Kevin Pollak

#Casino – Review – #ThrowbackThursday

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Casino – Budget of $40 – 50 million – 2 hours and 58 minutes

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Casino
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Ace has always been affiliated with the mob, but since he isn’t Italian he can never be a “made guy”.  However, he has always been a good earner and he has cemented a spot in the mob.   So when he decides to change from low-level bookie to casino boss, he heads to LasVegas.  LasVegas is known as “a morality car wash”.  All your sins are washed away.  Ace hopes to stay off the radar, pay back his mob loan, and go legit with a casino.  After some time there, his old pal Nicky joins him.  Nicky is a made guy and trusted by the mob, but Ace knows he is a hot head who could ruin his plans.  So Ace pleads with Nicky to keep his cool and do things right.  While watching over the casino, Ace meets Ginger.  He is impressed with her ability to manipulate anyone.  However, he learns there is one person she can’t overcome, her boyfriend/pimp.  He promises Ginger a better life if she has a baby and marries him.  With a Ginger and Nicky by his side, Ace will learn that what a person says and what they do rarely fall in line, especially with people you think you can trust.

Based on Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi, this movie isn’t a warning about mob life but more about trusting your inner circle (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  Ace spends so much time looking around for perceived threats, he doesn’t notice the people around him will cause him the most harm.  This movie is great not only because of it’s impeccable storyline but its changes on point of view.  Ace, Nicky, or Ginger can be telling the story which legitimizes what you see.  Be warned this movie pulls no punches with the gritty details of violence and murder.  In addition, there is no real good guy in the story.  And without good guys, there are no victims.  Just survivors.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

It’s in the desert where a lot of the town’s problems are solved – Ace

Don’t look at me, pal. I gotta live with her – Nicky

If it doesn’t work out, what happens to me – Ginger

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#TheUsualSuspects – Review – #ThrowbackThursday

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The Usual Suspects – Budget of $6 million – 1 hour and 46 minutes

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The Usual Suspects
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Roger Kint (a.k.a Verbal) sits and talks to U.S. Customs Special Agent Dave Kujan with his immunity knowingly in tack.  Kujan wants to know who set a ship ablaze, killing 27 men and injuring 1.  Kujan believes Verbal is holding back something and wants all the details since he was the sole uninjured survivor.  With a calm tone, Verbal informs Kujan that the fire didn’t start on that ship, but with a course of events in New York 6 weeks ago.  Verbal along with 4 other men were pulled into a police station and questioned about a hijacking.  While the 5 men sit in a cell, they come up with a plan to get the cops back.  Keaton, McManus, Hockney, Verbal, and Fenster will rob crooked cops and sell whatever they get in another state.  This robbery didn’t just rob the cops, they robbed Keyser Söze.  Söze is a Turkish mobster who strikes fear in the heart of everyone who hears his name.  While Verbal tells his story, Kuja has to determineSöze is real or a myth.

This movie has become a cult classic because it contains one of the biggest reveals in movie history.  This movie has a lot of moving parts so pay attention to everything you see and hear.  What makes this movie great to view is its complex characters.  These guys aren’t just bad guys robbing people.  Some struggle with the plan, some struggle with the past, and some with faith.  It’s these struggles that lead them to a life of crime.  So watch this if you have enough time to give it your full attention.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

What time is it? – Keaton

Ready? – Söze

Don’t you guys ever f’ing sleep – McManus

You sure you brought enough guys – Hockney

Besides, it was fun. I got to make like I was notorious – Verbal

This won’t be an interrogation. Just a friendly chat to kill some time – Jeffery

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#AFewGoodMen – Review – #ThrowbackThursday

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A Few Good Men – Budget of $40 million – 2 hours and 18 minutes

Sorry, it’s a day late but better late than never.

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A Few Good Men
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Lt. Commander JoAnne Galloway walks into her boss’s office and asks to head a murder case at a Cuban Marine base.  Lance Corporal Harold Dawson and Private Louden Downe are accused of murdering Marine Private William Santiago after Santigo offered to give information about an illegal shooting committed by Dawson.  Galloway is turned down for the job and is asked to hire Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee of the JAG unit.  Kaffee is known for pleading cases out before they go to trial.  And due to the sensitive nature of the case, they want Kaffee to plead it out before the media gets a hold of the story.  On the other hand, Galloway wants to take the case to court and ensure Dawson and Downe get their day in court.  Her push is based on 2 words: Code Red.  Now Galloway must convince Kaffee to go to court for the first time and make Dawson and Downe tell the truth of what happened and why Santiago was killed.

Based on a play, this movie is a case of bullying and hazing before they became buzzwords for the 10 o’clock news.  While it’s a good movie, you will sit and wait for the most widely known line in all of movie history, “You can’t handle the truth”.  And it will not be delivered until the last 5 minutes of the movie.  The storyline is strong but the potential love story between Kaffee and Galloway felt forced and boring.  While this movie isn’t any of the actors greatest achievement, it is a magnificent stepping stone for all involved.  And it leaves you with the question: What does it take to be “honorable”?

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

You know what a Code Red is? What a pity? – Galloway

My client’s a moron. That’s not against the law – Kaffee

I want to know what we’re gonna do about this – Col. Jessup

It’s the code sir – Dawson

He was dead because he had no code, he was dead because he had no honor. And God was watching – Kendrick

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