MOVIES


Butch’s all time favorite movies, you can watch the trailer and or rent the movie instantly on demand, let Butch know if you agree with him…

Matt Damon is Mike McDermott, a New York law student who plays poker to finance his education. When he loses his savings in a $30,000 hand of poker he decides to quit the game completely until his old partner Worm, brilliantly played by Edward Norton, gets out of prison and drags him back to the game and into serious trouble.
The film is an atmospheric character study of the world of gambling that leads to the unavoidable final game that determines the fate of both friends when they face the dreaded Teddy KGB (John Malkovich) in a thrilling poker dual. The film brought many people to the poker tables and is one of the reasons poker became such a popular game in the last ten years. Rounders On Demand Trailer

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James Caan is Axel Freed, a professor in a New York City university that ironically also teaches Dostoyevsky’s The Gambler in his course. Despite his familiarity with casino gambling addiction and his use of Dostoyevsky to intellectualize his weakness into tragic compulsion he has a casino gaming addiction bordering on a tendency of self destruction.
The film presents a gritty realism to the world of casino bookies, loan sharks, and their violent enforcers. This intensive and realistic presentation of the life of a gambler on the path to self destruction is both compelling and disturbing. Not many films before or since have managed to capture the thrill of gambling, the constant risk taking and living on the edge, as this film managed to do so well. The Gambler On Demand Trailer
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For years, this film has been relegated to obscurity, showing up occasionally on TV and tied up in legal issues over the music which delayed its release on DVD. Finally, all of these entanglements have been resolved and the movie is presented the way it was meant to be seen.California Split is one of Altman’s trademark character-driven films. It is less concerned with plot than behaviour as we watch the friendship between Bill and Charlie develop over a mutual love of gambling. As the film progresses and the two men hang out more, Bill starts to become more addicted to the gambling lifestyle. He blows off work early to meet Charlie at the track and sells his possessions for money. Bill and Charlie are gambling addicts who ride the high arcs and the low valleys, never passing up a bet. At a boxing match they put money on the outcome of the fight with a fellow spectator. California Split On Demand Trailer

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Eric “The Kid” Stoner, played by Steve McQueen, is up against Lancey Howard, a veteran card shark, played by Edward G. Robinson. The two dual it out in five-card stud, with the straight-as-an-arrow dealer Shooter (Karl Malden) forced by Slade (Rip Thorn), a poker player who was bested by Howard, to cheat in order to help the kid and humiliate Howard. The movie has aged a bit but the epic game featured in the movie and the highly suspenseful final hand has since become a classic. Cincinnati Kid On Demand Trailer

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Henry Fonda (Meredith) and Joanne Woodward (Mary) are a husband and wife, who get caught up in a high-stakes poker game on their way to California. Meredith gambles all their life savings on the game, money that was meant to be used to buy a farm.

When Meredith suffers a heart attack during a hand his wife takes over, even though she doesn’t know how to play casino games. Will she be able to play against the professionals and save their life savings? The end will surprise you. A Big Hand For The Little Lady On Demand Trailer

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This movie appears to be about pool on the surface. But it’s less about pool than it is about what motivates us as people.

Fast Eddie Felson of the classic, “The Hustler,” returns to reverse roles in this 80s classic. Instead of being the young champ, he wants to train the young champ in Tom Cruise. But eventually, he realizes the hard way he doesn’t have the stomach to play stake horse and in his heart he really wants the thrill of competition.

A lot of people will compare this movie to “The Hustler,” since it is the sequel. There is no comparison. This movie really can’t even be compared in pool terms. The pool shots that they hit in this movie are, for the most part, average to above-average. This is not the mind blowing pool play from “The Hustler” to be sure.

But this movie does have plenty going for it. For non-pool players, this movie has more character development. This movie also features some of the greatest cinematography of any film. And Newman, Cruise, and the supporting cast all put in stellar performances.

In short, this is a great movie that’s worth watching just for enjoyment or on a deeper level for those who appreciate fine cinema. It’s not half the movie that “The Hustler” is, but it has enough merits to stand on its own. The Color Of Money On Demand Trailer

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The Hustler spotlights one of Paul Newman’s finest performances in his portrayal of Fast Eddie Felson, an arrogant, amoral pool hustler who’s determined to be the greatest pool player in the country by beating the legendary Minnesota Fats (played flawlessly by Jackie Gleason).

The film is a gritty, uncompromising character study and tragic love story that is set in the world of pool hustlers. Piper Laurie; as an alcoholic floozy who falls hard for Fast Eddie; and George C. Scott as the cold hearted manipulative gambler, Bert Gordon,– contribute two additional flawless supporting performances. It was directed by the controversial Robert (All the King’s Men) Rossen (he resisted but eventually named names during the infamous blacklist of the 50’s).

