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post #1 of 128 Old 04-28-2004, 07:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I was really looking forward to this one, but the writing was soooo bad in my opinion it ruined the whole thing. Any other opinions out there?
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post #2 of 128 Old 04-28-2004, 08:47 AM
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Well I liked it. Thought it was a bit original and really thought the casting was good. It was refreshing to see this in the midst of "crap" that has been released lately.

I was lucky in the order, but I've always been lucky when it comes to killin' folk - Unforgiven cannot wait for the hd-dvd of this gem
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post #3 of 128 Old 04-28-2004, 11:47 AM
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I enjoyed William Macy's performance, but thought the direction and especially Baldwin's character were too much like 'Casino'. It seemed like Baldwin was trying to be DeNiro's Sam Rothstien. Even the end of the movie had very similar, if the the same, video footage of the old casinos being demolished like the end of 'Casino'..

-sc
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post #4 of 128 Old 04-28-2004, 04:14 PM
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Watched it last night. Other than William H. Macy's performance, I came away with a been there, done that sort of feeling. Baldwin's role definitely had echos of Casino.

You know, a guy could get into this HT thing and drop a couple of bucks!
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post #5 of 128 Old 04-29-2004, 01:53 AM
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when you say the writing is bad,what do you mean?The dialog?Or the basic plot?Did you find it unrealistic or cliched?

"There is no truth. There's just what you believe."
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post #6 of 128 Old 04-29-2004, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
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I mean the writing had a "TV Movie" kind of feel too it that was not very good. Characters would stop and deliver cliched speeches in the middle of the movie that you could see coming a mile away. Just didn't do it for me. And I'm a fan of all the actors involved so I had high hopes. The acting was good but in a weird way where they were acting well even while delivering very cheesy dialog.
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post #7 of 128 Old 04-29-2004, 07:48 AM
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I liked it myself. Thought Baldwin was great.

CW Hinkle
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post #8 of 128 Old 04-29-2004, 11:29 PM
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"Characters would stop and deliver cliched speeches in the middle of the movie that you could see coming a mile away. Just didn't do it for me."

This is a movie killer for me too. I hate it when directors/screenwriters do that. I was looking forward to this movie because of all the good reviews. I'll still check it out, but you've definitely lowered my expectations.

You know another recent movie that really fits the 'speeches' description? Dirty Pretty Things. Man that was a stupid movie. I was laughing out loud for much of it, particularly in the end when the man guy gives the little impromptu speech "We are the people who bla bla bla." (I understood the message and am sympathetic to the exploitation of foriegn workers, but man did they shoe-horn that speech into the movie.) Another thing that makes dialogue sound unrealistic is when all the charachters keep speaking in metaphors, and DPT had this as well. Excellent picture quality though.

People of California! The moment will soon be here when you will ALL be sorry for what you have done to me! Your time of reckoning is growing near. Your cities will lie in smoldering ruins, your women will be ravished. Your men will cry bitter tears. You will ALL feel my wrath.
Yeah, that's...
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post #9 of 128 Old 04-30-2004, 12:11 AM
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I liked it and I liked the way the film wrapped up at the end.
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post #10 of 128 Old 04-30-2004, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Larry Davis
I liked it and I liked the way the film wrapped up at the end.
I liked it as well, though the "we are the people that..." speech probably was a bit uninspired. it fit the circumstances though.

Don't taze me, bro!!
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post #11 of 128 Old 04-30-2004, 06:00 AM
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Sure glad to hear that because I've got it to look at tonight. Frankly I was beginning to wonder how it would be possible to make a movie about shady characters set in a big Las Vegas casino and one of them be Bill Macy, and the movie still suck. They'd really have to work hard to make that suck now wouldn't they.
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post #12 of 128 Old 04-30-2004, 08:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Robert...

I thought the same thing but discovered there was a way! Update this after you see it. I'm curious to see what you think.

