On this week’s episode, we discuss the 1998 movie Rounders, starring Matt Damon and Ed Norton. This movie was really the kick off for the huge poker boom of the late 90’s/early 00’s, and also happens to the be the first movie that we ever recasted way back in the day. Mike and I are both avid poker players so given those two factors, this pod’s a bit longer than most.
This is a movie that’s driven by really strong character development, which makes recasting it super fun. It does an excellent job of making this underground poker world feel like it has been there all along, and we just get to peek inside it. Every one of the main characters has a definitive moment within the story that really shows us who they are. All of the actors in those roles (John Turturro, Famke Janssen, John Malkovich) seem to understand this and nobody really tries to overplay the material (minus one particularly bad Russian accent).
In addition to the strong characters, the writers of this movie (David Levien & Brian Koppelman) do a fantastic job of making this movie 100% about poker, yet people who have never played before can still watch it and understand what is going on and how the game works. There’s even some terminology in the movie that I had never heard before, and still don’t know what it means, yet it gets me totally fired up. If you can tell me what “rolled up” part of the “rolled up aces over kings” line, then I’ve got a crisp fiver with your name on it.
We have been listening to all your feedback, and we know the pods are long. This one in particular because the movie and recasting it hold a special place with us. Going forward, we are going to try as best we can to get the shows to as close to the 2 hour mark as possible. We’ve already got a couple done that we’ve been able to tighten up, and those will be coming in the next few weeks.
Link to IMDB: Rounders
Link to Amazon: Buy Rounders