Not a Safe Media-Wise Bet
Release Date: December 17, 2010
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Kelly Preston,
Barry Pepper, Rachelle
Lefevre, Jon Lovitz, Graham
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 108 minutes
Distributor: ATO Pictures
Director: George Hickenlooper
Executive Producer: Dana Brunetti, Rick Chad,
Patricia Eberle, Oscar
Generale, Warren Nimchul,
Angelo Paletta, Richard Rionda
Del Castro, Domenic Serafino,
Lewin Webb, Donald Zuckerman
Producer: Gary Howsam, Bill Marks,
Writer: Norman Snider
Address Comments To:Temple Fennell, CEO
44 Wall Street, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10005
Phone: (646) 292-7500
Fax: (646) 292-7550
Jack Abramoff, hailed by some of the country’s top-selling newspapers as DC’s first super-lobbyist, refuses to live where most people live – in mediocrity. He refuses to succumb to the disease of the dull. A deeply devout Jew and strong conservative Republican, Jack believes that, next to God, faith and country, the greatest thing in the world is influence, and he will stop at nothing to achieve his version of the American Dream.
While lobbying for Indian casino tribes, Jack, along with his young, brash protégé, Michael Scanlon, set into motion a scheme to dupe the casino tribes out of millions and filter the funds into an off-shore casino cruise company. However, Jack’s plans go awry when he makes enemies of the wrong Indian tribe leaders and when his business partners begin to have dealings with members of the mob. Soon, Jack’s fledgling empire comes crumbling down around him as he is hung out to dry by the Congress people whose pockets he has lined for years, and he becomes the white-collar version of public enemy number one.
CASINO JACK is inspired by the true events surrounding Jack Abramoff’s very public fall from grace. The movie is well written. The storytelling is clean. The dialogue is witty. The characters embody the perfect amount of hubris, and Kevin Spacey does a wonderful job portraying the slick, arrogant attitude of the hotshot lobbyist.
However, Spacey’s portrayal fails when it comes to Abramoff’s deeply held Jewish faith and his extremely conservative politics. Instead, Spacey’s depiction seems merely skin-deep, nothing more than a one-dimensional portrayal of a religious conservative. As a matter of fact, the depicted prayers and Bible studies shown in the movie could have been sincere scenes of faith, yet they seem very tongue-in-cheek and contemptuous.
The movie has a very one-sided view of politics, portraying the Republican Party as virtually the only party of greed and corruption (what a laugh that is!!!). It contains a very crooked view of the American Dream. Also, the movie has an abundant amount of foul language, 82 obscenities, 12 profanities and a lot of varying racial slurs. In addition, there is gratuitous nudity, some graphic violence, alcohol and cigarette use and an exorbitant amount of miscellaneous immorality, including lying, greed and some false religious elements as characters endeavor to achieve good “karma.”
All in all, CASINO JACK is not a media-wise bet, and audiences would be well advised to put their money down on more family-friendly fare.
CASINO JACK is inspired by the true events surrounding Jack Abramoff’s very public fall from grace. The movie is well written. The storytelling is clean. The dialogue is witty. Kevin Spacey does a wonderful job portraying the slick, arrogant attitude of his character. However, his portrayal of Jack’s deeply held Jewish faith and extremely conservative politics is superficial and plays false. Worse, the movie contains very strong anti-capitalist content, is politically correct from a left-wing view, and has abundant foul language. It also seems condescending toward religion, including Christianity. This is unacceptable.