Saturday, 19 September 2009

52: Twelve Movies - Croupier

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

Originally posted: 23 March 2009

12 Days: 12 Movies
Day Twelve: Croupier
(1998, 89 mins, Dir. Mike Hodges)

Put Simply: Classic "Film 4", well worth a go.
Stars: Clive Owen, Alex Kingston, Gina McKee and COLIN off of PRESS GANG!

So here we are, 12 days... 14 Movies (Actually, 15 if you include Mallrats on day three, but I know the script backwards so I didn't review that one)

Croupier follows an ex-gambler/author as he starts work in a London casino. While he's not exactly moral in the job, he's a professional, and certainly less professionally-clumsy than those around him. Owen's deadpan performance suits his... how do you say... woodenness? Sounds a little harsh, I know, but this role is ideal for him as he never has to portray any real emotion, just a guy who's unable to let the emotion show. The rest of the cast are on fine form, as are the script and plot. Which, incidentally, are helped enormously by Owen's voice-over. Reading the plot to the audience keeps the film to a trim hour-and-a-half, so everything rolls along rather nicely.

This is classic era of Film-4 output, it's grainy and claustrophobic, and all the greater for it. In fact, if the budget was any lower, it'd be shot on VHS. The editing's a little choppy, and often doesn't show the passage of time well (particularly on the night when Jack and Jani go on their gambling jaunt), but as I said, it's a short movie and it's only glaringly 'chopped' a few times.

Very enjoyable, if a little dated eleven years down the line (the laptop he writes on is almost painful to watch), but they can't all be Trainspotting or Twin Town, right?

I reckon: 7/10

Tomorrow: ...who knows? I'll be honest, I'm a little burned out after 12 days of movies. The general rule of thumb is that 20% of all movies are great, 50% are distincly average, and 30% are fucking awful. So the next time you give a film a go, blind? Chances are it'll be alright. Could be worse, fuck it, just watch your favourite movie again.
Happy watching! :D

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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