Life is what happens when you are making other plans~ John Lennon
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind~Gandhi
The time is always right to do what is right~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


This movie is actually based on the story of the MIT Blackjack Team as told in Bringing Down the House, a book by Ben Mezrich.

-Jim Sturgess
-Kate Bosworth
-Kevin Spacey
-Aaron Yoo
-Laurence Fishburne

Running Time
-123 minutes


-MIT senior math major Ben Campbell(Jim Sturgess) is accepted into Harvard Medical School but cannont afford the $300,000 tuition. Even though he scored a 44 MCAT score an top ranking grades, he faces fierce competition for the prestigious Robinson Scholarship that would give him a full ride and pay for everything. The director tells him that the scholarship would go to the student who amazes him
-At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, professor Micky Rosa(Kevin Spacey) challenges Campbell with the Monty Hall problem, which he solves successfully. After looking at Campbell's latest score, which was a 97%, he invites Campbell to his black jack team, which consists of fellow students Choi, Fisher, Jill, Kianna. Even though he was told by Rosa that he had already gotten into the Harvard Medical School, Ben refuses to join because he had been promoted at his job. The next day, Jill visits Ben at his job and attempts to persuade him, thus he joins that evening. The system involves counting cards and the team is split into groups. "Spotters" play the minimum bet and keep track of the count. They send secret signals to the "Big players", who place the large bets whenever the count at the table is in good favor. Campbell reluctantly joins the team, telling Rosa that he is only doing so until he can pay for med school
-Rosa takes the team to Las Vegas over many weekends. Campbell comes to enjoy his luxurious lifestyle as a big player there. His performance impresses Jill; who develops a mutual crush on him- and Rosa, but Fisher becomes jealous of Campbell's blackjack skills. Rosa kicks a drunken Fisher off the team after he insults Campbell and incites a fight. Meanwhile, security chief Cole Williams(Laurence Fishburne) monitors the blackjack team, particularly Campbell
-Campbell, distracted by the black jack, does not complete his part for a project for an engineering competition, forcing him away from his blackjack friends. During the field trip to Vegas, Campbell, emotionally distracted continues playing even after he is signaled to walk away, losing $200,000. An angry Rosa leaves the team and demands that Campbell repay him for the loss. Campbell and his 3 blackjack buddies agree to go into business for themselves; Williams, however, apprehends Capmbell, beats him up and then lets him go after a strict warning

-After he learns he has an incomplete for a class, he discovers his winnings have been stolen from his dorm room. He suspects that Rosa is responsible but has no evidence. Campbell reconciles with his friends and Jill, but approaches Rosa with an offer; he and the team will hit Vegas for one more attempt before the casinos install biometric software allowing them to quickly identify card counters, as long as Rosa-once a big player-also plays
-Disguised, the team returns to Planet Hollywood and wins $640,000 before leaving with their chips from Williams and his men. Campbell and Rosa split up, with Rosa taking the bag of chips. Rosa escapes with the hope of stealing the winnings, but finds the bag is full of chocolate coins and that the casino manager is in his car's front seat.
-Williams, the casino manager, had made a deal with Campbell after beating him; he would let Campbell come to Vegas for one night to make a lot of money in exchange for Rosa, who years earlier cost Williams his casino job by winning a large sum by counting cards. After capturing Rosa, Williams confronts Campbell and demands at gunpoint the bag of chips for his retirement. After giving up the money, Ben rejoins friends and pre-blackjack friends, who have in fact, been counting all night themselves. The movie closes with Ben recounting the entire tale to a "Dazzled" Harvard director.
-Jim Sturgess: Ben Campbell, an MIT student who can't afford med school

-Kevin Spacey: Micky Rosa, brilliant stats professor

-Kate Bosworth: Jill Taylor, Ben's love interest

-Laurence Fishburne: Cole Williams, security chief

-Aaron Yoo: Choi, Ben's sidekick

-Liza Lapira: Kianna, blackjack team member

-Jacob Pitts: Fisher

-Josh Gad: Miles Connolly, Ben's best friend

-Sam Golzari: Cam Azazi, Ben's friend

-Helen Carey: Ellen Campbell, Ben's mom
-Jack Gilpin: Bob Philips
-Spencer Garrett: Stemple

-Jeff Ma: Planet Hollywood Dealer Jeff.

Did You Know?

-Boston University students were used as extras in many of the classroom scenes
-The small statue of a nude, seen on the desk of Harvard Med professor Bob Philips, is by Venezuelan-born sculptor Maria Gamundi
-The problem Prof. Rosa mentions in class with the 3 doors is known as the Monty Hall problem.
-The main characters upon which the film 21 is based were Asian. Controversially, mostly Caucasian actors were cast and Jim Sturgess, had to have a dialect coach to help him speak with an American accent because he is London, England-born.
-The sunglasses worn by Laurence Fishburne throughout the movie are Randolph Engineering Aviators.

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