Thursday Night Movie Club
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Release Date: April 25, 2003

Director: James Foley
Edward Burns
Rachel Weisz
Morris Chestnut
Leland Orser
Louis Lombardi
Paul Giamatti
Brian Van Holt
Donal Logue
Luis Guzmán
April O'Brien
Jay Giannone
Tom 'Tiny' Lister Jr.
Franky G
Dustin Hoffman
Melissa Lawner
Jake Vig
Lionel Dolby
Alphonse 'Big Al' Moorley
Officer Lloyd Whitworth
Officer Omar Manzano
Attractive Blonde
Car Salesman
Winston King
Confidence movie poster
Click on the photo of Jake Vig to link to the official movie website.Confidence starts with one "huge" assumption: No one in the theatre saw "Reindeer Games" starring Ben Afleck. Confidence starts exactly the same way, a dead man laying on the pavement with a voice over narration "So I'm dead." It pretty much ends the same way...

Edward Burns stars as the unfortunate Jake Vig who ends up dead. Jake begins his "tale" by going back in time 3 weeks earlier. Jake's "tale" also jumps forward to the hours just before Jake's death. It turns out, Jake is telling his story to a hit man hired to find out the truth before assassinating Jake. The world will never never learn the truth from a con man, that's why they call it a con. And thus, the con begins...

As in the classic "The Sting", being a member of the audience, you walk into this movie knowing you are the mark. The question is: Can you spot the con? If you can, the movie sucks. This one doesn't.

The tagline for this movie is: It's not about the money. It's about the money! Sounds stupid, Until Jake spends the rest of the con explaining it. In the opening "tale" Jake is recounting, the sting almost works until the mark mentions the fatal words, "What about the money!" This is important because that catch phrase pops up repeatedly. A good con is always about the money and how to separate a mark from it. As Jake explains in the opening sting, you have to get the mark to leave in such a way that he will never come back looking for it. In "The Sting", this involved a shooting and the police. Hint-Hint!

Click on the photo of Jake and The King to link to the official movie website.The opening "tale" is important because the audience comes in on "the sting", the part where the mark is separated from his cash. We do not know the "tale" of the con. After the mark leaves, the shill (the setup man) and the mope in the group complains that he wants a more involved role in the next con. But being the fool that he is, he quickly ends up dead. The result of conning the wrong man at the wrong time. The mark is working for "The King". You don't mess around with the King. Knowing how the con works out, I am wondering if the shill is allowed to be killed off purposely by Jake and his crew as a way to "hook" a bigger mark. I think I am right...especially since the new partner is the seductive Lily. But this is a rather cruel and unfair remark since the gang pools their money and sends it to the shill's father.

Jake and his gang find themselves in deadly trouble. They are marked men with targets on their backs. The only way out is to make things straight with the King. The King is a short, dumpy guy whose mind jumps around faster than a ping pong ball. He can handle several conversations at one time and can change personalities in the middle of a sentence. He is menacing in an overt manner. Jake sucks up to the King to save his life...or does he? To make things sqauare with the King, Jake agrees to flease a mark of the King's chosing. In return, the King gets his money back with interest and Jake gets to "die another day" (ok, cheap reference).

George Roy Hill's "The Sting" was broken into chapters: The Setup, The Hook, The Tale, The Shutout, The Sting. They are all here on magnificent display. The point is: Spot the con! If you can!

Click on the photo of Jake and Lily to link to the official movie website.This movie is very good. I won't kid you, its not great. Edward Burns reminds me so much of Ben Afleck. He has similar facial expressions and looks as Afleck, but he can act. Burns comes off as smarter so I like his movies better than Afleck's. The team of con artists is great. They are funny, sensitive, bitter, depresessed, ready to move on, creative, you name it. The gang is portrayed as two-bit con artists. But this is far from the truth.

The bottom line with any the King points out..."You're good. I can't tell if your lying, but I am getting close". Hah! A con man only tells you what he wants you to know...."all in good time" (ok, another cheap refrence). This last statement is truer than you might think. Watch other con movies and look for the 5 Chapters I've listed above. They are all there. That's why they call it a con. I've told you absolutely nothing about this movie. It's a con movie. I'll give you a hint...and its pretty obvious if you've seen a lot of movies as I have: Who is the "mark" in this movie (besides you)? Think about it...remember the 5 Chapters of a Successful Con (based on the "Con Man's Handbook") mentioned above.