Saturday, September 27, 2014


Directed By: D.J. Caruso 
Written By: Dan Gilroy 
Cinematography By: Conrad W. Hall 
Editor: Glen Scantlebury 

Cast: Al Pacino, Matthew McConaughey, Rene Russo, Jaime King, Armand Assante, Jeremy Piven, Ralph Garman, Gedde Watanabe, Carly Pope

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.

This film feels like a classic Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer film of the 80's. Where they try to jazz up a subject that they over produce and make everything about the subject wise, spiritual and artistic. A way of life that at any moment can bring life or death. The subject here... Professional sports betting. So it ends up being Much ado about nothing. Though it makes it feel like it’s important what we are watching.

Based on the true story of Brandon Long.

The film is so far-fetched, but at times wants you to take it very seriously there's no real stakes. Though the film tries to make the audience feel like there are big ones. As there is no real plot. There is a story, but not much. It's just ridiculous while taking itself so seriously.

I give Matthew McConaughey credit for momentarily at the time breaking out of his usual romantic comedies to try something that requires a little more skill. Before he broke out more majorly around 2012. Too bad this dramatic material isn't any better than the films he was starring in at the time. By rest assured the film still finds a reason to have him half naked half the time. Because other than being a genius bookie. He is a workout fanatic.

Though it has plenty of scenes showing Matthew McConaughey working out intensely that has nothing to do with the story. It's a nice character trait, though we don't really need as much time devoted to it. Though I suspect this was a way to cross promote the film to McConaughey’s heavy female fan base

This is the classic formula boy is talented he is taken to the dark side under the wings of a hero. Gets cocky takes a fall. Fights his way back up. The only thing missing is he doesn't meet a girl and fall in love. Which gives him his confidence back instead on his own. Instead of through the love I a good woman. Here he sleeps around (giving us again a bunch of scenes for him to have his shirt off with some day player actress/model who matches him in good looks) flirts with his mentors wife. Who gives him the good advice he needs in a more mothering nature. Since it's Rene Russo and she Is top billed I am guessing that is why there is no real love interest. She plays that role without being physically intimate at all. It might be also because Rene Russo's husband, Dan Gilroy, wrote the part of Al Pacino's wife Toni especially for Russo and tailored it to fit her perfectly. He even used Russo's real-life sister's name Toni as the name of the character.

Al Pacino plays his mentor in his unfortunately now typical overacting and distracting hair and histrionics in his performance, but still gets the best one liners. He is not as embarassing here as he can be in other films. --The way the film was advertised is like this was going to be the dramatic team up we have been waiting for PACINO - McConaughey when i think of good, possibly legendary dramatic actors to star in a film together those names don't belong there. More so now that McConaughey has an Academy Award and accolades and is earning a more respectable pedigree due to the material he chooses to be in. But at the time he didn't have any of that. In this film at the time i could see If, Pacino was matched with Edward Norton or Johnny Depp even Matt Damon. Who at the time I would believe would have turned this popcorn time waster down. Though it shines a point that at the time when 2 stars were in a film together they played up that fact. Now that more and more co-star usually in superhero movies it seems more expected or not as much a spectacle as it once was.

It's a shame that i like director DJ Caruso I loved his film THE SALTON SEA, but he hasn't really made a film as original or noteworthy between this, DISTURBIA and EAGLE EYE. This film seems like a day job for him. No excitement no enthusiasm not flair. Any director could have made this film. That is how impersonal it feels

It's a film that would have been a hot in the 80's well remembered and not know why they like it so much, but for some odd reason do. Sort of like DAYS OF THUNDER. If you were to really examine it you would realize how bad it is. This film would fit right in as It seems to believe and exploit what was big and popular especially the attitudes of that time.

The film does have a lot of gloss. It's shiny and pretty. This gloss is The kind of thing that is used to cover up mistakes or cracks in something or to hide Certain things, like the fact of how bad this movie is. They try I use foundation to cover up it's blemishes That of you look close you can see.

if you must see it please wait for television.

Grade: D

No comments:

Post a Comment