Saturday, January 10, 2009

1/9/09: House of Games (1987)

I came to House of Games with heightened expectations. I like con-man movies, and I admire the work of David Mamet (this was his directorial debut, which he also co-wrote). It's a decent idea, involving bestselling psychoanalyst Lindsay Crouse and her interactions with con man Joe Mantegna. The film has a reputation of excellence, so I was amazed to find that it is loaded with terrible acting, chiefly by Crouse, who looks all the world like David Bowie and reads her lines like she just memorized them five minutes before Mamet yelled "action." Once you know that the theme is about confidence games, it isn't awfully difficult to predict the main twist in this tale, unless, like Crouse's character, you're exceptionally stupid. With Lindsay Crouse, Joe Mantegna, Mike Nussbaum and J.T. Walsh. Rating: 2/5.

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