DEAL (2008)

DEAL (2008)

Deal is a 2008 drama movie starring film actor Burt Reynolds, among Bret Harrison, and Shannon Elizabeth. It tells the tale of a former poker player (Reynolds) who tutors a younger player (Harrison). The film's climax is a fictional World Poker Tour championship. A hot-shot college card player and a retired poker legend team-up to take Sin City for all its worth, only to find themselves going toe-to-toe in the ultra-high stakes World Poker Tour. World Poker Tour commentators Mike Sexton, Vince Van Patten and Courtney Friel play themselves. A number of other professional poker players and poker-playing celebrities, including Phil Laak, Antonio Esfandiari, Greg Raymer, Chris Moneymaker and Isabelle Mercier are in the cast.

Alex Stillman (Bret Harrison) is a Yale senior with a knack for Texas Hold 'Em. But while Alex dreams of the day he'll be able to dominate the tables out in Las Vegas, he hasn't mastered the art of the cards just yet. Alex's luck begins to change, however, after a chance encounter with legendary poker player Tommy Vinson (Burt Reynolds). Tommy gave up gambling twenty years ago in hopes that he could save his family. He recognizes the potential in Alex, and he's beginning to regain his confidence after two decades of maintaining a low profile. Alex agrees to become Tommy's port.

Can not detect the flash plugin.

This content requires the Adobe Flash Player. Get Flash

top

ROUNDERS (1998)

ROUNDERS

Rounders is a 1998 film about the underground world of high-stakes poker. Directed by John Dahl and starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton, the movie follows two friends who need to quickly earn enough cash playing poker to pay off a huge debt. The term “rounder” refers to a person whose sole means of earning a living is by playing cards. Though John Dahl's ''Rounders'' finally adds up to less than meets the eye, what does meet the eye (and ear) is mischievously entertaining. Inspired by Martin Scorsese's brand of lowlife and aided by a splendid rogues' gallery of a cast, the director of ''The Last Seduction'' takes his audience behind closed doors and into the world of high-stakes poker, a demimonde captured with abundant local color.

The movie opened to mixed reviews and only made a modest amount of money. However, with the growing popularity of Texas hold 'em and other poker games, Rounders has become a cult hit. Despite an unremarkable theatrical release, Rounders has gone on to become somewhat of a cult classic, particularly amongst poker enthusiasts. With settings that range from an Elks hall in Binghamton to a yuppie cigar bar to Russian Turkish Baths, Mr. Dahl's film has character in oversupply even if its actual characters are sometimes thin. Poker fever makes up for whatever the story lacks in everyday emotions.

In an interesting chicken or the egg situation, some speculate the film is directly responsible for the recent increase in the popularity of Texas hold 'em, while others believe that the substantial increase in the popularity of poker has nothing to do with the movie Rounders, but that same increase does have everything to do with the come-lately increase in the popularity of the film, so many years after its theatrical release.

Can not detect the flash plugin.

This content requires the Adobe Flash Player. Get Flash

top

MAVERICK (1994)

MAVERICK

Maverick is an Academy Award nominated 1994 comedy Western movie, based on the 1950s television series Maverick, created by Roy Huggins. The film was directed by Richard Donner from a screenplay by William Goldman and features Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, and James Garner. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design. A gun slinging con man develops a tricky scheme to make a killing at a major poker tournaments in this comic Western inspired by the popular television show. In need of a large stake to enter a major card competition on a Louisiana steamboat, Maverick decides to take advantage of a few small-town poker players.

The story, set in the American Old West, is a first-person account by a wisecracking gambler Bret Maverick (Mel Gibson), of his misadventures on the way to a major five-card draw poker tournament. Besides wanting to win the poker championship for the money, he also wants to prove, once and for all, that he is "the best". However, complications keep getting in the way. These include the seemingly sweet Annabelle Bransford (Jodie Foster) and the intimidating Angel (Alfred Molina), neither of whom is too happy about their loss. Things become even more complicated for Maverick when the law gets involved, with Marshal Zane Cooper (James Garner, who played the role of Maverick in the original television series) giving chase. A series of stagecoach chases, complicated cons, and gun battles ensues, with Annabelle and Maverick finding time for plenty of flirtation along the way. ~ Judd Blaise, All Movie Guide

Can not detect the flash plugin.

