Runner Runner Opens Next Month

Runner Runner Movie Poster
Runner Runner Movie Poster

The movie Runner Runner features Justin Timberlake as a poor college smart guy and Ben Affleck as an online poker operator. The movie evolves around the shady side of offshore online poker. Here’s the brief synopsis from IMDB.

When a poor college student who cracks an online poker game goes bust, he arranges a face-to-face with the man he thinks cheated him, a sly offshore entrepreneur.

I wasn’t joking when I said that the synopsis was brief. That’s not a very exciting overview of the movie. The official trailer was just released and shows much more of what the movie is all about.

To my surprise the final trailer actually looks pretty good. Unfortunately I can’t imagine that the movie offers anything better than we see in this 2 minute snippet. Despite the big name cast I don’t see this movie doing very well in the theaters.

I’m interested in the online poker but I’m not much of a movie theater guy and I don’t see myself paying more than $1.29 to rent Runner Runner from Redbox and watch this on my couch around Christmas. Hopefully I’m wrong and this movie is awesome. What do you think of the trailer?

Photo: IMPAwards 

Poker Book And Poker Movie

Straight Flush Book By Ben Mezrich
Straight Flush

There’s a new poker book out from Ben Mezrich called “Straight Flush: The True Story of Six College Friends Who Dealt Their Way to a Billion-Dollar Online Poker Empire–and How It All Came Crashing Down…” and a new poker movie called “High Stakes – The Sam Tricket Story” about his entry into last year’s $1 million World Series of Poker Big One for One Drop tournament.

Ben Mezrich wrote one of my favorite books called “Bringing Down The House“. It’s about the infamous MIT blackjack team going to Las Vegas and winning a boatload of money. I viewed the book as entertainment going into it and not fact even though it was pitched as non-fiction. I’m cynical and don’t believe anything is 100% true or false. His new book “Straight Flush” is being promoted in the same manner. Some reviewers on Amazon are attacking his accuracy. If you’re interested in building and tearing down of an online poker empire and read it as partial truth you will probably enjoy “Straight Flush”. Here’s an interview with Mezrich from CalvinAyre.com.

Exclusive Interview: Ben Mezrich on his new book, Straight Flush Video 

 

“High Stakes – The Sam Tricket Story” is about poker player Sam Tricket and focuses mainly on his entry into last year’s $1 million entry for the Big One for One Drop tournament at the World Series of Poker. Like all gambling movies it touches on his ups and downs in the poker world. You can watch the entire movie by visiting matchbook.com and signing up for an account if you’re from anywhere outside of the United States and France. I’m sure if you want to watch the full movie and you’re American you’ll be able to find it somewhere. Here’s the movie trailer for the documentary.

Buy Links

Last Vegas Movie Preview

Last Vegas Movie Sign
Last Vegas

I have a bad taste in my mouth from movies based in Las Vegas after seeing “Lay The Favorite” but I was pleasantly surprised when @dribbleglass shared the trailer for the movie “Last Vegas“.

I first heard about “Last Vegas” when it was filming last year but wasn’t very excited by the “old guy Hangover” concept featuring Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline. To further my lack of excitement for “Last Vegas” was the preview blurb on IMDB which isn’t very exciting.

Three sixty-something friends take a break from their day-to-day lives to throw a bachelor party in Las Vegas for their last remaining single pal.

I’ve watched this trailer for “Last Vegas” repeatedly just so I could get to the end because Morgan Freeman is hysterical after drinking Red Bull and Vodka and I laugh every time I see it.

I don’t watch many movies in the theater so I probably won’t see “Last Vegas” when it first hits theaters but I’m hoping that my movie going friends tell me that I have to see it before it hits Redbox or Netflix.

Photo: IMDB

Lay The Favorite Movie Review

Lay The Favorite Movie Poster
Lay The Favorite

I don’t write movie reviews very often. Between my lack of patience to watch movies and minimal movies about casinos and gambling there’s little to write about. That said, I was stoked to see “Lay The Favorite” when I first heard about it. People seemed to enjoy the book and the story behind “Lay The Favorite” which is about sports betting and it was mostly set in Las Vegas – two things I like a bit too much.

I saw the trailer in 2012 but hadn’t heard anything about the movie until I saw it that it was available on Netflix last week. That was surprising with the big names like Bruce Willis involved as a main character of the movie.

Before I saw the trailer for “Lay The Favorite” I thought this movie had my name written all over it. The trailer didn’t look very good but the subject matter would make the movie interesting, right? Sure. Kinda. For a while. The premise of the movie  would be the same as the trailer, so how bad could it be?

Ex-private dancer Beth aspires to be a Las Vegas cocktail waitress, when she falls in with Dink, a sports gambler. Sparks fly as she proves to be something of a gambling prodigy–much to the ire of Dink’s wife, Tulip.

