Bret Harrison

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Deal (2008) Review


Weak
Poker-themed movies are -- finally -- hitting the sunset of their lives. When Burt Reynolds gets in on the game, you know the jig is just about up.

Reynolds actually acquits himself amicably in Deal, a harmless but unmemorable little movie about playin' cards: The young buck, the grizzled mentor, and the prostitute... they're all here. Reynolds is Tommy Vinson, the vet who hasn't played poker in 20 years but was a mastermind of the game back in the day. (Hard times, bad string of luck... you know how it goes.) Vinson spots genius Alex (Bret Harrison) on a televised poker tournament and, just like that, figures he can take the talented but undisciplined little puke and teach him a thing or two. Namely, Vinson's secret is all about spotting tells in other players, which he can miraculously do in a matter of seconds and from across the room -- nay, from outside the room, really. Why anyone would let Vinson hang around to spy on them remains one of the film's biggest mysteries.

Continue reading: Deal (2008) Review

Deal Review


Weak
Poker-themed movies are -- finally -- hitting the sunset of their lives. When Burt Reynolds gets in on the game, you know the jig is just about up.

Reynolds actually acquits himself amicably in Deal, a harmless but unmemorable little movie about playin' cards: The young buck, the grizzled mentor, and the prostitute... they're all here. Reynolds is Tommy Vinson, the vet who hasn't played poker in 20 years but was a mastermind of the game back in the day. (Hard times, bad string of luck... you know how it goes.) Vinson spots genius Alex (Bret Harrison) on a televised poker tournament and, just like that, figures he can take the talented but undisciplined little puke and teach him a thing or two. Namely, Vinson's secret is all about spotting tells in other players, which he can miraculously do in a matter of seconds and from across the room -- nay, from outside the room, really. Why anyone would let Vinson hang around to spy on them remains one of the film's biggest mysteries.

Continue reading: Deal Review

Lightning Bug Review


Good
Lightning Bug is one of those rare films that actually gets better as it goes along. It starts out as a run-of-the-mill coming of age story, but eventually finds the idiosyncrasies that separate it from the pack. It opens with Jenny Graves (Ashley Laurence), a single mom with two children, moving from Detroit to a trailer in Alabama. Flash forward several years, when her sons Green (Bret Harrison) and Jay (Lucas Till) are in their teen and pre-teen years respectively, dealing with mom's new husband Earl (Kevin Gage), who has all the charm of a rattlesnake.

For the first five minutes, the film feels like a low-budget remake of 8 Mile as we expect a drunken Kim Basinger to storm in shouting "What y'all doin' in my trailer?" Not helping matters are somewhat clunky dialogue, acting, and editing. For about 20 minutes we're introduced in this manner to Green's world, populated by cousin-lusting teens, hard-drinking man-children, and our hero's own dreams of creating monsters for horror films. But by the time that love interest Angevin (Laura Prepon, That '70s Show) is introduced, things take a turn for the more polished.

Continue reading: Lightning Bug Review

Bret Harrison

Bret Harrison Quick Links

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Bret Harrison Movies

Deal (2008) Movie Review

Deal (2008) Movie Review

Poker-themed movies are -- finally -- hitting the sunset of their lives. When Burt Reynolds...

Lightning Bug Movie Review

Lightning Bug Movie Review

Lightning Bug is one of those rare films that actually gets better as it goes...

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