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Might as well play a killer game of Go Fish,
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This review is from: The Card Player (DVD)
Well I finally tried to watch this 2004 giallo from Argento despite the negative reactions I had read. This is quite a different hand from the Italian director. Although not completely horrible, it is quite a step back from Deep Red or Bird with the Crystal Plummage. Lacking in his trademark camera angles, creepy music, or vicious scenes with high impact brutality, this is actually difficult to recognize as being Dario's work.
The idea of a murder mystery centered around a card game is interesting and could have some potential if developed properly. Poker is a psychological game of wits that relies on the ability to read other people. Victim's lives would be the ultimate stakes, and the police ante up and try to outplay this psychopath.
Problem is, the game is video poker?!? It's outcome is much more oriented around luck. That eliminates most of the mental aspects. So much for outsmarting the bad guys.
We get to see the games unfold, and the helpless victim is shown via the webcam. I expected to see some gruesome torture and mutilation scenes, but surprisingly those are all absent. Bummer.
Even the music here is below Dario par. It's more of a cruddy techno sound with a synthesizer, to go with the computer vibe. Different, but hardly creepy or conducive in bringing chills.
The acting was okay, but the cast didn't seem comfortable with the English language. This movie has some pretty good production values, but no vivid color schemes like we've come to expect. Everything is sorta bland.
I was also really disappointed by the ending, which dragged down this mediocre film another notch. Overall, this was a quite a letdown from the Argento's norm. Passable.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 18, 2010 10:16:58 PM PDT
Marty Peduncle says:
I'll probably take your word for it and pass on this one CB, wonder where he intended on going with this one?
Posted on Jun 6, 2010 5:30:20 PM PDT
Stanley Runk says:
Yes, a bit more watered down for Argento. Not a bad idea, as usual, but missing that special something.
Posted on Jun 15, 2010 7:13:18 PM PDT
This sounds retarded. Unless the killer is a computer programmer, it's just a really bad idea...like that Diane Lane flick Untraceable.
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