Winner winner, chicken dinner!
This one's been a long time coming, I watched it like a month ago and have been meaning to write up on it, but every time I start, something goes wrong or I get bored. Or I have to woo and can't focus. So here goes!
What's the story? (Morning glory...) Well, Ben (aka Jim Sturgess aka hawt in Across the Universe, aka All my loving, I will send to him.) is this really smart guy. He's in his senior year at MIT and has med school at Harvard all lined up. Except he has no $$$. So he's applying for this full ride scholarship, but he just doesn't seem that impressive, compared to last year's one-legged winner.
Then his Prof (aka Kevin Spacey aka Lex Luthur aka Hopper in a bug's life (did anyone else see that one coming? I didn't) ) notices that he's a genius and invites him to a secret math club, where instead of going to math competitions, they go to Vegas and count cards. Hoo ha, very exciting stuff. Ben resists at first, being all hoo-ha this is unethical, then he joins ... probably because of the money and also because sexy lady Jill (aka what a frumps name aka Kate Bosworth aka Louis Lane aka Blue Crush aka really looked like En in this movie?) is in it.
However, as he keeps reminding people, he's only in it until he makes enough for Harvard, then he's out.
Obviously, he isn't out, and he get's more and more wrapped up in how cool he is and less and less nice and naive, cutting out his old friends, Cam (aka Miles Connoly aka American Dreamz with a Z.) and Josh, almost completely and wearing some spiffy new threads. Unforch for Ben, Ol' Prof is a little too controlling, and also bad-ass but old security dude Laurence Fishbourne (aka Morpheous!) is out to get him. To prove that the old way is better and has nothing on new technology. Bla bla, good luck to you Ben!
The Good: The friends were pretty great, very super-bad types. The other members (er except Jill) of the counting cards club were GREAT, mostly because of Choi (aka Aaron Yoo aka Ronnie from Disturbia anyone?? <3). The whole counting cards theory was really cool and interesting, and how they did it. The cinematography was pretty great, the colours were very vivid and it was edited nicely.
The Bad: Jill isn't the best of actresses, obvi. But at least she had some great disguises, and looked skinny despite also having frumpy hair. Sex scene? Pretty awks. Their secret signals? Really not great at all. Seriously (oh, spoiler here), after you've been caught counting and go back, don't you think you'd change your set of secret signals? And really, crossing your arms behind your back wasn't the most subtle of signals. The other really bad thing was Jimmy's non-disguises. When you are cheating, you shouldn't go every week looking like yourself.
BUT, the worst worst part? Dialogue. Appalling. Really really awful.
The ugly: Kevin Spacey wearing a cow boy get up ala Robin Williams in August Rush. Which I think we decided looked slightly Bono-ish?