Starring: William H. Macy, Maria Bello, and Alec Baldwin
Directed by: Wayne Kramer
Cooler is smooth as fine scotch poured over ice baby! It's
a hip love story of the "Vegas kind"...classic Vegas.
It also has this pleasant Philip Marlowe-esque ambiance amidst
the ting-a-linging of the slots thanks to its swell feel from
cinematographer Jim Whitaker and production designer Toby Corbett.
goes...Bernie Lootz (William H. Macy) is not having a good day...heck
his whole life is kinda dullsville down town. He's got luck so
bad the Shangri-La casino keeps him employed as a "Cooler."
simply needs to stand by a patron, lean in their way, or pass
in their path and their "winning streaks" fizzle and
pop like an Alka-Seltza© cube after
a rough night of high-stakes Black Jack.
that's about to change. He's just met Natalie (Maria Bello) a
floor waitress. Natalie's different - she kind of digs Bernie...yes
in that way. She's also a heap of trouble only beauti-full
dames can conjure up for dem guys.
But there's more unlucky mayhem on the desert's horizon for saddy-cakes
Bernie. Seems his manipulating old-school mob-reeking piranha
of a boss Shelley (Alec Baldwin) aint too pleased with the union
- or is he?
knows. See, Shelley' got his own troubles. A young corporate upstart
(Ron Livingston) has just invaded his turf.The new kid's hell
bent on updating the Shangri-La into the twenty-first century.
No more knobby nagahyde booths, faux glass oil drizzeling chandeliers,
aqua netted wait staff and huffin' lounge acts (Paul Sorvino)
He's gonna use gambling psychology and modern seduction methods
to revamp the place.
Shelley's dead body!
fun. There's nothing quite like a good old fashioned movie. The
characters are so rich you can practically smell the sweat of
the Shangri-La's losers, decades thick, permeating from the casino
walls right in your theater seat!
Of course the film belongs to William H. Macy.
He gives Bernie an aching dread you can feel so deeply you squirm
in your seat. After all Macy knows losers; he's built a career
on them. But here, he crowns his niche with a platinum bejeweled
performance. And once you get over seeing Macy naked - yes I said
naked - and the sight comes back to your eyes, the movie unfolds
Baldwin is menacing! This one fella, acting or not, I wouldn't
wanna piss off or take the last Croissant roll on. That's for
Maria Bello morphs and slinks about in the flesh of Natalie to
the point you're convinced she knew this lady at one time in her
life. A powerful ass-kicking chickbabe job. And fyi all you feline
adoring readers among us, she's gorgeous to boot.
Ron Livingston is an underrated talent. He gives good smarm beneath
those devilish flickering eyes; he's aces baby, aces. Looks-wise?
On a scale of one to George Clooney, Ron's about a steady eight.
Keep your out for this palooka - he's got "it." Wanna
see more now? Rent/buy Swingers or Office Space.
Cooler is quite a treat. Slow and unraveling, rich and colorful.
Bluntly speaking? It's Macy 'nough said?
recommendation: Salted peanuts and a Long Island Ice Tea.