|Notch +1 Movie Watched.
||[Jan. 25th, 2004|02:00 am]
|[||In the Moment
|||||Bobby Caldwell - Luck Be A Lady||]|
Jim and I went to see The Cooler today at the Arc Light.
This movie is worth it if you love Vegas, and it's also worth it if you love strong performances. William H. Macy's performance as Lootz is probably one of his more memorable ones, in my mind, of his films, probably since he was Quiz Kid Donnie in Magnolia, also a fine film.
Alec Baldwin owned the screen like he usually does. He was a bad-ass Shelly, an old-school mobster who'd wipe you without much afterthought.
Maria Bello . . . I had to look her up on IMDB. She was Macy's love interest, and I think this is her strongest performance, evarrr, at least what I've watched.
I liked Ron Livingston as representative of "New Vegas."
Basically, the movie is about Macy's character, Lootz, a 'cooler,' a walking human version who has such bad luck that he merely goes near a table, and everyone loses to the house.
Baldwin's character, Shelly, is one of the major bosses of the Shangri-La, an 'old-school' Vegas casino, a time-capsule of sorts from the old mob days of Vegas. As in style of the casino, Shelly is very old-school himself, and he has a strong belief to keep it exactly as it is.
Maria's character, Natalie, is a nickel-slot waitress who enters into the Shangri-La and into the life of Lootz. They endear themselves to each other.
You have to suspend reality like in most fiction, and in this case, it's a pinpoint suspended reality with regards to 'luck' . . . Lootz literally becomes a contagious losing presence to any player near him, and that extends and changes as the movie twists and turns. As Natalie and Bernie fall in love, Bernie's luck changes from bad to good. Suddenly, he has no effect on the players, and they start winning streaks.
If you can deal with this 'magical' plot effect, then you're in for one of the finest movies of 2003. I loved it more due to my knowledge of gambling and Vegas. If anything, you'll really enjoy Macy's sad-sack good-guy role, Bello's striking role (I kept saying to myself, "she looks like a young Sharon Stone, no joke"), and Baldwin's super-strong performance, then with them and the neat dialogue, you're way up for the day. :D
Note: This is only similar in feel to Leaving Las Vegas, of which that film is bad-ass, waaaaay in a league above and beyond most all other films. This is Leaving Las Vegas Lite. It's perfect, however, for the afternoon matinee, a very good easily-digested-yet-violent-yet-funny-yet great film. Of course, my favorite Vegas film isn't really so much about Vegas but the American Dream, that being Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.