House of Games (1987) - News Poster

News

Toronto Film Review: ‘Molly’s Game’

Toronto Film Review: ‘Molly’s Game’
Aaron Sorkin talks a good game, so it should come as no surprise that his directorial debut — surprisingly cinematic for someone so voluble, in which Jessica Chastain plays self-made gambling madam Molly Bloom, who built a multi-million-dollar poker empire that managed to attract a lot of unwanted attention (much of it on account of her memoir, “Molly’s Game”) — amounts to a series of mile-a-minute monologues, stacked back-to-back for the better part of 140 minutes. Still, for a writer accused of misogyny in the past, “Molly’s Game” delivers one of the screen’s great female parts — a dense, dynamic, compulsively entertaining affair, whose central role makes stunning use of Chastain’s stratospheric talent.

Whereas most Hollywood directors aspire to the show-don’t-tell school of screenwriting, Sorkin clearly subscribes to a different philosophy: tell more, tell it faster, and then re-tell it in different words for added effect. And guess what? That
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Diana and I review – a frustratingly incohesive drama

Some nice performances – notably Tamsin Greig as a struggling florist – fail to unify this tale of the impact of the death of the Princess of Wales on four individuals. Plus, Richard Osman’s House of Games

You might have thought that all the Diana stuff would be over now, the actual anniversary having passed. But no, they’re milking this one for every last drop. Drama this time, Diana and I (BBC2), about the impact of her death on four individuals, in the week following the car accident in which she died. Four moons, separate but affected by the same gravitational forces, as they orbit death star Diana.

Teenage Jack has just lost his own mother, who died on the same day as the woman she idolised. Plus, Jack has other things on his plate – his sexuality, his dad’s new marriage (to another big Diana fan as it happens
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Fox to Release NYPD Thriller ‘The Force’ in March 2019

Fox to Release NYPD Thriller ‘The Force’ in March 2019
Fox has set a March 1, 2019, release date for police thriller “The Force,” with “Logan” director James Mangold helming.

The project is based on Don Winslow’s novel “The Force” about corrupt NYPD officers. Fox bought movie rights last year to the crime thriller and set it up with Ridley Scott to produce through his Fox-based Scott Free company along with Michael Schaefer and Shane Salerno.

HarperCollins Publishers’ imprint William Morrow is releasing the novel, which centers on a corrupt sergeant at the NYPD’s most elite crime-fighting unit who must choose between his family, his partners, and his life.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

New to Streaming: ‘Pete’s Dragon,’ Pedro Almodóvar, ‘Train to Busan,’ ‘The Bfg,’ and More

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

Always Shine (Sophia Takal)

With the excess of low-budget, retreat-in-the-woods dramas often finding characters hashing out their insecurities through a meta-narrative, a certain initial resistance can occur when presented with such a derivative scenario at virtually every film festival. While Sophia Takal‘s psychological drama Always Shine ultimately stumbles, the chemistry of its leads and a sense of foreboding dread in its formal execution ensures its heightened view of
See full article at The Film Stage »

Watch This: David Mamet toned it down for the screen in The Spanish Prisoner

  • The AV Club
One week a month, Watch This offers movie recommendations inspired by the week’s new releases or premieres. This week: In honor of Kenneth Lonergan’s magnificent Manchester By The Sea, we’re giving a standing ovation to other movies written and/or directed by playwrights.

The Spanish Prisoner (1997)

Playwright David Mamet is best known for quick, profane, tough-talking dialogue, captured in his iconic work, Glengarry Glen Ross. When Ggr went to the big screen, he wrote the screenplay, but let James Foley take the helm. Mamet stayed closer to some of his other productions, like his thriller con debut, House Of Games, which was also in the dark and chatty vein. But one of Mamet’s most successful efforts—while still a con, of course—is almost a complete departure from his usual brand, namely due to its quiet, thoughtful pace.

The Spanish Prisoner is named after a ...
See full article at The AV Club »

Always be closing: the manly world of David Mamet

Philip Laverty Nov 10, 2016

From The Edge and The Untouchables, to the mighty Glengarry Glen Ross: a salute to the movie writing of David Mamet.

Spoilers ahead for The Untouchables, The Spanish Prisoner, and House Of Games

There's a moment in 1992’s Glengarry Glen Ross when Alec Baldwin, sent from head office on what he calls a “mission of mercy”, opens his motivational speech to an office of real estate salesmen by turning on Jack Lemmon’s Shelley 'The Machine' Levene.

“Put that coffee down,” he demands as Lemmon pours himself what he, probably reasonably, considers to be a well-earned cup of Joe.

“Coffee’s for closers only,” Baldwin points out, using the term for someone who can make a successful sale. The person who can close it.

Your name’s Levene?” he asks a few moments later. “You call yourself a salesman, you son of a bitch?”

The callous disdain of this moment,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Everything Steven Soderbergh Watched and Read in 2015

Displaying a transparency that few filmmakers of his fame and / or caliber would even bother with, Steven Soderbergh has, for a couple of years, been keen on releasing lists of what he watched and read during the previous twelve months. If you’re at all interested in this sort of thing — and why not? what else are you even doing with your day? — the 2015 selection should be of strong interest, this being a time when he was fully enmeshed in the world of creating television.

