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Writer-director Hue Rhodes' debut is a poorly-paced, forgettable comedy that wastes the quirky talents of stars Steve Buscemi and Sarah Silverman.
All Critics (52)
| Top Critics (22)
| Fresh (12)
| Rotten (40)
| DVD (1)
Comic casting and comic timing pay off in most scenes, with Dinklage landing the big laughs, Malco doing his wise-guy-talking-down-to-the-doofus patter and Buscemi just bugging out and reacting to the craziness.
It's a kind of cinematic purgatory, halfway between eternal reward and eternal damnation. The question is: What did I do to deserve such mediocrity?
Saint John of Las Vegas was a bad script that somehow got made into a bad movie with good people in it.
For all its clever quirkiness, the end product seems flat and over-thought, which isn't to say it's a bad first step for this ambitious novice director, just a long way from something that will set the world on fire.
This debut feature by Hue Rhodes offers a wealth of skilled players and admirably offbeat gags yet seldom manages to generate any laughs.
It's minor, but I enjoyed it, largely because of the people on-screen, but also for the sneaky sincerity of writer-director Hue Rhodes' chronicle of one compulsive gambler's slouch toward redemption.
Far from a masterpiece, but Rhodes gives Buscemi a role ripe with emotion and a fascinating complexity. Buscemi returns the favor by powering the film with an engaging oddity.
The performances are strong--even the minor characters--and the atmosphere and tone are spot-on for a dark comedy.
Buscemi playing Buscemi is still entertaining, even after all these years.
You can take a gambler out of Las Vegas, but you can't take Las Vegas out of a gambler.
good for a quick laugh, but ultimately an empty gesture.
... slightly less than the sum of its parts ...
Very, very loosely based on the work of Dante Alighieri, this is a quirky and offbeat indie road movie that would have been right at home circa 1994.
The story concerns a compulsive gambler named John who tries to rid himself of his addiction by moving from Las Vegas to Albuquerque. He finds work at an auto insurance company, and finds potential romance with a smiley faced obsessed co-worker named Jill, but his old temptations make a comeback when he gets sent out to investigate a dubious car accident on the outskirts of Sin City. Along the way, John and his co-worker Virgil, and experienced fraud investigator, meet a series of colorful characters who, in their own way, help John try to fight off his demons for good.
I should love this movie. It's Buscemi headlining a quirky indie that's populated by odd characters played by a host of fun character actors. I mean, we get Tim Blake Nelson as a nude militant, John Cho as a 'human torch' performer at a carnival, Emanuelle Chriqui as a paraplegic stripper, Romany Malco as Virgil, and Sarah Silverman as Jill, so how could this fail? Oh yeah, there's also Peter Dinklage as John's boss, and Danny Trejo and Aviva (Nikola from Superbad) making cameos as well.
Here's how it falls short: there's no real story here. It's aimless, half-baked, and lazy. The situations make for a good set up, but the direction is lackluster, inept, and severely lacking. It doesn't do enough with the concept to really make it worth it. Plus, the shots and composition are pretty half-assed, ruining the potential for more humor and cleverness.
I'd rate it lower, but Buscemi does elevate it some. It's pointless, but somehow not boring. I can't explain that. Maybe I'd like it more if it really did come out back in the 90s. At least then I'd be able to excuse it for cashing in on the zeitgeist. Since it's from 2009, I unfortunately can't be as forgiving.
After a long string of bad luck gambling in his hometown of Las Vegas, John(Steve Buscemi) decides to try to live a normal life. He's moved to Albuquerque and works for an auto insurance company. One day he gets offered a chance to move up by helping with the investigation of an accident and trying to prove it's fraudulent. The accident took place outside of Vegas, and his old gambling addiction comes back and he's once again at the mercy of temptation. Buscemi does a fantastic job with such a subpar movie. He's usually great, and here he is his usual awesome self. The whole cast is terrific. Peter Dinklage, Sarah Silverman, and Romney Malco all do great with the little their given. The story is interesting, but it feels like it's missing quite a bit. The movie runs at 85 minutes, which is good as it short and paced good. But, it feels like this movie needed more, and given more it could have been a great movie. Instead, it's like lost potential. Watch for the great cast, but don't expect a great movie to match. If you want a low budget independent movie dealing with Vegas, check out "The Cooler" instead.
"Getting Lucky is a Roll of the Dice"
I was intrigues by this movie because it had Steve Buscemi in the leading role and Romany Malco, who I really liked in Weeds. The movie could never really pull itself together though. I really have no idea what this movie was trying to accomplish or what it was trying to be.
Saint John of Las Vegas had some pretty bizarre scenes that were okay like the discussion with a carnival performer who kept bursting into flames. After a couple of scenes though, everything else are just throw away scenes that don't work. Buscemi and Malco weren't bad, they just had nothing to work with. Silverman was her usual annoying self. I dont see how anyone can like her. She isn't funny at all.
It seems to me like the writer and director was trying to be too original. The premise could have been cool had it actually turned into a real movie, but it never does.
I was really hoping to like this. I always like to enjoy an Independent film that nobody else likes or has seen. This one just can't be enjoyed though; too bad.
An insurance claims adjuster with a gambling problem is sent to Las Vegas to investigate a wheelchair-bound stripper's car accident. The gambling addiction makes for a nice hook and the cast is appealing (Steve Buscemi and Sarah Silverman), but it never really comes together as a comedy. For unclear reasons, there are lots of references to Dante's "Inferno."
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