AFI Fest Presents The Gambler: A Safe Bet

November 17, 2014 10:57 PM

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The Gambler combines some of todays most acclaimed and sought after actors, the hottest director, the finest screenwriter and the most interesting film composer to make a flaccid, laughable, lackluster flick. Not to say that there are no inspired moments, rather those moments are found within the pages of the screenplay and in the spirit of the original 70's version of the film. For fuck's sake, the thing is called The Gambler, yet the filmmakers take no chances whatsoever. The tension in the movie comes more from high stakes black jack, as the stakes for the characters are incredibly low. Considering the fact that loan sharks are going to murder the title character, the fact that friction and thrills are absent can actually be seen as an achievement. There is no excuse for making these silly attempts at recycling in this post-Charlie-Kaufman world. When movies like Inherent Vice, Birdman and Frank are making the festival rounds, there is no use for this brand of waste.

This is a problem with film festivals. In many ways, they have become award shows for movie stars who don't win awards. The indulgent introductions and congratulatory Q & A's pinpoint everything wrong with our modern media saturated society. Let's flashback to last year's festival when AFI facilitat...

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