Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Aces Casino Lists Their Top 5 All-Time "Las Vegas" Films

When you're in the orange county casino party rental business, people tend to assume that you know everything there is to know when it comes to the casino industry in general and the city of Las Vegas in particular. Those same people also seem to ask the most interesting questions at our events when it comes to all of the "gaming peripherals," like what Nevada souvenirs are collectible, where the best restaurants are in Vegas, all kinds of stuff like that... 

Bottom line; Aces Casino seems to be the "Wikipedia of Casino Information."  (Also known around here as the "Library of Useless Information," but you already knew that.  Grin)

Recently, at one of our many orange county casino night affairs, the subject of "greatest films involving Las Vegas and/or Casino settings" came up, and, as usual, our staff was more than willing to put their two cents into the conversation and make up a list of their favorite films in this category. 

Since that time, the discussions have been fierce; so much so that it was decided to put the topic to a vote at our offices here in Southern California, and find out who the official Aces Casino choices were when it came to "Hollywood and their portrayal of the Casino Industry."   So, without any further interruption, here are  Aces Casino's Top 5 "Vegas Films," in reverse order.....

First, three films that didn't make the los angeles casino party leader's "cut list:"

-- "Leaving Las Vegas,"  Nicolas Cage's 1996 Oscar-Winning portrayal of a suicidal screenwriter that has decided to end his life in a hotel room in Sin City.  Grim tale, and Cage's character could have picked anywhere to do the heinous deed.  No points for this one.  If I wanted a sad theme from Vegas, I'd film my own history of sports betting.

-- "National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation," Chevy Chase's too-goofy jaunt into family gatherings out in the desert.  So much for Mr. Papageorgio.  No score.

-- "Shade," a film that good ol' Sly Stallone made when attempting to portray what the world of casino card cheats might be like.  We're still trying to figure out why great card players would consider it a necessity to play against these cheats and beat the game.  Forget it...They CHEAT.  No score.

OK, let's start with #5......"The Cooler," starring William H. Macy as the "Cooler" himself, a sad-sack type that brings bad luck with him everywhere he goes.  Alec Baldwin is perfectly cast as the casino manager that recognizes Macy's "talent," and hires him to cool off hot casino guests.  Great film, a must-see for those of you that may have skipped it in the past....

-- #4 -- "Bugsy." Warren Beatty stars as the enigmatic Ben "Bugsy" Segal, who ended up being the catalystic seer of the future that pictured Las Vegas being the perfect adult vacation town.  Fantastic cinematography, and a great script that tells the true story of the birth of Las Vegas in a sometimes chilling, sometimes hilarious tone.  GREAT film.

-- #3 -- "Oceans 11 (1960)."   Anyone that is "jonesing" to see what Las Vegas was like back in it's "Rat Pack" days should budget two hours out of their busy schedule and rent/borrow this classic. Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin?  Vintage Las Vegas?  A Daring robbery?  This one has it all, highly recommend it.  (Yeah, the Clooney one was good, too, but this one won the tiebreaker here at Aces Casino.)

-- #2 -- "Honeymoon In Vegas."  Where to begin....A cameo by Jerry Tarkanian, Sky-diving 'Elvises," James Caan as the bad guy, losing in a five-card draw poker game with a straight flush, and "please don't let me land on anything sharp?"  Pat Morita as the Taxi driver / Caan minion, Sarah Jessica Parker as the bride-turned-prize, Peter Boyle as the Crazed King Orman, and Nicolas Cage at his best as the everyman in Vegas that gets a little side-tracked.  A classic, get it out and watch it again.  That's what I'm going to do, when I finish this blog.

-- #1 -- "Casino."  Yeah, like any other film would be number one.  Deniro playing the true-life Frank Rosenthal, and Joe Pesci playing a character based on ex-hit man Tony Spilatro, the two of them taking over the city of Las Vegas as only they could.  Sharon Stone is fabulous as the money-crazed druggie-wife of DeNiro's "Ace Rothstein," and cameos from many of the great character actors of their day like Don Rickles and Alan King.  The quintessential Hollywood film about Las Vegas.  Hey, I can say that -- I knew Frank Rosenthal (who just passed away recently) when he ran the Stardust Hotel.  This is how it ran.  Watch THIS film right after "Honeymoon in Vegas."  Odd double-feature, but you'll get a little bit of everything for this twin-bill... Enjoy.

Well, that's all for now.  Remember, anyone looking for info when it comes to the orange county casino party industry need look no further than Aces Casino.  Give us a call, and let us help you with your next Vegas night casino party!

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