Ben Campbell is a young, highly intelligent, student at M.I.T. in Boston who strives to succeed. Wanting a scholarship to transfer to Harvard School of Medicine with the desire to become a doctor, Ben learns that he cannot afford the $300,000 for the four to five years of schooling as he comes from a poor, working-class background. But one evening, Ben is introduced by his unorthodox math professor Micky Rosa into a small but secretive club of five. Students Jill, Choi, Kianna, and Fisher, who are being trained by Professor Rosa of the skill of card counting at blackjack. Intrigued by the desire to make money, Ben joins his new friends on secret weekend trips to Las Vegas where, using their skills of code talk and hand signals, they have Ben make hundreds of thousands of dollars in winning blackjack at casino after casino. Ben only wants to make enough money for the tuition to Harvard and then back out. But as fellow card counter, Jill Taylor, predicts, Ben becomes corrupted by greed ...Written by
The small statue of a reclining nude, seen on the desk of the Harvard med Professor Bob Phillips during Ben's Robinson Scholarship interview, is by Venezuelan-born sculptor Maria Gamundi. See more »
While at the Riviera Casino, Ben is signaled to the table by "Sierra Summers." As the camera pans in to the table, you can see that Sierra made a major error in playing her pair of 7's against a dealer's up card of 6. She stood on the hand, giving her 14 vs. the dealer's up card of 6. Given the experience of these players, she should have easily known to split those 7's in that scenario. Even basic players would know to split. See more »
'Winner, winner, chicken dinner.' Those words had been dancing around my head all night. I mean, it's Vegas lore, that phrase. Just ask any of the old-time pit bosses, they'll know. It was a Chinese dealer at Binion's who was first credited with the line. He would shout it every time he dealt blackjack. That was over 40 years ago, and the words still catch. 'Winner, winner, chicken dinner.' Yeah, try it. I had heard it at least 14 times that night. I couldn't lose. First...
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Following the story in the book would have been better.
OK, first what I liked about it. I like just about any movie about Vegas--and this one did a good job of bringing the flash to you--especially that first plane ride in at night--kind of makes you tingle. I liked must of the "true" parts of the story--i.e., the true anecdotes lifted from the book, like the test at the local illegal blackjack room. The best friends (total fiction) were cute and made for some comic relief.
This COULD have been a really good movie if it followed the true story closer though, rather than having the ridiculous premises that it did. Their was plenty of conflict for the protagonists in the book. Example: having the coed girlfriend at MIT at the same time he was dating an NBA cheerleader! (that was good stuff!) Plenty of contrast in the book too between MIT and Vegas.
Oh well--not the worst movie, not a bad date movie, and some good scenes.
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