Posts Tagged ‘Movie’

New Netflix Movie “Win It All” The Next Great Gambling Film?

 New Netflix Movie “Win It All” The Next Great Gambling Film?

It isn’t very often that movies about gambling – and especially poker – come across any of the forms of media from Hollywood. Arguably the best known of this genre is the seminal poker film Rounders and there are few other examples that would compare (for comedy, check out The Grand and, to help Matt Savage’s retirement fund, go for Lucky You). A new effort that didn’t even go to the silver screen is now drawing attention for its realistic look at gambling and poker.

One of the best things that has come from the streaming services such as Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix is that they are now developing their own programming. That’s where a fan of gambling films can find Win It All, streaming on Netflix basically any time that the viewer wants to watch it. The movie has a 95% approval rating on the movie website Rotten Tomatoes (based on 20 reviews) and an average rating of 7.5 out of 10, while it also garners a 78 (on a scale of 100) on the website Metacritic.

The movie focuses on Eddie Garrett (Jake Johnson, known for his work on the Fox comedy New Girl), a gambler whose day job is parking cars at Wrigley Field in Chicago (for anyone who has ever tried to park in the neighborhood surrounding the home of the Cubs, you’ll understand the job) and who by night is, as his Gamblers’ Anonymous sponsor Gene (Keegan-Michael Key of the Comedy Central program Key & Peele), someone who has “never won.” But things are about to change for Garrett after he does a favor for a friend of his named Michael (Jose Antonio Garcia):  hold onto a duffel bag while he is incarcerated, but don’t look inside it.

While it should be easy to do a favor, curiosity gets the better of Eddie and he eventually cracks open the bag to find a crapload of money inside. And, naturally, because he is a compulsive gambler, Eddie eventually blows the money in the bag through a variety of gambling means. Where the twist comes to the movie is when Michael calls Eddie from prison to let him know that he’s being released early and Eddie must come up with the money that he’s lost in the only way he knows – gambling.

The premise may not be appealing to those who consider themselves “professional gamblers,” but Win It All works because of the directing of the film. Director Joe Swanberg gives the film a great look at how the underground gambling scene works (he also films it very well), but Swanberg also doesn’t shirk scenes away from the “world of gambling.” Win It All is as much a look at the gambling world as it is a glimpse into the mind and psychology of a person who tries to do the right things but sometimes steps awry.

It may be a better effort than what could be coming down the pike soon. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has finished his directorial debut in Molly’s Game, his adaptation of “The Poker Princess” Molly Bloom’s story of working in the world of underground poker. The story of Bloom is well known to most in the poker world, how she went from a former Olympic hopeful to the organizer and host for the biggest high stakes cash games in first Hollywood and then New York. The problem with Molly’s Game? Sorkin doesn’t plan to tell the whole story.

On many occasions, Sorkin has stated he will not delve into the players who took part in the games, going as far as to not name them at all. That would mean ignoring (or at least putting on fictitious players) vast swaths of Bloom’s book where she talks about such power players as Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Tobey Maguire and other Hollywood producers and businessmen. Sorkin has also said that Molly’s Game isn’t about the poker but about “Bloom’s journey to finding who she is.”

The problem for Molly’s Game is that it has lined up some A-list talent for what might be a horrendous story. Two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain will play Bloom, with Idris Elba slated to play her attorney and be a major plot driver. Others such as Kevin Costner, Michael Cera and Jeremy Strong are also a part of the project, which is slated for release later this year.

Until the Sorkin film premieres, we might have to do with Win It All to satisfy the jones for gambling movies. If the reviews are correct, it may be the better of the two films.

Poker News Daily

Aaron Sorkin Won’t Use “Actual” Names in Movie Adaptation of “Molly’s Game”

 Aaron Sorkin Won’t Use “Actual” Names in Movie Adaptation of “Molly’s Game”

For those that were looking for a big blockbuster expose of the A-listers from Hollywood that frequented the biggest poker games around in the early Ought’s, you’re going to be disappointed. According to the screenwriter and director, he’s not going to “name names,” so to speak.

According to several outlets, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin is hard at work adapting author Molly Bloom’s tome Molly’s Game for the big screen. Also slated to be his directorial debut, Sorkin has been adamant that he will not be using the names of the players that took part in Bloom’s offerings, which included Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire. “A number of people in the game are bold face names, they’re people who you would know,” Sorkin commented to HNGN.com reporter Emily Morgan recently. “You can Google this and see the sort of tabloid version of the story, but there’s a much better story under the tabloid version of the story.”

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Sorkin is seeing another story in Bloom’s book, not the dashing poker tale replete with movie stars, Hollywood executives, hedge fund managers, businessmen and the like. “I don’t want the movie to be about gossip,” Sorkin said to reporter Stephen Galloway. “I wouldn’t want it to [be], under any circumstances, but in this particular case, the reason why she is a movie hero, the reason why she’s worth writing about in the first place, is that by the end of the whole thing – even if it meant saving her life, guaranteeing her own freedom, she wouldn’t have to go to jail for four years, even if it meant the restoration of all the money the government took away from her- she would not name a single [person], she wouldn’t tell a story. She could have. She wrote a book for which she could have gotten a $ 2 million advance. She got a $ 35,000 advance instead.”

While Sorkin is saying that he will go to “great lengths” to obscure the identities of people who played in the game, Bloom was only descriptive about one in her book and it was perhaps because of the ludicrousness of the situation. We at Poker News Daily reviewed Bloom’s book in late 2014 and had this to say about that particular situation:

Coming off as the hugest douche of her group (according to Bloom’s writing) was actor Tobey Maguire. Bloom acquiesces to nearly all of his demands for playing in her game (knowledge of who was playing and usage of a shuffling machine that he provided for a fee, among others) and Maguire ended up screwing Bloom in the end. First, he attempts to force her to earn a meager tip of $ 1000 (with more than a quarter million of his money in the game) by making her sit on a table and bark for it. Then, he pushes her out of the game because he believes that she is making “too much” money through her tips. While Maguire has proven to be very impersonal during his trips to the World Series of Poker (to the point of being quite the jerk), these steps (if true) go way over the line.

Sorkin has apparently finished the screenplay, but an actual cast hasn’t been put together yet. Jessica Chastain has been rumored to be in the running to portray Bloom on the silver screen, but there is no other information as to other cast members. There also isn’t a studio behind the effort, although Sony Pictures has been an outlet for Sorkin’s previous works.

If, and, or when Molly’s Game comes to the big screen, people probably aren’t going to see very much that was a part of the book. Sorkin says he will be focused on Bloom’s early life (“She was this close to going to the Olympics”), including her schooling at Harvard University and how she came to California to try to decide what to do with her future. The 12 years that she spent running the biggest cash games in the world – ones that would frequently net her six-figure sums for organizing said games – might actually be a sidelight come the final cut of the screenplay.

According to Sorkin, he has come up with the close of the film and it is what Bloom used for the book: “We were talking about failure, and she says at the end of the movie that — she quotes Winston Churchill, who said, “Success is defined by being able to go from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Poker News Daily



usa poker svenska poker finland poker Deutsch poker spain poker italy poker france poker japan poker greece poker china poker brazil poker denemark poker netherlands poker india poker russia poker korea poker turkey poker
romanian poker bulgarian poker croatian poker czech poker israel   poker norway poker poland poker serbia poker slovakia poker slovenia poker