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Two For the Money
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Al Pacino, Matthew McConaughey, Rene Russo, Jeremy Piven
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Universal Pictures
Web Site: www.twoforthemoney.net
Kiddie Movie: Unless you want them to maybe get a gambling addiction.
Date Movie: For the dude's you get Jaime King and Rene Russo, for the dudette's you get McConaughey with his shirt off a lot of times.
Gratuitous Sex: Some side boobage and a romp in the sack.
Gratuitous Violence: There's a pretty intense fight scene.
Action: Just some fast car driving.
Laughs: Quite a few chuckles.
Memorable Scene: The scene with Brandon in the park towards the end of the movie.
Memorable Quote: Walter yelling "Is that you dad?"
Directed By: D.J. Caruso
Produced By: Jay Cohen, James G. Robinson

Two For the Money
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - R

It's 2:02 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
How do I like my Al Pacino? I like my Al Pacino as a dude who can seem like the nicest man in the world, your best friend, willing to bend over backwards to take you into his inner circle, but if you cross him in the least, or you fall out of his trust, he turns into the meanest son of a bitch youíve ever met. Happily, "Two For the Money" gave me the Al Pacino I like.  And Matthew McConaughey was pretty damn good, too.

"Two For the Money" gives us Brandon (McConaughey). Heís pretty close to having his quarterback dream come true, up until the last play of the bowl game (it pretty much sucks when your leg kinda breaks in a direction it wasnít meant to break). Convinced he can still make it as a pro quarterback, Brandon does his best to stay in tip-top shape only to get rejection letter after rejection letter after every tryout. To pass the time and make a buck or two, he works at a gloomy company that does recordings for 1-900 numbers. One day he has to fill in for the dude who makes football picks, decides to make his own, and we find that Brandon is right pretty much about 80% of the time. But heís in small-time-ville, especially for someone with such a gift. Enter Walter (Pacino). From afar he has found out about Brandonís ability, and recruits Brandon to come and work for him. So itís off to New York City for Brandon, and the big city life.

At first Walter gives Brandon a test run, just doing recordings again, but in doing so, he also makes Brandon change his persona from a lowly "Marlboro Man," as Walter describes him when they first meet, to John Anthony, the Million Dollar Man who can make your dreams come true because he has the picks you need to win your betting pool. Quickly Walter sees the talent of Brandon, and further grooms him into John Anthony, with Brandon eventually turning into this character he didnít think he could really become. He gets the style, he gets the swagger, he gets the cockiness, and suddenly Brandon is slick, making lots of cash, driving a cool car, and banging hot chicks.

But things aren't as cut and dry as the movie trailer shows. We find that Walter is sick, and not just from his many addictions. We find that his wife, Toni (Rene Russo), does her best to keep Walter from collapsing into himself. And we find that Brandon is really being set up to take over the business from Walter, that Walter considers Brandon, or more John Anthony, his son, and all being done as long as Brandon keeps getting his sports picks right. And yea, you can guess it, Brandon goes on a bit of a losing streak, pretty much at the worst time.

Iíll let the rest of the film play out for you if you do catch this one, and I recommend you do, especially if you like a decent drama, can appreciate a great Al Pacino rant, and since there really is more to this movie than my synopsis gives. Matthew McConaughey does a great job at showing the transformation of the humble Brandon to the slick John, Rene Russo does a great job at showing her difficulty and struggles as she works to save the man she loves, and Pacino does a fabulous job being the Pacino I like.

With all of that, Iím giving "Two For the Money" 4 stars out of 5. Look, Iíll be first to admit that Walterís business model doesnít seem to be that great, but maybe it really is closer to reality because you just wonder how these dudes hawking how they can pick the winners on radio and TV can make a buck. But, I suppose if your talent is being able to consistently pick the winners, and with all of the gambling that is out there, I guess people would gladly pay you for your opinion. I just wonder if those folks are as cruel and ruthless as some of the folks Walter has working in his organization.  I really don't plan on finding out.

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

 

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