Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


THE CARD PLAYER (aka Il cartaio/2004). Director: Dario Argento.

A maniac who kidnaps women wants to play poker with the police with the stakes being the life of the woman he holds captive, all played out over the Internet. Rome police inspector Anna Mari (Stefania Rocca) and John Brennan (Liam Cunningham) from Interpol are the team trying to find the women and stop the "card player;" they enlist the aid of a young poker expert named Remo (Silvio Muccino). The Card Player is different from a lot of Argento's shockers in that it's a fairly straight-forward crime thriller, which boasts a tense, exciting climax on the train tracks. It is also a lot better than some of the other films Argento made during this later period.Some Argento fans -- gore geeks -- hated it because it wasn't gruesome enough.

Verdict: Absorbing and suspenseful for the most part. ***.

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