Is it time for a shake up in casino movies?

The forthcoming release of The Gambler, starring Jessica Lange and Mark Wahlberg, has got tongues wagging as to whether or not the remake will do the original justice this November.

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Jim Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) is in a downward spiral until Amy (Brie Larson) offers hope in ‘The Gambler.’(Photo: Claire Folger, Paramount Pictures)

Directed by Karel Reisz in 1976, the original film starred James Caan as a literary professor who made one too many bad choices when it came to indulging his gambling vice. The film was a hit in the 70s – but will the remake show James Caan justice? More importantly however, is it time we stopped making movies based on outdated gambling methods and started moving forward into the 21st century?

When people think of casino movies, there’s one outstanding flick that pops into everybody’s mind: Casino. Released in 1995, the film glamorized the darker side of the gambling scene, from lies and deception to owning your own empire, and it also propelled Sharon Stone onto everybody’s radar.

Later, in 2009, four hapless buddies got together to satirize the ‘boys will be boys’ culture of Las Vegas in award-winning comedy The Hangover. Just like Casino, the film won a Golden Globe, but it had a completely different outlook on Vegas.

What the two films did have in common however was that they both dealt with the traditional elements of Vegas – card playing, table games and slot machines. The casino genre is definitely a popular one amongst Hollywood, so perhaps it’s time to ask: is it time for a shake up in casino movies?

As trends move forward, so too should the subject matter in today’s blockbusters. For example, today, more and more of us are turning to sites like online.bingo.com/en to play online rather than leaving the house to have a cheeky gamble. If we are all turning to the internet to indulge our gambling habits, should script writers not move in the same direction?

Indeed, the idea was dabbled with in the 2013 flick Runner Runner, which saw main protagonist Richie Furst (Justin Timberlake) winning an online poker game and consequently landing himself into a spot of bother with some very unwelcome enemies.

The film had a lukewarm reception, achieving just 5.6 on IMDB, which is all the more reason why Hollywood should play with this idea a little more. Films about the impact of the internet have been on the rise in recent years – The Social Network, for example, won three Academy Awards.

In an age where we’re struggling to think of something new, movies about online casinos could be the next big thing in film franchises. The possibilities for plot ideas are endless, whether it’s hacking into a multi-million dollar online casino corporation or a gangster battle between the online empire owners. If it worked so well for Scorsese in the 90s, it might be an idea for movie makers to try it again with a 21st century twist – take note, Hollywood.

Salvation Army find turns into a great addition to family game night!

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Found this little gem at my local Salvation Army store. I couldn’t pass it by, the blue tag was marked $4.99, lucky for me, it was half off blue tag day! Even though I had no clue what it was, I knew that I couldn’t go wrong paying $2.50 for it.

It was a well-constructed felt-lined box with the numbers 1-9 that could be flipped forward and back.
It included two dice and instructions for the card game Rook. I immediately went home and scoured the internet for searches on wood, numbers, dice, anything that might give me an idea of what this game was all about.

I finally discovered that the game is called “Shut the Box”. By rolling the two die, your object is to turn down all 9 of the numbers on the board. You accomplish this by adding up the total of the two dice, then turn down the numbered blocks equal to that value. If you would roll 12 (two 6’s),you could turn down any combination of blocks that equal 12. To illustrate, when rolling a 12,the 1,2,4 & 5 could be chosen; The game continues until there are no more possible combinations to be turned over, or, if someone actually goes out by turning down all the numbers, to which they proclaim, “Shut the Box”.

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We’ve had many hours of fun with this game, any number of players can participate. We like to total up 10 games before we declare a winner. The winner is that person who has the overall lowest score.

Another nice thing is that it’s a very portable game, we even take it camping with us where it’s a big hit. Everyone is intrigued the first time that they see it, it catches their attention, since it’s nothing they’ve ever seen before. Even those who don’t necessarily play games at least try it once.

You’ll find many places on the web where you can order this game, from cheap plastic versions, to elaborate handmade wooden boxes. I’ve gifted several and the recipients love them. Treat yourself to a great addition to family game night.

Unnecessary FTC Disclosure: No compensation has been received for the blog post. This post contains no affiliate links.

Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue for Nintendo DS Only $7.99

Hurry and you can score this fun Finding Nemo DS game for only $7.99 in time for Easter. Also makes a great birthday gift for any Nemo or DS fan.

Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue Special Edition Nintendo DS only $7.99 (reg $19.99)

Free Redbox Video Game Rental

Get a free Redbox video game rental when you text: NOWPLAY to 727272. You will receive a unique code for your Free 1-Day Game Rental.
Good through 5/9!

Free Redbox Game Rental Code

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Have a gamer kid in the house? Here is a great freebie from Redbox.

Our daughter received an Xbox this year for Christmas, with so many games she’d like to try, this is a freebie we’re excited about.

Just text GAMEKIDS to 727272 and you’ll receive a free Redbox video game rental code.
The code is good through January 31.

PS3 or XBox 360

We have a PS3 in our living room. Even though it is technically my husband’s game console, the entire family has been using it to game, watch movies, and even listen to music for a couple of years now. It’s a great machine! Easy to use, and to control. Not being a gamer myself, I’m always entertained by how passionate real video game fans (gamers) are about their gaming consoles. Even our thirteen year old has a strong liking to one over the other. They will argue to the death for hours on this subject. I find it so funny, when they do. For example, our daughter, 25 years old, is a big XBox 360 fan. Her XBox is the center of her entertainment, she uses it to also game, watch movies and listen to music. I’ve watched Netflix on her Xbox 360 while babysitting for our granddaughter, and also find it like the PS3, pretty easy to use and to control. What makes one better than the other? Is it the actual games? Yet, the consoles are used for so much more than games. Is it the size and shape of the controller? The size of hard drive or the online interface? I’d really like to know. They seem pretty equal to me, yet the owners of both, like my husband and daughter will no doubt continue to argue that not to be the case. As I will continue to shake my head and to be entertained by listening.

Disclosure: this is a sponsored post. The blog is still honest and my own opinions.