What it's about:
Jim Bennett is both an English professor and a high-stakes gambler. He bets it all when he borrows from a gangster and offers his own life as collateral. Always one step ahead, Bennett pits his creditor against the operator of a gambling ring and leaves his dysfunctional relationship with his wealthy mother in his wake. He plays both sides, immersing himself in an illicit, underground world while garnering the attention of Frank, a loan shark with a paternal interest in Bennett’s future. As his relationship with a student deepens, Bennett must take the ultimate risk for a second chance.
What we thought:
It’s official. The Gambler is on my list of best movies I’ve ever watched. And I’m rather picky when it comes to selecting my favourites.It came as a huge surprise to me. I never imagined that a Mark Wahlberg film would ever make it onto my imaginary movie hall of fame. But this one deserves its place. I believe it’s one of those hidden gems that slip through the circuit unnoticed but are actually pretty damn amazing. (For some stupid reason it didn’t make any waves in America.)Everything from Mark’s acting, to the screenwriting, to the directing, to the cinematography is spot on. I have no idea what exactly this movie did to my mind but I fucking loved it. It’s a super-intelligent and extremely well-written piece of cinema that shines thanks to the exceptional acting by both Wahlberg and Jessica Lange (who plays his mother).It’s like Dead Poets Society for grown-ups dipped in a batter of Scorsese undertones and deep-fried in superhot sexiness. The subtle kind of sexy. The smart kind of sexy.The movie is on a level where I suspect the masses won’t get it and the nouveau crowd will skip it because they’ll think it’s skop, skiet and donner - which it isn’t at all. But it still has the balls of a nice action flick. I only afterwards found out that the film was directed by Rupert Wyatt. You might remember him from Rise of the Planet of the Apes – another movie I thoroughly enjoyed watching. Go watch this one. It’s worth it.
Just another typical Tom Cruise action film, with nothing to get too excited about. The film is loaded with action-film stereotypes and cheesy one-liners. Read More »
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Hands of Stone is a bland, unlikable portrayal of a real-life boxer that struggles to hit the highs of Rocky IV let alone Raging Bull or the original Rocky. Mark this one down as “for boxing fanatics only”. Read More »
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