Quote:
Originally posted by RobertWood
Frankly I was beginning to wonder how it would be possible to make a movie about shady characters set in a big Las Vegas casino and one of them be Bill Macy, and the movie still suck. They'd really have to work hard to make that suck now wouldn't they.
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post #13 of 128 Old 04-30-2004, 08:18 AM
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Will do, JATwolf. But I gotta warn you that I may not be capable of being completely unbiased and impartial here. Not with a movie about big time gambling and a movie with Bill Macy in it. But I'll try. :)

EDIT: You've now got me so curious that I'm going to watch this over my lunch break.
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post #14 of 128 Old 04-30-2004, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gray Davis
You know another recent movie that really fits the 'speeches' description? Dirty Pretty Things. Man that was a stupid movie. I was laughing out loud for much of it, particularly in the end when the man guy gives the little impromptu speech "We are the people who bla bla bla." (I understood the message and am sympathetic to the exploitation of foriegn workers, but man did they shoe-horn that speech into the movie.) Another thing that makes dialogue sound unrealistic is when all the charachters keep speaking in metaphors, and DPT had this as well.
Perhaps some day you will come to the realization that movies are not real life, and that the characters in movies have no requirement to only talking like the average moron on the street. One of the great joys of film or literature is when the characters always know exactly the right thing to say, and always deliver it in the exact right way.

Josh Z
Home Theater Writer/Editor, High-Def Digest

My opinions are my own, and do not necessarily reflect those of my employers.
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post #15 of 128 Old 04-30-2004, 01:19 PM
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“Perhaps some day you will come to the realization that movies are not real life, and that the characters in movies have no requirement to only talking like the average moron on the street. One of the great joys of film or literature is when the characters always know exactly the right thing to say, and always deliver it in the exact right way.â€

For a simpleton seeking only wish fulfillment, yes, perhaps this is a “great joy.†I'm happy to know you feel empowered watching people say things onscreen you wish you could say in real life. But some of us "average morons" enjoy seeing life reflected on screen as we actually experience it - with all its complexity and less-than-perfect moments. I myself find the fact that people aren’t perfect, that they don’t always know “exactly the right thing to say,†touching, and more than a little beautiful.

By the way, Josh, this is the second time you have responded to something I wrote with an aggressively insulting post. I'm happy to return the favor, but perhaps you should PM me next time instead.

People of California! The moment will soon be here when you will ALL be sorry for what you have done to me! Your time of reckoning is growing near. Your cities will lie in smoldering ruins, your women will be ravished. Your men will cry bitter tears. You will ALL feel my wrath.
Yeah, that's...
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post #16 of 128 Old 04-30-2004, 01:28 PM
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Relax, it's just a movie. And remember that when you share a strong opinion, you risk a strong rebuttal.
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post #17 of 128 Old 04-30-2004, 01:41 PM
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I understand what you're saying, Larry, but I think there is something personal with this guy. It's one thing to strongly disagree over whether a particular movie is any good or not - you should be able to do that without personally attacking those who disagree with you: just argue about the movie. But this is the second time this guy has responded in a personally insulting way to something I wrote. The last time he told me I should be ashamed of myself. So it kind of seems like he has it in for me. My own little stalker. And like I said, that's fine - I'm more than happy to return the favor. But if he wants to snipe at me, he should just do it in a PM instead of taking up space here.

People of California! The moment will soon be here when you will ALL be sorry for what you have done to me! Your time of reckoning is growing near. Your cities will lie in smoldering ruins, your women will be ravished. Your men will cry bitter tears. You will ALL feel my wrath.
Yeah, that's...
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post #18 of 128 Old 04-30-2004, 04:42 PM
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Here's my review
---
Title: The Cooler
Director: Wayne Kramer
Starring: William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin

Internet ratings for this movie were mixed, but generally disappointed. Many people compared it unfavorably to "Casino", calling it a copycat. But I think they missed the point. The movie is set in a casino, with stereotypical--nay, archetypal!--casino characters, but it's not primarily about casino gangsters. They're just characters in a bigger story. Those who entered the movie expecting "Casino" were, naturally, disappointed, but that doesn't reflect a flaw in the movie as much as it reflects a flaw in the viewers' expectations. Those guys missed the point.

