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The Game of Poker in James Bond Films

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007 Has A License to Thrill!

Suave, sophisticated, and debonair. Few characters can hold a candle to him; he is cool personified and he’s MI6s golden boy – James Bond. For those uninitiated in the ways of Bond, he’s best described as a masterful survivor and a peerless secret agent. He has all the cunning, gall, and bravado needed to survive in the cutthroat world of international espionage. If there’s one fictional character who can hold his poker face – it’s James Bond.

Over the years, multiple stars have portrayed this legendary character. They include Sean Connery (1962 – 1967; 1971 & 1983), David Niven (1967), George Lazenby (1969), Roger Moore (1973 – 1985), Timothy Dalton (1986 – 1994), Pierce Brosnan (1995 – 2005) and Daniel Craig (2006 to the present day). Of all the James Bond stars, none other than Sir Roger Moore has portrayed the British secret agent as many times as Sean Connery.

Bond has always had a taste for the finer things in life, including lavish accommodations at the world’s premier hotel and casino resorts, expensive buy-ins at blackjack and poker tournaments, and a penchant for the world’s most beautiful women. These include unforgettable screen names like Honey Ryder, Sylvia Trench, Tatiana Romanova, Tiffany Case, Jill Masterson, Pussy Galore, Solitaire, Domino Derval, Melina Havelock, Octopussy Aki, and Teresa Bond.

Daniel Craig Reboots Bond Franchise with Masterful Display in Casino Royale

Perhaps the most memorable aspect of Bond’s persona is his seemingly gratuitous love of gambling. However, with Bond it never appears to be gambling as much as it is a calculated risk. Bond is most comfortable at Monaco casinos and Las Vegas casinos. He has dabbled in a multitude of games including Baccarat – Dr. No 1962, Craps – Diamonds are Forever 1971, and Texas Hold’em Poker – Casino Royale 2006.

It is the latter game and film which exemplifies his prowess with cards. In this film, the contest was played at the Casino Royale in Monte Carlo. Incidentally, the entire premise of the movie was based on gambling. Bond played hardball against Le Chiffre in one of the most gruelling head-to-head encounters of Texas Hold’em ever captured on screen.

Casino Royale, the 2006 film starring Daniel Craig was a runaway success at the box office. It rebooted the Bond franchise with domestic takings of $167,445,960 and foreign earnings of $431,600,000 for a grand total of $599,045,960. That the film came at a hefty price tag of $150 million is relatively insignificant given that this is the #4 ranked James Bond film of all time.

At #1 is Skyfall with $304 million, #2 Spectre with $200 million, and #3 Quantum of Solace with $168 million (based on domestic rankings). What rings true throughout is Bond’s affinity with skill and strategy-based games. He is an expert card counter, and he keeps a poker face better than most.

Why Is Poker Such an Important Component of the James Bond Lore?

Movie aficionados may be curious as to why Texas Hold’em Poker was the game of choice in Casino Royale. There are many games that the filmmakers could have selected to do justice to the Bond character. While Baccarat is certainly a high roller’s choice, it is a gambling game nonetheless. Bond is known to be a risk taker, but with poker it’s a calculated risk that is being taken.

Texas Holdem has enjoyed a dramatic resurgence in popularity since the early 2000’s, thanks to the runaway success of the World Series of Poker which is played at the Rio All Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. This multi-million-dollar poker contest – the WSOP has breathed new life into the game and given rise to a new generation of poker players.

Combine the skill, wit, and strategy of poker with the cool, cunning and bravado of James Bond – the results speak for themselves. In Casino Royale, Daniel Craig brought a sharp edge to the Bond character. Throughout the 1980s and beyond, Bond became synonymous with cheesy dialogue, one-liners, and static characters. Daniel Craig brought depth and darkness to Bond in much the same way as Christian Bale brought a brooding and foreboding sense to Batman after the rather campy performances of actors like Adam West, Michael Keaton and Val Kilmer.

James Bond is Holding the Nuts & He Knows It!

Daniel Craig brought toughness to the character and did justice to the writing of Ian Fleming. While the character remains formulaic, audiences get to see a different side of Bond – one that struggles with internal conflicts and emotional distress. That he can rise above this and emerge victorious is extraordinary. The trials and tribulations experienced by Bond are synonymous with the game of poker.

This game is often fraught with insurmountable challenges and is regarded as the ultimate game of attrition. Players are tasked with playing their cards, as well as the players at the table. It’s a game of wits; the winner is the player who can withstand an unrelenting barrage of assaults from other players and emerge victorious at the showdown. For these and many other reasons, poker remains the go-to casino card game for the heroes of Hollywood.

