NNWIJ: Saint John of Las Vegas (2009)

Director: Hue Rhodes

Notable Cast: Steve Buscemi, Romany Malco, Sarah Silverman, Peter Dinklage, Emmanuelle Chriqui

Rating: R

Review:  Netflix’s Watch Instantly function is priceless in my eyes because it gives me the ability to see the smaller budget films/less popular films at any time.  For many reasons I wanted to catch this particular film, but of course its limited release was nowhere near me.  Enter Netflix, where it doesn’t even make me wait for the disc to catch this indie flick that looked like a quirky character driven dramedy.  Saint John of Last Vegas centered around recovering gambler John Alighiere (Buscemi) who has settled into a steady/boring living working for an insurance agency.  So, of course he gets the opportunity to become a fraud investigator by cracking a case for the agency…right outside of Las Vegas.  Led by fraud agent Virgil (Malco), this is the story of John and his battle against returning to Sin City, while they encounter numerous interesting situations only made possible by an indie-film mindset.  Oh yea, Sarah Silverman plays John’s love interest…somehow?  They never explain it and that bugged me a lot.  It goes from them talking and obviously he’s interested, to her calling him and saying she wants to be an official couple.  What?  Why?  When?  I know it’s supposed to be quirky and all that but a little explanation doesn’t hurt.  And for a character piece, they weren’t as interesting as I would have liked them to be.  It was nice to see Buscemi in a leading role instead of the support he usually gives, but much more care could have been given to his character.  Instead of being the usual indie character, he just comes off as…normal.  He wasn’t bad, I liked him, but I just wanted more.  The same goes for the movie.  It isn’t a bad film per say, it just leaves you wanting more.  Saint John of Las Vegas has its moments and isn’t something I’d say not to watch, but if there’s something else you’re more interested in…go for that instead and save this for the time you’ve run out of titles to watch for a little be.  Keep it on the back burner and when the time is right, give it a view.

Netflix Rating: 3/5

About Matt Donato

I love all things film. I'll watch any genre, any actor, at any time. This whole film critic thing is a passionate hobby for now which I'm balancing with working in the business world, but hey, someday, who knows?
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