The 1998 film Rounders, starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton, predated the massive popularity of Texas Hold’em poker in the early 2000s. It’s a solid thriller with excellent performances, and the script had a way of making the audience feel completely comfortable with the rules of the game even if they’d never played poker before.
Now, the writers of Rounders (David Levien and Brian Koppelman) are back with another poker-themed adventure, but in order to keep up with the times, they’ve updated it to online poker. Justin Timberlake stars as a Princeton student who gambles away his college tuition and travels to the island headquarters of the site to face the man who runs the whole operation (Ben Affleck). Take a look at the trailer below, via Yahoo:
I dig the concept, and I like both Timberlake and Affleck (and Anthony Mackie, who plays the FBI agent) as actors, but there’s something weird about this trailer. Maybe it’s Affleck’s lines they chose to highlight, which make him seem more strange than threatening, or maybe it’s just the sort of generic way the trailer is put together, but I’m not quite as excited about this one as I figured I would be. It’s directed by Brad Furman, who did good work with The Lincoln Lawyer, so hopefully this is just a case of a studio trying to cut a trailer with the widest appeal possible and the movie will still end up being good.
I’m also a huge fan of Ben Schwartz, the comedic actor who plays Jean-Ralphio on “Parks and Recreation” who appears in the beginning of the trailer as Timberlake’s friend, so if nothing else, I’m sure I’ll get a solid laugh or two out of this movie. Runner Runner hits theaters on September 27th, 2013.
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