 

Editor-in-Chief of Movie Marker. Likes: Scorsese, Spielberg and Tarantino Dislikes: The film 'Open Water' I mean, what was that all about?

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Features

All the UK Streaming Goodness Coming in November 2018

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Between the increasing number of streaming platforms in our lives, there’s far too much great entertainment being released day after day for any sane person to keep track of. 

There’s streaming giant Netflix, the curated offerings of MUBI, all the latest releases on NOW TV, and online video emporium Amazon Prime. There’s something for everyone, on demand, just waiting to be selected. What a time to be alive!

But that doesn’t help when you’re looking for something to wile away the evening with, so let us lighten the load and make your viewing choice that little bit easier with our weekly updated round-up of everything being added to your favourite platform.

Thursday, November 1st

PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE USED SOLELY FOR ADVERTISING, PROMOTION, PUBLICITY OR REVIEWS OF THIS SPECIFIC MOTION PICTURE AND TO REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE STUDIO. NOT FOR SALE OR REDISTRIBUTION.

  • Alvin and the Chipmunks
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
  • Bride Wars
  • Get Santa
  • Monte Carlo

Friday, November 2nd

  • Homecoming: Season 1
  • The Romanoffs: Season 1 (new episode)
  • You Were Never Really Here

Saturday, November 3rd

  • Blow
  • Jack the Giant Slayer
  • Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
  • The Outlaw Josey Wales
  • Swordfish

Sunday, November 4th

  • Big Momma’s House

Monday, November 5th

  • Note
  • Outlander: Season 4 (new episode)

Wednesday, November 7th

  • The Purge: Season 1 (new episode)

Thursday, November 8th

  • The Girl Next Door

Friday, November 9th

  • Patriot: Season 2
  • The Romanoffs: Season 1 (new episode)

Wednesday, November 14th

  • Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?

Friday, November 16th

  • Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams
  • The Gymkhana Files: Season 1
  • Mirzapur: Season 1
  • The Romanoffs: Season 1 (new episode)

 

Monday, November 5th

  • Pyaasa

Tuesday, November 6th

  • Wishing Well

Wednesday, November 7th

  • The Dead Nation

Friday, November 9th

  • 9 Fingers

Sunday, November 11th

  • Blue Black Permanent

Monday, November 12th

  • Kaagaz Ke Phool

Tuesday, November 13th

  • From its Mouth Came a River of High-End Residential Appliances

Wednesday, November 14th

  • The Criminal

Thursday, November 15th

  • The Servant

 

Thursday, November 1st

  • Angela’s Christmas
  • Calico Critters
  • Calico Critters: A Town of Dreams
  • Calico Critters: The Treasure of Calico Village
  • Children of Men
  • Crusoe
  • Dead Set
  • Deadly Expose
  • Edge of Fear
  • Expatriot
  • Follow This: Part 3
  • Hang ‘Em High
  • The Hooligan Factory
  • In a Valley of Violence
  • The Judgement: Season 1 (new episode)
  • Katt Williams: The Pimp Chronicles: Pt. 1
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Malone
  • Our House
  • Robocop (1987)
  • Selma
  • Sleepwalker
  • Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
  • The Tigers of Scotland
  • The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

Friday, November 2nd

  • Brainchild
  • Daybreakers
  • The Good Place: Season 3 (new episode)
  • The Holiday Calendar
  • House of Cards: Season 6
  • The Other Side of the Wind
  • ReMastered (new episode)
  • They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead
  • Trolls: The Beat Goes On!: Season 4

Saturday, November 3rd

  • Allied
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Season 4 (new episode)
  • Dynasty: Season 2 (new episode)
  • A Taiwanese Tale of Two Cities: Season (new episode)

Sunday, November 4th

Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj

  • 6th November
  • Black Lightning: Season 2 (new episode)
  • The Light Between Oceans
  • Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (new episode)

Monday, November 5th

  • John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons
  • Oh My Ghost: Season 1 (new episode)

Tuesday, November 6th

  • The Late Bloomer

Thursday, November 8th

  • The Judgement: Season 1 (new episode)
  • Neighbors
  • Riverdale: Season 2 (new episode)

