Casino Jack

Year of the Carnivore

Welcome to the first week of April! Now that all of the internet jokes, gags, and pranks are out of the way it’s time to settle in with another week of movies and TV shows on DVD to keep you entertained at home. Like every other week of the year this one features a fairly interesting array of titles that run the gamut from the good to the bad, but we also get two offbeat comedies that I think are worth a purchase for fans of oddball romances and charmingly humorous characters. Oh. And two shitty Tron movies hit shelves this week too. Year Of the Carnivore A young woman named Samantha Smalls (Cristin Milioti) has a terrible sexual experience with her guitarist crush, and he suggests she cut loose, have fun, and gain some more experience in bed. And so she does… and along the way she learns everything you’d expect her to in an oddball, indie comedy from Canada. Milioti is adorable, endearing, and truth be told pretty damn sexy as the shy tomboy who giggles whenever guys touch her, and the movie features more than a few laugh out loud scenes of highly inappropriate self discovery.



Barry Pepper seems to be having one of the best years of his career. He’s got two films in theaters right now: the Coen brothers’ True Grit and the Jack Abramoff rise and fall story, Casino Jack. One being a near-masterpiece, guess which one, and the other being a fun satire. In True Grit, he plays a logical and almost likable lead antagonist, but as Michael Scanlon in George Hickenlooper‘s final film, he couldn’t be further from playing logical. Barry Pepper seems to be very comfortable at playing slimy. He did the perfect type of sympathetic slimy in the 25th Hour, and in Casino Jack, he does the same. And to top off having two films in the cineplex at one time, he also recently got to work with Terrence Malick… ever heard of him? Well, Pepper couldn’t talk at great length about that untitled project, but he did open up about the experience of working with Malick. As always, Malick is described as the type he always is labeled as: the genius kind. Pepper and I started off discussing True Grit, even though we were really on the phone to talk about Casino Jack. But Pepper seemed more than happy to talk about his experience with the Coens and his reaction to the film.



Today, the fine folks at ATO Pictures have blessed you all with the chances of winning a fairly cool prize pack. So stop thinking about what you’re getting your fat little hands on for Christmas, and start thinking hard about how you’re going to win this. Really, shouldn’t be that difficult. This giveaway includes three DVDs and a poster for Casino Jack signed by the cast. And thankfully, those DVDs are of Spacey’s early, great work. That’s right, none of his early 2000s fluff. So apologies in advance, Pay It Forward and K-PAX fans.



This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr enters the grid (which is what he likes to call his local IMAX theater) to try and find an old and hairy Jeff Bridges amidst a bunch of young-looking sexy-time people in tight body suits. Afterwards, he has a pic-i-nic at Jellystone Park and faces a bear attack. It’s a good thing he had his hunting rifle with him… but he still wonders why that grizzly he shot was wearing a hat and tie. Finally, he hands out some grades on two limited release award flicks that really don’t jazz him as much as a big, dumb IMAX 3D movie.


The Reject Report

The weather has turned cold, the end of the year is soon approaching, and the last bastion of Holiday films are coming our way. This week, we have a number of dollar-earner pictures hitting as well as a couple of heavy awards contendors expanding into wide release. The light cycles are sure to have an edge over a couple of talking bears, especially since one of those bears sounds a bit like Ray Stantz. The other bear isn’t exactly bringing sexy back, but he might be cute enough to pull in some decent money.


Movie Watcher's Guide to December 2010

We realize that you’re probably sitting at home right now, chewing your own nails off and wondering what movies are coming out this month. Maybe you’re even wondering why no one on the entire internet has said anything about them. Strange, we know. Fortunately, Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius spent the entire month of November dumpster diving in studio lots, mailing in proof of purchase codes on cereal boxes, and building trailers from old plywood to make sure that you, dear reader, are in the know about what’s coming out in December. You watch movies, so this guide’s for you.



George Hickenlooper, the director of Factory Girl and the forthcoming Casino Jack, died on Friday at the far too young age of 47 from apparent natural causes. He was a noted narrative and documentary filmmaker whose stand out work was Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse which chronicled the production nightmare of Francis Ford Copolla’s Apocalypse Now and stands as one of the best examples (alongside Burden of Dreams) of documentaries about filmmaking. Hickenlooper died in Denver while doing press for Casino Jack, the film about disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff that sees a release in December. [Denver Post]

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