The signs were on the wall on the wall long ago with 'Lucky You,' the new poker-themed movie. If not exactly a stinker, the film has turned out to be something less than an inspiration to a new generation of wannabe poker players.
Wicked Chops noted the film's debut with a reference to the conglomeration of reviews over at rottentomatoes.com, for years one of the leading movie-review sites. Early on, 'Lucky You' checked in at about a 38% rating (roughly equivalent to receiving an enjoyable grade by 38% of known reviewers), and has slipped down to the 30% range in the following days. It's even lower (24%) in the site's 'Cream of the Crop' category, meaning those reviewers with a track record of providing reliable and honest commentary.
Over at IMDb it's checking in at 6.4 out of 10, meaning it's still being influenced by the promoters who pump up all early releases with a bunch of bogus "10" votes, as shown in this little screen grab. (Or possibly from some teenybopper Eric Bana fan club: A disproportionate number of the high votes come, supposedly, from girls under 18.) IMDb's flawed weighted grading system corrects for some but not all of that. Expect this sucker to fade to somewhere about 4.8 or 4.9 over the coming weeks.
Is 'Lucky You' a horrible movie? Probably not --- and you'll notice I'm carefully not reviewing it here. I'm simply noticing that all the signs pointed to its being a disappointing cinematic exercise, and those pointers look to be dead on.
Here's a few of the most recent reviewer comments:
"Staying home and playing solitaire would be two levels more interesting than watching this movie, which is directed, or rather embalmed, by L.A. Confidential man Curtis Hanson." --- Kyle Smith, New York Post.
"Lucky You is like the old joke about the classified ad: 'LOST DOG. Three legs. Blind in one eye. Missing half his tail. Recently neutered. Answers to Lucky'." --- Atlanta Journal Constitution.
"Unfortunately, somebody seems to have had the idea that Lucky You should be a long movie -- that way, we might take it more seriously, perhaps." --- San Francisco Chronicle.
Ouch. I suppose there's a hard-core audience for the film, that being Eric Bana fans and poker-movie enthusiasts who wish to wax knowledgably on the entire genre. But that makes for a short half-life on the big screen. I may even force myself to review it, so I don't have to just review the reviews. But I've sat through the trailers already... what's a little more disappointment, anyway?