Thursday, March 22, 2012

All-In: The Poker Movie

Written and Directed by Douglas Tirola

Release Date(s): March 24th, 2012

Are you ready to deal?

Writer/Director Douglas Tirola brings us into the electric and dazzling world of poker, from Oxford Stud to Texas Hold 'Em. He explores the theories behind the origins of the game, how it rose to popularity and even its grasp on popular culture.

Initially, I knew very little about the game; you play with four people and bet money on who has the best hand of cards. Sure, I saw the movie Rounders but had no knowledge of the people or the culture seen as Matt Damon played the tables. In All-In, you get to meet that movie's screenwriters, but some of the players who were at the poker house set in New York. After learning about this culture, I feel more intrigued about poker.

Tirola brings in many of the most famous names in the poker community, sports journalists, and even celebrities like Matt Damon and Kenny Rogers to discuss their interests and thoughts on the game of poker. Throughout the documentary, the subjects of fame and celebrity are brought up several times, such as when poker was celebrated with famous players like Chris Moneymaker and Stu Unger, to when virtual poker web-sites were shut down due to controversy. 

In fact, the game itself is seen in both an underground and over-saturated light; the narrative looks into the high times of the 1970s and the "old-timer" stereotype of the game during the 1980s. For example, one of my favorite parts of the documentary is when the interviewees discuss the phenomena of on-line poker. I feel that this is a topic both fans and non-fans will enjoy. In these interviews, the players get protective of their right to protect their livelihood and the right to play, whether it is in person or online. 

This is a very entertaining documentary and I recommend it to both poker players and those unfamiliar with the game. 

Rating:4.5 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

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