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“They just don’t make salesmen like him anymore,” definitely crossed my mind after watching the film, A Number’s Game; starring Steven Bauer as Neil Black, the successful ego driven salesman, whose pitch is so hot, that he could sell snow to the Eskimos. Steven Bauer’s leading role as Neil Black is undeniably the selling point for the film leaving the rest of the cast to consist of up and comers; Madison Walls, Ken Howard, and Hanna Hall. Bauer is famous for his role as Manny Ribera in the 1983 film ScareFace as well as Joey Pinero in Primal Fear (1996) and as Carlos Ayala in Traffic(2000).
Bauer’s performance (and selling tactics) bring charisma to the film as does the throwback 80’s wardrobe and the catchy tunes from the decade. Hold on to your Aquanet because this film is full of big, ultra-teased 80’s hair styles that are reminiscent of a time when Madonna, MTV, Pac Man, and “Miami Vice” ruled the world. I thoroughly enjoyed the soundtrack which featured 80’s hits “Wishing (If I had a Photograph of You)” by Flock of Seaguls, “Blue Monday” and “Love Vigilantes” by New Order, “La Grange” by ZZ Top, and “Ballroom Blitz” by The Sweet- just a few of my favorites.
The storyline is simple- Neil Black is a good looking schmoozer who can sell anything to anyone, literally. The beautiful Catherine (Madison Walls) doesn’t seem to close deals as easily as Mr. Black (Steven Bauer) and soon realizes her sales room is headed for disaster. Not able to handle rejection or accept failure, Catherine is forced to hand over her sales team to Neil Black, and watch as he turns her unproductive lazy sales room into a prosperous and successful “money room.” Basically, the plot focuses on the transformation of Catherine’s failing sales room and the blossoming relationship between her and Neil Black. I thought the storyline was lacking a bit and without a doubt could have used a more intertwining plot. But I must say, Steven Bauer gave a stellar performance and it’s his performance that really kept me watching the film. Watching Steven in another indie film was a plus, as he also starred in Nola (2000) which premiered at TriBeCa Film Festival in 2003. If you enjoy indie films with well-known actors, then definitely check it on DVD April 6, 2010.
A Numbers Game was given to me to review by Maverick Entertainment Group.