Saturday, July 19, 2014

Missing The Boom

Rounders is one of those films that has become a classic without ever being a hit.  When it was released in 1998, it only grossed $23 million.  A disappointment, especially as it featured Matt Damon in his first starring role after Good Will Hunting.  Since then, however, the movie's reputation has been growing, and is probably one of Damon's most famous and beloved titles.  I love the film and have posted about it before.

So it makes sense that there's talk of a sequel.  In fact, when last seen, Damon's Mike McDermott, poker prodigy, was leaving law school in New York for the warmer Vegas climate to see if he could make a living at cards.  All of the characters in the original are alive at the end, even Mike's horrible friend Worm (played by Edward Norton), who got him into so much trouble in the first place.  So anyone could come back. Or perhaps Mikey could meet a bunch of new players out West, including one played by Robert De Niro, as rumor has it (sort of like Edward G. Robinson as the wise old poker player against Steve McQueen in The Cincinnati Kid).

But while I support the idea (and I don't believe in just any sequel--I don't need to see any more adventures of the Dude from The Big Lebowski, another flop from 1998 that I love, and which has become a huge cult item), here's the irony: their timing is off once again. When the first movie was made, it was a few years before the poker boom made the game, and Texas Hold 'em, a ntional obsession.  If it had been released just a bit later, it might have gotten a lot more attention.

However, people are getting pokered out. It's not quite the draw it was in the first decade of this century.  Furthermore, there have been scandals that have made the game disreputable (even more disreputable, perhaps I should say).  So if there is another Rounders, and, let's say, it comes out in 2016, it seems to me they may have missed the boat yet again.  And if you know poker, you don't want to miss a boat.


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