The Best of It - Digital Review - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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The Best of It - Digital Review

Title: The Best of It

Video: N/A
Audio: N/A

HTS Overall Score:70

Gambling is something that comes with sort of a stigma in today’s society, and for good reason. It’s the strategy of playing the odds with some sort of game (usually it’s a game, although there are outliers to that bell curve) and trying to win more than what you paid in. Essentially it’s trying to get something for nothing. Or is it? Gambling as a hobby is just that, but many many MANY people have tried to do it for a living and getting something for NOTHING is just not the reality of the situation. It’s hard work at grinding grinding and grinding those odds in the hope that your risk pays out, and in many situations it’s a losing battle. Gamblers have been chewed up and spit out of Vegas and the like for centuries and it’s not something that will change anytime soon. “The Best of It” takes a long hard look at the life of several professional sports gamblers and analyzes what makes them tick, as well as peels back the layers of myth and legend that these “successful” gamblers have built up around them.

Right off the bat we’re introduced to three or four of the most successful gamblers in modern society. Lem Banker (who has been doing this for over 50 years), Alan “Dink” Denkenson, Alan “Boston” Dvorkis, and Ken “The Shrink” Weitzner. These four men have been building a life off of sports betting for untold decades and a pretty successful one at that. Boston lives 17 miles off the strip in a fairly luxurious house and on the other side is Dink, who lives a bit less successfully, but still very comfortably miles away. Then there is The Shring who is considered to have been one of THE best sports betting salesman’s in the last century. His network of clients who share sports bet information is vast, as is his client base who BUY his sports picks from him every day.

Watching more than 15 minutes soon made me realize that this glossy veneer was just that, a veneer. The eyes are a window into the soul and it’s pretty easy to see that this is NOT an easy life. Boston seems to be incredibly successful, but listening to him talk about his life’s goals and lost dreams you can tell that the term “addiction” matches up with him well. There is a sense of sadness and depression in his demeanor when he talks about wanting to retire from sports betting and become an English teacher someday. He grinds at college basketball for 5 months out of the year and basically becomes a hermit while he’s spending 17 hour days just crunching numbers over and over and over again. He even mentions that much of his life’s success has been because he found gambling a cathartic release from his over vices. Basically a way for him to absorb himself into something and find meaning.

Other’s like Lem Banker and Dink both do well, but there is something that seems to run common throughout ALL the gamblers interviewed. They all say that the sport is not what it used to be, and if they had to do it over they would have chosen something else as it is not a lifestyle they would recommend. I may sound like an armchair psychologist, but the label of “addiction” seems to come to play here. Not to mention the constant levels of stress and dejection when your bets don’t pay off. However, that’s really not much different than stock brokers who do the same thing. Playing odds based upon numbers given to them by others. The only difference being that the betting world is made up of bookmakers who have stacked the odds against the gambler, making their lives that much harder to pull the win out of the hat.

The saddest story comes out of the ending of the documentary. Carefully crafted for those who don’t know the betting world, it weaves a tale of the most successful gambler of them all. The Shrink. He created an empire of betting and was known on message boards as “The Shrink” due to his incredible skills and his desire to help his fellow gamblers, much like a shrink. I won’t give the ending away completely, but needless to say that his story wraps up the deep dark message of “The Best of It” quite nicely. A message that reads, “In the end, the house always wins”.


Not Rated by the MPAA

Video N/A
As this was done from a streaming screener we have no viable way of calculating the picture quality due to the fluctuating dips and peaks that occur during a streaming broadcast, which is dependent on the user's internet connection and stability

Audio N/A
As with the video, no score for the audio is given at this time due to being sourced from a stream and the same limitations with the video are taken into effect. Thus the score of the movie will the only score taken into account for the final grade.


• Due to being streamed for this screener, no extras were included


I get the message and I get the direction of the film, and for an indie documentary “The Best of It” was really well done. Most of the flaws are rather rookie film making techniques more than poor writing and poor direction. There’s a few spots in the film where the editor would forget to cut the camera and wait a few seconds too long to make a splice, as well as allowing the film to stretch on about 20 minutes too long, but these are all just mild editing mistakes a pro would have caught instantly and doesn’t detract from the message at all. The biggest positive I can take from the doc is that it doesn’t try and beat you over the head with a message. There is no “Gambling is evil!, don’t go near it!” or “Go get rich quick guys!”. It’s a simple documentary that shows the hardships and trials that happen in the life of a professional gambler. There are people who love what they do, but it takes an unflinching view at the tough TOUGH job these guys do and amount of love you have to have to even attempt making a living at betting the odds.

Additional Information:

Starring: Alan “Dink” Denkenson, Lem Banker, Alan Dvorkis
Directed By: Scott Pearson Eberly
Written By: Scott Pearson Eberly
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 2.0
Studio: Other
Rated: NR
Runtime: 116 Minutes
DVD Release Date: May 3rd, 2016

Recommendation: Check It Out

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