (no nudity), and brief intervals of mild violence. I'm calling this a "BUY," because you'll want to re-view this to see the signs that are revealed throughout the film

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