TIFF ’10: Day 7 ~ Casino Jack

Director George Hickenlooper and Kevin Spacey (and especially Jon Lovitz) decide to play this one over the top. Which is fine, except taking that approach always dilutes the sobering realities of the degradation of out political system. Jack, of course, is Jack Abramoff, and the casino’s are native American gaming establishments.

Abramoff started as a minor Hollywood producer, and loved film. This connection is played up here to humorous and metaphoric effect. Spacey does have a ball mimicking lines from famous films, one of Abramoff’s trademarks. Abramoff himself already has a documentary out telling his story (Casino Jack and the United States of Money).

The movie does have some political cheap thrills, such as the scenes involving Tom DeLay and the Senate hearing confrontations between Abramoff and those holier-than-thou politicians who took large sums of money from the powerful lobbyist – including John McCain. I can envision a stay at home Saturday night featruing a DVD double feature of both these fils. With popcorn. A hoot.

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