Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
USA/Australia, 2007. Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures, Deuce Three Productions, DiNovi Pictures, Lonely Film Productions GmbH & Co. KG.. Story by Eric Roth, Screenplay by Eric Roth, Curtis Hanson. Cinematography by Peter Deming. Produced by Denise Di Novi, Carol Fenelon, Curtis Hanson. Music by Christopher Young. Production Design by Clay A. Griffith. Costume Design by Michael Kaplan. Film Editing by William Kerr, Craig Kitson.
Unbearable mess about a gambling addict (Eric Bana) who meets a sweet Las Vegas lounge singer (Drew Barrymore) and risks the possibility of moving away from destruction and towards something healthy. He can’t back away from the opportunity of a lifetime, however, when a poker championship beckons and his star opponent is his father (Robert Duvall) from whom he’s been estranged for years. After a run of terrific films like L.A. Confidential, Wonder Boys and In Her Shoes, Curtis Hanson lays a major turkey egg with this bombastic failure, dull in pace, dialogue and character and lacking any momentum whatsoever. Good luck getting past the first thirty minutes, which go nowhere fast and emphasize the complete lack of charisma that Bana possesses; this guy is not untalented and he’s definitely easy on the eyes, but he can’t carry a film to save his life. Barrymore is her usual fetching self but she can do nothing to help here.