Thursday, March 23, 2006

Two to Tango

It takes two to tango, and that's just what Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey do in TWO FOR THE MONEY.

Tango was initially danced in bars, cafes, gambling houses, and quilombos (prostitution places).

Two for the Money is danced in the boiler rooms of gambling touts who use the telephone like verbal pornographers to seduce their johns into laying down bets and then sending a taste of their winnings to the touts. Of course, a little relief for their losses never moves in the other direction.

Gambling is a fool's game, and Two for the Money makes no bones or apologies about that. If the gambling disease is your problem, then that's just what it is--your problem, not ours.

The main thing about Two for the Money is that it is interesting and entertaining. The characters are rich, the performances are delicious and the production is a professional delight. Pacino and Macaughney perform a spicy and engaging pas de deux.

Julie and I screened it on DVD and when it was over we wondered: what was that all about? About two hours, I think. Two hours better spent that most in front of our Toshiba Cinema Series TV monitor. But I think you might get even more out of it that we did if you take one piece of advice. On the DVD is an interview between the screenwriter and the real life McConaughey character on whom the screenplay was based. I suggest that you view this interview before you screen the movie. There are no spoilers, but you will gain certain knowledge about the characters and the evolution of the film project that will, I believe in retrospect, make the behavior of the characters and the performers more interesting as you watch the story unfold.

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