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Edward Rams
Edward Rams

Poker Face (2022)


Jake Foley, a tech billionaire, holds a high-stakes poker night with his childhood friends. As the night goes on, it is revealed Foley wants his friends to expose secrets they have held their entire lives. Things go awry as thieves try to rob the game, and the friends must band together to survive.




Poker Face (2022)


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At the start of Poker Face, a young woman asks Russell Crowe if she can paint his portrait for the Archibald Prize. He has been sitting quietly among the Australian art at a public gallery, contemplating his mortality. The camera lingers on his face, which now shows all of his 58 years. Where once there was the raging beauty of Maximus the gladiator, there is now a little paunch and sag, as with the rest of us.


A preface shows a group of four schoolboys who love poker and taking risks. Forty years later, Jake Foley (Crowe) is a billionaire with a health crisis. He summons the friends to a last poker game, but first, he douses their glasses with a potion that Jack Thompson, playing a shaman, has given him.


Crowe\\u2019s direction is efficient at best, intrusive at worst. He uses flashbacks and cross-cutting to a wearying degree, interrupting his own narrative. He slams music over anything heightened, when he doesn\\u2019t need to. None of this really matters if you\\u2019re grooving with the plot, but that\\u2019s a big if. For a film about poker players, it\\u2019s all a bit obvious.


In POKER FACE, Jake Foley (Russell Crowe) is a professional poker player who amassed a fortune building an online poker game in the early days of the internet, as well as even more lucrative security software. Now he's dying of pancreatic cancer. He obtains a special serum that, in small doses, makes its user tell the truth; in larger doses, it's a lethal poison. As a last hurrah, Jake decides to invite his four oldest friends -- Drew (RZA), Mike (Liam Hemsworth), Alex (Aden Young), and Paul (Steve Bastoni) -- for a high-stakes poker game. Each has a secret or a problem that needs to be aired, and the truth serum gets things going. But the evening is interrupted by another face from the past, who, with two armed helpers, has come to rob Jake of his priceless works of art.


What works well in Poker Face is the sense that these friends actually have known each other their entire lives. The way they relate to each other has a kind of emotional shorthand that feels right. Crowe sets the tone with one of his more understated performances, caring but guarded, and the others clue into his efforts perfectly. (His scenes with Jake's teen daughter, played by Molly Grace, are touching, too.) Indeed, a better movie might have been made simply focusing on the men and their poker game. And, certainly, a movie about poker could have shown more of the game itself. But for all its flaws, there's enough good stuff in Crowe's movie to make it worth dealing in.


Russell Crowe is also front and center as tech billionaire Jake Foley, seemingly still depressed about the passing of his first wife and ruminating on life. There are indisputably strange and random sequences early on, such as an artist asking if she could do a portrait of him or a visit to a shaman during this existential crisis. If you told someone this movie was about poker, they would be beyond confused during the first 45 minutes.


Fortunately, Russell Crowe is fine in the role, doing his best to make viewers slightly invest in his troubles while eliciting curiosity in his eventual scheme. Jake decides to host a reunion of friends (a truly pointless flashback opens up the movie, illuminating what the French group was like as teenagers), using his riches to let them indulge in luxurious car races and a high-stakes poker game. The catch is that participating in the card game means one must forfeit the car each has been given. Some friends are less well-off than others, feeling a need to sit at the table, which makes no sense considering these people can sell their cars.


A yearly high-stakes poker game between childhood friends turns into chaos when the tech billionaire host unveils an elaborate scheme to seek revenge for the ways they've betrayed him over the years. But as his plans unfold, a group of thieves hatch plans of their own breaking into the mansion thinking it is empty. The old friends quickly band together and the years of playing the game help them win their way through a night of terror.


