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ROUNDERS [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
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A little drunk on its own arcane exotica as a gambling movie, Rounders is a film that takes us inside a world of high-stakes card players but falls short on such essentials as character development, relationships, that sort of thing. Still, it is a real curiosity, written by a couple of guys (David Levien and Brian Koppelman) who appear to know something about the dark underbelly of card hustling for fun and profit. Matt Damon stars as a reluctant law student who can't put aside his subterranean career of playing poker and blackjack for big money. After he loses his post-grad nest egg to a weird Russian kingpin (John Malkovich)--and also loses his disgusted girlfriend (Gretchen Mol) in the process--Damon's character turns to an unreliable old buddy (Edward Norton) for a dangerous game of sharking wherever there happens to be a game underway: frat boys, cops, bad dudes, you name it. Norton appears to be living out every young actor's fantasy of re-creating Robert De Niro's prototypical head case in Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets, and while his performance is burdened by obvious quotation marks, his estimable talent still shines through. Damon's charm and intelligence bring some oomph to the curiously flat proceedings, and while his hushed, soul-bearing scenes with Martin Landau (as a law professor who takes a shine to the kid) seem gratuitous, they're still nice to watch. Behind all this is director John Dahl (Red Rock West), who is not exactly at the top of his game here but who brings his distinctive toughness to the crime-noir tone. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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In the movie Rounders, Matt Damon plays the cleverly skillful cardsharp, Mike McDermott. Edward Norton plays his best friend and swindling partner. McDermott swears to his loving girlfriend that he will never again play a game of cards after losing (thousands of dollars) to a Russian mobster known only as KGB. When “Worm” (Norton) is released from prison, he finds himself greatly in debt to the Mafia. In order to help out his buddy, Mike begins to gather up money by continuing to gamble. He and Worm work together as a team, winning poker games illegally. As soon as Mike’s sweetheart finds out about him going back to cards, she leaves him without delay. The rest of the movie is the trouble Mike and Worm get into in the business of gambling, and the excitement of success.
Rounders displays exceptional acting by the Damon and Norton duo. The background acting done by Gretchen Mol (the girlfriend), and John Malkovich (KGB), on the other hand was somewhat displeasing. Mol played the average good girl with no real feeling adequately expressed in her performance. Malkovich surprisingly ended up playing the role of a seemingly idiotic underworld leader with a poor attempt at portraying a Russian accent. His pathetic depiction of the character KGB did not fit in at all well with the remarkable acting by Edward Norton and Matt Damon.
Acting is not all that made this movie what it is. The thrill of the game was also a major part in making the movie enjoyable. Matt Damon does a good job of running the audience through the basics in how to play a good game of cards. He explains that one must play his opponent rather than the cards in order to win.Read more ›
Matt Damon is excellent as Mike McDermott, the law student who must return to the game to get his friend out of trouble. His performance is very believable as he explains much of the logic behind the game. Edward Norton stars as "Worm" Murphy, Mike's slimy friend who continues to get him into trouble. John Malkovich is also great as Teddy KGB, the Russian kingpin who is also a great card player. The movie also stars Martin Landau in a very good role, John Turturro, Gretchen Mol, Famke Janssen, and Michael Rispoli. The DVD offers theatrical trailers and the widescreen presentation of the movie. At times, Rounders reminded me of The Cincinnati Kid starring Steve McQueen with the young upstart taking on the established veteran. For a great movie that throws you into the world of high stakes poker, check out Rounders!
Matt Damon plays the main character, Mikey McDermott and Edward Norton his best friend Lester "Worm" Murphy who's freshly released from a prison term that Mikey might have also had to serve if Lester would have given him up. Feeling obligated for the sacrifice his friend made, Mikey trys everything he can to keep Worm out of trouble while attempting to hold together a failing relationship with his girlfriend while juggling law school. Mikey cant resist the draw of poker and ends up back in the frey of the Rounders again realizing that life is a grind without his true love of poker.
Damon portrays the main character brilliantly and Norton was so convincing that I actually felt angry at him for fouling everything all up. Malkovich invents his own odd version of the Russian accent while pulling off the role of Teddy that is completely unforgettable. There's also a great cameo by the 3 time World Series of Poker champion Jonny Chan.
Rounders portrays a professional gambler more realistically than I've ever seen it before. From hiding large amounts of cash all over the house to the dark smokey poker rooms hidden away in a basement to ring games at the casino.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I received this very excited to give to my dad and when I opened it (thank god) there was no DVD in the package! Got my money back but would never order here again!Published on April 16 2013 by Jaime Jessen
The picture it's not so bad then Traffic and Seven but is grainy and the very big disapointement is the sound is out of sync.Published on March 6 2009 by Carl Touchette
This is one of my favourite movies and is what catapulted me into the poker scene. There is a certain allure to the character Matt Damon plays; an intelligent law student that... Read morePublished on Aug. 8 2005
The best poker movie ever.....if ur just startin out in poker this movie will help u with the lingo and some of the thing go happen in poker clubs....... Read morePublished on Aug. 1 2005
This is the movie that will make you want to play poker
Ive been playing for about 5 years now and love the game. Ive read many poker books and found this one to be very good. Read more
This is truly the movie that keeps on giving. Despite the fact that I've seen this movie over 15 times and I know most of the lines by heart, the joy and despair I get from... Read morePublished on June 18 2004 by Benjamin Wang