James Toback Vents on The Gambler Remake

December 11, 2014 5:00 PM

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Bewildered by many choices made in the new Mark Wahlberg film, The Gambler, a remake based on his quasi-autobiographical script with a nod to Dostoyevsky's short story, James Toback was not quiet about his dismay that the new filmmakers, director Rupert Wyatt and screenwriter William Monahan, did not make a sequel to his movie, rather than try to redo the 1974 film starring James Caan. It would have been so easy, he said holding court at a banquette at Colicchio & Sons in the meatpacking. The filmmakers seem to know a lot about addiction, but not very much about gambling.

Filled with intense moments, The Gambler shows Wahlberg's character facing thugs, including one played to fleshy perfection by John Goodman, a Korean casino owner, and a loan shark (Michael Kenneth Williams) who wears a questionable black leather cap. An associate professor of literature, Wahlberg's...

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