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Lucky You
DVD disk
10.01.2007 By: Sturdy
Lucky You order
Director:
Curtis Hanson

Actors:
Eric Bana
Drew Barrymore
Robert Duvall

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A loner poker player has made a living putting himself first and taking everything he can get from everyone he meets. All of that changes when he meets a beautiful woman that opens his eyes to the world and helps him repair the relationship with his father.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
It was only a matter of time that Hollywood start making some poker-themed movies. The poker craze reached unusual heights a few years ago and films like LUCKY YOU were Hollywoodís attempt to cash in. Although I expected movies like this to be made, I didnít expect them to be made by such talented people. And I didnít expect those talented people to make such a disappointing film.

Iím a pretty big fan of Curtis Hanson. He usually does a good job of capturing the emotions of his characters and uses their surroundings to heighten their moods and feelings. However, he failed on both accounts with LUCKY YOU. I felt the main characterís (Huck) emotional drama was really forced and we had no back story to tell us where he was coming from. We figured out he had a strained relationship with his father, but aside from a passing story, we donít know why. Then there was the city of Las Vegas, which served as a great, but underused supporting character. Unlike Los Angeles in LA CONFIDENTIAL or Detroit in 8 MILE, Las Vegas wasnít nearly used to its fullest extent.

Speaking of not being used properly, what happened to Drew Barrymore? Normally, sheís the cute and romantic female lead, but here she seemed kind of retarded. I donít say retarded as the slang insult, I mean she actually seemed like she had a mental handicap. I actually thought that was going to be part of the story, and I expected her older sister to break the news to Huck that heís been dating a mentally handicapped lounge singer. However, that storyline never happened, so I assume it was just a bad performance from Ms. Barrymore.

Eric Bana wasnít much better. I like the guy, but Iíve started to question his emotional range because his recent roles seem to require more drama than heís capable of giving. This one might be the fault of the screenwriters and maybe even Curtis Hanson. The entire film just didnít work and felt strained, especially the love story. I like poker as much as the next guy, but donít use it as a gimmick, and donít make it the only interesting part of the film.
THE EXTRAS
The Players at the Table (18:01): This featurette focuses more on the poker playing in the movie. It features a lot of interviews and behind the scenes looks with Eric Bana and some of the real players that appeared in the film. It seems there was a lot of effort into making sure Bana looked like a real poker player and I think they succeeded. Iím still impressed with the fact that he has such a strong accent and it never comes out on screen.

The Reel Deal (14:26): This featurette focus on the poker players in the film and the year (2003) poker really became a national craze. All of the famous players sit down and talk about the year and how it changed themselves and the game. Iím still not sure what the big draw to poker is, but thereís no question itís as popular as ever. This feaurette was nice because we got to hear from a wide variety of people.

Deleted Scenes (9:08): These scenes werenít very long, but they actually cleared up a couple of questions I had while watching the film. I thought Debra Messing was underused and in the first scene we get to see more of her and we find out what she actually does. Unfortunately, we have to put up with more of Drewís singing, which is never a good thing.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If you love poker and youíre dying to see it on the big screen, then LUCKY YOU might fill a void. However, Iíd go with ROUNDERS and MAVERICK among others to cure that poker fix. This one just had too many problems and failures to make it a safe recommendation.
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