February 01, 2006

The Cooler

Posted by Xun  |  No comments

Everyone needs and desires of good luck. And there are lot of stories about the magic of turning bad to good, stones to gold with a single touch.

However, the cooler is about almost the opposite. It is about a total loser who has a god-bestowed ability of turning sour the luck of everyone including himself and everything including his life. Bad luck for some is good luck for someone else. He is a key player, the cooler, in a casino called "Sangrila" to stop the winning streak of its clients. Everyone is doomed to lose as soon as he stands near.

What happened in this man's life, we don't know. But when William Macy's character Benie Lootz stepped into the camera, his face (expressionless, tired, deep eye bags, kind of bloated like a dead fish) speaks of the joyless life he endures.

But good luck, or "lady luck" is right at the corner to turn the bad-luck gloomy man into a good-luck happy guy. He and a woman fell in love. Everything turns when this man is touched by love. In the casino, everyone he glances at, or stands nearby, or touches even just by his sleeve, is swept by good-luck-turned money.

Good luck for some is bad luck for someone else. In one day, the casino lost one million. So the owner set to stop the disastrous romance (for him). But good luck persists, love prevails. The cooler ended up winning 150,000 and happily escaped Las Vegas.

The storyline sounds pretty silly and very very melodramatic. It is. But somehow, with William Macy, Maria Bello and Alex Baldwin's acting, with we disregard the extreme scenes where good fortune bubbles up or bad luck crushes down, the movies feels real. It has very realistic touch and honest acting. Especially the sex scenes, it is raw, honest and sweaty, not a bit of pornographic.

The movie flows along slow, moody saxophone and sometimes mellowed jazz vocal. I love it.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006
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