The film focuses on the arrogant, unsympathetic exploits of a con man as he uses his charm, looks and pool playing skills to hustle enough money to challenge Minnesota Fats, only to be humiliated in defeat. As ‘Fast Eddie’ attempts to raise money for a re-match, he meets and almost falls in love with Sarah a fellow alcoholic. At first Fast Eddie refuses to be managed by Bert Gordon, but after a pool hall hustle ends up with Fast Eddie having his thumbs broken, he reconsiders. Before the re-match with Minnesota Fats, a warm up high stakes game in Louisville has tragic consequences. The Hustler On Demand Trailer

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Chazz Palminteri wrote the script for this excellent story of an Italian American boy (Lillo Brancato) who grows up in the 1960s caught between the strong influences of his blue-collar, straight- arrow father (Robert De Niro) and a Mafia chieftain (Palminteri) who is his all-purpose mentor. De Niro makes his directorial debut with this production and, except for a little stiffness, does very well by the characters and their world. The story does not go precisely where one might expect it to go:

Palminteri knows better than to force the central figure to choose between the two most important men in his life, and he doesn’t fill time with stock drama about crime or family conflict. Joe Pesci makes an extremely effective and uncredited appearance at the end as a man who doesn’t have to do more than speak softly to communicate how dangerous he is. A Bronx Tale On Demand Trailer

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At first, I was a little apprehensive about “Boiler Room” thinking it was just gonna be “Wall Street: Part 2”. I finally rented it on tape and loved it. One of this year’s most underrated films, Boiler Room is a smart and energetic film with excellent performances from it’s right cast. The film tells the story of Seth Davis, a decent college dropout earning a living by running a casino inside his house, much to the strong dismay of his frustrated judge father. In order to impress his dad, Seth takes on a job at a stock brokerage firm where he becomes a fast tracking stock broker and making good money. Only later does he find out that his job isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

The performances are strong, particularly from lead Ribisi and supporting characters Nicky Katt as a two faced co-worker, Ron Rifkin as his dad, and Scott Caan as a hotheaded co-worker. Vin Diesel does quite well as the good guy to Ribisi’s Davis. The film definitely has the testosterone feel of a Generation X movie with The Angel’s rap/classical score. Boiler Room On Demand Trailer

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This is perhaps the most well written movie of our time. If you are looking for explosions and car chases, please move on. The dialogue (David Mamet) is scintillating,the interaction of the characters is intriguing.The editing is quick,the cinemetography superb. The cast is phenomanal. Al Pacino( Ricky Roma): the quintessential swarthy, bottom feeding salesman… Jack Lemmon (Shelly Levine): The has been, looking for any angle to snap out of his sales malaise; the pathos conveyed by Lemmon is gutwrenching… Ed Harris (Dave Moss): The scheming,conniving loser; he will go to any lengths to move ahead… Alan Arkin (George Aranov) The mousy under achiever; easily swayed. His understated lack of direction is carried off with deft subtlety by Arkin.Kevin Spacey (John Williamson) The clueless office manager,and whipping boy. Spacey manages to give this role a sinister undercurrent. He ends up as quite the paradox…

Alec Baldwin turns up for ten of the most memorable minutes ever filmed. This role is the highlight of his underwhelming career.Arrogance oozes from his every word;contempt permeates his every sentence.Expertly directed by James Foley,this is 36 hrs.in the lives of men desperate;on the edge.The world of real estate sales will never be the same after you see this classic. An extremely cerebral flick,not meant for those with short attention spans. A gauranteed can’t miss movie experience. Glengarry Glen Ross On Demand Trailer

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Michael Douglas owns the role of Gekko and by extension dominates the movie with his larger than life character. He gets most of the film’s best dialogue and delivers it with such conviction. There is a scene between Bud and Gekko in a limousine where he tells the younger man how the financial world works, how it operates and lays it all out, pushing Bud hard to go into business with him. It is one of the strongest scenes in the movie because you really believe what Gekko is saying and how Bud could be seduced by his words.

The culmination of Douglas’ performance is his much lauded, often quoted, “Greed is good” speech that his character gives to a shareholders’ meeting of Teldar Paper, a company he is planning to take over. He concludes by saying, “Greed is right; greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms, greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge — has marked the upward surge of mankind and greed, you mark my words — will save not only Teldar Paper but that other malfunctioning corporation called the U.S.A.” This is one of the best delivered monologues ever put to film as Douglas goes from charming to downright threatening and back again, succinctly summing up the essence of ’80 capitalism and greed. Wall Street On Demand Trailer

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Casino was released in 1995 and was directed by Martin Scoresese. It stars Robert De Niro (who else?) as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, a character based on Frank Rosenthal, who ran casinos in Las Vegas for the Mafia in the 70’s, most notably the Stardust casino.

