(Drew Barrymore, Eric Bana, et al / DVD / PG-13 / 2007 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: Ante up for a sure entertainment bet from L.A. Confidential director Curtis Hanson, who co-wrote this charmer with fellow Academy Award winner Eric Roth (Forrest Gump). Pro gambler Huck Cheever (Eric Bana) meets irresistible Billie Offer (Drew Barrymore) and learns to treat love the way he treats cards: trusting his heart instead of his head. He also scrambles to raise the entry fee for the high-roller World Series of Poker, even though - or maybe because - the tournament may pit him against his estranged father (Robert Duvall), a two-time Series winner.
DVD Verdict: This story takes place in Las Vegas in 2003, and revolves around a young gambling addict Huck Cheever, played by Eric Bana. Bana's entire performance never rises above a monotone. At the five minute mark the first song is played, and it's pretty interesting that it's "Lucky Town" by Bruce Springsteen which was released in 1992. The main character displays every characteristic of being a helpless gambling addict, which is at least a serious problem, if not a disease, yet in the entire two hour movie, only one or two small comments are made regarding this.
The main sub-plot is the fact that Huck's Father (Played by Robert Duvall) deserted the family and stole from Huck's mother. Duvall, whose hair looks like it was put on with a shoe shine kit, has won the world series of poker twice, and the entire story leads to a confrontation with both Father and son competing against each other in this years world series of poker.
The pace of the film is slow and meanders throughout. In the middle of the movie there are two scenes that would have been a perfect place to make a statement about true gambling addiction problems, but the writers let it pass by without even an attempt at making a redeeming social comment. Father and son meet in a coffee shop around breakfast time, and Huck had just finally put together $10,000.00 in a backers money for the entry fee for the world series of poker. In ten minutes, the Father wins it from him, and the next scene is Huck making a $5,000.00 bet (With money he doesn't have!) That he can run five miles and then play 18 holes of scratch golf all in under three hours.
Of course, he loses that bet too. While this is going on Drew Barrymore has a supporting role as Huck's new love interest. I won't give away the tepid ending, but you can bet, that it wasn't "bad luck" , that made this movie disappear from theaters in the "blink of an eye". This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
The Players at the Table: Behind the Scenes with the Poker Players from the Movie
The Reel Deal - The Time and Place of 'Lucky You'