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Smokin' Aces (2006)

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When a Las Vegas performer-turned-snitch named Buddy Israel decides to turn state's evidence and testify against the mob, it seems that a whole lot of people would like to make sure he's no longer breathing.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Wayne Newton
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Beanie (as Christopher Holley)
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FBI Aid
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Top Coated Gunman
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Storyline

Mob boss Primo Sparazza has taken out a hefty contract on Buddy "Aces" Israel, a sleazy magician who has agreed to turn state's evidence against the Vegas mob. The FBI, sensing a chance to use this small-time con to bring down big-target Sparazza, places Aces into protective custody-under the supervision of two agents dispatched to Aces' Lake Tahoe hideout. When the word of the price on Aces' head spreads into the community of ex-cons and cons-to-be, it entices bounty hunters, thugs-for-hire, deadly vixens and double-crossing mobsters to join in the hunt. With all eyes on Tahoe, this rogues' gallery collides in a comic race to hit the jackpot and rub out Aces. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fbi | mafia | casino | mob hit | sniper | See All (125) »

Taglines:

The Only Way To Even The Score... Is To Take Buddy Israel Out Of The Game See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody violence, pervasive language, some nudity and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

26 January 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ases calientes  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,023,862 (UK) (12 January 2007)

Gross:

$35,635,046 (USA) (9 March 2007)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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(Technicolor)| (flashbacks)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to one of the DVD commentaries, director Joe Carnahan had Ryan Reynolds wear one of his contacts from The Amityville Horror (2005) in the final scene. The contact was worn on the side of his face with cuts from the climactic shoot-out. See more »

Goofs

The opening Lake Tahoe shot appears to indicate that Buddy's penthouse suite is at the Mont Bleu hotel. The real hotel does not have suites with windows as wide as depicted in the film. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Donald Carruthers: You've got to be careful when doing your stakeouts. I did one for... I was on one for six months. I gained, like, 20, 25 pounds. You keep eating this crap...
Richard Messner: Well, that's not my problem, though. I don't gain weight. I tried.
Donald Carruthers: That's 'cause you're 12 years old.
See more »

Connections

References The Untouchables (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Segura O Sambura
(Roberto Castiglioni, Raffaele Piccolo)
Performed by Nilton Castro
Courtesy of Crisler Music Srl
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User Reviews

 
Gore and Grins for the Guys
26 January 2007 | by (st. louis, mo) – See all my reviews

Here's another addition to anyone's list of definitive "guy flicks". Compared to testosterone treats like Jason Statham's pair of Transporter stints, this one offers a more complicated plot, fewer explosions and chases, but more gruesome killings. Plus some fine touches of grim humor, and a dash of eye candy. It comes from the fertile, if demented, mind of Joe Carnahan, who struck first with the cheapie hit Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane, before upgrading to studio-quality crime drama in Narc. Arguably, he's the US doppelganger for England's Guy Ritchie (Lox, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch - both also featuring Statham), since he's less arty and cinematically historical about showcasing mayhem than Quentin Tarantino.

Jeremy Piven plays a Las Vegas lounge star and gangster wannabe, who first endears himself to the Mob, runs afoul of the local Capo, then offers his testimony to the FBI in exchange for protection and profit. When the Mafiosi put a $1M price-tag on his head, hordes of hit persons (solos and teams, male and female, foreign and domestic; the EEOC would be more than satisfied with this field's diversity), some hired, others freelance, converge on the casino penthouse in Lake Tahoe where their quarry is "hiding", while his agent (gifted, yet underemployed, Curtis Armstrong) negotiates terms with the Feds.

The deep cast includes Ben Affleck, Ray Liotta, Andy Garcia, Jason Bateman, Alicia Keys, and plenty of other familiar faces. Carnahan careens among multiple arenas of plotting, with FBI briefings filling in the audience and their agents on some of the players they're about to face, building to the inevitable chaos of competing factions converging on Piven and his legion of bodyguards, in what promises to be a dazzling display of carnage and comedy. The reality comes pretty close, with a couple of cool surprises along the way.

Unfortunately, Carnahan, like a certain US President who comes to mind, crafted his superb attack without a viable exit strategy. After the cosmic convergence, there's more exposition and anticlimactic wind-down than anyone needed, or the preceding frenzy deserved.

Enjoy the movie, fellas. But for those who wait (or double-dip), expect the DVD's extras to include at least one alternate ending, and several bloody and/or sexy deleted scenes that were axed for optimal running time, rather than lack of titillation.


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