Bill Macy plays Bernie, an unlucky man. Bernie is so unlucky that he's convinced casino manager Shelly Kapow (Alec Baldwin) to let him pay off his debt by "cooling" tables. Merely by standing next to a table or placing a bet on a certain number, Bernie can turn a winner into a loser, through the sheer power of his misfortune. As the movie begins, Bernie is one week from the end of his contract and Shelly is worried about losing his charm. Bernie meets Natalie (Maria Bello), a waitress at the casino, and she takes a shine to him. The fundamental theme of the movie is how the love between Bernie and Natalie turns his luck around, and how that affects Bernie's relationship with Shelly. Will their love be strong enough to overcome Bernie's bad luck and get him safely away from Shelly? Watch the movie and find out!

In the beginning of the movie, I was expecting mostly realism, but this is a fantasy movie at heart. It's full of unrealistic symbolism that required a shift in my perspective to keep me from tuning out due to lack of suspension of disbelief. Once I realized that this was a fairy tale set in a casino, and not a realistic casino gambling movie, I settled in and started enjoying myself. The movie's symbolism is blatant and effective. When Bernie's down and unlucky, the bar is always out of coffee for his cream; when he's in love and lucky, suddenly there's not one splash of cream, but two! Bernie stands in front of the cashiers' cage after he's had a good night with Natalie. People are winning all around him! Above the cage, a neon sign reads, "Change". Subtle? No. But it works.

Overall rating? I'm torn between 4 and 5 stars. I'll have to give it some time to percolate.
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post #19 of 128 Old 04-30-2004, 05:38 PM
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I have removed some posts. Let's stay on the topic.

Gray,

Josh took a condescending tone with his opening remark but he did not call you a moron. I am not familiar with your previous interaction with him. If you have a complaint, PM me. Let's get back on topic.
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post #20 of 128 Old 04-30-2004, 08:44 PM
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Please come to my aid. I watched this movie today. At least most of it. But I could not see the ending. My DVD player did not like the last (what I'm guessing to be) ten or fifteen minutes of the disc. I am very anxious to know how this movie ends. So here is where I left off. Please someone tell me what comes next so I'll know how the story ended.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Bernie had just left the casino after winning all the money at craps. As he gets in the car with Natalie, Shelley gets in his car and the casino boss pops up in the back seat.
Then it switches back to Shelly and Natalie riding in their car. Bernie stops the car and reveals the money to Natalie. At that point they both look out the open driver side door at a bright light. That's when my DVD froze for good.
What comes next?
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post #21 of 128 Old 04-30-2004, 09:39 PM
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I don't think this script is line-for-line, shot-for-shot, but it's 99% accurate.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

BERNIE

(continuing)
Bahamas, here we come, baby.

She throws her arms around him...

Suddenly an EXPLOSION OF LIGHT! A flashlight. In the hand
of a MOTORCYCLE COP. He raps on the window...

COP
Step out of the car please.

BERNIE
(lowers the window)
What's the problem, officer?

The cop runs the flashlight over the bundles of cash
littering the car interior.

COP
Just step out of the car, please.
Both of you.

Bernie and Natalie exchange unsettled looks. The cop lowers
his hand to his gun. Bernie nods at Natalie. They climb
out. He directs them off to the side. Shines his light in
their faces.

BERNIE
If my driving... if I was going a
little fast -- I was just over
excited, officer. See, we just
had a big win at the Shangri-la—

COP
You didn't win nothing.

The cop pulls out his revolver, trains it on them.

INTERCUT WITH:
90 INT. SHANGRI-LA UNDERGROUND PARKING GARAGE - NIGHT 90

Shelly opens the door to his Cadillac. Climbs behind the
wheel. His keys are already waiting in the ignition. Who's
gonna steal Shelly Kaplow's car, right?

Shelly doesn't start her up. He just leans back in his seat,
emits a deep sigh. He glances up at the rearview mirror.

Catches sight of a SILHOUETTE in the back.

INTERCUT WITH:
91 EXT. VEGAS HIGHWAY - NIGHT 91

Bernie and Natalie staring into the barrel of the cop's
revolver. Natalie clutches Bernie's arm. Bernie nods. So
there you have it.

NATALIE
Oh Jesus, Bernie, I knew it. It
was too good to be true. Who were
we kidding?

COP
Get down on your knees. Both of
you .

