7.9/10
34
3 user 2 critic

Freeze Out (2005)

'Swingers' meets 'Rounders': A friendly poker game gets ugly when the host raises the stakes and everyone's dirty secrets are revealed.

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Drama

Plot unknown. A sequel to the 1998 film 'Rounders'.

Director: John Dahl
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Cast

Credited cast:
Tom Sharpe ...
John
...
Sarah
...
Nick
Kristopher Logan ...
Chip
...
Tim
Julie Thaxter-Gourlay ...
Mary
...
Ed
...
Janice
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Dream Girlfriend
...
Ed's ex-girlfriend
...
Angry Ex-Girlfriend
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Storyline

Freeze Out is a comedy about one man's ridiculous and overzealous attempt to get revenge for the constant ribbing of his best friends at his weekly poker game. John's weekly poker game is a sanctuary from the horrors of living and working in Los Angeles: a ritual of jokes, beer drinking, talking movies, politics, and sex. In short, it's a good time and the max bet is 25 cents so no one is going to go broke. But something is bugging John. His friends don't respect him; any chance they get they cut him down, tell him he's boring, make him feel small. He's tired of being the butt of their jokes and he's not going to take it anymore. So he raises the stakes, trains in secret and engineers a winner-take-all Freeze Out, never realizing it might cost him his 7 best friends. What starts as an innocent night of low stakes poker becomes a ripping lampoon of friendship and a funny look at how we all lie to ourselves. Written by M.J. Loheed

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Taglines:

lie all you want ... just don't lie to yourself

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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2 October 2005 (USA)  »

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Budget:

$30,000 (estimated)
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User Reviews

witty slackers in denial
18 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A poker table is the backdrop for a group of friends to play out their anxieties, fears, desires, pettiness & anything else that crops up.

The young, entertainment-industry-wannabes in LA are by and large savaged; the movie works because it isn't only a send-up of self-absorbed Angelenos (though it is that). First, it is pitch-perfect in its treatment of these Beautiful People (at least to themselves they are): the mix of self-importance and self-loathing is dead-on, and the characters' foibles and frustrations (interpersonal, creative, familial, sexual, substance-related and more) will be familiar to most of us, without being trite.

Second, it is clear that Loheed feels for these characters, so that when he does savage them, it is lovingly rendered. This tenderness & care for the characters is what prevents the movie from being merely an exercise.

But even if it were just an exercise, it is a success on that score as well: Loheed has a great ear for dialogue; we all know people who talk like these characters. While the movie is very funny, the characters are awkward as well, and crack jokes that fall flat, so the movie avoids the problem of having every character speak as though he had a team of Hollywood sitcom writers working on the dialogue.

So yes, this is a poker movie. And an Industry movie. And an LA movie. Any one of which would make it worth watching. But it's also more than any or all of these, individually or together. See it.


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