Two For The Money DVD Review
PicturePresented in anamorphic 2.35:1, the transfer for 'Two for the Money' is somewhat of a hit and miss affair. In terms of colour levels it is a resounding success, blacks are solid, fleshtones even and what colour there is is presented in a vibrant and vivid transfer. Likewise the print itself as to be expected is in great shape with zero evidence of grain whatsoever. Where the transfer slips up, and slips up badly is in the picture detail. This is a surprisingly soft affair considering the movie is fresh out. Whether that is down to a poor transfer or the glossy soft focus soap opera style of the film is anyone's guess, but the end result is not exactly satisfying. Adding to that there are noticeable digital artefacts present predominantly in background shots, and halos are a problem in some scenes. Far from a disaster, but given the age of the film this should have been better then it is.
SoundCreating an all encompassing 5.1 mix from what is essentially a dialogue heavy drama was not going to be the easiest of tasks and the track does the best it can from the limited source materials. Unsurprisingly the majority of the audio is generated from the front centre, and the rears only really come to life when required to pump out some incidental music or soundtrack scoring (they make a pretty good fist of the montages). The audio has a fairly limited middle of the road range to it, there are no real knockout moments of special clarity or roaring base. All in all unspectacular, but probably the best one can hope for with a film such as this.
ExtrasThe DVD comes with a reasonable selection of additional supplements, headed off with a feature commentary from the duo of D.J. Caruso and Dan Gilroy. The pair clearly have extensive research concerning the real life events the film was based on and as a consequence sections of their commentary actually prove more interesting and entertaining than the film itself. At other points they allow themselves to get carried away waxing lyrical over the artistry of the colour schemes etc, but their enthusiasm and knowledge always keeps the attention, and the pair bounce off together well. Next up is a brief ten minute 'making-of' featurette. This is no more than standard promotional fare, with cast and crew going through the motions in interviews accompanied with heavy use of clips to bulk the running time. Not very interesting, especially after the in-depth knowledge gained from the informative commentary. Following this is a 16 minute interview with the real Brandon Lang, Brandon Link who talks about his real life experiences and how they motivated him to pitch and get the film made. It's again interesting to hear the real life story behind the movie, this time from the horse's mouth. The only thing that lets this section down is the interviewer is non other than screenwriter Dan Gilroy himself. Consequently there is the occasional casualness and back-slapping that may not have been present had a more experienced colleague pushed Link a bit further. Next the disc offers a generous amount of deleted scenes, eight in all, each with optional commentaries from Caruso and Gilroy. Some of the scenes are 'blink-and' you'll-miss-it' in their brevity, but some are well thought out and lengthy. Some offer additional back story of Brandon's life after his injury, others flesh out Walter's character, and some offer additional sub-plot information. There is no doubt that some of these would provide some extra emotional gravitas to the movie, but whether they would easily integrate into an already flabby and overlong feature is another matter. Rounding off the package are the theatrical trailer and some TV spots. All in all a decent effort at extras.
Verdict'Two for the Money' makes an admirable fist of it, but it's never enough to produce something sustainable. There is probably a great film to be made out of this material, but unfortunately this isn't it. Worth a punt to die-hard Pacino/McConaughey/sports betting fans, potentially a hard slog for anyone else.
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