He’s clearly observing the medium with a close eye, be it what’s on air or what his friends (specifically David Fincher and his stillborn projects) show him, and how that might relate to his apparent love of 48 Hours Mystery or approach to a comparatively light slate of cinematic assignments — specifically: it seems odd that the last time he watched Magic Mike Xxl, a
See full article at The Film Stage »

Mississippi Grind Is a Gambling Movie That Comes Out Ahead

  • Vulture
Mississippi Grind Is a Gambling Movie That Comes Out Ahead
The gambling drama — a genre that ranges from Robert Altman’s California Split to David Mamet’s House of Games to John Dahl’s Rounders — often walks a fine line between focusing on the minutiae of the game and observing the humans playing it. There’s drama in the game, to be sure — and one sign of a world-class filmmaker is the ability to convey said drama without requiring that viewers be familiar with the game itself. But the real story always lies in the people playing out in the “real world,” where messiness rules and winning and losing mean very different things. Mississippi Grind, from the writer-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson, It’s Kind of a Funny Story), luxuriates in that real-world messiness. It’s as much a movie about the gamble of friendship as it is about friends gambling.The film opens on an image
See full article at Vulture »

Gambling Movies 101

It is ironic that people want to escape risk all the time but at the same time a large part of the populace is fascinated with gambling. The foremost example of this fascination is the spate of gambling movies which hit the screen every year. Some become part of pop culture, some win critical acclaim, and some set the box office on fire. But one thing is for sure: gambling aficionados watch them with great eagerness, sometimes in the hopes of catching a trick or two. Rain Man is one movie which comes to mind where the autistic lead character counts cards at a casino, but that one is not a gambling movie.

Now, there are different kinds of gambling. Some of them involve gambling as the main plot point while others have gambling going on in the background while the story takes its course. Casino is one example of
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

The top 20 underappreciated films of 1987

  • Den of Geek
From anime to pitch-black thrillers, here's our pick of the underappreciated movies of 1987...

Sometimes, the challenge with these lists isn't just what to put in, but what to leave out. We loved Princess Bride, but with a decent showing at the box office and a huge cult following, isn't it a bit too popular to be described as underappreciated? Likewise Joe Dante's Innerspace, a fabulously geeky, comic reworking of the 60s sci-fi flick, Fantastic Voyage.

What we've gone for instead is a mix of genre fare, dramas and animated films that may have garnered a cult following since, but didn't do well either critically or financially at the time of release. Some of the movies on our list just about made their money back, but none made anything close to the sort of returns enjoyed by the likes of 1987's biggest films - Three Men And A Baby, Fatal Attraction
See full article at Den of Geek »

Second Opinion – Focus (2015)

Focus, 2015.

Written and Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.

Starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro, Gerald McRaney, Bd Wong, Robert Taylor, Dominic Fumusa, Brennan Brown and Griff Furst.

Synopsis:

In the midst of veteran con man Nicky’s latest scheme, a woman from his past – now an accomplished femme fatale – shows up and throws his plans for a loop.

The fundamental problem with films like Focus lays in how many similar films like Focus you may have seen. You know exactly what you’re in for (namely, a con) but the fun is always in how the con is pulled off and how the film can gain the confidence of the audience only to trick us at the end. Unfortunately, even if you’ve seen just one similar film chances are it’s far better than this.

When I think of all the best con artist movies I
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Focus – fantastically boring caper with Will Smith on insufferably smug form

There is no trace of the old Will Smith charm in this glossily mediocre con caper that is almost entirely free of anything or anyone to care about

What on earth happened to Will Smith? He could until recently trade on a certain amount of charm: I have a soft spot for his sentimental drama The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) and he did a good job in the almost impossible role of Muhammad Ali for Michael Mann in 2001. But Smith is just insufferable in this fantastically boring caper about high-class con-trick artists: supercilious and smug, gliding through a glossily mediocre film on cruise control. It is written and directed by John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (who made Crazy, Stupid, Love and I Love You Phillip Morris), but without the flair or fun of those pictures. Smith is super-cool con artist Nicky, and Margot Robbie is Jess, the hot would-be grifter that
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The tyranny of Netflix: you must watch this movie. Now!

Thanks to video-on-demand, films never go away any more – so when I tell you to watch a weird Austrian cowboy movie, I expect you do it. This week

Netflix and video-on-demand and Hulu have created immense new pressures on hardcore movie lovers. In the olden days you could tell a friend, “You just have to see House of Games; it’s the best scam movie of the year!” or “I will not stop badgering you until you see Nine Queens! It’s the best South American scam movie of the year!”

