A story about a man who can't seem to do anything but win at the tables in Vegas. This, of course, brings hustlers out of the woodwork intent on using him for financial gain. One of them is the man's brother who, incidentally, is trying to find who it was that killed their father, while still another is a woman who has schemes of her own. Couple all of this with drug kingpins and general thugs and you have a comedy with a fresh twist on surviving in Vegas. Written by
BOB STEBBINS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A failure, but it's Alex Cox, so an interesting failure
Alex Cox will always be remembered for the astonishing one-two punch of 'Repo Man' and 'Sid and Nancy', yet his finest achievement was the daring, career-destroying 'Walker'. As if being exiled from the studio system wasn't enough, Cox then made the diabolically awful 'Straight To Hell' to seemingly bury any credibility he may have had left. 'The Winner' represents yet another oddity from Cox's years in the indie wilderness, but perhaps has the highest curio factor due to its eyebrow-raising ensemble cast. Yet what makes 'The Winner', ultimately, a loser, is in all fairness not attributed to Cox but rather its unimpressive, derivative, post-Tarantino screenplay (allegedly adapted from a play, presumably off-off-off-off Broadway). Cox and the cast struggle with its uneven tone and, despite Frank Whaley scoring in a hilariously slimy role, the unfunny nature of the script is barely able to justify the film's incessant stylistic zaniness. While it does work in small doses (an effective opening and a memorably odd ending), it simply isn't enjoyable enough to even warrant minor cult status. That said, it is at least a slight cut above the other interminable 'Pulp Fiction' clones that plagued the mid-to-late nineties. But what sort of endorsement is that?
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