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10 Best Movies About Casinos

10 Best Movies About Casinos

The story of an impulsive gambler, itching to win big, is never a bad story. So, gambling and casinos have always been one of the best themes filmmakers base their stories on. The palm-sweating action on the poker table, hot rolling dices, rattling wheels, bars, the glitters – casinos appeal to everybody: gamblers and onlookers alike although you could try the likes of online roulettes, which have gained much popularity lately.

You might not have that big dough to gamble away in Vegas, but worry not, you can still have some of the high rolling actions right on your TV screen. Below we are presenting you a list of the best movies about casinos that promise to leave your blood rushing in their high-stakes gambling showdown. So, sit back and feel the thrill of casinos in your home this weekend with these movies.

1. Casino (1995)

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    Casino is a story about feuds between two mobster best friends over a gambling empire. Robert De Niro shines in his role of a low level mobster Same ‘Ace’ Rothenstien, based on the real-life figure of Frank ‘Lefty’ Rosenthal, alongside Joe Pesci as Nicky Santoro, in the lead. Sharon Stone, who is sexier than ever in the 70s’ outrageous wardrobes, portrays Ginger McKenna, a call girl.

    Directed by Martin Scorsese, based on a book by Nicholas Pileggi, inspired by a true story of a man who ran four casinos for the Mafia, Casino reveals the wicked side of Las Vegas obscured by its glitters. It wouldn’t be fair if this Scorsese signature didn’t make it on the list of best movies about casinos and gambling.

    2. Casino Royale (2006)

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      The British secret service agent James Bond discovers that a financer of terrorist organizations is planning to raise money in poker games, so he takes to the high-stakes poker table of Casino Royale to topple the bad man’s plan.

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      Back in 2006 when the film was premiered, film critics as well as audiences weren’t stopping anytime sooner parsing the work of Danial Craig as the new 007 with a license to kill. And the high-stakes showdowns in the movie helped set the trend of Texas Hold’em Poker in the trend town of the gambling world. But Casino Royale is more than just high-stakes gambling and Bond-style romance and spying. Arguably, it just might be the best movie in the Bond series so far.

      3. The Gambler (2014)

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        In this remake of the 70s classic The Gambler, Mark Wahlberg portrays the role of a literature professor, Jim Bennet, who also happens to be a gambling addict. Bennet finds himself owing a lot of money to the owner of a gambling ring after playing a few rounds of Blackjack at the illegal establishment.

        From thereon, the plot revolves arounds Jim’s attempts to find ways to pay back the gangster, while one of his students, Amy, played by Brie Larson, enlists to help him find the money. The film is a good watch, if not for anything, then for Wahlberg’s outstanding performance.

        4. 21 (2008)

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          21 is a story of a group of MIT college students, trained by their professor to be experts in counting cards who take casinos in Vegas one after another for millions in winnings in the games of Blackjack. (No wonder casinos hate card counters). However, things go south for them when the casinos discover their neat scam of card counting.

          Directed by Robert Luketic, 21 stars big names of Hollywood such as Kevin Spacey and Kate Bosworth including Jim Sturgess, Aaron Yoo, Laurence Fishburne and others. Everybody wanted to learn to count cards after the movie was released in 2008.

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          5. Hard Eight (1996)

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            The story is of a pro gambler, Sydney, played by Philp Baker Hall. In his sixties, Sydney meets John, played by John C. Riley, a man down on his luck. He takes John under his wings and teaches him the tricks of the trade. John turns out to do well, until he meets Clementine, a cocktail waitress, played by Gwyneth Paltrow.

            The role of Sydney was specifically written for Hall. Hard Eight is the debut film of American filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson with which he took off his journey of highbrow film making.

            6. Rounders (1998)

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              Rounders follows a tale of a young gambler who gives up gambling but must return to the tables once again to help his dear friend get out of trouble with loan sharks. Despite the Hollywood touches, Rounders gives a realistic insight into the underground world of poker.

              Matt Damon who is known to be a real life big time gambler, plays the role of the young reformed gambler Mike McDermott who knows poker is not about luck, rather brains and discipline. Edward Norton plays the role of Mike’s friend, Lester ‘Worm’ Murphy. The movie is directed by John Dahl.

               7. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

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                Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a story of psychedelic misadventure of two friends traveling from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Duke, a sportswriter and his lawyer, Dr. Gonzo, played by Benicio del Toro, travel to Las Vegas Bazooko Circus Casino and experiment with the loads of different kinds of drugs.

                Raulo Duke is one of the best roles Johnny Depp has ever done. The movie didn’t do well at the box office when it was released in 1998 but the film has since become a cult classic – all the credit goes to the wacky performances of its two lead actors.

                8. The Cooler (2003)

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                  The Shangri-La casino has found a use for the unlucky Bernie Lootz, played by William H. Macy, to jinx the player who is taking the house for a fortune, with his bad luck. The in-house jinx are called ‘the coolers’. His luck changes when he meets Natalie, a cocktail waitress played by Maria Bello. Consequently, things change around the casino when the casino’s favorite cooler becomes a lucky charm.

                  9. Killing Them Softly (2012)

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                    The movie’s plot moves forward as an amateur crook named Frankie, played by Scoot McNairy hired by Johnny Amato, another crook played by Vincent Caratola, along with his another incompetent friend, robs a card game run by Mafia bosses. The Mafia immediately hires Jackie Cogan, played by Brad Pitt, to hunt down those responsible for the heist.

                    Gambling and crime are always shown in close association in movies – perhaps it is so in reality. Killing Them Softly is yet another movie about crime and gambling that gives a little insight into the big world of Mafia (of course, despite the Hollywood touch.)

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                    10. Croupier (1998)

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                      Jack Mandfred, played by Clive Owen, is an aspiring writer who takes a job of a croupier in a casino, just to make the ends meet. However, he gets stuck into the world of casinos, right where he finds the inspiration for the novel he wants to write.

                      Directed by Mike Hodges, this movie reveals the darker side of the gambling world and how it takes tolls on lives of people tangled there.

                      So casino has been a popular theme for movies throughout the years taking us into a world of gambling and showcasing the deceit, betrayal and roller-coaster of emotions for viewers. The movies should provide enough evidence for us to not waste ourselves on the dark world of gambling. So how about witnessing casinos right on the TV screen?

                      Featured photo credit: Flickr via c1.staticflickr.com

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                      Nabin Paudyal

                      Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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                      Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                      Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                      Video Summary

                      Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                      There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                      This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                      Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                      In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                      One Exercise, multiple benefits

                      There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                      By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                      When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                      Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                      In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                      What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                      What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                        1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                        Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                        • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                        • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                        • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                        • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                        2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                          Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                          Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                          3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                            Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                            4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                              Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                              A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                              A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                              On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                              5. You’ll improve overall balance

                                Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                                6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                                  Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                                  7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                                    Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                    How to hold a plank position

                                    1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                    2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                    3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                    4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                    5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                    6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                    7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                    Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                    Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                      How to improve your plank time gradually

                                      1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                      2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                      3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                      Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                      Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                      You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                      • Prolapse
                                      • After prolapse surgery
                                      • Pelvic pain conditions
                                      • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                      • Previous childbirth
                                      • Overweight

                                      Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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