Friday, November 9th

  • Ali G Indahouse
  • An American Tail
  • BASEketball
  • Beat Bugs: Season 3
  • The Best of Me
  • The Good Place: Season 3 (new episode)
  • King Kong (2005)
  • Made of Honor: Season 1
  • Outlaw King
  • The Perfect Man
  • La Reina del Flow
  • The Sinner
  • Spirit Riding Free: Season 7
  • Super Drags: Season 1
  • Treehouse Detectives
  • Waterworld
  • Westside: Season 1

Saturday, November 10th

  • Almost Christmas
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Season 4 (new episode)
  • Dynasty: Season 2 (new episode)
  • Limitless
  • P.S. I Love You
  • A Taiwanese Tale of Two Cities: Season (new episode)

Sunday, November 11th

  • Arrival
  • Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (new episode)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Monday, November 12th

  • Oh My Ghost: Season 1 (new episode)

Tuesday, November 13th

  • Black Lightning: Season 2 (new episode)
  • Loudon Wainwright III: Surviving Twin
  • Warrior

Thursday, November 15th

  • Coach Carter
  • The Crew
  • The Judgement: Season 1 (new episode)
  • May the Devil take You
  • Red Riding Hood
  • Riverdale: Season 2 (new episode)
  • The Windsors

Friday, November 16th

  • 2 Guns
  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  • Cam
  • Dogs: Season 1
  • The Good Place: Season 3 (new episode)
  • The Kominsky Method
  • Narcos: Mexico
  • Ponysitters Club: Season 2
  • Prince of Peoria
  • The Princess Switch
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Season 1

Saturday, November 17th

  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Season 4 (new episode)
  • Dynasty: Season 2 (new episode)
  • A Taiwanese Tale of Two Cities: Season (new episode)

Sunday, November 18th

  • Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (new episode)

 

 

Friday, November 2nd

Three Billboards Day 04_118.dng

  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Saturday, November 3rd

  • Mary and the Witch’s Flower

Sunday, November 4th

  • Honey: Rise Up and Dance

Monday, November 5th

  • Black Butterfly

Tuesday, November 6th

  • A Christmas Cruise

Wednesday, November 7th

  • The Nile Hilton Incident

Thursday, November 8th

  • Waiting for You

Friday, November 9th

  • Darkest Hour

Saturday, November 10th

  • Better Watch Out

Sunday, November 11th

  • Spinning Man

Monday, November 12th

  • Dark Crimes

Tuesday, November 13th

  • A Bramble House Christmas

Wednesday, November 14th

  • Let the Sunshine In

Thursday, November 15th

  • Stephanie

Friday, November 16th

  • Game Night

Saturday, November 17th

  • Mom and Dad

That’s it for this week, but don’t forget to check back each week for a fresh round of new releases for the UK on streaming platforms Amazon Prime, MUBI, NOW TV, and Netflix.

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Features

The Four Most Underrated Casino Movies of all Time

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When it comes to cinematic representation, there’s little room for the casino industry to complain. With built-in glamour and drama and no shortage of cash on the line, casinos are ideal locations to base critical moments and, indeed, entire movies. 

From Casino Royale’s nail-biting poker scene to Ocean’s Eleven’s daring casino heist and Casino’s, well, casino, there are dozens of amazing movies utilising casinos as central plot devices. 

But what about those casino movies which never seem to quite get the recognition they deserve? We’re talking about the less high-profile pictures that deserve your time just as much as the big boys. 

In this guide, we’re going to share with you some of our very favourite underrated casino movies. Let’s go. 

Bugsy   

Las Vegas, today a gambling haven, was not long ago a deserted wasteland in the middle of one of America’s least habitable areas. Bugsy (1991), directed by Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Good Morning Vietnam), tackles that very subject and boasts a 80% overall score at https://www.metacritic.com/movie/bugsy.  

The film reveals how gangster Ben “Bugsy” Siegel effectively built the industry in Nevada by starting large-scale development in the Las Vegas Valley. It’s a beautifully acted, stylish and fascinating picture which features the talents of Warren Beatty, Harvey Keitel, Annette Bening and Ben Kingsley. 

[Source: Pixabay] 

The Cincinnati Kid 

Steve McQueen, that cinematic icon, lent his talents to over 40 movies and TV shows during his tragically short life, but few roles are as underrated as his turn as The Cincinnati Kid (1965). 

Starring as Eric Stoner, he was the Cincinnati Kid, a young poker player out to build a name for himself as the best around. How do you do that? Well, you beat the best player around – Lancey “The Man” Howard (Edward G. Robinson). 

What follows is pure drama, and shouldn’t be missed. 

