Before "21" came along, there was Pierre Gill's "The Last Casino," which is about Professor Barnes played very well by Charles Martin Smith creating his own card counting team to win a huge fortune in Canada's major casinos -- and, oh yes, Barnes also needs the money to pay off his booky Mr. Orr who has his own peculiar way of ensuring the prompt repayment of outstanding debts.
Many factors contribute to making this under-appreciated film a jewel. To begin with, you can tell the writer Steven Westren put a lot of thought into his screenplay. He created original characters, including the ones that only had small parts. He put the protagonists -- essentially the team of card counters, Elyse Katherine Isabelle , Scott Kris Lemche and George Albert Chung -- in the kinds of situations you or I would never expect in a film like this.
But most importantly, Pierre Gill and Steven Westren succeeded in filling the scenes at the gambling table with tension and thereby conjured up the feelings and impulses of the people who were prepared to put tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table on a single bet. I also appreciated the surprise at the end of the film, which is so cleverly done that it may leave many of the viewers scratching their heads.
The other factor that makes this film great are the performances. Charles Martin Smith does a great job as the professor whose deep in debt, because his gambling via card counting finally got the best of him. Katherine Isabelle puts in a good performance as Elyse, as does Kris Lemche and Albert Chung as her companions so that, by the end, we as an audience are able to sympathize with all of them.
But the one person who almost steals the show in this movie is Julian Richings whose performance as Mr. Orr must go down in the history books as one of the best if not the best villain roles in recent times. After reading all the great reviews on this film I decided to rent it. Not only is it about gambling, one of my favourite movie subjects but it is a Canadian film. I have watched a few Canadian films in the past and haven't been too impressed with the stories.
This is not true with The Last Casino. I would recommend this to anyone who likes gambling themes in movies. This film definitely had a good story and good character development. Cinematography is great with different shades and hues depending on the locations. The actors are not very well known which adds to this films allure. I feel that you really get into the characters if you don't have any sort of pre conceived ideas of what they are all about, or if they haven't been type casted.
Well worth the rental and I would even suggest a purchase of this DVD for your home collection. It does however lack extra features, meaning there are none whatsoever. To summarize the story The movie centres around a math professor with a gambling problem, he is bankrolled by a mafioso type character that looks like he has a heroin problem.
Things start to go bad when the professor gets banned from the casinos and his disguises are not fooling the eye in the sky. This is when he recruits 3 students to become part of his gambling ring to count cards and bet big to pay back his gambling debts.
Various twists and turns in the movie makes this an interesting viewing. When I first tuned into this movie on the movie network, I didn't expect much because it is a Canadian film. But by the end of the movie, I had a different appreciation of what Canadian film makers can accomplish. This movie kept me interested throughout, and didn't need a huge budget to do so. The storyline is well written and the direction is top notch.
The subtle humor and mature language was also well-placed. If you like cards, or casinos, or movies involving scamming money, this is the film for you. The fairly new cast does a great job. She is a talented actress and beautiful to boot. If you're looking for a good Canadian film, this has got to be one of the best. This is a definite must-see. As a person who has been "asked" to leave a casino for keeping a running bias count, I obviously have a interest in the subject matter.
The plot centers around a college professor who has been banned from the casino s in his area for counting cards. He owes a good bit of money to the "investors" who has been banking him. He recruits kids good at math from the university to win money back from the casino. I always like the idea of someone sticking it to the casinos as the casinos give such horrible odds to players. The fun of the movie is how the kids react and handle the pressure of using a system to beat the casino.
The systems they use in the movie would not work in Casino's in Vegas and Atlantic City but variations of the system has been used for a long time by card counters. This is a fun little movie for anyone who has been to a casino especially anyone who plays blackjack.
Tsai-Weerasethakul 8 June Its a story about a professor called Barnes who got a Thats why he recruits 3 students Elyse Katharine Isabelle , Scott and George and teaches them the art of card counting. Its really fun to watch the friendship of 3 totally different people to grow so fast, watch them getting better and better in card counting and winning all the money. The reason i watched this movie was because of Katharine Isabelle favorite actress but in the first minutes of the movie i saw that this is going to be fun because i always liked movies about casinos, money and this kinda cheating.
