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Mon09282020

Last updateMon, 24 Aug 2020 12pm

1. Fifty Shades of Grey* (Universal)

2. The Boy Next Door* (Universal)

3. Taken 3* (20th Century Fox)

4. Spare Parts (Lionsgate)

5. The Wedding Ringer (Sony)

6. The Gambler (Paramount)

7. Black or White* (20th Century Fox)

8. Pyramid* (20th Century Fox)

9. Kidnapping Mr. Heineken (Alchemy)

10. Paddington (Anchor Bay)

* Available for rental before Redbox and Netflix

Video Depot is starting the process of closing its final store, so this will be the last Top 10 list. The Independent thanks Jorge and the rest of the Video Depot folks for their partnership over the last 2 1/2 years!

Published in Video Top 10

I missed the latest Mark Wahlberg extravaganza—a remake of the 1970s James Caan movie The Gambler (NOT the Kenny Rogers TV movie)—when it ran in theaters early this year.

Wahlberg lost a lot of weight to play Jim Bennett, an author-turned-college professor who hates life, for some reason. The film never really delves into why Jim is so miserable, and why he has developed such a nasty gambling problem.

His problem is so bad that he can’t resist gambling even when his rich mom (a strong Jessica Lange) takes out a large loan to bail him out with criminal types. He just takes the loan and gambles some more, spiraling further downward.

John Goodman has a couple of good scenes as a loan shark who has no tolerance for weakness. Brie Larson gives a strong performance as the student who inevitably pulls Jim into a relationship, and George Kennedy makes a brief appearance as Jim’s dying grandfather.

This is a good showcase for Wahlberg, who takes his character into quite a dark place. Bitterness oozes from Jim’s pores—and I like how the roots of that bitterness remain a mystery until the end of the film. The ending is a bit predictable, but it doesn’t take away from the work of Wahlberg and Lange—two pros who make The Gambler worth your while.

Special Features: There are a bunch of behind-the-scenes featurettes and some deleted and extended scenes.

Published in DVDs/Home Viewing

1. The Boy Next Door* (Universal)

2. The Gambler (Paramount)

3. Taken 3* (20th Century Fox)

4. The Wedding Ringer (Sony)

5. Paddington (Anchor Bay)

6. Exodus: Gods and Kings (20th Century Fox)

7. Into the Woods (Disney)

8. Unbroken (Universal)

9. The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death* (20th Century Fox)

10. Big Hero 6 (Disney)

* Available for rental before Redbox and Netflix

Published in Video Top 10