Ocean’s 11 (1960) 

Overshadowed by its more recent remake, the original Ocean’s 11 deserves a critical reappraisal and is well worth a revisit. Originally thought of as little more than a vehicle for five members of the Rat Pack (Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Joey Bishop), it remains a rollicking heist movie about big risks and big rewards. 

Of course, with the likes of https://games.paddypower.com/c/daily-jackpots offering jackpots of over £300k on games such as slots and roulette, you’d sooner head there than plan the heist of the century these days. Anyone got a time machine? It’d save those boys an awful lot of effort.  

Owning Mahowny 

Based on a true story, Owning Mahowny (2003) discovers what happens when you give a man with a gambling problem access to millions of dollars. Full information about the film can be found at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0285861/ 

Bank employee Dan Mahowny (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) syphons off money from accounts at his bank to feed his habit, spurred on by sleazy casino boss Victor (John Hurt), as his life begins to spiral out of control. It’s a beautifully pitched film with a reliably stunning performance by the dearly missed Phillip Seymour Hoffman. 

And there we have it! Four casino movies which run the emotional gamut. Perhaps that’s the timeless appeal of casinos as a setting, that under one roof you can have thousands of stories, each as fascinating as the next. Think we’ve missed your favourite underrated casino movie? Comment below!  

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Features

6 Great Smartphone Apps for the Film Fan 

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While on the set of Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola once said that the prevalence of video would make it possible for everyone to be a filmmaker. He was almost right. It took a little longer than he anticipated but now, thanks to the digital revolution, everyone with a smartphone is a potential filmmaker ready to make the next big independent hit. 

But smartphones haven’t just allowed film fans to make movies but to enjoy them in more immersive ways, bringing a multimedia environment to the way we experience cinema. Here, we take a look at six must-see apps for the film fan. 


L’Odéon“ (CC BY-SA 2.0) by achassignon 

Trailers (for iPhone) 

For iPhone users who want to keep up to date with the latest movies hitting our cinema screens, there are few apps as useful as Apple’s Trailers. All available in high-definition and searchable in various ways such as genre, box office and user ratings, the app is a perfect place to start planning your future movie viewing. 

Pinnacle Studio Pro (for iPhone) 

Here’s an app for budding Steven Spielbergs. Pinnacle Studio Pro for iPhone is feature-loaded for creating films through your smartphone. You can arrange and rearrange the clips you’ve selected with a simple-to-use interface that includes functionality like titles and transition effects. You can add your choice of music too as well as do fancy stuff like slow-mo. 

DC Legends: Battle For Justice (for Android) 

Video games based on movies give us the chance to immerse ourselves inside the characters we have come to cherish. DC Legends: Battle for Justice is the stand out free game for Android users who love the world of Batman, Superman and DC Comics, as featured on https://www.androidauthority.com/best-batman-games-android-811074/. A character collecting game, you can choose to play in story mode or against other players online. Alternatively, LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is the game to have for both Android and Apple users, while popular casino-style entertainment based on these characters such as The Dark Knight Rises digital slot machine from Playtech, which you can play at Betfair at https://casino.betfair.com/c/slots, offers further excitement as you pit your wits against Gotham City’s villains. 

Scene It (iPhone and Android) 

Test your movie knowledge with the smartphone version of the popular board game, Scene It. It is omnipresent – from its DVD and card game beginnings to Xbox and PlayStation versions and even a Facebook-based adaptation – Scene It gives movie buffs the chance to test their knowledge in front of friends and family. 

Movie Vault (for Android and iPhone) 

Available on https://movie-vault-classic-films.soft112.com/, Movie Vault is the app for buffs wanting to sample classic and difficult-to-source old films that, in some cases, are available here for the first time in a digital medium. The charming interface – wooden shelves lined with a catalogue of authentic box art – allows you to stream films you’ve probably never seen before. Some are sourced from old VHS tapes and weathered celluloid, so it’s not the same as watching pristine high definition on Netflix. Still, Movie Vault opens up a world of interesting world cinema to fans who want to extend the cinema experience beyond the latest Hollywood blockbuster. 

RunPee (iPhone & Android) 

Okay, for true film buffs, there’s never a good time to take a bathroom break because you’re going to miss some of the drama. But if you’ve really got to go when in the cinema, RunPee tells you when the best moments to take a toilet break are, and fills you in on any plot points you might miss. 

 

Cinema in South Beach, Miami“ (CC BY 2.0) by hellostanley 

From keeping you entertained with films you might never have seen before, to prepping you for new movies, giving you the opportunity to make your own, and testing your knowledge, for film fans, these are the handy apps to keep on your smartphone. 

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