They look at him in shock. He gestures them to the ground
behind Bernie's car. We CUT TO a shot from the highway: just
the cop standing at the tail-end of Bernie's car, Natalie and
Bernie hidden from view.

ON BERNIE AND NATALIE
down on their knees. Bernie places his arm around Natalie,
pulls her close to him. Paralyzed with terror, she still
manages a bittersweet smile.

Bernie should be projecting fear, but there's nothing but his
overwhelming love for Natalie in his eyes. It's a two way
current.

This is their last moment together; everything that needs to
be said is being transmitted through a look. A look that
says: no regrets.

INTERCUT WITH:
92 INT. SHELLY'S CADILLAC - NIGHT 92

Nicky leans forward out of the shadows. Shelly holds his
gaze in the mirror. Nicky just shrugs.

NICKY
The kid wants you should know,
Shelly, he's just protecting our
investment -- the old school way.
See you around.

Shelly nods. He knows the score... A flash of steel appears
against his head. Muzzle strobe-THUP! So long, Shelly
Kaplow.

93 EXT. VEGAS HIGHWAY - NIGHT 93

The cop looms over Bernie and Natalie. Cocks his pistol.
Lowers the gun to the back of Bernie's head.

They appear oblivious to it. They're already in another
place. Sunning themselves in the Bahamas.

The cop squeezes back the hammer.

ON BERNIE AND NATALIE

still looking at each other. Suddenly the piercing shriek of
SCREECHING TIRES... followed by a reverberating, bone-crunching-
WHAM! — and a GUNSHOT.

Bernie and Natalie still staring into each other's eyes, not
quite sure what's just transpired. Only that they're still
breathing. They look around, startled to see the tail lights
of a PICK-UP TRUCK about ten yards away. The cop, their
would-be assassin, rendered road kill beneath the wheels.

All this in the blink of an eye.

Natalie clutches Bernie's arm. Suppresses a hysterical,
shock-induced giggle. Bernie just looks dumbfounded. He
staggers to his feet, rushes over to the pick-up truck. The
driver's head is protruding through the shattered windshield.

Death-glazed eyes.

Bernie feels for the man's pulse just to be sure. Shakes his
head. We see a dozen Coors empties on the seat and floor of
the truck.

Natalie checks the cop. Likewise. Bernie comes over. They
regard each other breathlessly.

BERNIE
He was drunk. It was just freak
luck...

(catches himself...)

NATALIE
Don't give it a name, Bernie. It
scares me. All I know is, you're
still running hot and that's a
good thing. But we're only
winners if we keep going. No
looking back.

BERNIE
Lady luck, Natalie. I'm calling
it. Lady luck. And we got it as
long as we're together. They
can't touch us now.

He kisses her furiously. Then drags her over to his car.
They climb in. Drive off.

94 EXT. VEGAS HIGHWAY/INT. BERNIE' S BUICK - DAWN 94
Bernie's Buick racing into the sunrise. Racing toward the
dream. Bernie, eyes fixed on the road ahead, with the
contented smile of a man who has gambled on love — and won.
His prize, resting her head against his shoulder.
The money, well, that ain't half bad as well. A smoky,
trumpet driven Chet Baker-like piece accentuates the
triumphant mood on the soundtrack, as we SUPERIMPOSE...

95 INT. PARADISE LOUNGE - NIGHT 95
. . . a little flash-forward into the future. Larry sits with
a group of CORPORATE TYPES.

LARRY
Gentlemen...
(beat)
I thank you for your vote of
confidence. As the Shangri-la's
new Director of Casino Operations,
I'm gonna make a personal
guarantee to each and every one of
you. Your investment in this
casino will be well looked after.
The future looks bright,
gentlemen. Very, very bright.

They raise their glasses to him. Congenial smiles, one and
all. Smiles that don't transcend to their eyes. Promises,
promises. We'll see... DISSOLVING BACK INTO...

96 INT. BERNIE'S CAR - MOVING - DAWN 96
STARTING TIGHT on BERNIE and NATALIE speeding away from Sin
City, PULLING OUT and RISING above them (helicopter shot) as
we SUPERIMPOSE stock footage of all the old school casinos
being demolished. As we leave Vegas in the past... a Shangri-la
lost forever. Eulogized by Sinatra's LUCK BE A LADY.

