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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Objections to the Movie 21

I don't want to give spoilers, but I don't know how to implement a "Click here to read more" in this environment. So if you're planning on seeing the movie 21, don't read the following...

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OK I enjoyed the movie but only because of the subject matter. I actually thought it had several serious flaws. Among them:

(1) That kid couldn't act very well.

(2) All of the exposition. Give me a break. My wife pointed out (in regards to a different movie) that movies always do a dumb job of portraying geniuses. For example (back to this movie), would Kevin Spacey's character have spelled it out so sloooooowly when quizzing the kids in their secret room about what the count was? No, he was clearly just reiterating how it worked for the benefit of the audience. And when the kid first plays at a live table, and you're in his head? Give me a break, he wouldn't have been spelling out the rules like that.

(3) Near the end, Laurence Fishburne's character is both driving the limo with Spacey, and is right there to rip off the kid and his girlfriend when they pop out of the building. Those two kids must have been one or two minutes behind Spacey, tops. So even if you give me a JFK-style story about how this could be physically possible, I don't believe Fishburne would have taken such chances with his retirement on the line.

(4) The movie gave the impression that once given the signal to sit down at a hot table, the high roller would stay there for a while. Clearly he was there through a shuffle. Yet Spacey yells at the other high roller for missing the signal to leave and playing three times "into a cold deck." So what's the deal? Do the high rollers get up when the count goes negative or not? The shoe can't stay good for as long as it portrayed them sitting at the table. It evens out by the end, which takes about 15 minutes, and even less if there are only 3 people at the table. Plus the high roller wouldn't sit down until the shoe was +17 or so, which means the shoe was probably half gone at that point. He'd maybe get 5 or 6 hands in, and then have to switch tables.

4 comments:

  1. You missed out one objection I thought of, and I have only seen the movie trailer: These kids are maths geniuses (genii?), routinely getting 100% on tests... and yet they worry about funding for college, when it is obvious that if they are as good as we are to believe, they would be guaranteed scholarships.

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  2. Well I don't know if it's accurate or not, but in the movie they claimed that there was no academic full ride for Harvard Medical School (which the star wanted to attend).

    I know that when I was applying to undergrad schools, some of the better ones didn't have academic (only need-based) scholarships. My dad even asked one of the advisors in incredulity, "So if my kid were the smartest in the country, because of my salary you would charge him full tuition?" and the answer was yes.

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  3. Anonymous10:48 AM

    What do good shoes have to do with gambling?

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  4. I did not actually see Fishburne driving the limo. I think that you inferred he was driving the limo.

    ReplyDelete