I didn’t realize it at the time, but Brian and I saw a sneak preview of 21 a full month before it is being released to you plebes in the general public. And weeks before its nominal debut at SXSW. Thanks, YTIC!

Movie: 21
Released: 2008
Stars: Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey, Laurence Fishburne, some guy who would love to be James McAvoy
Reason for Watching: Free movie!
I Can Name This Movie In One Note: Based on Bringing Down the House, the true story of MIT college kids counting cards in blackjack.
You Should See This Movie Because: Vegas, baby, Vegas! We get plenty of shots of the strip, casinos, and everything that is great about Vegas. If you have any gambling inclinations whatsoever, this movie will get your juices flowing. Also, Kate Bosworth is extremely cute. The movie will almost make you forget that she needs to gain about ten pounds. Oh, and I enjoyed Choo as the comic relief.
You Shouldn’t See This Movie Because: Just about everything other than the gambling was disappointing. We first learn how smart the main character is when he deftly answers the Monty Hall problem – in a senior year math class at MIT, a problem that’s taught in most AP Stats courses, I believe. I haven’t read the book, but my guess is they screwed with the pacing too much in an effort to make the story more Hollywood. Subplots (like the science competition) don’t flow particularly well with the main story. The actors aren’t all that engaging. The soundtrack isn’t really as exciting as the producers might like you to think. And any twists that might or might not occur in the movie, well, let’s just say they don’t break cinematic ground.
Bottom Line: If you need a Vegas fix, 21 will do in a pinch, but you are probably better off just gambling online or something.
March 2008
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