FADE OUT.
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post #22 of 128 Old 04-30-2004, 10:18 PM
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Interesting. Thanks so much, loraan. Actually providing me the script like that is far better than someone attempting to recount what he had seen.

I was very entertained by this movie.

IMO, the only noticeable resemblance to 'Casino' was the setting being a casino. If anything, Baldwin's totally ruthless and out of control Shelly was closer in type to Joe Pesci's Nicky Santoro than to DeNiro's
Sam Rothstein.

Slickly and skillfully made escapism. The dialogue had some really great lines. There were some moments of great humor...
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Bernie and Natalie kicking the bedroom wall

Two of the most riveting and memorable movie scenes in recent memory...
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The scene when the casino boss kicks the loudmouth's ass. And the scene when Shelly deals with Bernie's son after he was caught cheating.

My dozometer never went off.
And like Bernie, I'm now in love with Maria Bello.
Thumbs up.
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post #23 of 128 Old 05-01-2004, 03:02 AM
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Bob,

You've got to do something about that DVD player of yours. It seems like it wants to crap out at the worst of moments.

I can see you watching some thriller/mystery, and you get to the big climatic scene where all is revealed: "I know who killed Mary Beth; it was...fsst....pfft....ploink!..." and the next thing you're looking at is the closing credits. I don't think that's what the director intended. ;)

--Jerome
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post #24 of 128 Old 05-01-2004, 04:40 AM
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I'm going to make some adjustments on it this morning, J.S. I'm going to go to work on it with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch. :)
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post #25 of 128 Old 05-01-2004, 07:33 AM
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I would like to add something.

Sometimes there are elements of movies which go unnoticed but shouldn't. We talk about the stories and the principal characters (and actors), but often overlook things which really deserve mention.

In this movie there are two. One is the inclusion of Paul Sorvino's burned out lounge singer. Not much screen time for it but not much was needed.
Sorvino was given very good lines and acted the role flawlessly.

But most notable is the character of Mikey, Bernie's son. And especially the actor, Shawn Hatosy. What a performance! And not only what a performance but, what a great part to work with.
The writer who gave Hatosy those wonderful lines is a newcomer. This is his first and only movie credit. Hatosy on the other hand (and even as young as he is) is a movie veteran who started acting at age 10.
My hat's off to both of them. With at least this one element of this film, the audience is able to completely suspend it's awareness of watching a movie. Which for me is what it's all about.
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post #26 of 128 Old 05-01-2004, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by RobertWood
I'm going to make some adjustments on it this morning, J.S. I'm going to go to work on it with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch. :)
Getting medieval on its *ss?? :D

Don't taze me, bro!!
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post #27 of 128 Old 05-01-2004, 07:44 AM
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I'll even go so far as to say this.

[flame suit on]
p.s. IMO, that one aforementioned character in this unheralded little trash movie, surpasses any movie character Tarantino has yet created.
[suit off]
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post #28 of 128 Old 05-01-2004, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by FredProgGH
Getting medieval on its *ss?? :D
Damn, Fred, I'm sorry. I got so wrapped up in my own talking that I missed that the first time. Love it. :D

You've now got me thinking that I might have to take back what I just said.
Maybe the Marcellus character equals it. :)
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post #29 of 128 Old 05-01-2004, 04:07 PM
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The first post to the IMDB message board for this movie reads...
"This is the worst movie I have ever seen"

With this in mind, I'm disappointed that no one is telling me that my glowing review is full of s**t. I'm wondering if you just think what I said is so stupid that you don't think it's even worthy of arguing with. That hurts.
So please humor me and tell me how dumb it is.
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post #30 of 128 Old 05-01-2004, 04:46 PM
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Okay. I guess I'll just have to do it myself.

Robert, you ignorant slut. You don't have any fricken idea what you're talking about. You're constantly ranting against a real talent like Jerry Lewis when you don't even have enough sense to recognize a t**d like this for what it is. Pure mediocre shlock. Neither you nor it deserves any consideration. You and this movie should both get lost. Get off your high horse and get a life, ass***e.
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