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By Doug Brunell | November 11, 2008

Supposedly based on a true story, “Livewire” looks at the world of horse racing, gambling, and the desire of hardcore gamblers everywhere to take luck out of the picture. In the gambler’s world, if you have a system and can remove luck, you have “a sure thing.” To get to that end gamblers will sometimes go to extraordinary measures involving superstition, systems and even cheating. In the case of Bo (Michael Cavalieri) and Rico (Dion Derizzo), they resort to the latter with something called The Gimmick, a machine of a dubious nature where the intent is to deliver information to a person via a briefcase acting as a transmitter.

As low budget films of this sort go, this one is fairly solid. One of its faults, however, is that it is too short. We have enough time to know the characters and their motivations, and we get a great scene of The Gimmick in action, but somehow the movie fails to absorb the viewer. In fact, its conclusion leaves you thinking, “There has to be more to this story.”

Whether or not this tale is true doesn’t really matter. It’s not about the machine; it’s about the lifestyle. Gambling addicts have very similar mindsets, but the actions they take in order to beat the system is what makes their stories interesting. “Livewire” gets that aspect of their lives right. It’s a shame, however, that more time couldn’t have been spent on it.

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