DVD The Cooler (DVD 13476),
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William H. Macy adds another quirky, offbeat, and original character to his resume in the form of Bernie Lootz, a sad-sack loser who has the worst luck in town. Unfortunately for him, that town happens to be Las Vegas. He gets hired by his old friend Shelly Kaplowitz (the excellent Alec Baldwin, hitting his stride) to work at the Shangri-La Hotel and Casino, where his bad luck rubs off on the gamblers previously doing well at the tables. But Lootz isn't actually getting paid; he owes money to Shelly, so he is merely working off his debt. Things go haywire when he meets Natalie (Maria Bello) and falls instantly in love--threatening to change his luck. Meanwhile, Shelly is trying to keep the old-school feel of the casino, battling Larry Sokolov (Ron Livingston), who wants to update the place into a glitzy multimedia entertainment center. This struggle of old versus new is also seen in Sokolov's plans to replace aging lounge singer Buddy (Paul Sorvino) with hot newcomer Johnny Capella (Joey Fatone of *NSYNC). THE COOLER, screenwriter Wayne Kramer's directorial debut, is everything an independent film should be: intelligent, entertaining, thought-provoking, and never predictable. The soundtrack includes songs by Fatone, Sorvino, and Diana Krall. Watch out for the subtle references to Frank Capra's LOST HORIZON, which influenced Kramer's depiction of the Shangri-La as an old-time paradise.
- strong sexuality, language, and some drug use
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1182
William H. Macy, W. H. Macy, Maria Bello, Alec Baldwin, Alexander Rae Baldwin, Ron Livingston, Paul Sorvino, Shawn Hatosy, Estella Warren, Joey Fatone
"...The script and the direction are skillful....Mr. Kramer wisely gives the actors room to work..."
New York Times
"...A beguiling Las Vegas romantic fable, a fairy tale really....[With] a combination of shrewd, witty characterization and sure-footed storytelling skills..."
Los Angeles Times
"...Kramer's sexy, redolently seedy-looking indie is a swell, singin', low-stakes card game..."
"...It's a winner....William H. Macy gives one of his best performances....THE COOLER places all the smart bets and hits the jackpot..."
"...Always watchable. The performances by William H. Macy, Maria Bello and Alex Baldwin are first-rate..."
Movieline's Hollywood Life
"Director/co-writer Wayne Kramer generally finesses an unusual tone....Grabber subplots further boost a story that is basically made by its three leads."
"[T]his is one of Alec Baldwin's best performances..."
"Macy hits a career high here....He's perfectly complemented by Bello....This is Vegas as it should be."
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William H. Macy
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