TL;DR – This was a delightful romp across America where we solved a murder each week in almost the same way, and I was captivated for the whole run.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Disclosure – I paid for the Stan service that viewed this series.
Poker Face Review –
At times, the modern TV landscape is perpetually stuck in a state of cognitive dissonance. People tend to use the word ‘old-fashioned’ in a pejorative sense as if it has nothing of value to give us. We do this while living in perpetual nostalgia cycles that are morphing into nostalgia spirals. But if there is ever an artist that lives in the overlap between those two extremes, it is Rian Johnson, and I was fascinated to see where this show would go every week.
So to set the scene, we open in a casino as the maids try to get the rooms ready for the next occupants, or at least clean for the day, when a maid sees something horrifying on a laptop. Something that needs to be reported. So Natalie (Dascha Polanco) tells her boss (Benjamin Bratt), who tells the head of the casino, Frost (Adrien Brody). But instead of protecting her, they did the unthinkable. The only problem is that working in the Casino, Charlie Cale (Natasha Lyonne) has the impeccable talent of always knowing when someone is lying. Now we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there may be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – There could have been a good film here, but it gets lost in the mess of two competing ideas.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Stan service that viewed this film
Poker Face Review –
One of the things about reviewing films that can be frustrating is when you get a movie where you can see promise in there, but the final product just falls flat. You feel for the filmmakers because they were so close to finding something unique, but you must review what you get at the end of the day. Well, on that front, let’s look at Poker Face.
So to set the scene, we open in on a bunch of kids playing cards, jumping off cliffs, running from bullies, and being there for each other. Many years later, the leader of the group, Jake (Russell Crowe), is visiting a local shaman (Jack Thompson) in the bush and asking his lawyer Sam McIntyre (Daniel MacPherson), to arrange some trust accounts and an extraordinary evening. Soon Michael Nankervis (Liam Hemsworth), Alex Harris (Aden Young), and Paul Muccino (Steve Bastoni) are all racing up the coast in sports cars to make it to Jake’s luxury oceanside holiday house. The childhood friends will play a high-stakes poker game, but secrets are about to escape.