The Cooler

How amongst all the film nuts here did this movie not have its own thread. Came out on DVD this week and I caught it tonight. You can clearly see why Baldwin and Bello got a lot of attention for this one. I personally love Macy and the interesting role choices he continually makes. Anyway grab this one and thank me for it later.

From the ads it looked like a pretty mediocre comedy. What did you like about it?

It is not a comedy. It a wicked look at Vegas and its transition from the old mob roots of the 50’s and 60’s to the family friendly Steve Wynn world of today. Baldwin is the old school casino manager who has ruined the life of his “friend”, the unlucky WH Macy. I won’t say more as it would give away the story but this is not a comedy. The whole film is shot just like Vegas itself - indoors, you never have a feeling if it is morning or night. This is a deep movie with some very interesting themes about people, loyalty and friendship.

There’s a movie about the same sort of subject matter – the connection between luck and gambling and the people who manipulate it – but with a much darker and more thoughtful tone. And a totally kickass Max von Sydow appearance.

It’s a Spanish movie called Intacto. I heartily recommend it. Here’s the Netflix page for it.

 -Tom

EDIT: Damn synopsis spoilers! If you’re going to rent it, don’t read the Netflix snyopsis. Part of what’s really cool about Intacto is how it gradually unfolds the premise.

Yeah, caught Intacto at the Jamieson Whiskey Film Festival last year. And it is pretty damn mediocre with a really stupid premise and, as Tom indicates, a really great Max von Sydow appearance. However, don’t listen to him - it isn’t “thoughtful” at all. Luck is magic or midichloridians or something! Some great games of chance in it, though… which somehow lose a lot of their charm when everyone is basically using the Force to win at Russian Roulette.

It’s powered by Photon milk.

It’s powered by Photon milk.

And nanomeds.

I don’t know why Crypt is so down on Intacto. Maybe he was confused because it’s a European art movie disguised as a thriller. And while he is correct that luck is portrayed as a quantifiable resource that can be measured and transferred, Intacto wisely doesn’t try to explain it with technospeak.

Plus, the ending probably wasn’t ambiguous enough.

 -Tom