I just caught a trailer for 21. It’s based on a book, Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich about a group of students from MIT who memorize probability distributions to game blackjack in casinos. Most of the team members were Asian, hapa or female. The people on the team were chosen specifically for their race and gender in order to appear less conspicuous. That is because Asians tend to be big rollers, and women seem less suspicious in their seeming luck. So it really annoyed me when I noticed in the trailer that almost everyone in the film was white, except for two cast members – one of them apparently quite minor.
This is just one more way that Hollywood has shafted the Asians. Oh well given that Kevin Spacey is using this film as a vehicle, I have a sense that he’s going to play an excessively large role as the teacher who leads the blackjack team – a role that was extremely minor in the book. While it’s not the most well-written of books, Bringing Down the House is an engaging and interested read.