I saw Runner Runner a few days ago. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment sent me the Blu-ray for review on my movie blog. The film is about a Princeton grad student subduced by the gambling world. It stars Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck. The story moved quickly, but it was full of holes. I thought the movie was OK, and it’s worth watching if you’re a fan of Timberlake. Runner Runner is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.
5 Things About Runner Runner Blu-ray
A story about online gambling
Runner Runner is about the world of online gambling. Richie Furst is a grad student at Princeton. He’s paying his way through school by promoting online gambling to his fellow students. One day, Richie makes a big bet and loses everything. He’s convinced he’s been cheated, so he heads to Costa Rica to confront the owner (Ivan Block) of the poker site. Ivan gives him back his money and convinces Richie to work for him. Richie agrees and is soon rolling in dough. But then an FBI agent tells Richie that Ivan is a criminal. Richie wants to get out, but finds himself caught between Ivan and the law.
Runner Runner is not very believable
Parts of the story is based on the life of Nat Arem, a professional poker player, and former accountant at Deloitte Touche who helped uncover cheating in online poker by using statistical methods to analyze thousands of games. This part was covered briefly in the movie. But the rest of the film didn’t seem believable at all. First, the villain of the story operates a hugely successful online gambling site. But for an unexplained reason, the poker website is operated from a casino in Costa Rica. Why run an expensive casino and bribe local officials if you’re website is generating millions of dollars? Second, the main character (Richie) heads to Costa Rica to confront the bad guy (Ivan). Who does that? Why didn’t he just try calling him or contacting through the website? Then there’s the FBI agent (Shavers). Even though Shavers has no authority in Costa Rica, he there’s full time trying to get evidence against Ivan. And for someone that is suppose to represent the law, Shavers routinely breaks the law by kidnapping American citizens and planting drugs on them.
Batman’s in the movie
The main character, Richie Furst, was played by Justin Timberlake. He wasn’t bad in the movie, but not outstanding either. The other main character, Ivan Block, was played by Ben Affleck. He’s the new Batman and must have been preparing for it because he spoke in monotone throughout the whole film. Emotionally, he’s the same whether he’s happy or angry. Then there’s Gemma Arterton. She played the part of Rebecca Shafran, the love interest in the story. Unfortunately, her character is boring and I didn’t find myself falling for her. This is a step back for her because I loved her in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. Finally, there’s Anthony Mackie. He played the part of Agent Shavers. He’s suppose to be an FBI agent, but acted more like a criminal. Other actors include Michael Esper (Billy ‘Pet’ Petricoff), Oliver Cooper (Andrew Cronin), Christian George (Wilson
Yul Vazquez (Delegate Herrera), John Heard (Harry Furst), James Molina (Esteban), Louis Lombardi (Archie), Vincent Laresca (Sergeant Barrancas), Bernie O. Ramos Robledo (Handlebar Mustache), Sam Palladio (Shecky), and David Costabile (Professor Horstein). Runner Runner was directed by Brad Furman.
There’s only a couple of special features
Runner Runner includes the DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD (Ultraviolet) versions of the movie. In addition, the Blu-ray has two extra features:
- House of Cards: The Inside Story of Online Poker
- Deleted Scenes
Runner Runner is rated R
The 91-minute film is rated R for language and some sexual content. I didn’t think there was anything overly graphic, but there is a lot of profanity in the movie.
More info: Runner Runner Blu-ray Combo Pack