Hard Eight 12/22/20
First films of important directors usually feel like warm-ups, but not so this suspenseful story of ‘twilight’ people living in and around casinos. Paul Thomas Anderson writes and directs in a style that guarantees our full attention at all times. Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow and Samuel L. Jackson assay riveting main characters, with Philip Seymour Hoffman in for a brief turn at the crap tables. It’s all behavior and relationship detail — are we reading each individual correctly? Are we going to learn more about them? When the surprises come, the story takes shape in its own unique way. On Blu-ray from Viavision [Imprint].