Posts Tagged ‘David Levien’

Costa Rica lashes out at Movie “Runner Runner”

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

runner-runner-costa-rica-angryIt’s now been over a year since the movie Runner Runner hit box offices, much to the poker world’s dismay. Initially there was excitement when it was revealed that Rounders writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien were penning the script. However, this excitement turned to horror when the B-movie plot was revealed and online poker was cast in a terrible light.

Apparently, the box office flop, which made just $30 million, has finally made its way to the Costa Rican government. And according to InsideCostaRica, Minister of Public Security, Celso Gamboa, is angry about how the film portrays his country’s Fuerza Publica (national police officers).

“Instead of drawing attention to our country for its flora and fauna, they tarnish the image of our civilian police,” said Gamboa. “It is a way of telling criminals and drug addicts that Costa Rica is perfect (for such behavior). We want this to be fixed because you don’t play with (mock) our country.”

One scene that Gamboa takes particular offense at is how the police officers are drinking, smoking cigars and hanging out with prostitutes. This certainly goes along with the image that the film tries to portray, in that Costa Rica is a crime-riddled, corrupt, online gambling haven.

Some inconsistencies with the movie include that it was filmed in Puerto Rico – not Costa Rica – and the Central-American nation is portrayed as an island (perhaps director Brad Furman is confused with Antigua?).

In any case, Runner Runner, or Apuesta Maxima as it’s known in Costa Rica, has been a failure on so many levels. Now we can add incensing the Costa Rican government to this list of failures. And if you haven’t seen the film before, which I’m hoping is true, check out the trailer below:

Rounders Sequel may hinge on “Runner, Runner”

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Ever since the 1998 cult classic Rounders was released, many poker players have been interested in seeing a sequel. After all, there are some burning questions that fans of the first movie have, such as the following:

– How did Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) do at the WSOP?

– Did “Worm” (Edward Norton Jr.) do anything worthwhile with his life?

– Is Teddy “KGB” (John Malkovich) still hustling players in his card club?

– Did Joey Knish (John Turturro) ever grow the “stones to take a shot?”

Well our chances of having these questions answered may all depend on the success of a more current movie in Runner, Runner. The thriller, which centers on the shadier side of the online poker industry, has currently grossed $31,106,712 – just above its $30 million production budget. When its subsequent weeks and DVD sales are factored in, Runner, Runner could end up showing a profit against the $30m budget and undisclosed advertising/promotion costs.

If you’re wondering why a Rounders sequel hinges so much on Runner, Runner, it’s because writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien have a hand in both films. This duo wrote the original Rounders, and they also came up with the script for Runner, Runner. Assuming this anti-online poker flick takes off, it could convince investors that Koppelman/Levien’s Rounders II concept is worthwhile. The pair commented on this matter by telling PokerNews the following:

We do, however, have the story for Rounders II worked out, and all the actors and the director of the first film are ready to come do it. It’s a matter of the companies who control the rights getting behind it and allowing it to happen.

What’s really cool is to hear that the guys who made the first Rounders so great – Damon and Norton – would be ready to come out and do a sequel. Now we just have to wait for the Hollywood politics and financials to play out before Rounders II becomes a reality.