Lay The Favorite” set the story of a stripper (Beth) going to Las Vegas looking for a new lease on life and a little inspiration to find a little direction was fine. Beth’s introduction to sports betting was fine too. The movie was still moving at a nice pace and I was still focused and interested. Beth meeting Dink (Bruce Willis) and the initial story of her learning how to bet on sports was even good. The first 15-20 minutes setting up “Lay The Favorite” were okay. Maybe this wouldn’t be too bad.

I was wrong. This is where the movie fell apart for me. The movie stopped focusing on sports betting, Vegas and friendship and devolved into a wannabe rom-com. There wasn’t much rom and, besides a few funny lines from Vince Vaughn, there wasn’t much com. The movie focused too much on a love story between a 60-year-old and a 20-something year old.

I was so bored by the movie that I decided to do something I never do when I’m watching a movie – multi-task. I use movies as a way to escape for 90 minutes but I ended up multi-tasking through most of the second half of the movie. I haven’t read the book for “Lay The Favorite” but I imagine that the book went into more detail on the things I would be into – sports betting and moving to Vegas.

To get a real understanding of “Lay The Favorite” see what Netflix recommends I watch next. WTF?!

Lay The Favorite Netflix

Lay The Favorite” is the kind of movie that I’d watch again if I hit the end of my Netflix queue, which stands at 57 right now (meaning that I won’t). I’m glad I watched “Lay The Favorite” because I was curious to see the movie but that’s really about the only positive takeaway from the movie. Now we know what to expect the next time a movie starts with “Unskinny Bop”.

Here are some links for “Lay The Favorite”:

The Hangover III Coming Memorial Day Weekend

The Hangover was an awesome movie. It’s still one of the highest rated R-Rated movies of all time. Like some of the best comedies it was so funny because it wasn’t expected. The Hangover 2 was almost exactly the same script as the original and it wasn’t in Las Vegas. It wasn’t surprising to anyone and, even though it made a lot of money, it was a huge disappointment. Now it’s time for the final installment of The Hangover series.

I liked The Hangover 2 but that’s probably because there was a monkey in the movie. The Hangover III is made up of a similar cast so there shouldn’t be too many surprises besides a giraffe being decapitated and an awkward lollipop scene you see above.

I’m curious to see how much of the Las Vegas we know and love is actually in the movie. The trailer doesn’t show much but there was definitely more shot. Vegas Chatter kept up with the filming of the movie while it was in Las Vegas and it seems like there was a lot more than in the trailer.

I won’t be in the theater on Memorial Day because I don’t like crowds but I’ll see it shortly thereafter. Hey, while looking for the poster I learned that it’s a spoof on Harry Potter! Who knew?!

Life On The Line Movie

Life On The Line Movie Art
Life On The Line

I caught wind about “Life On The Line” earlier this week listening to Teddy Covers on the radio. “Life On The Line” is a documentary on sports bettors and the sports betting industry (at least LVH sportsbook). “Life On The Line” won’t be in theaters and it won’t be available on Netflix but you can download and stream the movie from the Las Vegas Vegas Advisor website beginning January 27. Here’s how they describe the movie.

With unprecedented access behind the scenes at LVH’s “SuperBook” and featuring a cast of legends from the Las Vegas sport-betting world, including long-time Hilton/LVH oddsmaker Jay Kornegay, two-time Supercontest champion Steve Fezzik, hedge-fund manager John Netto, long-time Vegas pro-bettors including Erin Rynning, Teddy Covers, Bryan Leonard, Bruce Marshall, and Alf Musketa, and well-known local sports talk radio hosts Brian Blessing and Ken Thompson, Life on the Line promises to take viewers deep inside the esoteric and usually closed world of that rare breed of gambler who’s able to make a successful living betting sports.

The website doesn’t have prices for download or stream but I think Teddy Covers mentioned it would be only $5, but don’t hold me to that. The trailer looks like this will be an interesting movie if you’re into sports, sports betting and Las Vegas. I like all of those things and I look forward to checking this out.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Coming In March

The Incredible Burt Wonderston” finally has a release date scheduled for this March 15. Along with that release date there is a trailer available to tease you about the magician comedy. Here’s the premise of the movie:

Burt Wonderstone (Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Buscemi) are a successful magic act in Las Vegas. Their partnership comes to an end when Anton is injured by Burt during their hotbox trick, and Anton moves to the Far East. When Burt is overshadowed by popular street magician Steve Gray (Carrey), he must convince Anton to return to the act to regain his standing by all means necessary.

Magic and Las Vegas are a perfect fit. Too bad I don’t like magic shows. After watching the trailer below I think that Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) and Olivia Wilde (just because she’s Olivia Wilde) may be the highlights of “The Incredible Burt Wonderston” for me.

Finishing the production of this movie was quick. You may remember that this movie was filmed all over Las Vegas last summer. Even though I don’t watch too many movies any movie based in Vegas has my interest and there is a lot of Las Vegas eye candy in this trailer.

