The Gambler

click to enlarge The Gambler
The Gambler

Now this is the kind of film I dream about but that rarely gets made. The Gambler is based on James Toback’s 1974 film, inspired by his own experiences as a Harvard-educated teacher who suffered from a severe gambling addiction that caused far more trouble than anyone would imagine for a man with his background. This update from Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) expands on that earlier film, injecting life and depth into the proceedings with a stellar cast — Mark Wahlberg as the gambling educator, Jessica Lange as his mother, John Goodman and Michael Kenneth Williams as a couple of heavy, heavy dudes that push things past the point of no return — and an instinctive feel for the heightened degree of tension necessary in today’s world to ideally goose audiences. Now this is a risk worth taking in my book. (Opens wide Thursday) (R) Not screened in time for review.

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