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The Baltimore Sun

'The Cooler'

Wayne Kramer co-wrote and directed this inspired 2003 film that shows the other side of Vegas — not the glossy, Disneyland-esque resort hotels, but the small, old-fashioned and often seedy hotels and casinos in the downtown area. In the case of “The Cooler,” the name of the dive is the Shangri-La, which has recently been bought by a group of investors who want to modernize it. Game Play: William H. Macy plays a sad sack named Bernie Lootz who works at the Shangri-La as a “cooler” — a guy who can stop a high-roller’s winning streak at the craps table. But when he falls in love with a waitress (Maria Bello), he’s discovers his powers for back luck are over, much to the chagrin of his boss (Alec Baldwin). ContentFilm / Jim Sheldon
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