I finally got around to seeing Nine Queens
, which was briefly released here last fall, but is now on its normal distribution run. Anyone else seen it? If you haven't been to my website, here's my "review" of it:
Not much to say about this clunky, naked version of a Mamet con-man switcheroo flick. The reason this film was better when it was called House of Games
, The Spanish Prisoner
, and The Grifters
is because those films concealed their tricks with stronger dialogue and cinematic technique. Bielinsky's script boldly announces its game plan, making the cons absurdly obvious from the get-go, then doesn't get around to distracting you with banter or detail. A few funny moments occur, and the performances are competent at least, but the dull cinematography does little to entertain the eye while the mind is busy calling the shots well before the supposedly smart con men are. And while the movie is never less than watchable and passably entertaining, there's absolutely no substance to it, no message underneath the games. Even once you've learned the tricks of House of Games
and The Spanish Prisoner
(or any number of other twisty gotcha movies), there's a reason to see them a second time. That there is no reason to re-watch Nine Queens
is exactly why I don't recommend it.
Oh -- and by the way, if you want to learn anything at all about Argentina from this film then you're shit out of luck.