Mean Gene
Mean Gene
Pittsburgh's most decorated poker blogger, which I admit is like being the best shortstop in Greenland

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My Articles

Presto, the Arlo, & the Hammer
An Online Code of Conduct
The Ethics of Ratholing
"The Professor, the Banker..."
"Ace on the River"

My Columns

Lose the Shades
If You Can't Say Something Nice
Whither the Kicker
The Lady is a Champ?
Covering the WSOP (or not)
Statistics, Luck, and Poker
Poker and New Orleans
Managing a Bankroll
How To Tell A Bad Beat Story
Telling Lies
The Power of Poker Tracker
Advanced Card-Handling

My Greatest Hits

5 Things To Do Before I Die
Cafeteria Nostalgia
Mean Gene's Dubious Dating Tips
Poker and Business?
There's No Such Thing As Luck?
Isabelle, Je t'adore
No Shirt No Shoes No Service
Well, The Food Was Good
Good Morning, Mr. Matusow!
The Weekend of our Discontent, I
The Weekend of our Discontent, II
Books That Left Their Mark
Ode to a Fish Sandwich
Bill Simmons Ain't the Poker Guy
The Sports Guy Still Ain't the Poker Guy
Again, The Media Tackles Poker
Five Years After 9/11
Hitting Pretty Girls in the Face
Sixth-Graders Suck

Fellow Poker Bloggers

Guinness and Poker
Cards Speak
Tao of Poker
Up for Poker
Boy Genius
Chris Halverson
Poker Grub
The Fat Guy
Todd Commish
Poker Works
Bill Rini
Bad Blood
Love and Casino War
Double As
Lion Tales
Paul Phillips
Daniel Negreanu
Poker Nerd
Poker Nation
Poker in Arrears
Human Head
Sound of a Suckout
Chicks With Chips
TP's Table Talk
Royal Poker
This is Not A Poker Blog
Chick and a Chair
Go Be Rude
Poker Cheapskate
Poker & Other Stuff
Seven Two
Musical Poker
WPBT Online
Isabelle Mercier
Cardschat Blog
Amy Calistri
BJ Nemeth
Annie's Blog

Poker Sites

Cardschat Poker Forum
Barstool Sports
Card Player
Internet Texas Hold-Em
Poker Pages


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    Tuesday, November 21, 2006

    Casino Royale--A Poker Movie With Some Spy Stuff Tacked On

    OK, that title isn't exactly accurate. But there was quite a bit of tense poker action in Casino Royale, which was a great flick you should go out and see. Like a colossal loser I went to see it by myself yesterday afternoon, unable to wait for my friends to find a spare evening to see it before the holidays. It was the first time I've seen a movie in a theater by myself since I saw Wild at Heart at Penn State for a criticism class. I actually kinda enjoyed being there solo. Kicked my feet back, didn't have to pay attention to my jackass friends making whispered comments throughout (I'm looking at you, Ted), and I actually didn't feel like a pathetic wreck of a man. For two hours and twenty-four minutes, at least.

    Since this is a poker blog and I write about poker and you're reading this because you like poker, let me say this right off the bat--screw the poker. Eva Green (who plays Vesper Lynd) is strikingly, swooningly, jaw-droppingly beautiful. I don't mean pretty or cute or hot or sexy, though I guess she's those things too. I mean beautiful in a way that makes you wish Michaelangelo was still around to paint her portrait. Or immortalize her in marble. Was Michaelangelo a painter or a sculptor? Or both? I mean, did he paint anything besides the Sistine Chapel? Which I hear is pretty good work.

    My point, anyway, is that Eva Green is easy on the eyes. There's a scene where she's in the bathroom getting ready, she's not wearing any makeup, and, wow, the breath leaves you. Beautiful. It got me to they have special makeup that makes her look like she's NOT wearing makeup? Because she looked fantabulous.

    How about Daniel Craig, how was he? I don't think you can say he's the best Bond ever, not with just one film in the can. But he's so good the potential is there. His Bond is a cipher, you can't put your finger on what's going on behind those piercing blue eyes, but he actually seems to become more...human as the film goes on. He's smart--but not omniscient. He's suave--but gets his applecart upturned quite a few times. He's an Ali-caliber baaaad man--but he doesn't win every fight. It's a great performance by a great actor.

    The fight and chase scenes are pretty extraordinary--no more seeing Roger Moore deliver a backhand chop to a henchman's neck and he goes down in a heap. There's blood-soaked clothing and jacked-up faces and screaming and all sorts of nastiness. The gadgets are cool, but they seem technically plausible and don't intrude too much on the plot. The bad guys aren't insane cartoon madmen who want to rule the world, and are therefore far scarier.

    So, dammit, how was the poker? Well, a common criticism of poker in movies is that the game isn't presented in a reasonable way. Every hand is high drama, and there's always that big showdown at the end. Well, it's much the same here. I didn't expect them to show hands where Bond raises and wins the blinds (though the poker game does get lots of screen time), but the decisive hands are about what you'd expect from a movie. I won't say what happens, but let me say this--you don't see Bond calling with second pair against a bluffer who missed his open-ended straight draw.

    Anybody want me to post hand histories from the film!! No??? What a shocker!!!

    There is some actual poker advice in the film. "Everyone has a tell," Bond tells Vesper, before adding, "Except you." This is of course not true, Vesper indeed has a tell, a ten-story-tall, neon-lit tell festooned with blaring sirens. I think you'll pick up on it when you see the flick. Which you should, as it's great. I'll probably see it again. Especially as it'll give me another chance to see a ten-foot tall Eva Green. Hey, did they film it in IMAX too?

    UPDATE: A quick stroll through Yahoo images leads me to believe that I need to see a movie called The Dreamers, in which Eva Green spends considerable time spectacularly nude. Golly. Golly gee whiz. get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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