365 Movies By Day Reviews of Movies I Watch that I Feel Like Writing About

1Jan/180

Molly’s Game (2017)

In my personal life, I've mentioned many times that I am so glad I am not addicted to gambling. I have many other problems and the added temptation of a big payday by sacrificing my own hard-earned money with less than successful odds sounds absolutely miserable.

In Aaron Sorkin's directorial debut, he tells the story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain - A Most Violent Year, Take Shelter), an Olympic level skier who once ran one of the most exclusive high-stakes poker games for more than a decade, two years before her arrest that saw FBI agents surrounding her house with automatic guns in the middle of the night. It's a legitimate directorial debut and one that is worthy of its high praise. But despite how well made the movie is, I believe it to be a much more enjoyable and educational film if you are familiar with the game of poker. I have no idea how to play the game, so while I was fascinated by the movie, there were definitely many parts where I felt like the odd one sitting around a kitchen table because there were many terms thrown around that I did not understand as well as actions, motives, dialogue, and even purposes that felt very foreign to me. As a result, the movie didn't hook me like it did many of the other films that Sorkin also wrote (The Social Network, Moneyball, Steve Jobs, Charlie Wilson's War not to mention his credits as a lead writer on television's The West Wing and Newsroom). That's not to say Sorkin should stick to screenwriting. He absolutely should not. It's just that I will look forward to seeing him direct a movie revolving around a different theme in the future rather than revisiting Molly's Game, a film that, frankly, will be one that I will forever forget about soon after I write this review.

29May/110

Takers (2010)

Takers, John Luessenhop first attempt at a big budget movie falls flat on its face before it ever gets going. Takers is a completely unoriginal, formulaic, good guys vs bad guys movie. It's one of those movies where the trailer tells a better story than the actual movie does. With a cast that includes Matt Dillon (There's Something About Mary, Wild Things), Idris Elba (HBO's "The Wire", Obsessed), Paul Walker (Joy Ride, Running Scared), T.I. (American Gangster, ATL), Hayden Christensen (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Jumper), and Jay Hernandez (Friday Night Lights, Hostel) among others, I thought that at least I'd be entertained with the acting. Heck, the R&B singer Chris Brown was even in this movie.