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 »
When Walter is throwing cards in Three Card Monte, he has three cards from a blue deck of Bicycle cards. However, the queen of hearts he shows the spectators does not have the same face or design one would find in a Bicycle deck. 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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The comparisons to "Babel" and "Fast Food Nation" are way off the mark. "Even Money" is a film noir with revenge at its center, in gambling win or lose there is a payday and in this movie all the debts are paid, and there is potential for two couples to emerge from their morass. This is a good film, directed by a pro, Mark Rydell, who has even has a cameo role in which some of the irony and mystery is explained.
This is a sleazy movie -- to paraphrase Michael Douglas in "Wall Street," sleaze is good, and tips its hat to Orson Welles in one of my favorite films, "Touch of Evil." Yes, it is about addiction and much of the extraordinary cast (Kim Basinger, Kelsey Grammar, Danny Devito, Forest Whitaker, Ray Liotto and Tim Roth among them) play it carefully, straddling the line, without becoming camp or going over the top. High marks to the director for this.
If you like your cynicism straight and don't turn your head at a little cinematic violence this is a movie you will enjoy. Its well worth taking a flier on.
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