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The Music of Chance [DVD]

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: James Spader, Mandy Patinkin, Joie Grey, Charles Durning, M.Emmet Walsh
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Boulevard
  • DVD Release Date: 4 July 2005
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ANDA8G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,546 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Professional gambler Jack Pozzi (James Spader) hitches a lift with a retired fireman (Mandy Patinkin) after being kicked out of a poker game. Desperate to raise $10,000 for another game, scheduled for the following day with two retired millionaires, Pozzi persuades the fireman to front up the money and the two of them drive to their opponents' Pennsylvanian mansion. However, Pozzi's luck deserts him, and in order to pay off the debts they have incurred, the pair agree to build a wall in the house's grounds... Based on the labyrinthine novel by Paul Auster, who makes a cameo appearance.

Review

"A gripping, intellectual thriller" -- The Observer

"… offbeat and made with cool style by director Philip Hass, it is distinguished by excellent performances …." -- Empire --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
The first scene where Patinkin picks up Spader draws you right into, what is really, the middle of the story-for Jim (Patinkin, anyway). He is a drifter, drifting on his fathers money when he comes across Jack Pozzi, Spader, and decides to offer him a proposition. He will front him the 10,000 he needs to play cards if he keeps half of the winnings. Anyway, they play the poker game and Jack loses. Now they owe Flower and Stone-Laurel and Hardy, the strange couple they played against- $10,000, which they borrowed from them during the game. Flower and Stone offer them a propostiton of their own. Jack and Jim will build them a wall, a wailing wall, to pay off the debt. The two men accept. And this is where the action really starts. A fine story of manipulation and greed with top notch performances from all actors , cool controlled direction and an ending similar to that of Five Easy Pieces in it's ambiguity. Very satisfying. Films you may like to watch if you liked this one, would be pretty much all the American Independence movies especially Eye of God and Niagra, Niagra
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Format: DVD
I remember watching this film late at night with a friend at uni - about 6 years ago. It gave us chills throughout and we tried to find out what it was called but failed. Suddenly it has come to me that the star was James Spader - so thanks to the internet I looked it up.
The plot is about how a bet goes wrong, and how much chance and coincidence can affect the future.
I wholeheartedly recommend this film. It's not usual for a film to stay with me for that long - it has a truly chilling appeal and the only reason it only gets 4 stars is that the style is actually distressing and might upset some people.
I'm now doing my best to get to see it again!!! You won't regret your two hours if you manage to track this one down.
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Format: DVD
Every time I've seen this film over the years, I've made a note to myself to really, really take heed of just how important this film is as a comment on the world and life. The script and storyboard are pretty much highest quality stuff, while the execution of this, in every sense, is even better.

The style of the film is in a traditional format, dramatic based scenes, that was more typical of feature films in the 1970s and 1980s. (Even in the early to mid 1990s, this film came across as something of a lovely throwback in time to me.) This was the age of real interest in real story telling of value, and so when films went deep in this way, people thought it made a great film. And "The Music of Chance" does, but it's a format that isn't so much taken these days. Nowadays, there's usually something else, some additive or perhaps superfluous element or layer to catch attention, beyond the essential quality of the dramatic story in the spoken words itself.

So it's a joy to see such a basic, excellently made film again, as only the best could be made. Though it's not so easy to watch in these years due to we being used to our attentions being wrought and focussed in particular, less basic (but perhaps more base or sub-level) ways.

Top level acting and direction. It's been a while since I saw the utter coherence between direction team and actors with such beauty. Great professionals were involved, it looks like you are watching a thing of joy.

If you feel a little bored 20 or 30 minutes into this film - just don't give up. It's a lower key film in format and what is demanded of you, so it demands a kind of more sleepy but concerted attention than usual.
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By schumann_bg TOP 50 REVIEWER on 28 Nov. 2013
Format: DVD
The Music of Chance is a subtle, allegorical film about the abuse of power and the role of chance. Two youngish men take on a rich, much older pair at poker at their house, thinking they will beat them hands down, but lose and are forced to remain their prisoners until they have paid off the debt with particularly mind-numbing work. It is certainly gripping if you haven't seen it before and also has many shafts of humour, especially in the first half with the Flower and Stone characters being a bit like a sinister, white-suited version of Laurel and Hardy. The main pairing of James Spader and Mandy Patinkin is inspired. Spader is never less than brilliant and turns in a very well-modulated performance as a hapless case who is just that bit too full of himself to realise how things really are; Patinkin tries to protect him and has a stoicism and deep-seated unhappiness that give the movie its heart. The question is, perhaps, whether there is enough, and the film is certainly on the cool side, in line with Paul Auster's writing style. Once Spader disappears off the scene towards the end the film seems to rely on shots of Patinkin's admittedly buff body to keep interest going, and his emotional coming apart at the seams, to late Beethoven. It is a striking picture for anyone who likes a Kafkaesque nightmare world, sharing some of that writer's propensity for savage humour, often coming through the figure of the sinister guard who watches over the two captives.
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Format: DVD
This is a faithful rendition of Paul Auster's classic novel and works well. A subtle and underplayed eerie thriller about chance, power and fate. If you are unfamiliar with the books of Paul Auster then this is a spooky story similar to Tales of the Unexpected or something from the Twilight Zone (without a sci-fi element). If you have read and enjoyed Auster (as I have) then I would strongly recommend.
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