Cast: Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlake, Gemma Arterton
Release Date: Now Available to own on Blu-Ray Combo Pack & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
When a poor college student who cracks an online poker game goes bust, he arranges a face-to-face with the man he thinks cheated him, a sly offshore entrepreneur.
‘Runner Runner’ tells the story of a college student (Timberlake) who while running a gambling racket in order to pay his college tuition is forced to stop his moneymaking scheme after issues with the Dean, and as a result decides to throw his entire bank accounts balance into online poker in order to try and win enough money to successfully pay the remainder of his tuition and obtain his masters degree. Unfortunately he ends up being scammed by the online site and is taken for everything he has. Instead of reporting this to the authorities, he decides to venture into the heart of online gambling in Costa Rica and confront the man who runs the site (Affleck) in order to get his money back and bring questionable tactics implored by employees of his site to his attention in good faith. Next thing he knows, he is given a job and in the blink of an eye everything changes for him, he is making good money, doing something he both loves and is great at, while at the same time trying to avoid federal agents intent on bringing his employer down. Is this truly the good life, or are things too good to be true?
The cast of ‘Runner Runner’ is certainly the most notable aspect of the film. Justin Timberlake continues to prove himself a talented and capable actor, and easily holds his own with some of the bigger names in Hollywood. Ben Affleck is at his best here, playing a conniving and evil role, which I personally feel is the type of role in which Affleck really shines and often does some of his best work. Gemma Arterton is gorgeous as always and gives a great performance as the conflicted love interest slowly driving a dagger between these two men. John Heard and a number of other familiar faces also give impressive performances that really help give this film the believability and edge it needed to work as well as it did. Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) directs and does a more than competent job with the task.
OVERALL: ‘Runner Runner’ is a smart, fast paced modern thriller inspired by true events, and is boosted greatly by a powerful cast. While I won’t go so far as to say it is one of the best films of 2013, it is certainly a very fun and well done thriller that I would definitely recommend checking out if you get the chance. It is well worth the watch and is a film that I can absolutely see myself viewing again down the road as well.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Runner Runner’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation is well on par with the impressive quality we have come to expect from Fox’s Blu-Ray releases. The video is sharp, detailed and all of the colors and shapes look spot on and are gorgeously put on display here. I could not find any faults in the video transfer and everyone should be quite satisfied with this high definition video presentation.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack which is surprisingly more active than one would imagine the soundtrack to this type of film would be. The score and subtle natural background effects are frequently exaggerated to a perfect point which really helps to immerse you into the movie. The intense and action oriented sequences kick this lossless soundtrack into high gear and really provide it with a chance to show off its stuff, which it does admirably. I’m fairly certain the majority of the fellow audiophiles out there will be perfectly content with this lossless 5.1 channel soundtrack.
SPECIAL FEATURES: The Blu-Ray release of ‘Runner Runner’ isn’t too heftily supplied with bonus content, though it does indeed include a couple of nice extras that are worth checking out. Included on both the DVD & Blu-Ray releases are a number of Deleted Scenes from the film, while a featurette titled ‘House of Cards: The True Story of Online Poker’ is included solely as a Blu-Ray exclusive and provides a behind the scenes look at the progression of online gambling and its effect in the world.
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
‘Runner Runner’ is now available to own on Blu-Ray Combo Pack & DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.