Watched A History Of Violence and Two For The Money yesterday, 2 films I'd been meaning to see in the cinemas but was too lazy to go.
I'm not sure if I liked A History Of Violence, and its not often after a film I sit there going "Did I like that?" I found it very intriguing, and Viggo Mortensen was brilliant. Maria Bello was excellent as well, she seems to be the queen of sex scenes in Hollywood movies. The Cooler and now this flick.
What I didn't like was the scene where Mortensen goes to his brother's near the end. I won't spoil, but I just felt it was unncessary, and sort of soured the film. But then the final scene is really smartly shot and written, so maybe that makes up for it. Not sure.
I'll give it 7.5/10
I loved Two For The Money, it was a very entertaining film. Its not perfect, nor is it an Earth shattering film which will blow your mind, but its a genuinely entertaining flick, and I liked the idea behind it (especially since I'm a gambling buff), and I felt the film was fairly well written. From the previews I thought it was going to be similar to The Devil's Own (without all the Satan stuff) with Pacino being the evil rich guy sucking in an innocent but talented southern guy into the big bucks, but making them sell their soul (except this time it'd be gambling instead of being a lawyer). I was pleasantly surprised to see it was very different, with Pacino's character being totally different, basically a nice but troubled guy.
Speaking of Pacino, he did an excellent job as usual. You got the feeling that he was rich and successful, but could lose it all any second because of how unstable he was. Russo has finally started to age, but she's still excellent. Matthew McConaughey is a little underrated for mine, but then again when you only see him popping up in films like The Wedding Planner, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Failure To Launch its hard to rate him as a serious actor, but I reckon he was great in EdTV and this film was probably his best performance. Also watch for Jeremy Piven, he's pure gold in this movie. He always is to be fair, but this role was made for him, even if it is only minor.
Overall, great flick about the ups and downs of gambling, and the moral challenges of being involved in the business. Americanised since its based around NFL gambling, so that may put some people off, but other than that I recommend it for a good watch.