Movies: ‘runner Runner’ Could Be Year’s Most Boring Film

R-rated thrillers are hardly ever this dull and listless, but this movie manages to eradicate all of Timberlakes charisma and makes you flash back to Afflecks Paycheck/Gigli era. How does this even happen? Sometimes, films just turn out wrong. Director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer), working from a script by Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Rounders, Oceans Thirteen), presumably set out to make a compelling crime drama set against an unusual backdrop. But what they wound up with is yet another slick and generic tale about a young man who dabbles in a life of crime, discovers its not for him and turns on his mentor. Nothing in the movie rings true, not the FBI agent (Anthony Mackie) willing to break the rules in order to get his man, nor the ambiguous romantic interest (Gemma Arterton) who may be running her own scam, nor the crooked Costa Rican cops and politicians who seem to do nothing other than get drunk with hookers, smoke cigars and wait for their latest bribe money to be delivered. Movies about poker usually like to bluff and surprise the audience. But Runner Runner, which teaches you absolutely nothing about the phenomenon of Internet gambling, doesnt have a single twist in store. The film is so rote and transparent that you keep waiting for a big reveal or curve something, anything, that would explain Timberlake and Afflecks presence here, other than the opportunity to spend several weeks in beautiful Puerto Rico (where the movie was filmed). Nothing about Runner Runner makes sense: Not its R rating, which easily could have been avoided with the removal of a couple of f-bombs; not the intermittent voiceover narration by Timberlake, which is used to plaster over plot holes; not even the participation of Leonardo DiCaprio as one of the films producers. Was this an early project he once considered starring in that just never got made? By the time characters start spouting lines such as What are you saying? This whole thing is a Ponzi scheme? desperation has set in. Runner Runner, which never even bothers to explain its title (its a poker term), may not be the years worst movie. But its a strong contender for the most boring.

MOVIES: ‘Runner Runner’ a gambling thriller on the road to nowhere

It was a marriage of two talents, Dick Lester and the Beatles, who had a vision and made it work.” Related: McCartney: Yoko Didn’t Break Up Beatles As for Bond, Picker was an avid fan of Ian Fleming’s work and tried to get the ball rolling with Alfred Hitchcock directing a 007 adaptation, but Fleming didn’t like movies and didn’t want his creation ruined onscreen. Later, the author changed his tune and gave Cubby Broccolli and Harry Saltzman the option to produce his novels. Their $1.1 million budget request was turned down by their regular studio, Columbia, as being too high, so they went to United Artists and Picker, who gave them the green light for 1962’s Dr. No. “My vision of it and their vision of it was exactly the same,” says Picker of the 007 films, adding with another laugh, “Everybody got rich off it but me.” Sean Connery was cast as James Bond, and the rest is history. But after five Bond outings, each one doing bigger and bigger box office, Connery was feeling unappreciated by Broccolli and Saltzman, who would renegotiate their deals for more money — but never gave the actor his just rewards for becoming the face of the franchise. Connery left the series after 1967’s You Only Live Twice, and was replaced by George Lazenby in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, “Which lays an egg,” says Picker matter-of-factly. “Sadly enough, the Lazenby film was a disaster, and probably there wouldn’t be any more Bond movies” if Picker hadn’t brokered a deal with Connery for a king’s ransom and a deal to make any two other movies of his choice — to bring him back for one more picture, 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever. “Sean realized he could trust us, came back, did the one movie, and saved the series,” says Picker, who adds, “One of the terms of his deal was that he would not have to talk to the producers. It’s laughable, but on the other hand, he was deeply offended and he had every right to be, because they treated him like shit.” Connery subsequently gave his $1.25 million salary entirely to The Scottish Educational Trust Fund. He adds, “Sean is famous for being cranky; I’ve never experienced it, he’s never been anything but cordial, but he was heard to say that the only movie executive he’d ever liked was me.” PICS: The Real Story Behind Bond, James Bond For every huge success there’s also failure, and in Hollywood there’s plenty of failure to go around. While Picker details in his book what went wrong with such films as Leap of Faith with Steve Martin, Leonard Part 6 with Bill Cosby and the epic James Michener novel Hawaii, he also lists a couple doozies that slipped through his fingers. Movies that crossed his desk that he saw potential in — but turned down or just couldn’t get approved for various reasons — include Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate and Planet of the Apes . “We made a lot of good movies and we made a lot of bad movies and made a lot of disappointing movies, because that’s the nature of the beast,” he laughs. “I remember the bad ones I financed a bunch.

The Man Who Brought Beatles, Bond & More to Movies

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