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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Tag Archives: Ann-Margret

Going in Style (2017)

Get some life into ya.

Lifelong buddies Willie (Morgan Freeman), Joe (Michael Caine) and Albert (Alan Arkin) all decide that it’s finally time to take some time back and retire, once and for all. However, once they do that, they don’t know what sorts of annoyances await them. For one, the factory that they slaved away for all of those years, aren’t going to be giving them pensions. And if that wasn’t so bad, they’re so broke that they may not be able to keep their own roofs over their heads. It’s so bad that even a piece of pie at a diner is a constant cause for argument. But then, Joe gets the idea: Why not rob a bank? Better yet, why not rob the bank that is, get this, robbing him blind in the first place? It’s a crazy idea and one met with disdain from the two other guys, but as time goes on, they start to come around to the idea. Eventually, the three hatch out a plan for what to do, but considering that they’re three old dudes, it may be a lot harder than it seems.

Do they qualify for the license to carry? Let alone, see?

Going in Style is probably an unnecessary remake, but it’s also different from the 1979 version. While that movie was a mostly dramatic, melancholy look at aging, life, and death, with some comedy splashed in there for good measure, the remake is a lot more fun, humorous, and less about being too dramatic. In a way, it’s as director Zach Braff and the studios thought that having a movie in which a bunch of old dudes try to re-ignite sparks in their lives, only to realize that they haven’t got much time left on Earth, was all too serious and real, so therefore, they added a bunch of jokes about prostates, pie, Alzheimer’s, and oh yes, the Bachelor.

Did I mention that this is Zach Braff we’re talking about here? Sure, I Wish I Was Here was a problem, but surely the same guy who made the near-classic over a decade ago (in Garden State), doesn’t feel the need for these sorts of paycheck gigs, does he? Well, in a way, it sort of seems like it, but it’s not like the movie’s the most manipulative piece of money-making machine ever made.

If anything, it’s just enjoyable and pleasing enough to literally not offend a single person.

Is that we should expect from these actors, as well as Braff? Hopefully not.

But for now, it’s fine, because Going in Style proves that the age old formula of “old dudes getting to have some fun one more time”, still kind of works. The only difference here is that the tone is a lot lighter and playful than you’d expect, which makes all of the crazy plot contrivances, twists, and turns, seem fine. Are they unbelievable and absolutely ridiculous? Absolutely, but for the longest time, the movie doesn’t do much but go about its day, with a smile on its face, and a pleasant mood on its mind.

Ride or die, boys.

And for that, it’s fine. It doesn’t ask for the heavy questions, with the heavier answers, about life, death, love, or immortality, or any of that fun stuff, nor does it really ask you to fully get too invested in its heist at the center of the film; it’s all being used to just get by and allow us to have some fun with these characters, in this place in time.

And once again, that’s fine.

It helps that Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Alan Arkin, no matter how old they get, still seem like total pros and can do practically no wrong. Sure, a lot of the stuff that they’re saying and yammering on about isn’t all that funny, but the three are so charming and lovely, does it really matter? Yes, it sort of does, but in this case, not really; it’s annoying to constantly see older actors get the short-shift in which they have to play these old dudes and that’s about it, but if that’s the way the world works, then so be it. It seems like Caine, Freeman, and Arkin themselves are so fine with it that it doesn’t really matter.

So long as they keep on doing what they’re doing, until the expected end of their careers, well then, no argument from me.

Keep doing what you’re doing, fellas.

Consensus: Pleasing and enjoyable enough, mostly by the talented trio of leads, Going in Style doesn’t set out to offend anyone, or change anyone’s life, and in this case, that’s all that is needed.

6 / 10

[Insert boner joke here]

Photos Courtesy of: Aceshowbiz

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The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

This is one of the posts from my buds Andrew Perry who’s making a review/post on the classic film, The Cincinnati Kid. Read it up and let me know what you think. Thanks guys!

When thinking about the best poker movies from past decades, many tend to overlook The Cincinnati Kid.  Starring Steve McQueen as Eric Stoner aka “The Kid” and Edward Robinson as Lancey Howard aka “The Man”, the movie gives a realistic look at world of high stakes Five Card Stud poker from the post-depression era.

The movie centers around a big game that will include “The Kid” and “The Man.”  When Stoner decides to take on Howard, Stoner’s friend “Shooter” reminds how he was gutted by Howard in a prior game.

In a game prior to the big game, a big fish known as William Jefferson Slade tries to take on The Man and ends up losing $6,000 to him.  Fuming over the loss, he blackmails Shooter into cheating at the final game by stacking the deck against Howard.  Shooter does not want to do it, but he has $12,000 in markers hanging over his head and agrees.

The day of the big game arrives and Slade steps up to help Stoner out in the game.  As the game progresses, players either get busted or drop out the game and eventually it is a classic showdown between The Man and The Kid.

Stoner figures out that Shooter is stacking the deck in his favor and tells him to stop.  When he discovers that Shooter will not do so, he angles to have another dealer pitch cards and the game continues.

Stoner is beginning to win pot after pot and it appears that he is going to beat Howard before the climatic hand.  In Five Card Stud poker, one card is dealt down and the other four are dealt face up.  When the last card is dealt, The Kid has As-Ad-10c-10d showing for two pair.  Howard is showing 8d-Qd-10d-9d.

The Kid puts the last of his money into the pot, but since they are playing open stakes as opposed to table stakes, Howard raises another $5,000.  The Kid offers The Man a marker for $5,000 thinking he has him beat.  The Man agrees and The Kid makes the call only to discover Howard turn over the Jd for a straight flush. Stoner had another ace in the hole for a full house, and shockingly the losing hand.  The movie ends with Stoner leaving penniless and gutted after his loss.

The Cincinnati Kid was a classic movie not just because of the poker action, but it portrayed poker realistically. Stoner took a massive cooler and experienced what many have at their local poker room, leaving with nothing.  The Kid had the talent, but in the end, it just wasn’t in the cards for him to win.

Kudos to PokerJunkie.com for providing the review and the reference to the rules of Five Card Stud poker.