HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Shortcut
Stray
   
 
Newest Articles
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
   
 
  Mississippi Grind Tumbling Dice
Year: 2015
Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Ben Mendelsohn, Sienna Miller, Analeigh Titpon, Alfre Woodard, Robin Weigert, James Toback, Yvonne Landry, Jayson Warner Smith, Jane McNeil, P.J. Marshall, Stephanie Honoré, Susan McPhail, Jason Davis, Jamal Dennis, Indigo, Lauren Gros
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Gerry (Ben Mendelsohn) has seen his share of hard luck, being a man who gets by with no hope jobs to fund his gambling addiction, and the further he spirals into the games of cards that end with him waking up with a hangover and considerably lighter in the wallet, the more he hangs onto his dubious lifestyle as the only thing he has in life to give him a reason to get up in the mornings. Or afternoons. He is a divorced father of one, a little girl he hasn't seen since she was a baby, and it's getting bleaker and bleaker for him until one night he is playing poker and a charismatic man appears at the table, introducing himself as Curtis (Ryan Reynolds) who buys Gerry a drink: this man may change his life.

That said, you are set to wondering if an addict can ever change their ways by movies which take gambling as their subject, and Mississippi Grind was no different, being one of many American movies concerned with what the promise of one more stake could do to transform the characters' bank accounts, no matter how faint that promise could be. The trouble with these efforts was their tendency to make something glamorous out of some very hard luck stories indeed, simply by placing them on the big screen and getting film stars to act them out, and with Curtis the filmmakers could be accused of committing that cinematic crime, not to mention being far from the first to tread that path.

Those filmmakers were Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who had enjoyed an indie success with Half Nelson, one of Ryan Gosling's breakthrough works, and here were continuing their interest with the less successful lives of certain Americans, so you could argue they were breaking no new ground here, especially as their plot and indeed mood was deliberately reminiscent of Robert Altman's California Split which for many gamblers was the best of the lot. Still, if you're going to imitate a past benchmark, then there were a lot worse they could have done than be inspired by that one, and it was not as if this was a straightforward remake by any means, with Curtis in particular a curious figure.

He is described as a "leprechaun" at one point, and he does appear to be some form of lucky charm for Gerry who buoyed by this new pal is hitting a winning streak, no matter how modest, though this seems dependent on how far he is able to follow Curtis's advice. Reynolds was patently trading on his accustomed wiseacre movie star persona, which though he was not the director’s first choice proved to be very intelligent casting what with his character needing that sparkle about him to make it more convincing that Gerry would be dazzled by his attention and not simply reject him as a facile joker who was probably on the make anyway. But Curtis is on the make, of course, and you can tell deep down Gerry knows that but is not about to admit it to himself as it would disrupt his strain of magical thinking.

Every so often the loser will latch onto a sign from above that his luck is about to turn, and there is a point when Curtis agrees to go along with that when Gerry's misfortune affects him as well, afflicting him with his bad vibes that prove this lucky feller may be as human as the rest of us. They go on a road trip of sorts to various gambling spots, some more obvious than others, as Gerry insists on visiting his ex (Robin Weigert), mostly so he can rob her, and he cannot even do that properly, all to feed the addiction. But Curtis has love in his life too, Simone (Sienna Miller), though he treats her as someone to be manipulated, but as the story draws on he twigs that she could bring meaning to his life that an endless stream of cards and dice could not. The ambiguous ending could be controversial depending on how you believed it was going, and it could be accused of painting an unrealistic conclusion after all that studied realism of the average compulsive gambler's days and nights, but in that way you could opt for the resolution that suited your opinion after a derivative but very well presented and performed (some nice one or two scene wonders here) hard luck tale. Music by Scott Bomar.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1720 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: