Gambling: Carolyn, a novelist, is losing her family's savings at the slots; she's befriended by a close-up magician who dreams of making it big. A murdered bookie has the cops focused on Victor, who fronts for the mysterious, never-seen Ivan. Augie and Murph, two other bookies ply their partnership, which is endangered by an offer from Victor to Augie and by Murph's girlfriend's rejection of his violent vocation. A mechanic, in debt to his bookies, asks his basketball-playing brother to shave some points. A paraplegic cop sees all. Will anyone reach their dream? The odds are against it. Written by
Nearly all the basketball scenes begin with a three or four note fanfare that seems intended to be jarring. These notes are actually the beginning of a fight song shared by both the University of California and UCLA. See more »
Godfrey Snow is Clyde Snow's little brother but the DVD box synopsis calls Godfrey a nephew to Clyde. See more »
Like I said we're all chasin somethin. More money. More love. What we're really looking for is more life. But sometimes you go looking for more, and you wind up with less. It's a beautiful world. We ought to be satisfied. But the truth is... we all want more. Some take a chance for the rush of winning. Some for love. But you can't have your dream without laying something on the line. The key is not to risk what you can't afford to lose. You might think you're different. But someday... you're ...
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Despite its decidedly un-ambitious nature, "Even Money" is a modern film noir melodrama with more story lines and characters than Robert Altman's "Nashville." Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito, Ray Liotta, Kelsey Grammar, Forest Whitaker, Grant Sullivan, Jay Mohr, and Carla Gugino all play individuals whose only real connection is that they are in some way or another touched by the evils of gambling.
Robert Tannen's overstuffed screenplay wanders all over the map, forcing the actors to spend most of their time just trying to keep up with all the narrative permutations. The most ludicrous subplot features DeVito as a washed-up magician who contemplates a professional comeback by teaming up with the best-selling author and compulsive gambler played by Basinger. Individually, any of the various plot strands might have made for an interesting movie, but taken together, they just keep getting in each others' way.
Veteran filmmaker Mark Rydell has not only helmed the piece but appears in a crucial cameo role late in the film. Sad to say, he doesn't make much of an impact in either capacity.
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