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‘Poker Movie’ explores influence of the game

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Sunday, April 22, 2012, at 9:22 a.m.

I do not have a poker face. If I get a full house in my hand, you’ll know immediately by my ear-to-ear grin.

So I certainly would not last in the poker world, which is thoroughly explored in “All In — The Poker Movie,” a documentary that will screen at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday at Murdock Theatre, 536 N. Broadway. Tickets are $8.

The film explores the vast-reaching influence of the card game, and how it has permeated popular culture. It also follows professional card players who have made a living playing the game. For them, poker has become a metaphor for the American Dream.

The film includes interviews with such celebrities as actor Matt Damon, singer Kenny Rogers and others, as well as such poker aficionados as Nolan Dalla, Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer and many others.

For more information and to view a trailer, go to www.murdocktheatre.com.

Indie faith“Blue Like Jazz,” which is now playing at the east Warren Theatre, is a prime example of DIY independent filmmaking.

The film, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, was funded through “crowdsourcing” with donations of more than $300,000 through the website Kickstarter.com. The site allows people to donate money to creative projects — everything from films to books to video games — and in return get such perks as screen credit. Each donor on “Blue Like Jazz” received an associate producer title.

The film is based on Donald Miller’s best-selling memoir of the same name (he co-wrote the film’s screenplay along with the film’s cinematographer, Ben Pearson), and tackles existential Christian themes.

It follows Don (Marshall Allman, TV’s “True Blood”), a 19-year-old sophomore at a Texas junior college who tries to escape his Bible Belt upbringing by moving to Portland, Ore. He enrolls at Reed college, a bastion of liberalism and promiscuity, which he is unprepared for after his devout Christian upbringing.

He struggles to find himself amid the chaos, and tries to get his life back on track.

Whether the viewer agrees with the film’s themes or philosophy, we have to admire Miller’s tenacity in getting his film made. The making of the film is documented on www.bluelikejazzthemovie.com.

Zombie zone ahead — I am a fan of zombie films. I even made one.

So I was intrigued this week when it was announced that there would be a “re-imagining” of that “Citizen Kane” of all zombie films, George A. Romero’s classic “Night of the Living Dead.”

Sure, there are too many prequels, reboots and spin-offs in the world, but there might as well be one more. “Night of the Living Dead: Origins 3D” is reportedly a re-telling of the film, only set in New York City, not rural Pennsylvania.

The film will be shot entirely in a CG environment using stereoscopic 3D. At least there won’t be any fake blood to clean up.

The movie is director Zebediah De Soto’s debut feature. He also co-wrote the screenplay with David Reuben Schwartz, an actor whose IMDb credits include roles listed as “Movie Theater Patron” and “Hand Model.” Hey, you gotta start somewhere.

No word yet on a release date, though a press release said “sometime in 2012.”

I’ll keep an eye out for it. And maybe a severed finger.

Reach Rod Pocowatchit at rpocowatchit@wichitaeagle.com.

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