3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
"Leyt they-at main hef hiyis muney",
This review is from: Rounders - Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
I have just rewatched Rounders after a giving it a break of a few years. Having learned a bit about poker since my last viewing, I wanted to see if I could get any kind of different perspective on the film, which I had previously already enjoyed.
The film is most praise-worthy for daring to include so much technical detail from a specialist field, rather than glossing over it - see "Wind" for an example of how directors happily leave out fundamentals for the sake of entertainment.
It's also irresistible for combining such strong talents as Ed Norton, John Turturro & John Malkovich - three names that readily grab my attention.
Matt Damon is well cast but is wooden even by his standards. The scenes with his girlfriend are pretty poor. And - note to screenplay writer - would such a great strategist be so dumb with his girlfriend? (who, for the record, was far too uptight for ANY guy).
Turturro is pretty great, as usual, but unfortunately appears in a fairly unimportant role. I love the name Knish - it makes me think of the Fun Lovin' Criminals.
Norton's character is well played but lacks depth. A supporting storyline providing more insight into his behaviour or redeeming the audience emotionally in some way could have made this a great Norton role.
Malkovich is very entertaining - never more so than with his "stick it in you" line - but I have to reluctantly conclude that he has created a caricature rather than a character, and this has to be one of his worst performances. Unfortunately this is no superhero movie with crazy characters. "Een my clarb I splatch the farking powt wayne oi warnt". It was a nice try, but if any Russian actually spoke like that, there surely would have been more to the Cold War.
All in all, Rounders is essential viewing for an insight into the game of poker and is entertaining if you can keep up with the table scenes, but it's no full house.
Sidenote: It also gives a good insight on how to win an old man's adoration and then extort him.