I don’t think I’ll head to a movie theater to see “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” but it doesn’t seem bad. It just doesn’t seem great.  The trailer almost seems as if this is a movie destined to be more popular on Netflix or on TBS on a random Sunday afternoon.

BOOM: Later Landmark

In light of the pending implosion of The HarmonVegas Inc. decided to list the Top 10 Vegas Strip Hotel implosions. I love implosions and figured this was a good excuse to visit the youtube archives.

I’ll grab video of these 10 Las Vegas Strip Hotel implosions, but we’re almost done. 🙁 We go to #2 on the list – The Landmark.

Opened: July 1, 1969

Closed: Aug. 8, 1990

Imploded: Nov. 7, 1995

In 1961, Frank Carroll purchased a vacant lot at Paradise Road and Convention Center Drive with the hope of building the Landmark. Carroll’s dream would not be completed until 1969, after a long series of mishaps.

Carroll began construction when he received a $300,000 loan from a credit union. He hired California contractors to oversee the original 15-story project, and later doubled the size to 31 stories. The tower was 365 feet tall. In 1962, after being denied additional funding from the credit union, construction stopped and the building sat empty, just 80 percent complete.

Construction resumed in 1966 after a four-year hiatus when $5.5 million was loaned to Carroll by the Teamsters Union Pension Fund. The tower was to be completed in 1967 and opened on New Year’s Eve of that year. However, Carroll once again ran out of money.

He pushed back opening date until Howard Hughes purchased the Landmark in January 1969 and agreed to pay off Carroll’s loans. The hotel opened July 1, 1969, but couldn’t break out of its financial hole.

In 1970, when Hughes left Las Vegas, control of the Landmark passed to Summa Corp., resulting in a $5.9 million loss.

The Landmark passed from owner to owner suffering further financial loss. Still, it was featured in hit movies such as “Casino” and “Diamonds are Forever,” and hosted famous entertainers, including Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley.

After the start of the megaresort era of Las Vegas, the Landmark became too expensive to keep open and it closed Aug. 8, 1990.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority debated the future of the Landmark, which remained vacant in 1994. Some wanted to restore the casino and others wanted to demolish it. Those in favor of demolition won. The Landmark was imploded Nov. 7, 1995. Footage of the implosion used in the film, “Mars Attacks.” The property ended the way it began, as a vacant lot, now housing overflow parking for the Convention Center.

Destroyed In Seconds
Destroyed In Seconds

BOOM! There Goes The Largest Billboard In Vegas

I could swear I wrote or read about the Harmon in Las Vegas being structurally unsound last year, but maybe that was just rumor and my mind playing tricks on me.  Well, now multiple reports have been published about the Harmon’s instability and the fact that it may come down in event of an earthquake.

The unfinished Harmon hotel tower at CityCenter on the Las Vegas Strip would likely collapse in a strong earthquake, a structural engineer told casino operator MGM Resorts International on Monday.

The report sent to the casino company by Weidlinger Associates of Marina del Rey, Calif., says it would take at least one year to figure out what kind of repairs would be required to save the tower.

“In a code-level earthquake, using either the permitted or current code specified loads, it is likely that critical structural members in the tower will fail and become incapable of supporting gravity loads, leading to a partial or complete collapse of the tower,” said Chukwuma G. Ekwueme, an associated principal of Weidlinger.

OK, nothing new here.  So the Harmon is no longer going to be a huge billboard because it’s probably less expensive to tear it down than to fix.  So what will go in its place?  There’s nothing that really makes sense to go there at the moment.  Maybe a park until the economy gets better?  A park will probably stop people from walking into the Cosmopolitan and shouldn’t slow down foot traffic into Crystals since that’s almost non-existent anyway.

This whole scenario reminds me about Brad Pitt walking into Al Pacino‘s office at The Bank in Oceans 13 warning him about a potential earthquake.  In fact, that movie is probably on TV somewhere right now.  I’d rather be watching that than most things.

Oceans 13
Oceans 13

Electric Daisy Carnival Didn’t Kill Anyone In Vegas

I can enjoy electronic music, but I’m not moved by watching a DJ spin live.  I can listen to a CD or download a set and get the same feeling.  That said, almost every tweet I read about the Electronic Daisy Carnival (EDC) this past weekend was positive and it seems as if everyone attending had a fun time in Vegas.  What I noticed were lots of girls wearing neon tutu’s and I’m fine with that.

The mainstream media covering the event goes a different route.  Instead of focusing on the good time most people had much of the mainstream media coverage seemed to touch on the fact that nobody died at EDC as the most important thing from the weekend.  I would think focusing on the great time would make a much nicer story, but what do I know.  I’m a cynic.

This article from the Hollywood Press, not only produced the sweet picture above but talks mostly about the music at the festival and only touches on the minimal crime.  There’s a movie due out later this year that will feature EDC.  I’ll wait for netflix to pick it up and stream it.  It seems as if it will be fairly visually stimulating in the way that “Transformers” movies are.  Check the Hollywood Press if you want to know more.