Russell Crowe shuffles up elements of Casino Royale, Molly's Game, Panic Room and The Thomas Crown Affair and then deals us this total bust of a thriller that he wrote and directed. It's dull, unengaging, badly paced and incohesive, but my biggest grip about this production has got to be the casting of 32 year old Liam Hemsworth as one of Russell Crowe's childhood best friends. For those few of you who might not know... Russell Crowe is fucking 58. The old man makeup & prosthetics that they have plastered on Liam in this are goddamn horrendous and hysterical ???. I really don't know what Crowe was trying to go for with this one. At least it's well-shot and looks nice? There's also barely any poker played. If this mess is dealt to you, definitely fold!


Wealthy poker aficianado Jake Foley (Russell Crowe) organizes a big game with his childhood friends. But he has motives above and beyond reconnecting, and it doesn't take long for the problems they have between them to come to the surface. Things only get worse when Victor (Paul Tassone) and his gang of armed thugs break in.


Russell Crowe's second film as a director (after 2014's The Water Diviner) is an action crime drama with numerous disparate parts, most of which flunk in coming together effectively. The background has undoubtedly been provided with a convincing look by art director Patrick James Howe and cinematographer Aaron McLisky but looking reasonable is pretty much all it does satisfactorily. The script, written by Crowe and Stephen M. Coates, follows Jake Foley, a tech billionaire portrayed by Crowe, who invites his buddies over to his luxurious estate for a high-stakes game of poker.


Poker Face (2022) Summary and Synopsis:Jake Foley (Russell Crowe) is a gambler and a businessman. His proficiency in riding the luck has made him a billionaire and an avid collector of rare paintings. His gambling muse is Poker. And for that, he is grateful to his childhood buddies. It was the company of Drew (RZA), Mikey (Liam Hemsworth), Paul (Steve Bastoni), and Alex (Aden Young) that helped young Jake find solace through the decks of hearts, clubs, diamonds, and spades. Jake currently lives with his second wife, Nicole (Brooke Satchwell), and his daughter, Bec (Molly Grace). The perennially growing distance between Nicole and Jake is palpable, as is the love shared between Bec and Jake. It has been implied that it has been some time since Jake has met all his above-mentioned friends. Now, when Jake finally has come to an end, in the form of last stage cancer diagnosis, he decides to round his friends up for one last poker night.


What Does Poker Represent Here?Poker here certainly represents an outlook that Russell Crowe infused through the narration of Jake Foley. If you stay long enough at the poker table, you are bound to win eventually. When all his friends were given poorer hands, Jake came as the benevolent dealer. He provides all of them with enough money, and peace of mind, to survive and thrive. He provides them with a better hand. That seems to be the motto Jake channels. He wanted his daughter, and his friends to go by the outlook where it does not matter whether the glass is half empty or half full. As long as you have the conviction to fill it up again.


The film opens with a flashback to a group of teens playing poker before getting into a fight with a local bully and jumping from a cliff into a small lake. It is a wholesome and very Stand By Me-like moment that is soon revealed to be the main characters as kids. In the present, Jake Foley (Russell Crowe) explains his connection forged that day with his closest friends, including Drew (RZA). The friends became business partners when their love of poker turned into the development of software used by governments around the world. Now filthy rich, Jake goes on a spiritual retreat where he contends with devastating news about his health. Reflecting on the death of his first wife in a car accident, Jake conceives of a plan involving his friends whom he gathers at his home for a high-stakes card game. Arriving via a makeshift car race, addict Mike (Liam Hemsworth), politician Paul (Steve Bastoni), and writer Alex (Aden Young) join Drew and Jake for a live-changing game/


Plot: A tech billionaire hosts a high-stakes poker game between friends, but the evening takes a turn when long-held secrets are revealed, an elaborate revenge plot unfolds, and thieves break in.


Laurent Rejto, director of the Hudson Valley Film Commission, said they put out a casting notice on Facebook and elsewhere for actors with casino experience as a poker or blackjack dealer, as well as for background actors, or extras, in the upcoming series. As of Tuesday, the commission had recommended 10 actors to play casino dealers.


Details of the drama series have not yet been released, but entertainment database site IMDb describes the plot for the first episode as a high-stakes game of poker hosted by a tech billionaire who gathers childhood friends at his Miami estate. 041b061a72


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