Sunday, April 6, 2008


Last night, Bryan and I saw "21", which is a movie loosely based on the MIT blackjack team. Overwritten dialogue, didactic musical score aside, and rushed ending aside, the movie was entertaining. But a few minutes in, there's a reference to Google. Which is weird, because the gambling team started in 1979. Then there's a Geico Insurance joke, and movie scenes set in present-day Vegas. I couldn't understand why this would be done, other than to make the story more "hip"? Bryan thought it was because they'd also created a complication of casinos transferring over to facial recognition software (rather than human consultants to sniff out card-counters). Could be, but I wondered if the filmmakers didn't change their story to please audiences. You have to write for yourself, and tell the story honestly. And anyway, what's so wrong with the past?

As a postscript, why does Hollywood love the non-sequitur of people on the lam running through restaurant kitchens? How often does this really happen? I challenge a Hollywood exec to find a line cook who's had anyone unexpectedly dash through their kitchen.

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