Even Money

Starring: Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito, Ray Liotta, Forest Whitaker, Kelsey Grammer, Nick Cannon, Jay Mohr

Movie Mind Says:  Wait For Cable (Or Don’t Wait at All)

The Movie Mind has decided to put in as crappy an effort into this review as the writers put into this film. Actually that is a lie. If it was true, the review would have ended right here.

I cannot begin to tell you the last time I was this disappointed while watching a movie–and a film has to work really, really, hard to disappoint The Movie Mind when it is centered around gambling (one of his treasured part-time hobbies).  Movies based on the gambling world have built in drama, intrigue, and heartbreak, all without lifting a finger. Yet it’s amazing how many writers/directors/actors still manage to screw them up.

I want the readers to fully understand what I am trying to explain here. Stop reading this review right now, and take a close look at the cast in Even Money. Once you’ve digested the whole list of distinguished actors (I’m talking distinguished to the point of multiple Oscar wins and nominations, Golden Globes, Emmy’s, and every other self-promoting actors’ club award you can think of), think about how difficult it would be to get all of them to collectively suck so bad. Sadly enough, the most decorated actors are also the ones who sucked the worst (Here was my thought about halfway through the movie: There is no possible way Kim Basinger actually won an Oscar.). Although that is like saying doing crack is worse for you then doing meth. In the end, you’re still killing yourself.

Even Money is centered around five people who are all somehow intertwined in gambling. There’s your typical bored housewife (Basinger) who blows the family savings and hides it from her hubby (Liotta in a non-type-casted normal good-guy role). Then there is the star hoops player (Cannon) whose no-good bum of a brother (Whitaker) gets in so deep to bookies (Mohr) that he forces his bro to shave points (On a side note, the basketball scenes in this movie were some of the worst I have ever seen, and the attempted dramatic buildup to the crescendo of the movie is laughable … Nick Cannon and his rival on the court have a combined shooting percentage that hovers somewhere around 99.5%). Then there is the nobody character of Grammer who ends up playing a Usual Suspects type role without the good acting and good writing.

The worst part is how all these nerd Hollywood writers think they have a clue about how to portray a gambler, or a casino, when they have probably never set foot in one in their life. To this day, the only film that does a remotely close job of portraying the mindset of a gambler is Owning Mahoney with Philip Seymour Hoffman. The Movie Mind gives a strong recommendation to it.

The writers juggle around 5 or 6 (I stopped bothering to count) extremely weak storylines and make a pathetic attempt in the end to tie them all together. It’s basically like Crash without the excitement, drama, good writing, good acting, good directing, and lots of awards (SPARKY’S NOTE: Crash sucked, too.). I really just hope it was a good paycheck for everybody. It’s the age old question of whether you would sell your soul and integrity for a quick check to make some piece of trash movie. One thing is for sure, if E was managing the career of any actor in this film, they would not have been allowed near the set of this movie.

If I could bash this film anymore I would. But since it already stole 2 hours of my life I can’t have back, I am not going to give away another precious minute. The Movie Mind dove on the grenade for his readers. Feel free to thank away.  

Submitted: 11-3-07

If You Like This You Should Watch:  Grass grow
Better Than:
  0.01% of the crap Hollywood regularly spews out
Worse Than:  Owning Mahoney

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