Casino Jack

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  • Director: George Hickenlooper
  • Writers: Norman Snider
  • Stars: Kevin Spacey, Barry Pepper and Jon Lovitz
  • Release Date: December 2010
  • Genre: Comedy, Crime
  • Run Time: 108 min




Honor. Integrity. Principles. Everything is Negotiable.

Jack Abramoff was a very successful but very greedy Washington lobbyist who now sits in a federal jail serving out his 4 year prison term scheduled to released later this year. Director George Hickenlooper had the idea to tell his story and enlisted writer Norman Snider to put together the screenplay based on the facts of this true story. Hickenlooper spent 30 hours visiting Abramoff in prison to gather as much information as possible to add to their study of the historical documents upon which this movie was based. Oscar winning actor Kevin Spacey who plays Abramoff participated in one of these five jailhouse visits and he apparently hit it off quite well with the protagonist despite their being at opposite poles of the political spectrum. If you know the widely reported story of how Abramoff took excessive fees from multiple Indian tribes, was involved with shady business deals and paid off congressmen landing at least one in jail and causing Tom Delay majority leader of Senate to quit this position and his Senate seat, you may be a little bored as the details are played out. On the other hand, many viewers will be getting a great history lesson at the same time that they are seeing a very well done movie. Barry Pepper is sufficiently nefarious in looks and deeds as Michael Scanlon, Abramoff’s partner who deserved more than he got for punishment. Jon Lovitz plays an almost completely serious role as a not so smart and crooked enough to end up in jail, business associate of Abramoff. Political junkies will love this movie. You can’t help coming away from seeing it without wondering how can we let our political system continue to function without reigning in lobbyists. Hickenlooper related an incident, which he touches upon at the end of the film, where while in jail anticipating his release shortly before the upcoming 2010 elections Abramoff has expressed a desire to collaborate with the Democrats and reveal information that he knows about the Republicans in order to hurt them in this and future elections. While this film is scheduled for wide release and distribution prior to the November election, there is also another movie coming out at the same time about Abramoff, which is an actual documentary and may have the same name as this one. Instead of Kevin Spacey that one will star the real Abramoff.




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