And back in the olden days people would reply: “Yeah, sure, I’ll get to it when I get to it.” But then the film would end its theatrical run, so your friends had a legitimate excuse to ignore you. They would assure you that they would get around to seeing that Argentine movie about the bank robber with
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

'Focus': Film Review

'Focus': Film Review
A romantic caper stocked with con artists, good looks but little sizzle, Focus is no Trouble in Paradise, House of Games or The Grifters. This ultra-slick, fantasy-inducing visit to an international wonder world of wealth and deception plays more like an inventory of thieving and gambling techniques than a captivating diversion, even if it's hard not to be voyeuristically pulled in by some of its ruses. Will Smith and the film's sexy vibe will likely spur moderately good initial box office, although the vague, undescriptive title won't help. A prominent, specially invented screen credit goes to one Apollo

read more
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Fantasia 2014: ‘Faults’ works on your confidence

Faults

Written and directed by Riley Stearns

USA, 2014

The essence of a confidence game is as follows: the con artist describes a terrific bargain in which the mark is offered a chance in which to invest. Due to the mark’s own greed, he hands over whatever personal assets he must to the confidence man, expecting a greater return that he never receives. Though, as Joe Mantegna’s hustler points in House of Games, it is called a confidence game because they are giving their confidence to you. Not the other way around. This is why, throughout history, people have been known to lose articles of clothing and even their houses.

Riley Stearns’s Faults, an understated dramatic-comedy, raises the stakes and the number of games being played at once. Everything is a con and a fickle negotiation. As nebbish, squirrelly Dr. Ansel Roth (Leland Orser) gives hotel room lectures
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Designing Women Vet Meshach Taylor Dead at 67

Meshach Taylor, best known for his Emmy-nominated role as eccentric assistant Anthony Bouvier on Designing Women, died Saturday evening after battling a terminal illness, his agent confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 67.

The actor’s family took to Facebook earlier on Saturday to say, “It is with love and gratitude that we sorrowfully announce that our darling, amazingly brilliant and dynamic, Meshach, the incredible father, husband, son and friend has begun his grand transition,” the family wrote. “Our friends who know and love us, please offer your prayers for his peace and blazing light as he ascends to the heavens.
See full article at TVLine.com »

Hollywood Loves A Good Con: Why We Need a System for Vetting Film Investors

  • Indiewire
Slated Editorial Director Colin Brown is back with the final installment essay in his series on packaging films. You can check out Colin's writing on the filmonomics blog, and you can see this post in its original format here. Hollywood has always fallen hard for films about scam artists and their clever schemes. Even before "American Hustle" and "The Wolf Of Wall Street," there was "Catch Me If You Can," "House of Games," "The Spanish Prisoner," The Grifters, "The Sting," "Paper Moon" and seductive confidence artists stretching all the way back to "The Lady Eve" in 1941. The cons vary but the tricks remain much the same: victims are fooled into trusting in a stranger's good faith through greed, vanity, opportunism, desire, compassion, desperation and any other basic urge you can name. It is easy to see the greenlight appeal of such stories. Not so much because of Hollywood’s own history with charismatic charlatans,
See full article at Indiewire »

American Hustle, review: 'Jennifer Lawrence is brilliant as the neurotic housewife'

David O Russell’s American Hustle is the best film about confidence tricksters since David Mamet’s House of Games (1987). Like Mamet, Russell understands that professional con artists are simply doing the same thing as everyone else but in a more self-conscious and calculated way. As he has pointed out, deception and self-deception are a “necessary component of the software of humanity”.
See full article at The Independent »

James Badge Dale Heading For Second JFK Drama With Mamet’s ‘Blackbird’

Rising character actor James Badge Dale has already featured in one dramatisation centred on the assassination of President John Kennedy this year, with Peter Landesman’s Parkland (still to hit cinemas here in the UK). It’s now confirmed the actor, best known for his stand-out roles in The Departed, The Lone Ranger and Iron Man 3, has signed on for another. He’ll play a military major helping Cate Blanchett’s character discover the truth about her recently deceased grandfather and if he was the man who actually pulled the trigger in the shocking events at Dallas, Texas on the the 22nd November 1963.

The nail-biting conspiracy thriller thriller titled Blackbird, is being written and directed by the brilliant award-winning playwright and filmmaker David Mamet. He’s responsible for a number of classic American works that initially struggled to find their audience but have since gone on to the become cult favourites.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

The top 25 underappreciated films of 1997

  • Den of Geek
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 7 Nov 2013 - 07:02

Our journey through the half-remembered, underappreciated films of the 1990s continues. Here, we look to 1997...

Dominated by the box office behemoth that was James Cameron's Titanic, 1997 was a year of high drama and outlandish special effects. The Lost World: Jurassic Park brought with it a new batch of genetically revived dinosaurs, George Lucas dug his original Star Wars trilogy out of the cupboard and added new (controversial) computer-generated sequences, while Nicolas Cage and John Travolta did impressions of one another and fired guns in John Woo's delirious action movie, Face/Off.

It was a varied year for movies, for sure, particularly by 21st century standards; it's difficult to imagine a British feel-good comedy about amateur male strippers (The Full Monty) getting into the year's 10 highest grossing films these days. But among all those winners, there had to be some
See full article at Den of Geek »
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Showtimes | External Sites