Zack Bernbaum’s sophomore underline is a gambling thriller involving label cheats and wannabe gangsters.
Seemingly constructed from some bargain-basement chronicle of a concept template for slow-burn underworld thrillers, Cold Deck isn’t only derivative, it manages to be even reduction constrained than a diversion of solitaire rummy with grandma. The filmmakers seem to be underneath a mistaken clarity that they’ve combined an innovative grant to a crime play genre, though audiences might feel they’ve been dealt a fraudulent hand. A coexisting VOD recover should fast overtake a token melodramatic opening.
“Cold deck,” a gambling tenure same to “stacked deck,” refers to a rug of cards that’s been deliberately rearranged to outcome in a fixed outcome, customarily to a waste of a specific player. In this case, a aim is Bobby (Stefano Gallo), a immature bureau workman perplexing to support his bum mom Audrey (Kate Trotter) while nurturing a burgeoning gambling addiction, not distinct his defunct father. Bobby frequents a label room run by Chips (Paul Sorvino), a former associate of his dad’s, who though has no remorse about holding Bobby’s income after a prolonged night during a poker tables.
Dealing with an epic losing strain and incompetent to cover a ascent losses for his arthritic mother’s medical care, Bobby turns to his crony Ben (Kjartan Hewit) to assistance him find a approach out. Ben’s visualisation is even worse than Bobby’s, though somehow they both determine that knocking over a private label diversion with a $250,000 pot is somehow a good idea. Talking his approach into a diversion with a $25,000 interest that he and Ben performed from offered a stolen automobile and ripping off Audrey’s life savings, Bobby cases a private home, confidence setup and invited players, including his nemesis/mentor Chips.
After Chips muscles his approach into a devise and offers to unite a heist with a large advance, Bobby and Ben are all-in. Although he hasn’t counted on his losing strain fluctuating over a label tables, once Bobby’s committed to this high-stakes game, there appears to be no approach out.
By co-scripting a film alongside Jason LaPeyre and Slater Jewell-Kempker, Gallo manages to understanding himself some of a choicest scenes and dialogue, though a default of knowledge undercuts his under-inspired performance. Sorvino is plain as usual, though brings zero new to a purpose of a card-shark patriarch.
With his second underline after offbeat comedy And Now a Word from a Sponsors, executive Zack Bernbaum seems brief on strange ideas, hewing to standard underworld characters and tract cliches. Budget constraints or a miss of imagination, or both, outcome in a visible impression some-more suitable to impression dramas than thrillers, shackling a film with an altogether clarity of underachievement.
Production companies: Sudden Storm Productions, Scooping Owl Productions
Distributor: Screen Media Films
Cast: Stefano Gallo, Paul Sorvino, Robert Knepper, Jessica Sipos, Kjartan Hewit, Kate Trotter
Director: Zack Bernbaum
Screenwriters: Stefano Gallo, Jason LaPeyre, Slater Jewell-Kempker
Producers: Jeff Glickman, Jesse D. Ikeman
Executive producers: Zack Bernbaum, Stefano Gallo, Justin McConnell
Director of photography: Kris Belchevski
Production designers: Jessica Jerome, Ashley Hrivnak
Costume designer: Kendra Terpenning
Editor: Jonathan Eagan
Music: Erica Procunier
Casting directors: Robin D. Cook, Jonathan Oliveria
Not Rated, 80 minutes