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Failing to Learn the Lessons of James Bond and Ocean’s Eleven: Why ‘The House’ Has Bombed

Having Will Ferrell on the cast list used to be indicative of a funny, exciting movie perfect for date nights and watching with your buddies. Nowadays, though, it seems that Will Ferrell doesn’t care so much about the quality of the movies he appears in, something that perhaps helps us to understand why he chose to be part of the widely derided (and now very poorly performing) movie The House.

Ferrell on the Slide…

It could have all turned out so well. Having come up with a decent premise for the movie – Scott and Alex (Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler) decide to start a casino in their house to pay tuition fees for their daughter – the movie descends into a strange mixture of torture scenes, unfunny deviancy, and a general malaise that leaves fans laughing more at the end-of-film outtakes than at the storyline.

Will Ferell

“Will Ferrell” by Eva Rinaldi (CC BY-SA 2.0)

To many movie fans, it has come across as something of a missed opportunity, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 16%, especially since so many legendary movies revolve around the gambling sector. Take the James Bond remake of Casino Royale as a solid example; not only did it provide some lighter moments, wonderful car chases, and a hefty dose of drama (the witty one-liners during the climax of the poker scenes were enough to make the film a success on their own) but it also left you engaged by a world that not everyone has a proper awareness of.

A Royale Status That’s Easy to Achieve?

Of course in the Bond movie, Bond is immediately brought into the world of VIP status, and it is this glamorous side that helps to explain the widespread appeal of gambling as a movie topic. The appeal of casinos treating gamers like royalty is very much a reality in land-based casinos as well as in online casinos in 2017. If you click here, you can see just from a quick glance precisely how well online casinos are prepared to treat their customers, with VIP welcome packages worth hundreds of dollars widely on offer for new customers. That’s before we’ve even mentioned the likes of free spins and bonuses, which casinos often keep exclusive for their most ‘V’ of VIPs.

casino royale

“CASINO ROYALE” by  (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 

It’s not just the VIP lifestyle that keeps us glued to our screens when it comes to casino movies; it’s also that element of chance. That feeling of ‘what if’ when the little guy takes on the metaphorical big guy. It’s for this reason that we enjoy, for instance, watching the Oceans films (OK, maybe the combo of Brad Pitt and George Clooney was also a draw for some viewers!).

Unfortunately, the decision not to take heed of these proven trends in the movie industry partly explains the lack of success with The House, which seems just to have attempted to mix The Hangover (at least the good parts of it) together with the drama of the gambling world whilst hoping for the best.

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