The Mafia is backing Rothstein while he secretly runs the casino and has to set up a false front while, because of his gambling charges back East. Nicky Santoro, played by Joe Pesci, is sent by the mob to look over Rothstein and protect him but he eventually runs his own operations.Sharon Stone plays Ginger McKenna, a former prostitute and Rothstein’s love interest, who remains in love with her pimp, Lester Diamond, portrayed by James WoodsCasino On Demand Trailer

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This movie stars non other than the famous duo of Paul Newman and Robert Redford as a pair of con artist trying to pull the greatest con of their lives. It’s a great casino-style movie with lots of excitement. After Henry Gondorf (Newman) and John Hooker (Redford) spot Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw), a high-stakes casino gambler during a poker game, they come up with very complex and ingenious methods of manipulating him into placing a huge sure bets on fixed horse races. But are they fixed? Is it really what they’re after?

The movie is intricate and the plot is entangled yet easy to follow. It shows the world of horse races, poker, schemes, money and the great thrill of the bet, as well as the perhaps even greater thrill of pulling of a sting of such proportions. The Sting On Demand Trailer

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This is a movie that I will defend to the end. The problem is that it is tied to an Academy Award winning picture. Yes, different actors play the roles (with different first names) but the film is only “loosely” tied to the original. Jackie Gleason is in dapper form as the ring-leader and he is surrounded by a fine and funny supporting cast. The film uses nostagia in all areas well. It is downright goofy at points but it never tries to be anything more. The scene where Gleason mocks Karl Malden’s character is (to me) a classic. Mac Davis is suprisingly good and Teri Garr always makes me smile. I’m glad they put this on DVD for the few fans the film has. Nice widescreen print with a cool trailer. I never said this was a better film than the original. I just think it is unfairly over criticized. The Sting 2 On Demand Trailer

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There’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said about “Goodfellas”… it’s one of the best movies ever. To hell with the AFI, this is arguably one of the top 10 American movies ever made! Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco: five top-notch talents operating on all 8 cylinders in this story about three decades of life in the mob. Goodfellas On Demand Trailer

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When I’m looking at the Top Ten list’s of America’s critics and the nominations of the DGA,WGA and all the other guilds and press associations, I terribly miss David Fincher’s outstanding film “Fight Club”, which is possibly the best film of 1999.

Not only is the film visualy stunning, it is also very thought-provoking, wickedly funny and, above all, extremely entertaining. Only few films managed to be so many things at once. David Fincher, in my opinion one of the most exciting directors of the decade, fills his movie with so many ideas that it would be sufficient for three more movies, and they are not just gimmicks for their own sake, they all mean something. Edward Norton and Brad Pitt are brilliant in the leads and the soundtrack by the Dust Brothers fits perfectly to the images. Fight Club On Demand Trailer

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Rarely does a film manage to express the power of a novel from which it was based — but “The Godfather” does manage to do quite well. Realizing that the entire second section of the novel could not be fit into the movie (but was cleverly woven into “The Godfather, part 2”) Puzo and Coppola produced a film which was remarkably consistent with the remainder of the book (although there are a few ‘jumps’ in the plot which make more sense to someone also familiar with the book).

The cast for this picture could not possibly be better — both in the first-rate Hollywood actors AND in the on-location Sicilian actors selected for those portions of the movie filmed on that island. Brando is perfect as the aging Don, Pacino portrays the inherently moral but tormented Michael extremely well, Caan is ideal as the hotheaded Sonny, and Robert Duvall, in the best role of his career, is splendid as Tom Hagen. (And I loved Simonetta Stefanelli as Apollonia)! In addition to the writing and the casting, the filming and cinematography was also excellent. Who could ever forget Sonny’s murder at the toll booth? And the baptism scene? Classic filmmaking at its best. I can’t recommend this picture highly enough — although I would strongly encourage the reading and re-reading of the novel as well. The Godfather On Demand Trailer

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Gene Hackman is great as the sadistic John Herod, he is even meaner than in Unforgiven. Russell Crowe gives a good performance as Cort, and Crowe is finally getting the attention that he deserves as a serious actor. Sharon Stone’s role does not demand all that much of her and she does what is expected of her. Leonardo DiCaprio exudes the appropriate amount of cockiness as the young upstart gunslinger. There are some good minor roles in the film, including Lance Henriksen as Ace and Keith David as Cantrell, the man secretly hired by the oppressed townfolk to take out Herod.

The most dramatic moment in the film comes when he faces Herod and the townspeople bend their heads in prayer for salvation only to be disappointed as Cantrell comes to a brutal end. Some of the other reviewers found the camera angles annoying and certain scenes unrealistic. Well, this movie doesn’t strive for realism. It is part send off of spaghetti westerns and part live action adult cartoon. If you see the movie in this spirit, you cannot help but like it. The Quick And The Dead On Demand Trailer

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I first stumbled across this movie on cable in the late 80’s. I loved it then and still do today. Great story, great casting, great acting & great period film making. Diane Lane is not to shabby either as a strippin’ diva with a taste for the fast life. Matt Dillon plays a complete craps stud who can win any dice game no matter the stakes or cash on the table. Tommy Lee Jones, Tom Skerrit, Bruce Dern & Lee Grant all contribute with awesome performances to this “Gem Club” of a movie

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