ONLINE GAMBLING - Back in 2014 there was an important shift in the career of Russel Crowe, taking him away from the comfort zone of acting under the instructions of others, focused on making his directorial debut by taking on a story that appealed to his Australian roots. Generally speaking, The Water Diviner gained mixed to positive reviews, although it was also an important learning curve towards other future projects.
Crowe now seems to be taking an increased interest in directing, as evidenced the second reach in this direction with Poker Face in 2022. But like any potential movie project he was faced with important decisions to make, including key elements like the story setting and overall narrative, having taken on a project he considered “unshootable” at first glance.
Interviewed by news.com.au when production was complete, Crow underlined why he chose to shut down original plans for the movie, then assumed almost complete control of the direction it would take under his own leadership. This included re-writing the story, changing the location, and important decisions regarding the cast and crew.
“It was originally supposed to be shot in Sydney and Kiama, as if we were in Marin County, California,” explained Crowe. “What? The f***ing sun goes down in the wrong place, mate,” he pointed out, when recounting the conversation with producers. “If we’re going to make this film, we’re going to make it in Australia, we’re going to make it with largely an Australian cast, then let’s just have this be an Australian story,” was the blunt yet honest reasoning.
Movies themed around gambling can sometimes face additional critique, which is an integral part of the Poker Face, which features intense card game scenes during the story that goes beyond the table. Likewise, perceptions in different countries can also influence the reception towards certain topics and themes, which can contrast significantly when moral attitudes can vary.
Intriguingly, while much of America remains on the fence about online gambling, now that state legislatures have the ultimate decision regarding new laws, by comparison there’s a more liberal outlook across Australia. Based upon statistics, more than 80% of adults ‘Down Under’ tend to wager on something each year, whether betting on sports or enjoying the latest casino games.
The gaming culture there is widely acknowledged as being part of the national psyche, but just as interestingly, so is the straight-talking, no-nonsense outlook on life. This means that when Aussies look for information surrounding online casinos, there’s little tolerance or time for persuasive marketing fluff. What matters is reliable information that goes directly to the point.
That much is clear when looking through reviews covering the top Australian gambling sites, which cut away the babble and focus on the facts. This means directly comparing the pros and cons of different poker sites, bonuses and promotions available for pokies (what Aussies call slots), along with proof that games are safe and operators are fully licensed.
Cutting to the chase, without the need for any flowery embellishment or fluff; that’s a typically Australian trait, and one that defines Crowe himself. This larger than life personality has ruffled quite a few feathers during his acting career, often going against the grain of Hollywood norms and conventions, although this is also what sets him apart from other stars of the silver screen.
Unsurprisingly, critical reviews for Poker Face were more positive in Crowe’s homeland, when compared to those elsewhere. The American reviewer at Roger Ebert was largely negative, but the Australian reviewer at Screen Hub was contrastingly positive, claiming that results are worth the bet for Crowe and this particular movie production.
“Crowe has dealt himself a winning hand” was the final opinion, indicating there was certainly a more Australian understanding in play here, having embraced the gambling narrative and theme that was central to the story. And this perhaps highlights that whether looking for online casinos or deciding which movies to watch, getting a better idea of the target audience needs broader appreciation.