Security homework for the weekend: See this movie

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03/26/2008
For those of you who want to assess the way security is portrayed in movies—and isn't that why we all go to the movies?— you'll have another chance on Friday. A movie, based where else but Las Vegas, called "21" is opening March 28. It's based on a true story of some card-counting MIT kids who win big at the Las Vegas blackjack tables. Here's the trailer. I can't really recommend it as I've only seen the trailer. The danger, of course, is that it could be the 90210 version of Oceans 11; on the other hand, the plot sounds fun, and it's got Kevin Spacey and at least a little Jim Morrison in the soundtrack...and there's that security system to check out as well. Here's an interesting interview from today's Boston Globe with Jane Willis. The character played by Kate Bosworth in the movie is based on Willis, who is now an attorney with the venerable Ropes & Gray law firm in Boston. Fifteen years ago, as a student at Harvard Law, she and friends from MIT earned some extra spending money playing blackjack in Las Vegas. And here's a tip for any female math geeks out there: From the story: In addition to being a skilled player, Willis had the advantage of being a woman. Security at Caesars Palace, the MGM Grand, and other Las Vegas casinos was always on the lookout for card counters but rarely suspected female patrons. "I could almost count out loud and not get caught," she says