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Saint John of Las Vegas (2009)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  10 June 2009 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 2,309 users   Metascore: 32/100
Reviews: 11 user | 44 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

An ex-gambler is lured back into the game by a veteran insurance-fraud investigator.

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Cast

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Pennie (as Aviva)
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Storyline

An ex-gambler is lured back into the game by a veteran insurance-fraud investigator.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Getting lucky is a roll of the dice.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Release Date:

10 June 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

São João de Las Vegas  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$21,666 (USA) (29 January 2010)

Gross:

$100,669 (USA) (26 February 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

At approximately 30:10 when John (Buscemi)is speaking to the gas station cashier, the envelope with the $1000 in it disappears and reappears. See more »

Crazy Credits

After the end credits, the cast members appear individually taking a bow. See more »


Soundtracks

DIDN'T I
Written by William Daron Pulliam and John Tanner
Performed by Darondo
Courtesy of Luv N' Haight / Ubiquity Records
By Arrangement with Sugaroo
See more »

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User Reviews

Dante in (and around) Las Vegas
29 November 2009 | by (Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile) – See all my reviews

This movie is making the festival rounds right now, but unlike a lot of over-hyped festival fodder,it is genuinely a good movie, which I suspect will soon become more widely available. It reminded me somewhat of the Coen brother's film "O Brother Where Art Thou?"--not in that it is in any way unoriginal--but it has a similarly surreal, absurdist sense of humor, and like the Coen brother's film, it is a modern adaptation of a classic work of literature, in this case "Dante's Inferno".

The great Steve Buscemi plays "John Alegheri" (as in Dante Alegheri), a reformed compulsive gambler with a comfortable, if mundane, life living in a tract home and working for an insurance agency. But after he asks his diminutive boss (Peter Dinklage) for a raise, he suddenly finds himself promoted to fraud and, along with a partner named "Virgil" (Romany Malco), is sent on a fraud investigation, which proves to be a metaphoric descent into hell--and in particular, his own personal version of hell since the investigation takes place in and around Las Vegas, a city where he had some unpleasant personal history.

He and "Virgil's" various bizarre encounters on their journey include a sexy stripper in a wheelchair (Emamanuelle Chriqui) still trying to perform lap dances, a group of heavily armed right-wing survivalists (including "O Brother's" Tim Blake Nelson) who also happen to be nudists, and in the most surreal scene, a tow-truck driver who has second job as a circus performer and as the result of a bizarre accident is stuck in a lawn chair in a flame-retardant suit that periodically catches on fire (and, hilariously, what he really wants is a cigarette). There's a some nice twists at the end and the character reaches a final personal epiphany while buying scratch tickets at a convenience store on the outskirts of the dreaded Vegas.

Sarah Silverman plays a co-worker who he starts an affair with after a quickie in the woman's bathroom before he leaves on his journey. It's an unusual role for Silverman, not only in that it exploits her considerable sex appeal, but also in that while it is a comedy role, it is one very different from her usual foul-mouthed stand-up persona. Buscemi, on the other hand, doesn't stretch himself too much, but he doesn't really have to either--he's great at roles like this. The director was actually first-timer and this is particularly impressive as a debut effort (I suppose could complain that the only full-frontal nudity is provided, not by Emanuelle Chriqui or Silverman, but by Tim Blake Nelson!--but I won't). This was entertaining from start to finish. I'd really recommend it.


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