Professional Gamblers and Subpar Filmmaking Take Center Stage in ‘The Best of It’

GameStop, Inc.

best-of-it-001

Over the past decade or so, gambling has become more acceptable in American society than at any other time in the nation’s history. While gambling’s central hub is still Las Vegas, one doesn’t have to be confined to the Nevada desert to place a bet these days, people can easily place a fantasy baseball bet online. Like the explosion of gambling, the documentary has become much more standard fare in the streaming age. As both gambling and documentary filmmaking have exploded, they each have attracted their fair share of wannabes that have tried to cash in on the growing forms of commerce. Now, I’m not trying to say that Scott Pearson Eberly is a wannabe filmmaker with his documentary about professional gamblers, The Best of It. However, I am saying that Eberly lacks the craft to find a compelling story despite having a number of interesting ingredients.

The Best of It focuses on four different professional gamblers, all of whom are living in Las Vegas at the time of filming in 2010. When we talk about Las Vegas, you can think that the movie is all about gambling there are online casino online that you can visit like 666 Casino and you might want to try your luck in playing in that game, it’s easy, you only need your phone or computer to play in it. There’s Alan “Boston” Dvorkis, a lonely and erratic soul living in his massive, empty home outside of the Strip; Ken “Shrink” Weitzner, a handicapper whose big mouth is only matched by the size of the suites he stays in; Lem Banker, an old-timer who was familiar with Lefty Rothstein, the inspiration for Martin Scorsese’s Casino; and Alan “Dink” Denkenson, a gambler and the inspiration for the gambling movie Lay the Favorite – he was played by Bruce Willis. Other gamblers and bookmakers appear in the film, though the bulk of the movie focuses on these four gamblers. Aside from gambling, there’s no through line to connect the stories of these intriguing individuals into a whole.

The most consistently overlooked aspect of filmmaking is editing, and the art of the edit is especially crucial in documentary filmmaking – look at the work of Errol Morris for a masterclass in documentary editing. When watching a documentary like The Best of It, editing comes to mind because this two-hour documentary can’t justify its running time. When Eberly presents conflict between “Boston” and “Shrink,” he then allows his movie to go into unrelated tangents about the other cast of characters. Once that conflict is finally resolved, it shows just how much The Best of It was lost in the edit. Intended to be a sprawling examination of the professional gambler, Scott Pearson Eberly fumbles this incredible human story presented to him, the kind of gift a much more adept filmmaker would craft into a rousing cinematic experience.

Of all the characters featured in The Best of It, Alan “Boston” Dvorkis is the most fascinating, and he does get a bulk of the screen time. Living in an expansive home that is barely furnished, “Boston” is an intriguing and emblematic character of the highs and lows of professional gambling. He’s a man with issues in connecting to other humans, and his canine relationships humanize his gruff exterior. The problem with the film is that it really goes out of its way to give everyone a bit too much time. Even if trying to get into the darker side of professional gambling, the lengthy diversion into the familial embezzlement of Lem Banker does little to drive home this point and instead offers another example of the film’s failed editing.

What it comes down to is The Best of It makes the least of the ample material provided it. Amazingly, all of these professional gamblers are incredibly willing to divulge various aspects of their game to the cameras, yet their willingness to confess shouldn’t translate to a willingness to present, and that’s the key mistake Scott Pearson Eberly makes. The Best of It tries to dispense all of the information cumulated during filming into the movie instead of crafting that information into a movie that informs and entertains. It’s frustrating to watch because all of the aspects necessary for that something more are there, but they never come together. Great documentaries find the human story in a compelling narrative. Okay documentaries tell their stories well without flair. Bad documentaries eithers are abhorrent propaganda or can’t find the narrative. The Best of It falls in the latter, and is incapable of finding the best of it.

The Best of It
  • Overall Score
1.5

Summary

With all the ingredients for a fascinating documentary, The Best of It fails to find a compelling story in its examination of professional sports bettors.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

FanboyNation
Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Disney’s ‘Young Woman and the Sea’ is a Triumph of Will – Review

Disney’s ‘Young Woman and the Sea‘ is a Triumph of Will...

‘Skywalkers’ Takes Love to New Heights on Netflix – Spoiler Free Review

‘Skywalkers: A Love Story‘ Takes Love to New Heights while Scaling...

‘Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Three’ – Leaves us Wanting More! – Spoiler Free Review

‘Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Three‘ is a...

Event News Event Reviews
‘Sweat’ Heats Things Up at the Long Beach Playhouse – Review

‘Sweat‘ delivers a powerful theatrical experience that resonates long after the...

The ‘California Dreams’ Band Reunite on The Sunset Strip For a Night of 90s Nostalgia – Concert Review

Don’t Wake Me Up if I’m Dreaming, The ‘California Dreams‘ Band...

Jay Anthony Franke Talks California Dreams Reunion Concert in LA – Interview

Jay Anthony Franke Talks About The ‘California Dreams‘ Reunion Concert in...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Derek Gumin Talks Planet 13 and UFC 303 Meet and Greets – Interview

Director of Wholesale Accounts at Planet 13, Derek Gumin spoke about...

Oscar De La Hoya Partners with El Rey for ‘Friday Night Fights’ – Interview

The Golden Boy himself chatted with us about Golden Boy Promotions...

Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse – Blood on the Cactus, nearing the end of the 3rd act.

What IS that big dust cloud on the horizon?

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse – Blood on the Cactus, Endgame

Mhuhahahahahahahah!

Fantoy Comics Presents: A 4th of July Message!

Seriously, America, THIS crap?!?!?

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus
MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Michael Hirsh Made Gen X Citizens Via his ‘Animation Nation’ – Interview

Legendary Animator, Michael Hirsh goes from Immigrant to Emperor in his...

Billy Eddy Talks His new Book ‘Our New World of Adult Bullies’ – Interview

Lawyer, Mediator and Personality Expert Bill Eddy Provides a Six-Step Strategy...

Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...