On the day that a serial killer that he helped put away is supposed to be executed, a noted forensic psychologist and college professor receives a call informing him that he has 88 minutes left to live.
In 16th century Venice, when a merchant must default on a large loan from an abused Jewish moneylender for a friend with romantic ambitions, the bitterly vengeful creditor demands a gruesome payment instead.
It's a hot summer day in 1933 in South Philly, where 12-year old Gennaro lives with his widowed mom and his ailing grandpa, who sits outside holding tight to his last quarter, which he's ... See full summary »
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio,
Brandon Lang loves football: an injury keeps him from the pros, but his quarterback's anticipation makes him a brilliant predictor of games' outcomes. Needing money, he leaves Vegas for Manhattan to work for Walter Abrams advising gamblers. Walter has a doting wife, a young daughter, and a thriving business, but he has problems: a bum heart, a belief he's a master manipulator, and addictions barely kept in check. He remakes Brandon, and a father-son relationship grows. Then, things go awry. Walter may be running a con. The odds against Brandon mount.Written by
Much of the game footage shown during the trailer, and the ads for the DVD release of the film is real. They are clips from various USFL games. Several teams, The Tampa Bay Bandits, Boston/new Orleans/Portland Breakers, Houston Gamblers, among others can clearly be seen. The league existed from 1982-1987. See more »
When Walter calls Brandon for the first time, there is a pair of headphones on the cubicle wall that disappears. See more »
To cover my losses, I just got a loan from a guy who works out of a bar on a hundred and sixth on Broadway, the trouble with me is I started betting you heavy after you won a hundred percent and I rode you right to the fucking toilet.
I know what the problem is I'll take care of all this shit check this out: I'm Brandon Lang I'm the kid who plays sports and the kid who loves sports I'm the kid who can pick the winners, I'm the kid you called in Las Vegas somewhere along the way I lost something...
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Two for the Money is a decent, diverting picture. The material at times seems a little beneath these fine actors, but the film ends up hitting enough of the right notes to make it worth seeing.
Matthew McConaughey would seem a little out of his league on the same screen with Al Pacino and Rene Russo. By the end of the film, you will most likely feel that he's more than held his own, however. McConaughey plays a former college football star who sees his chances of a professional career destroyed by a serious injury. He quickly finds himself picking college football games for a low-rent betting line. With all of his past experience as a player, he does quite well with it. Well enough to attract the attention of Al Pacino, who runs a more up-scale operation in New York. By the end of the first half hour, McConaughey is picking all kinds of football winners, and making Pacino a ton of money. As you would expect, this success does not last very long as various egos spiral out of control and the betting gods turn on our heroes as they eventually do to all of us. The film is more of a character study about the minds of gamblers and lost identity than it is about the workings of an actual betting organization. Overall, it works on a couple different levels.
Pacino is fine, but not as out of control as you might hope. His character has a bad heart, so any typical Pacino tantrums are not really in order for him. He brings as much dignity as one could to the role of an addicted gambler, though. Rene Russo is terrific as his long-suffering wife and a former junkie. Pacino at some points seems to be trying to lose her to McConaughey. He being one of those terribly afflicted gamblers who only feels alive when he's just lost everything he wagered. The supporting cast is pretty good, too. Jeremy Piven is always appreciated, and so is the appearance by Armand Assante.
The best scene in the film takes place at a betting support group meeting that Pacino and his new protégé walk in on. Pacino, being a hopeless gambler himself shows empathy toward these degenerates, then has the nerve to pass out his business card to them!!! The logic I guess being that if you people have to lose, you might as well do it through a fellow degenerate gambler.
The biggest flaw I noticed was too many shots of McConaughey without his shirt on. Yes, the guy has great abs, but we don't need to see so much of them!! Overall this is a good film with some interesting things to say about people who bet. Notice how in the end, the "experts" are really just like the guys they take calls from. During the big games, we're all just sitting there with a beer in our hand, hanging by every first down or dropped ball.
7 of 10 stars.
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