Its not so popular probably because its a TV movie and made in Canada No offense or anything but it should be. If you get the chance to see this awesome movie than do it! Aiike 20 April Honestly this movie is one of those made just for college kids.
I personally don't think it is that bad of a movie, more to the contrary i think it is one of those quality film production from first time movie directors. However i wonder why the movies pace was all over the place. It went fast and slow and then all over the place. More to the point if you wanted to watch this movie it is a great 90 minutes of passing time. However if your looking for a movie more based on drama in the casino go watch the movie Casino.
This movie more or less touches on many subjects involved with the casino. How people cheat casinos and so on! But the thing about this movie that bugs me the most is the stereo types portrayed in the movie. They put the movies players in roles whereby we all know exactly what they are and how the movie will involve them when we first meet them. Enough ranting. End of the day. Good movie. Alright I admit I have been known to poke fun at "uniquely" Canadian films.
This seems to mean that it has to include Beer, Hockey, horrible East Coast accents, boats of some kind, winter, and Native Americans. The Last Casino is the story of a gambling addicted card counting University Professor who works for professionals who have been bankrolling him up until his latest Casino catches on to him as a professional and bars him for life. His financial support pulls out and wants their bankroll back but unfortunately Professor Doug Barnes has blown the bankroll on his own obsession Barnes encourages his financiers to give him another shot by training a team of top University Math Students, genius' to count cards and work together to triple the profit.
They give him some time to do such. Barnes begins to assemble the best possible team he can find. Elyse, a photographic memory, outspoken, independent and smart. Scott a brilliant Math student who is as smooth as he is brilliant and finally George a nervous, shy but astounding analytical mind.
The plan is foolproof until the team starts to slip and Barnes gambling addiction gets worse. When it comes down to it, Barnes will try to double cross the team while paying back his financiers but are they too smart for him?? A truly dark comedy with a unique and talented cast. There were some familiar faces for good measure in the necessary character roles.
The freakishly frightening looking Julian Richings as the guy with all the cash and Charles Martin Smith as the pitiful but brilliant Professor Barnes. The kids are the real shining point though. The strangely seductive Katharine Isabelle in a very outspoken role, a strong female lead. Kris Lemche as the cocky Scott who adds a certain amount of male hunk to the film and the comically funny, and yet tragically entertaining George is played by Albert Chung. The three of them, although very different characters play off each other and have a great chemistry as a team.
Their constant fights and squabbles show of their differences in character but in the end working together as a team works best. They need each other and the three of them are more loners than they care to admit in different ways. The Last Casino takes you into a very dark, broody, yet flashy world of cards and gambling with an overtone that makes it suspenseful and interesting.
It's definitely a good watch for anyone looking for something different and something Canadian with actual Brains for once. One of the best gambling movies to date! I was watching a bit of wind down TV just before kicking off to sleep when I stumbled upon the Last Casino. I must say I was immediately captivated by the introductory scenes and story line. I was kept awake because of the pace of the movie, it got my attention right away. I've been a fan of the movie "Rounders" with Matt Damon and Edward Norton, and most recently the TV series "Vegas", so I was naturally curious to see which way this would go.
I have to say this movie was awesome. This is a must see as it shows a most interesting side of gambling not seen often. I've always been intrigued by gambling and felt there is much more than luck involved. I was also delightfully surprised that this was a Canadian flick and nice to see our colored money. Especially to see it being won in large sums. What a respected actor like Charles Martin Smith is doing in this Canadian clunker, is a true mystery?
The most common form of casino trickery is card counting, a method glamorised in popular movies like The Hangover and The idea being that a few smart players with some math skills can take a casino for millions of dollars after just a few hands of blackjack. In reality, though, the mental capacity and memory required are far greater than the average human is capable of. Well, casinos spend a lot of money making sure that the rule stays true.
Think you can simply pop next door and try again at the next casino? Fat chance. Popular gambling hotspots like the Las Vegas strip may look like they have an endless supply of casinos to choose from, but the big operators control hundreds of smaller casinos spread around the city, just like how online casino sites host thousands of smaller sister casinos.
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