I enjoy a good game of poker.  I’ll even watch it on television if there’s nothing else worth my time on.  I’m not obsessed with it or anything close to a poker nerd.  Depending on what group of friends I’m playing with, I’m either lucky to win my buy-in back, or they’re lucky I don’t win it all.  When you think of a movie which has to do with poker, the inevitable thought is Rounders.  That was one of the best sports movies of all time, because it wasn’t just about poker.  With poker somewhat on the decline in popularity, to be honest, this new movie comes late to the frenzy and with a disappointing game.

Starting this August 19th, now available on DVD from MGM Home Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes the only poker movie to be officially endorsed by the World Poker Tour.  Deal will bluff it’s way into your living room and you will find it raking in pots far below your expectations.  Bring home this sub-par sad tale today.

Burt Reynolds (painfully past his prime and with the worst cosmetic surgery nightmare since Tara Reid), Bret Harrison (his claim to fame is being on a show on the CW, and not one of the good ones either), Jennifer Tilly (not a big name and she’s in maybe three minutes of the film), and Shannon Elizabeth (painfully gorgeous although a god-awful actress) all star in this lackluster film.  Bret plays a kid who has just graduated from college and is on his way to law school, toiling away as a law clerk in his dad’s law firm.  But he has a talent for poker and Burt is going to try and draw that out of him.  Burt promised his wife he’d never play again, and even though he isn’t quite doing that, it’s close enough for his wife to leave him.  Burt pushes Bret into talking to a girl who he scores with, but it turns out she was Shannon Elizabeth as a hooker.  Burt and Bret fall apart but meet up at the final table of the WPT $6 million championships.  It’s poor plot, predictable action and a horrid conclusion.

The special features included in this DVD are a featurette taking a deeper look into the activity of poker and a trailer for Street Kings.  This is a disappointing amount and quality of special features, something which could have farther to making this movie an enjoyable experience.

Knowing who was starring in this movie, I went into it with few expectations and this film landed below even that.  The characters stayed stagnant and there was no development, no being confronted with hard truths.  Tilly and Elizabeth were hardly in the film at all and could have been agents of the plot or even something interesting, but they simply dropped off the face of the earth after their few moments of relative attractiveness.  This movie will do little more than fuel all the unrealistic dreams of those losers who sit in their basements eating Doritos and listening to Radiohead while playing online poker.  You can’t make a career out of it, your life story won’t be interesting, and if they ever make a movie out of what happens to you while you try, it will suck as badly as this one does.

This Deal leaves movie fans drawing dead.

This DVD is available at Amazon.com.

Nathaniel Jonet

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