3.5.07

Lucky You

I just got back from a screening of Lucky You, the new flick from Curtis Hanson, who has done some wonderful films in the past (such as The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, L. A. Confidential and Wonder Boys) and while the story element was clich├ęd and predictable, I was mostly there to see the poker element. It's rare that poker movies, or more commonly movies with poker, get things "right"... Rounders is still the benchmark, and while Lucky You got things *mostly* right (but generally obvious; Doyle Brunson was credited as the poker consultant, so at least they got one of the best in that role), Rounders has nothing to worry about.

It was nice to see a bunch of celebrity pro poker players in the movie, but more impressively their roles were understated and it just worked. I did find it strange that a couple of them (Jennifer Harman and John Hennigan, especially) played people other than themselves, but really the acting role was hardly a stretch for any of them.

My biggest problem was with the revisionist history... the movie is based around the 2003 World Series of Poker main event, so one would expect some element of reality to be in place. Well, one would be wrong. Sam Farha, who came runner-up to Chris Moneymaker, was shown as being eliminated early on in the movie... that didn't sit well. I did appreciate they had a Moneymakeresque character in there so at least all was not subjected to artistic license. It was nice to see the WSOP brand featured in the movie, and no doubt Harrah's was paid some good coin for the use of the brand, but if they're going to change history then I would have much rather the movie had a fictitious name for the tournament at the end so people who know the history don't sit there and groan at how it's changed.

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