Hard Eight (Special Edition)

ISBN 13: 9780767824538

Hard Eight (Special Edition)

 
9780767824538: Hard Eight (Special Edition)
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Sydney (Philip Baker Hall - Midnight Run ) is a poker-faced professional gambler with a soft heart for a hard luck story. He plays guardian angel to unlucky John (John C. Reilly - Days of Thunder) and a hooker, Clementine (Gwyneth Paltrow - Seven), whom he grows to love like family. When John's andClementine's honeymoon night leads to a disastrous hostage situation, Sydney takes care of it, as usual. But when slick casino pro Jimmy (Samuel L. Jackson - Pulp Fiction) threatens to reveal a secret from Sydney's past that could destroy his relationship with the newlyweds, Sydney decides to hedgehis bets and not leave anything to chance.

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Review:

Before hitting the big time with his second film Boogie Nights, young filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson impressed critics with this deftly conceived, low-budget film noir chamber piece. With its minimalist plot, deliberate pacing, and brief, but shocking bursts of violence, Hard Eight won't please everyone, but Anderson and his first-rate cast were clearly working on the same authentic wavelength. It's a mystery at first why a solemn professional gambler (Philip Baker Hall in a captivating performance) cares for a down-and-out loser (John C. Reilly) and a dimwit, Reno cocktail waitress (Gwyneth Paltrow). But his motivations become clear--and the movie packs a quietly effective punch--when the gambler faces blackmail by a small-time crook (Samuel L. Jackson). This unheralded film seemed like a closely kept secret itself, until it showed up on the 1997 top-10 lists of several prominent critics. In tandem with Boogie Nights, it marked the arrival of a new filmmaker whose talent is as impressive as that of that other '90s hotshot, Quentin Tarantino. --Jeff Shannon

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