Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Two for the Money

posted by rkumar
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Profanity:Very strong language, constant use of the f-word
Nudity/Sex:Brief nudity, sexual references and an explicit sexual situation, prostitutes, references to sexual abuse
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, smoking
Violence/Scariness:Character strong-armed, threatened with a gun
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:2005
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Profanity: Very strong language, constant use of the f-word
Nudity/Sex: Brief nudity, sexual references and an explicit sexual situation, prostitutes, references to sexual abuse
Alcohol/Drugs: Drinking, smoking
Violence/Scariness: Character strong-armed, threatened with a gun
Diversity Issues: Diverse characters
Movie Release Date: 2005

There’s only one possible reason that Brandon Lang (Matthew McConaughey), a one-time quarterback with a busted knee turned 900-number sportsline win-predictor sticks around after he finds out what is really going on in the big-money sports betting advice, and it’s the same reason we stick around, too. We can’t take our eyes off of Al Pacino as Walter Abrams.

Brandon’s entire life has been sports for as long as he can remember. First it was because he thought if he was really, really good at sports, his father wouldn’t leave. Then, after his father left, it was because of the purity of sports, because it was a place where everything could be made right with just one play, just one score.

But Brandon’s hopes for a professional career ended with the knee injury. He worked the 900-number job in Las Vegas for a while and then one day got a call and an airplane ticket from Walter, offering him a chance at the big time.

Walter and his wife Toni (Rene Russo) introduce Brandon to the finer things in life — $12 bottles of water, thousand dollar suits, four-figure-a-night female companionship, use of the f-word, and a roomy apartment in a brownstone that also houses Walter, Toni, and their 6-year-old daughter and his company’s offices. It’s like a sort of “Real World: High Stakes Gambling” edition.

It’s a Faustian hubris story, with aw-shucks Brandon being transformed by Walter. Brandon gets a new look and even a new name. Betting is illegal in 49 states, but giving people advice on betting is not, and Walter has made a thriving business out of a cable show (Call 1-800-Bet-it!) that, like a drug dealer, gives away the first hit for free, and then pushes the high fliers to go for more.

Walter knows that the agression, testosterone, competitiveness, and impulse control problems of gamblers makes them very susceptible to sales pressure, and he has no qualms about applying pressure to his employees to get them to squeeze the suckers even harder. He even trolls Gamblers Anonymous meetings for those who might be ready to fall off the wagon. “You’re selling the world’s rarest commodity,” he tells Brandon, “certainty in an uncertain world.”

And Walter knows uncertainty. He insists he can beat anyone else’s rotten childhood story with his own. As Toni explains, he belongs to any group with an “Anonymous” at the end of it. The fun of this movie is seeing Pacino dive into the part and hang on for dear life.

That almost makes it possible to ignore the storyline, which zigzags from predictable to inconsistent with a slight detour into makes-no-sense-ville.

Parents should know that the movie has constant use of the f-word and other bad language. The movie includes sexual references (including prostitution and abuse) and an explicit sexual situation with brief nudity. Characters drink and smoke. A character is pushed around and threatened with a gun.

Families who see this movie should talk about what drew Brandon and Walter to each other and what made it hard for them to keep working together.

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy Boiler Room and On Any Sunday.

Previous Posts

Happy Thanksgiving! Alice's Restaurant
Arlo Guthrie's classic song, "Alice's Restaurant," is based on the true story of his arrest for, well, garbage. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0"] ...

posted 3:45:01pm Nov. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Miracles From Heaven
[youtube][/youtube] Jennifer Garner and Queen Latifah star in "Miracles from Heaven," based on Miracles from Heaven: A Little Girl and Her Amazing Story of Healing by Christy Wilson Beam. ...

posted 8:00:03am Nov. 26, 2015 | read full post »

"Brooklyn," based on the book by Colm Tóibín, is exquisitely lyrical, the story of a young woman who immigrates from Ireland to New ...

posted 5:22:49pm Nov. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Pixar's New Short is Really Special: Sanjay's Super Team
The best part of "The Good Dinosaur" is the short film that comes before, "Sanjay's Super Team." The Pixar short films are gems but this one is really special. It is the first to feature non-white characters, the first to be based on the life ...

posted 2:30:49pm Nov. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Movie Addict Headquarters: Holiday Season Movie Releases 2015
Thanks as always to Betty Jo Tucker for inviting me on the Movie Addict Headquarters podcast to talk about what we're looking forward to in theatrical releases and DVDs through the end of this year. [iframe width="400" height="370" ...

posted 8:28:26am Nov. 25, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.