The '21' Experience

The other night, I went to the opening of 21, with some local MIT alumni. My girl Charisse organized a get together of MIT folks to see a 21+ showing at the Arclight in Hollywood. No, there were no extra ‘adult’ scenes in the film, or anything. Arclight 21+ showings just have a bar outside the theater, and you can take your drinks inside with you, if you like.

Trust me, we needed the drinks.

The film was….laughable. Then again, maybe we were looking for some good laughs, the film being about an MIT student counting cards at casinos (based on a true story).

As a group we opened the film with a requisite “LSC…….Sucks!” cheer. Snickering ensued from then on. Some things I remember being funny:

  • The mythical ‘MIT 4.0′ GPA being impressive. MIT grades on a 5.0 scale, with a 5.0 being the A average. A 4.0 from MIT means you’re sittin’ in B-ville. Not like that’s a bad thing. Just sayin. It’s like graduating from MIT ‘with honors.’ That’s impossible.
  • The constant use of the term ‘2.090’ (said: “the Two-Ninety”) for our robot competition. It’s actually 2.009 (said: two double-oh nine). Not sure why they chose to use a different, but similar and confusing name for the class. 
  • Random scene on Memorial Drive in front of Killian Court, where lead was talking to his nerdy friends. There was mad foot traffic in the scene, as if anybody walks down this sidewalk at all during school.

Overall, the film was average. I nodded off a few times, to be honest. I agree with the protests, the film was racist to not include more Asian actors because in real life, the team consisted of more Asian students. Now that I think about it, the lone Asian actor in the film had few lines, and a minimal role of importance on the team.

Hollywood never fails to disappoint.

3 thoughts on “The '21' Experience”

  1. That is SOOOOO STUPID! 4.0?
    Did they know *ANYBODY* that went to MIT? Did they have ANYBODY responsible for fact-checking? :/
    Also, now that I read the link you posted to the protest, that was really stupid of them to UN-CAST Asians, based on the reasoning they gave in the book on why Asians were chosen IRL in the first place.

  2. Heya Liz. 🙂 I was planning on seeing the movie myself today so I could appropriately rant about the lack of Asian actors cast in the movie. Props for bringing this up. I don’t have the link here (will definitely find it for my blog post) but it was disappointing to find that Jeffrey Ma – the main guy the story was based upon – said that he essentially didn’t care and would’ve been “more offended if they chose a Korean or Japanese actor just because he was Asian.” Ugh. Hello, ever such thing as a medium? It’s as if he’s giving in to the fact that there’s no GOOD Asian actors.

  3. @Bill: Yeah, not sure what was up with the fact checking. I heard they didn’t allow much filming on campus because MIT doesn’t want to ‘distract students.’
    @Esther: Oh, I didn’t know that about Jeffrey. It’s unfortunate that the argument is that this was a business decision. We can’t think out of the box, just a little?

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