I am not into gambling – I’m more into puzzle and word games. The first time I have been to a casino is when my husband took me to one a few years ago – when we still didn’t have kids. Now, he often plays the Texas Poker game on Facebook. I just watch him – a lot and sometimes I cheer for him for as long as he does not lose our money. Lol.
Anyway, though I’m not a casino fan, I did enjoy a number of gambling movies which I have watched recently on DVD. It’s not the actual game which makes these movies nice to watch – it’s the characters that are so passionate, tricky, and witty in implementing their plans, fulfilling their goals – and ultimately always emerging as winners in a venture where we can win some and lose some.
First we have ‘Casino Royale’ where Daniel Craig stars as the James Bond who just got his double zero status. MI6 enters Bond into a high-stakes Texas hold ‘em tournament at the Casino Royale to beat Le Chiffre, a banker and financer to terrorists. What’s nice about this movie is that you get a human “James Bond”, not some loveless, playboy hunk with tons of gadgets, lots of luck, and fancy cars. Craig’s Bond character is tough and vulnerable, smart but reckless and susceptible to trickery – and far from being an ‘Inspector Gadget’. Lol. The story also has some unexpected betrayals and twists.
Next to Casino Royale, I’ve watched the Ocean series 11 to 13 – and among the three, I enjoyed ‘Ocean’s 13‘ the most because the plot was better here – it’s just about the money – it’s about revenge. The plot was simple – ruin Willy Banks’ casino after he double crossed Reuben Tishkoff. The elaborate plan involves rigging the casino’s slot machines and other gambling games, have the hotel pay out more than $500 million in winnings, the guests leaving the casino almost broke with their bountiful winnings, and ensuring that Banks won’t get the Five Diamond Award for the new hotel-casino. They succeed, despite some mishaps – and they buy a property where Reuben can build his own casino.
Last but not the least, I enjoyed ‘21‘. The movie is about Ben, an M.I.T. student who is having a hard time trying to raise the $300,000 he needs to transfer to Harvard School of Medicine. Fortunately (or not so quite), he gets invited by his Math teacher ‘Mickey’ to join his secret blackjack team. It turns out that the members of the ‘secret club’ are being trained by Mickey on card counting at blackjack. They then travel to Las Vegas every weekend and make thousands of dollars by winning blackjack at casino after casino. However, conflict between Ben and Mickey arises and that’s where all the betrayal and deception start to unfold. I love the twists, I love real-life rags-to-riches Vegas scheme, I love the thought that with math, you can make instant tons of cash – and the fact that the villain Spacey suffers in the end.