The Card Player

2004

Horror / Mystery / Thriller

7
IMDb Rating 4.9 10 4662

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Liam Cunningham as John Brennan
Cosimo Fusco as Berardelli
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
887.81 MB
1280*714
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 43 min
P/S counting...
1.67 GB
1920*1072
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 43 min
P/S 2 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jhs39 6 / 10

Better than expected

Dario Argento's new thriller about a serial killer who forces the police to play video poker against him in order to save the lives of women he has kidnapped doesn't rank with the director's best work, but it is fast paced and entertaining if you aren't expecting too much.

After the disastrous Phanton of the Opera Argento made Sleepless, which was a self-conscious attempt to duplicate the success of his 1970's giallos, down to giving long defunct group Goblin credit for the soundtrack. Sleepless was certainly watchable, but it felt more like an Argento rip-off by an inferior director rather than the real thing, like the master had somehow turned into Antonio Bido or Luigi Cosi.

This time around Argento makes a movie that is less obviously grounded in his own previous success--The Card Player is far more generic than Sleepless, but since Argento isn't trying so hard to recapture past magic the film tends to work much better.

Unfortunately plotting and characterization have always been his achilles heel. Classic Argento films are about set-pieces and style, not plot. Stendhal Syndrome suffered because it turned into a character driven psychological thriller, which didn't play to his strengths as a filmmaker. The Card Player is largely plot-driven, lacking the stylistic flourishes and memorable set-pieces that defined his classic films and also offset his weaknesses as a writer. The Card Player generally feels like a made for TV crime thriller or even a pilot for a potential television show.

But while The Card Player isn't great or even mildly believable it is pretty fun on a cheesy B movie level, and the finale involving a handcuff key, a racing train and a lap-top manages to capture the delirious goofiness that came easily to the director back when he made Phenomena and Deep Red. It's not hard to imagine Argento giggling when he came up with his climactic scene and the sense of fun is infectious.

Most fans have probably accepted by now that Dario Argento isn't the filmmaker he was twenty years ago and that he will likely never make another classic thriller, but The Card Player is at least good enough not to disappoint, given the lowered expectations that now inevitably greet one of his movies. For me this was easily his best since Trauma. It also offers reason for optimism: Sleepless was a huge improvement over Phantom of the Opera and The Card Player is better than Sleepless, giving fans a reason to look forward to his next film.

Reviewed by whiggles 7 / 10

Not as bad as people say

After getting almost unanimously negative reviews, I was dreading watching IL CARTAIO. It turns out that the film is not bad at all. No, it's not another SUSPIRIA, but nor is it a PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, thankfully. People keep going on about the absence of Argento's trademark style. Well, I want to know what style that would be? Suspiria's? Phenomena's? The Stendhal Syndrome's? I think you get my point. Argento doesn't have one single style -- he had many, and I think that Il Cartaio's style is different rather than absent. I personally liked the camerawork and the cold look of the film. The use of shadow is really good, and I think this has got to be the only film Argento has done that is obviously set in the winter. It gave everything an eery look.

It's a tightly constructed little thriller with a lot of very tense set-piece scenes. The lack of gore confused me a bit, but everyone seems to forget the impalement of a certain character. That, to me, was pretty gory although admittedly not flamboyant. In many ways it seems a lot like the antithesis of Non Ho Sonno, which was extremely over the top in terms of violence.

I think Tenebre was the last film Argento did that received almost unanimous critical acclaim on its initial release. All of his other triumphs since then have grown on people over the years. I don't think Il Cartaio will be any different.

Reviewed by Pet_Rock 6 / 10

Yeah, it's alright....

Of course it's not Dario's best, but it's not his worst. I give it a 5.5, leaning more on the 6 side.

Anna Mari (Taras Kostyuk) is a policewoman working with an Irish policeman (Liam Cunningham) and a young poker champ (Silvio Muccino) to catch a killer who kills his young female victims if the police loose a game of video poker.

This movie seems like an okay mix of "Silence of the Lambs", "Saw 2", and "CSI".

The music, like in all of Darios films, is great. The look of the dead bodies are also fantastic and spooky.

However, Phoebe Scholfield and Jay Benedict (both first time writers) did a horrible job of the dialogue. In fact, I didn't like most of the writing. It was confusing at times but as long as you don't think too deep into it, you can enjoy this as a neat little screaming-and-crying-girl flick with great special effects and so-so kills. They're so-so because most of them are offscreen and similar, but towards the end they get great and unique.

So you could easily enjoy this if you just want to pass the time, but don't expect another Argento classic.

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