Wednesday, March 26, 2008

DNfromMN - Movie Review - 21


Release Date 3/28/08

I have been looking forward to this movie since I heard it was being made. I’d read the book it was based on a few years ago, and it was written to be made into a movie. It had drama, tension, sex, money, and gambling.

The Story: Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess) needs money to get pay for medical school. His upper level math instructor (Kevin Spacey) sees Ben’s intelligence and quick thinking and recruits him for his card-counting blackjack squad. Every weekend, they go to Vegas to rake in the dough.

In adaptation, they lost the tension. My guess is that the loss falls into the hands of the director. You never get the feeling that something could go wrong, despite the opening sequence of another card counter getting beaten up. Certainly Laurence Fishburne is intimidating and the epitome of cool, but he’s been de-clawed by making him worry about his job security. But now I’m doing what I hate about movie reviews, complaining about what isn’t there when I should be focusing on what IS there.
Jim Sturgess is incredibly charming, and really the only fully fleshed out character – so he’s really the only one you care about. Luckily he’s in 99% of the movie. Kate Bosworth is the girl he’s been lusting after for 4 years, who is also on the squad. You never understand why she’s interested in him after ignoring him all this time. It just sort of happens. Again, she wasn’t given the chance. And she looks good.

Everything in the movie looks good, it just doesn’t have any substance. And it’s not terribly original. You won’t see any interesting directing, or any showy acting, or really anything special.

What it’s Worth: $6.00. It’s entertaining, and it’ll keep you occupied for a couple of hours, but you won’t leave needing watch it again.


Brit Brit said...

Books are always better than the movies!

jlb said...

Thanks DN - I was honestly waiting to read what you thought of this one.

Watching the ads for it though made me think of a blind, can't remember from when, about an older actor/younger actor liason....these two might fit.

Emobacca said...

I have been anticipating this movie since I saw the trailer during that horrid movie Vantage Point. Hey ent, was Kate Bosworth doing coke or meth before she made this film, she was looking dangerously skinny.

CarolMR said...

Is that Kate Bosworth? It looked like a young Marg Helgenberger.

Reese said...

Poor Kate hasn't looked good since Blue Crush, where she looked great. Thanks for the review DN; I read this book several years ago and was looking forward to seeing this. It sounds like a good candidate for Netflix, or maybe a bargain matinee.

Ellen said...

Thanks DNfromMN,

I loved this book so much and will definitely see the movie whether they lost the tension or not.

Always love your movie reviews and they are always spot on!

Keep them coming!

Sue's recipes said...

Kate Bosworth is a terrible, terrible actress. Aside from that, I knew they'd water down this book and cast it all wrong. Boo!

Ellebee said...

Thank you for your review. I think I will read the book, then wait for the DVD to rent.

A friend of mine at a well-known university that we attended as under grads made his money for school doing something similar, but he tossed poker into the mix. Totally blew my mind, especially since I was stuck slinging lattes at a local cafe for tips.

Amber said...

Heyy dnfrommn.. I think I've seen you around ONTD.

Maybe I'll just watch this one online.


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