I caught a sneak screening of the movie ’21′ when I was at SXSW in Austin Texas. The movie is about a group of MIT card counters known as the MIT Black Jack Team, who take Las Vegas by storm. During the week, they’re regular nerds in Boston. On weekends, they fly to Vegas, take on new identities and clean out the casinos all the while living the high roller life. The team are lead by a charismatic but shady professor and ex card counter known as Micky Rosa who is played by Kevin Spacey. The movie is based on a best seller called ‘Bringing Down the House’ by Ben Mezrich.
The movie was very fun. It had interesting characters, an interesting plot. The fact that it was based on a real story made it even better. The movie had exciting moments, funny moments, and the end was satisfying.
One thing that did irk me was the fact that the main character, who was really Asian is portrayed by a white guy. In fact, the MIT Black Jack Team in the book was composed of mostly mixed Asians. In the movie, they added a blond card counter to play opposite the protagonist as his love interest. Have we not progressed at all that we can’t have an Asian male lead?
What was great about this experience was that there was a Q&A after the show. The director, the author, the lead character, and the person whose story the movie was based on were all there to talk about their experiences and answer questions. I liked the movie so much, I took my wife to see it in the theaters when it finally came out.
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