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Review: Lucky You

Lucky You
6 10

A degenerate poker player who’s actually pretty good at the game tries to raise the money (10,000 buckaroos) for the entrance fee to the World Series of Poker event. He meets a nice girl who plays by the rules and helps him re-evaluate his life and tries to re-connect him with his poker legend father. Lots of poker chips clicking and Texas Hold 'Em ensues!

If you're not familiar with the sport of Texas Hold' Em, and it is a sport (a sport of the mind), you're really not going to enjoy this. I for one am a huge Hold' Em fan. In fact, I play on a regular basis and this flick clearly depicts the game in all of its glory and short comings. The film was pretty true to the game with the exception of a few little things, for example, the guy flipping the other guy's cards after the play to see if he was full of shit or not (that wouldn't happen and if it did, there would be hell to pay) and the final hand in the end, which was questionable. That said, I wasn't crazy about the romantic aspect of the story, which was weak, but I suppose it was necessary to integrate the Hollywood formula into the have to have a love interest, right?

Eric Bana plays Huck (not Hulk, Huck!), a full time poker player who basically pawns all of his possessions for cash, just so that he can play poker. I wouldn't say his character is the best representation of all the poker players out there, but he did a convincing job as a quiet desperate player trying to get his big break. Drew Barrymore plays Billie (not Gertie, Billie!), Huck's love interest and honestly...pretty much anyone could have played this role! She didn't bring anything special to it. Their chemistry was good, they made a cute couple and their first date was the poker table, but I just don't think it was a necessary angle for the storyline and it basically just slowed everything down.

Neither was I impressed with how poker terms were "cleverly" written into the script to parallel people's lives; it was just a little too cliché for me. That said, it was a well written portrait of how Texas Hold' Em exploded into mainstream culture. The story did take place in 2003 just before the boom in the media. I particularly liked the way they referenced Chris Moneymaker (they use a different name in the story) as he was the guy partly responsible for the explosion of the game. Again, if you're not familiar with the game and the "celebrities" of the game, you won't recognize any of the cameos. Poker is bigger than ever nowadays, but anyone who plays it will agree that it's a long game that can even be tiring at times. The stuff we see on T.V is nothing more than the highlights, which is basically the same way the makers of the movie handled it. That's a good thing; otherwise you would have a really long boring movie.

So all said, unless you're a fan of the game, you probably won't enjoy this. What is good is that they explain a little bit of the poker lingo so it does make it a little easier to follow for those who do not play the game (is there anyone who doesn’t play nowadays?!). I wouldn't say this is the best poker movie out there, but as a player, I thought it was alright.

300 (10/10) Blades of Glory (8/10) Black Snake Moan (8/10) Catch and Release (5/10) Deja Vu (6/10) Eragon (4/10) Factory Girl (7/10) Grindhouse (9/10) Premonition (3/10) Reign Over Me (8/10) Shooter (6/10) The Astronaut Farmer (8/10) Norbit (6/10) The Departed (9/10) The Lookout (7/10) TMNT (8/10) Wild Hogs (5/10) Zodiac (7/10)

-- by Tim Goernert





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