Will The Gambler Blu-ray Release Quash Its Negative Reviews?

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Will The Gambler's Blu-ray Release Quash Its Negative Reviews?

Fans of Mark Wahlberg will soon be able to add yet another Blu-ray to their collections. This time around, the movie remake extraordinaire is embodying the spirit of James Caan as he portrays a literary professor in the 2014 remake of The Gambler.

In a blog by the Flickering Myth, it was recently announced that the Blu-ray version would be available for pre-order via Amazon UK and Amazon US. The film is due for general DVD release on June 1, but for those who are super fans of Wahlberg, Zavvi will be releasing a run of 1,500 limited edition copies which will feature steelbook treatment.

No special features have been announced for the DVD yet, but it could just be the saving grace for something which is attracting mixed reviews. Predictably, Wahlberg’s latest remake has managed to achieve a 6.1 rating on IMDB – notably, 1.1 less than its original.



Lead protagonist Jim Bennett (Wahlberg) may be a literature professor by day, but he is plagued with a bloodthirst for gambling by night – all aided by the seemingly immeasurable wealth of his mother, Roberta (Lange.) Unfortunately, a mother’s love isn’t enough to save him from the dangers of a number of gangsters with whom he finds himself involved.

So where did it all go wrong for Wahlberg? Certainly, The Gambler has its merits, including a stellar cast which comprises the ever more wonderful Jessica Lange, best known for her smorgasbord of characters in FX drama American Horror Story. Indeed, Lange brings the best of her maternal instincts to the role, but is she any match for the main protagonist? Or is The Gambler’s formula saved by a gruff role from John Goodman?

Unfortunately for the 2014 remake, it begins to lose some of the charm of the original quite simply for the reason that director Rupert Wyatt has chosen to bring it into the 21st century. Sometimes, this works – take Wahlberg in The Italian Job, for example. However, in the modern day, where internet-based games are beginning to take the fore, a story of a gambling-addicted literature professor isn’t all too convincing.

As a generic lads’ movie, The Gambler has every vital ingredient – fast action, big names and the cherry on top in the form of sex symbol Brie Larson. What it’s lacking, however, is realism – something which is very much needed in 2015 cinema. Let’s hope that its Blu-ray release will help to bring the more discerning viewer round.


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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

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