Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Movie of the Week - Rounders

This week’s movie is Rounders (1998).

The film is about a young law student and reformed gambler who returns to big stakes poker to help a friend pay off loan sharks after him. Highlighted by a wonderful cast full of fantastic and memorable performances, it is a great script from David Levien and Brian Koppelman that makes the film work so well. The writing and John Dahl’s best directing effort really bring the viewer into the world, underbelly, of high stakes poker. The film speaks the language, but is still accessible to those not familiar with poker. Back to the performances, Matt Damon and Edward Norton are both pitch perfect in the film. John Turturro, Gretchen Mol, Famke Janssen, and Martin Landau provide good supporting work. However, it is John Malkovich’s turn as a Russian mobster/loan shark that is fabulous. What makes the film great is the acting work and the world that the film examines. It was ahead of its time at it release just before the explosion of interest in poker. This is a must see for fans of Damon, Norton and/or Malkovich (or really fans of film in general). Check out the trailer.

Rounders [Blu-ray/DVD]

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