Two for the Money

[Amazon Link] [4.0
stars] [IMDb Link]

Mrs. Salad and I agreed that this is a "guy flick", albeit without a lot of shooting, explosions, or car chases. Al Pacino plays Walter, the flamboyant and manipulative owner of a sports-betting tout firm. He takes Brandon, played by Matthew McConaughey, under his wing; Brandon has an uncanny talent at picking football winners. It's a very time-honored melodramatic plot of skyrocketing success planting its own seeds of inevitable destruction, can our heroes prevent their lives from crumbling into oblivion, etc. But it worked for me. We learn how the characters tick, we're interested in what's going to happen next. It's very funny in spots.

Has anyone ever noticed Al Pacino "vanishing into a role"? I don't think so. He's sure a lot of fun to watch, though.

Rene Russo, who plays Walter's wife Toni, is probably the best actress in the entire world to play a woman holding her own in a sea of testosterone. Check out her IMDB page, look at the guys she's starred with, and see if you don't agree.

The immortal Gedde Watanabe shows up early in the film, then inexplicably vanishes. Advice to filmmakers: if you're going to hire Gedde, don't waste him!

Last Modified 2012-10-23 1:37 PM EDT