Thursday, August 07, 2014

Is Gutshot Straight the Nut Low?

Saw folks referring this week to this forthcoming film starring Steven Seagal that is getting referred to as a “poker movie” thanks to a plot that appears to include a professional poker player as its protagonist and a title that like the miserable Runner Runner involves a poker term -- Gutshot Straight.

The trailer recalls Runner Runner, too, with poker not appearing too vital to the story and ham-fisted lines punctuating action sequences being front and center:

Not a lot of info circulating about the film with regard to release dates or distribution plans, and in fact it appears it is likely headed for some kind of direct-to-video release. I saw one article from early May actually saying something about the producers wanting to send it to Cannes later that month, but that clearly wasn’t a realistic plan.

There isn’t even a lot available regarding what exactly Gutshot Straight is about. It’s “the story of a professional poker player who gets mixed up with a mysterious underworld gambler,” or so goes the line repeated in most articles about the movie.

It seems like there would be about a hundred other poker terms and phrases that would work better as titles for an action-adventure vehicle than “gutshot straight” or “runner runner.”

“Under the gun” has been used a lot before, including by John Vorhaus for his poker-themed novel. But there are so many still available, like…

  • Bad Beat
  • Blind Steal
  • Catching Perfect
  • Calling the Clock
  • Cards Speak
  • Cold Call
  • Dead Money
  • Drawing Dead
  • Drawing Live
  • Freezeout
  • Hand-for-Hand
  • Hijack Seat
  • Jackpot
  • Kill Game
  • Misdeal
  • Run It Twice
  • Scare Card
  • Squeeze Play
  • Heck, even Nut Low seems like it’d be better than Gutshot Straight, although it would probably be better suited not for an action flick but for an indie production pursuing some existentialist theme, say, about a down-and-out ex-junkie hitting rock bottom.

    Could be worse, I guess, but Bubble Boy was taken.

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