This content requires the Adobe Flash Player. Get Flash

top

HONEYMOON IN VEGAS (1992)

HONEYMOON IN VEGAS

After making a deathbed promise to his mother that he would never marry, Jack Singer (Nicolas Cage) finds that resolve challenged when his girlfriend, Betsy (Sarah Jessica Parker), begins making noise about wanting to start a family. Jack Singer (Cage) has sworn to his mother while she was on her deathbed that he would never get married. Years later, he goes back on his promise and proposes to his girlfriend, Betsy (Parker), and quickly arranges a Las Vegas marriage. They check into the Bally's Hotel.

Before the wedding, however, a wealthy professional gambler, Tommy Korman (Caan) arranges a poker game where Jack loses $65,000. Korman promises to erase the debt if he can spend the weekend with Singer's fiancée. Korman had seen Betsy suntanning near the pool and early at the conceirge desk and was reminded of his wife who had died of skin cancer, so he had personally chosen Singer, and then cheated at poker so that he would be deeply in debt to him. After agreeing to no sexual activity, they agree to go through with this. Jack tries desperately to get Betsy back and discovers that Korman has escaped to Hawaii where he has his family and connections.

Korman has a friend, Mahi (Pat Morita); basically keep Jack as far as possible from him and Betsy. Jack discovers this and goes and finds the house of Korman on a golf course. Korman attacks Jack and has him arrested. Finally he finds a group about to depart for Vegas but, much to his surprise, finds out mid-flight that the group he is with is the Utah Chapter of the "Flying Elvises" - a skydiving team of Elvis impersonators. Jack now realizes that he will be forced to skydive from 3,000 feet in order to reunite with Betsy. Panicked and fearful, Jack eventually is able to overcome his fear and lands and spots Betsy, which then ruins Korman's plans. The final scene shows Jack and Betsy getting married in a small Las Vegas chapel with the Flying Elvises as guests, Jack still in his white illuminated jumpsuit and Betsy in her stolen showgirl outfit.

Can not detect the flash plugin.

This content requires the Adobe Flash Player. Get Flash

top

THE CINCINNATI KID (1965)

THE CINCINNATI KID

Starring Steve McQueen (1930-1980) as "The Cincinnati Kid", an up-and-coming poker player who tries to prove himself in a high-stakes match against a long-time master of the game. The game is compromised by the intervention of Slade (Rip Torn), an old foe of the Man's who tries to fix the outcome. The Kid finds out about this and tells Slade to get lost, preferring to win fair and square. The outcome is in the cagey hands of The Man, who is smart enough to do .the wrong thing at the right time. The Cincinnati Kid was based on the novel by Richard Jessup.

Can not detect the flash plugin.

This content requires the Adobe Flash Player. Get Flash

top

CALIFORNIA SPLIT (1974)

CALIFORNIA SPLIT

The film is less concerned with plot than behavior as a friendship develops between Bill Denny (George Segal) and Charlie Waters (Elliott Gould) over their mutual love of gambling. Charlie is a wisecracking joker and experienced gambler constantly looking for the next score. Initially, Bill isn’t as committed a gambler (he works at a magazine during the day) but he’s well on his way.

As the film progresses and the two men hang out more, Bill starts to become more addicted to the gambling lifestyle. He goes into debt to his bookie, Sparkie (Joseph Walsh). Eventually, Bill and Charlie end up in Reno, where Bill hocks some of his possessions; they pool their money to stake Bill in a poker game (where one of the players is former world champion "Amarillo Slim", portraying him). Bill wins $18,000, but doesn't quit; he is convinced he is on a hot streak. He plays blackjack, then roulette and finally craps, winning more and more money.

Roger Ebert in his review for the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "At the end of California Split we realize that Altman has made a lot more than a comedy about gambling; he's taken us into an American nightmare, and all the people we met along the way felt genuine and looked real," and praised it as "a great movie and it's a great experience, too. Vincent Canby in the New York Times praised the film for being "dense with fine, idiosyncratic detail, a lot of which is supplied by Mr. Gould and Mr. Segal as well as by members of the excellent supporting cast.

Can not detect the flash plugin.

This content requires the Adobe Flash Player. Get Flash

top