House Of Games (1987)
Genre: Cime Mystery Thriller
Starring: Joe Mantegna (Thinner; "The Simpsons"), Lindsay Crouse (Iceman)
Directed By: David Mamet (The Spanish Prisoner; Heist)
Overview: A best-selling psychiatrist promises to help a troubled gambling addict by visiting the bookie who holds the debt. She soon find herself caught up in a web of lies and intrigue by the confidence man she meets.
Acting: Is Joe Mantegna a terrible actor? I don't think so. Is he merely a BAD actor and the industry knows it so all he can muster up is crappy roles in shitty movies? Absolutely! Lindsay Crouse though? A woman who tries to look the least sexy possible in her short David Caruso haircut and ultra-professional business attire to such a degree that either she's a stonefaced advocate for women's rights (not like a piece of meat but like an inhuman emotionless piece of furniture...) or the director is in denial about his arousal of the content in Tiger Beat. *shudder*
Cinematography: Least memorable scenes include:
- A stairwell, the camera centered on the handrail as the people pass - ?!
- a flush poker hand perfectly fanned out, with a pistol lying across it. Can we say contrived?
-The constant and terrible outdated fashion and common filthy (but not filthy poetic) streets of the mire that was the 80s
- The climactic scene full of too-tight shots in the blandest, smallest, cheapest hotel room imaginable, not to mention the bland airport luggage room scene vast and equally bland.
Script: "Oh... you're a bad pony, and I'm not going to bet on you."
Was that supposed to be witty? It was somewhat laughable, but maybe it was Mantegna and his consistently terrible delivery. Only on occasion did the script provide an element of wit or interesting conversation, besides that is just moved the plot forward like a steamroller...
Plot: Imagine a movie where we clearly see the element of our character's 'conscience'. Guilt: it exists in her, that's established. Then have the climax. Her character changes completely. Dare I say to a psychotic point? No, this film doesn't dare delve into madness in such a cool way. It's just an easy excuse for a dramatic thriller-style ending, which by the way is atrocious. What a stupid joke on me.
Mood: How best to clearly illustrate how transparent this movie is? First of all the predictability was so obvious that I knew every scene for what it was. Oh and get this: when Mantegna seduces the woman (ugh!) and takes her to a hotel room, we see them go into the room, then all of a sudden she'd sitting on a chair buttoning up her blouse. Did I miss something? Not even a kiss? Worse yet, not even a hint of sweat or tussled hair on either of them. Could you please end this bad memory?! This movie sucked in every way possible. DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME.
Overall Rating: 36% (House Of Lames)
Aftertaste: The only reason I ever heard of this movie is because it was on Roger Ebert's list of best 100 films. I thought I'd expand my 'must-see' list to include the mainstream favorites. Imagine the proud display on the film's coverbox: Ebert's quote: "The year's best film". Ebert, you're a puckering dolt. 1987 saw such films as Good Morning Vietnam and Kubric's Full Metal Jacket, two movies that are far better than this hunk of wasted celluloid. My guest also found this film just as stupid and irrelevant in the scheme of film. Not a yardstick of the con film, Rounders does it much better, so does Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels...
Thank God I bought this movie at a garage sale for $1.00.