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The Card Counter (2021)


7/10: A psychological story of the "survival" of a former Abu Ghraib interrogator
Tuesday, September 14, 2021

It's set in the present time with a few flashbacks to the Iraq War in the early 2000s. It's the psychological story of the "survival" of a former interrogator at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The story is told exclusively from the perspective of the former interrogator.William Tell/William Tellig (Oscar Isaac) is a gambler who spent 8 1/2 years in prison. He was a Private who worked at the Abu Ghraib prison and was among those soldiers pictured in the notorious pictures of interrogators with prisoners who experienced "enhanced interrogation" techniques. Tell manages his guilt by an extremely repressed personality that gambles on a modest scale to avoid notice. He is skilled at counting cards at Blackjack and is skilled at Poker because of his disciplined playing within the percentages of success he has learned during his prison years.At one of the casinos he visits that is holding a military convention, he sees...

6/10: Redemption/Revenge
Monday, September 27, 2021

I saw "The Card Counter", starring Oscar Isaac-the Star Wars movies, Sucker Punch; Tiffany Haddish-Like a Boss, Girls Trip; Tye Sheridan-X_Men:Dark Phoenix, Ready Player One and Willem Dafoe-Aquaman, John Wick.This is a movie about a troubled man, Oscar, that is seeking redemption for his past. Oscar was a military interrogator working under-and trained by-Willem during the Guantanamo Bay years. Oscar went to prison and Willem got off free and went on book tours. Oscar learned how to count cards while he was in prison and becomes a gambler when he gets out, winning small amounts in different casinos, not raising any alarms-the House doesn't like big winners. Tye is the son of a friend of Oscar's that had problems with Willem that ended badly-Tye wants revenge. Oscar tries to talk Tye out of his revenge scheme-he thinks it will end badly for Tye-and feels that...

7/10: With Its Faults, Still Better than Most Films Lately
Saturday, October 2, 2021

The biggest fault is something I moan about constantly these days: at 1h51m, it's at least 21m too long. It was also about 20% too weird. Wrapping up the furniture was obviously some grand, symbolic gesture that I'm too stupid to understand. I would say the same about the final confrontation.To my knowledge, this is the first movie that mentions Abu Graib and how only a few flunky soldiers were burned at the stake while their superiors got away without even reprimands.Great acting all around, but I wish Shrader had gone with more of a straight-up revenge story. Most people rating this 1 Star probably will rate the new James Bond movie a 10 even thought it will make zero sense

4/10: This is how it starts
Friday, September 24, 2021

William Tell (Oscar Isaac) spent 10 years in federal prison for the crime of torturing prisoners. He learned to count cards while in prison and keeps a low profile as a blackjack player. He meets Cirk (Tye Sheridan) whose life is a mess and La Linda (Tiffany Haddish) who runs a "stable." She gets backers for good players like Tell. Eventually Tell agrees and then plays poker (no card counting) for the rest of the feature. You keep waiting for him to beat a loud mouth.The film is a drama. Tell is haunted by his past, but deals with it in his own way. The film is a slow burn that never catches fire. The ending was messed up.Guide: F-word. Sex. Male nudity

2/10: Yeah, no
Friday, September 17, 2021

The Card Counter is weird mostly, parts disturbing.Elements of "Rounders" and "Casino Royale," teasing with a thought or two, but disappoints. With much of the setting at the casino and poker table, there's no table talk and only one hand shown and it's a silly one with an A2 and 7's calling on an 899 board. Also the same players getting to the end isn't reality, as playing perfect doesn't guarantee anything, cards still have to run out. The characters and performances beside Isaac are bad and he isn't great either. The music throughout awful as well, but most of all nothing happens and what does is just weird

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