A one-by-two rectangle in general; a polyomino of the second order.

Also a piece in the game dominoes, which has this same shape.

A tile for the game of dominoes - often called a bone. The tiles are most often made of wood, plastic, or ivory. Each tile is divided into two segments, each showing some number.

+-----+-----+
| o o | o   |
| o o |   o |
+-----+-----+

Tony Scott's psychedelic 2005 movie, (sort of) based on the true story of the life of Domino Harvey as interpreted by screenwriter Richard Kelly.

The movie begins fast and furiously, with bounty hunter Harvey (Keira Knightley) and her partners - smolderingly handsome but psychotic Choco (Edgar Ramirez) and hardened professional Ed (Mickey Rourke) - kicking in the door of a trailer in the desert. It quickly gets grisly: there's a severed arm which has the key to a safe encoded on it and millions of dollars locked in the safe and the arm's owner alive and delirious with pain. In flashbacks and flashforwards the film reveals the unlikely (and fictitious) story of how Harvey and co. ended up in this place, trading bullets with the mother of the arm's owner, and what they did after she used the arm to open the safe.

The background of Harvey's life is quickly sketched in. She was the daughter of a famous actor and a well-known model. Rebellious from an early age, she was kicked out of boarding school several times and ended up as a shiftless teenager living with her mother in Beverly Hills. She worked as a model for a spell, and then became a bounty hunter; it is in this role that she became embroiled in the events with the millions and the arm and the bullets.

There's some good things about this movie. It looks great, all frenetic and weirdly coloured, wild and anarchic and exciting - apparently the pinnacle of where Scott has been heading as a filmmaker. The horrendous violence of the beginning does not continue unabated (thank heavens), and is mitigated by some genuinely hilarious moments.

The running Beverly Hills 90210 joke is pretty funny, and Christopher Walken and Mena Suvari do an amusing turn as a TV producer and his assistant filming Harvey and her pals for a reality TV show. But I laughed out loud when Lateesha (Mo'Nique) espouses her theory of interracial identity on the Jerry Springer show. Lateesha considers herself a Blacktino woman, and introduces a flow chart that details various permutations of Asian-African American intermixing, including Chinegro and Japanic. Lateesha's ostensible reason for being on the Jerry Springer show - a sick granddaughter whose teenage mother can't afford to pay for a needed operation - gets lost in the inevitable brawl. Afterwards, Lateesha's boyfriend - and Harvey's boss - bail bondsman Claremont Williams (Delroy Lindo) berates her for getting sidetracked, at which Lateesha shoots back that Jerry's show is one of the only fora for people like her to speak their minds. Girl's got a point.

There's some bad things about this movie. The lame semiotics of toughness relies primarily on smoking and swearing and sneering, all of which isn't enough to make Knightley convincing in her role. I was also annoyed at how she was so relentlessly sexually objectified. No matter what she's been up to, she always looks hot with her heavy kohl-lined eyes, bustiers, and ultra-low cut jeans. When she finds herself face to face with half a dozen armed thugs staring down the barrels of guns, she extracts herself by stripping and lap dancing. Besides being degrading, this portrayal bears little resemblance to the real Harvey, who was pretty but, more importantly, fearless, tough, and butch. (She was also a drug addict, and died of an overdose just before the movie was finished.)

Finally, at over two hours the movie is just too long, and would have benefitted from being cut to a tight 90 minutes. I'm sure most viewers wouldn't have minded losing the irritating repetition of words and phrases - Harvey tells us her name and profession at least a dozen times, often accompanied by written echoes, when once would have sufficed. The plot is overly convoluted and sometimes just silly; the whole section with Tom Waits could have been cut and the movie would not have lost any important story arc, and would in fact have become slightly more coherent. I couldn't help but think that Scott was so enamoured of his footage that he couldn't bear to lose any, more's the pity for us.

So, in the end, this is an entertaining enough movie that falls far short of greatness. Fun if you're in the mood for something like this.

Dom"i*no (?), n.; pl. Dominos or (esp. the pieces for a game) Dominoes (#). [F. domino, or It. domin�x95;, or Sp. domino, fr. L. dominus master. The domino was orig. a hood worn by the canons of a cathedral. See Don, Dame.]

1.

A kind of hood worn by the canons of a cathedral church; a sort of amice.

Kersey.

2.

A mourning veil formerly worn by women.

3.

A kind of mask; particularly, a half mask worn at masquerades, to conceal the upper part of the face. Dominos were formerly worn by ladies in traveling.

4.

A costume worn as a disguise at masquerades, consisting of a robe with a hood adjustable at pleasure.

5.

A person wearing a domino.

6. pl.

A game played by two or more persons, with twenty-eight pieces of wood, bone, or ivory, of a flat, oblong shape, plain at the back, but on the face divided by a line in the middle, and either left blank or variously dotted after the manner of dice. The game is played by matching the spots or the blank of an unmatched half of a domino already played

Hoyle.

7.

One of the pieces with which the game of dominoes is played.

Hoyle.

<-- fall like dominoes. To fall sequentially, as when one object in a line, by falling against the next object, causes it in turn to fall, and that second object causes a third to fall, etc.; the process can be repeated an indefinite number of times. Derived from an entertainment using dominoes arranged in a row, each standing on edge and therefore easily knocked over; when the first is made to fall against the next, it starts a sequence which ends when all have fallen. For amusement, people have arranged such sequences involving thousands of dominoes, arrayed in fanciful patterns.

Domino theory. A political theory current in the 1960's, according to which the conversion of one country in South Asia to communism will start a sequential process causing all Asian countries to convert to Communism. The apparent assumption was that an Asian country with a Western orientation was as politically unstable as a domino standing on edge. Used by some as a justification for American involvement in the Vietnam war, 1964-1972. -->

 

© Webster 1913.

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