The story of Molly Bloom, who went from a failed Olympic career to becoming the Poker Queen of Hollywood and New York
Blu-ray plus digital copy
Rated R Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
DTS Master Audio 7.1
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner
Director: Aaron Sorkin
This is mostly true story about Molly Bloom, who gained fame and later infamy when she was charged by Federal investigators for running high stakes illegal poker games.
This is Sorkin’s directorial debut, but he’s well known for some first rate screenplays including The Social Network, Moneyball and The West Wing.
Jessica Chastain is a fine actress, but there isn’t much depth to her character or why she wound up on the wrong side of the law. Idris Elba is also excellent playing her lawyer, and Kevin Costner had a small but important part as Molly’s psychiatrist father.
While excellently put together, I found the story overwritten and way too long, coming in at 2:20. At times I found the editing gimmicky and a bit pretentious.
Having said that, I did find the story interesting, and it was not a saga i followed in the tabloids when the raids and trial was going on. The film skips around time, showing us Molly’s youth, the raid at her apartment of 17 FBI agents with weapons drawn, and her difficult relationship with her father.
We also see the poker games filled with famous Hollywood stars and athletes, although we are left to speculate who the famous poker players were. It was revealed later that some of the luminaries included Tobey Maquire, Ben Affleck, Leonard DiCaprio, and Alex Rodriquez.
While the script is sometimes brilliant, for example when Molly’s lawyer argues with federal prosecutors about how culpable Molly is, I just didn’t care enough about Molly Bloom to invest almost 2 1/2 hours in her story.
The film looks lovely in Blu-ray. The mostly bright interiors look terrific. Details of faces and textures of clothing look tack sharp.
Audio-wise, the dialog is crisp, but I’m not sure why this film sports a 7.1 audio track, as the surrounds are subtle. There are environmental effects but don’t confuse this with an audio demo disc. It’s not, nor would the story support active surround channels.
Building an Empire: Aaron Sorkin and star Jessica Chastain reflect on the film and the real characters portrayed.