In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Clifton Collins Jr.,
A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot.
Billy Bob Thornton,
Bi-polar mall security guard Ronnie Barnhardt is called into action to stop a flasher from turning shopper's paradise into his personal peep show. But when Barnhardt can't bring the culprit to justice, a surly police detective, is recruited to close the case.
The real life Susan Schmidt played Jack's secretary in this movie. See more »
When Jack is shown teaching screen-writing to fellow inmates, he has written on the board the film title 'Papillion' rather than 'Papillon'. See more »
You know, I do a shitload of reading and studying and praying, and I've come to a few conclusions I want to share. People look at politicians and celebrities on the TV and the newspapers, glossy magazines - what do they see? "I'm just like them." That's what they say. "I'm special. I'm different. I could be any one of them." Well guess what, you can't. You know why? Cause in reality, mediocrity is where most people live. Mediocrity is the elephant in the room. It's ubiquitous. ...
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Brief footage of the real Jack Abramoff's introduction speech of Tom DeLay is shown during the end credits. See more »
In a world in turmoil the world of politics, big business and the profligate space in between has been increasingly nominated to be the devil's Trojan horse in modern day society. No one better fits the bill of demon spawn than Jack Abramoff (played intuitively by a potent Kevin Spacey). Working as a lobbyist to the Capitol with intimate ties to the White House and Goerge W. Bush Jr. he as full access to the decision-making quarters and apt opportunities for political racketing and profiteering. Amongst his most pronounced victims Indian tribes in boom thanks to the newly developed gambling business. Money is the motivator, albeit Abramoff, unlike his partner Michael Scanlon (Barry Pepper), does have a misguided sense of communal responsibility, limited however to investment in Jewish educational facilities and development of kosher restaurants.
A movie about a man, who wanted it all - power, influence and money - but caught fire by overreaching and losing perspective. In the end the high-life tumbles around him to engulf him. Such a strong potential story...
But such an aseptic delivery. The events unfold in a leisurely, almost sluggish, manor, weaving the fabric of deceipt, lies and overblown egos. They do not however knit together into a well-prepped end result, but incite a sense of lethargy and disinterest, which degrades the plausible performance by the cast, fronted by Kevin Spacey. With so much substantive source material "Casino Jack" perpetuates a mean task by boring the hell out of viewers and fumbling to convey the magnitude of the downfall, mainly owed to a lack of focus throughout. not to mention that some key dots were never connected, leaving holes as to what happened and why.
Thankfully the horrendous awareness that this is in fact a true story, with people cheated and taken for a ride, adds a subconscious punch to presented reenactments. Essentially it does manage to deliver a poignant message regarding the true nature of lobbying and its functionality. Abramoff's case was specific as he attempted to bite of more than he can chew, but the reality is that these are everyday shenanigans, albeit of a lesser, more self-controlled, scale. Despite the culmination delivering a sub-par punch, the message manages to burrow inside and create a well-deserved backlash at reality.
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