Two for the Money appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. This was a lackluster transfer.
For the most part, sharpness seemed fine. The majority of the movie displayed adequate definition. However, the presence of some moderate edge enhancement gave some wider shots a more tentative feel, and they left things less than precise at times. I saw no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and outside of a little grain, no source flaws occurred.
Colors were decent to good. Money normally featured a fairly natural set of hues. The shots in the 900-number recording area seen early in the movie went with a heavy green tone, but otherwise the colors were fairly accurate and full. Blacks seemed reasonably deep, but shadows tended to be a little heavy. They could display moderate thickness, though low-light shots remained acceptably visible. While I didnít find a lot to criticize, I still thought the image was unspectacular.
Similar thoughts greeted the ordinary Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Two for the Money. With its emphasis on talk, the movie didnít offer a lot of good opportunities to take advantage of the various channels. Music boasted nice separation and delineation, but otherwise, elements usually stayed focused on the front. A few street scenes opened up matters, and cars drove smoothly around the area. A sequence in which Brandon went a little nuts behind the wheel even blossomed into full surround usage. That was the exception to the rule, however, as the mix normally didnít do much with effects.
Quality usually worked fine, though speech demonstrated some problems. The lines occasionally appeared a little edgy. They remained intelligible, and most of the dialogue was good, but I still heard more distortion than Iíd like. Effects didnít suffer from this problem, though, and they were acceptably dynamic. The score and songs sounded lively and rich; they were the best part of the mix. All of this meant that the audio merited a ďB-ď; it wasnít a bad soundtrack, but it didnít impress me either.
As we check out the DVDís supplements, we start with an audio commentary from director DJ Caruso and writer Dan Gilroy. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific track. They relate factual details about the person who inspired the Brandon character, locations, casting and performances, story issues and script development, and various production issues.
We get a reasonable amount of useful information here, but I canít claim that this adds up to an above-average commentary. Thereís too much of the usual happy talk and we simply donít get a great deal of depth or insight. The track offers good basics, though, so fans of the film will probably enjoy it.
Next comes a featurette called The Making of Two for the Money. This 11-minute and 22-second program offers the usual mix of movie clips, behind the scenes shots, and interviews. We hear from Caruso, Gilroy, sports handicapper Brandon Link, and actors Matthew McConaughey, Al Pacino, Jeremy Piven, and Rene Russo.
We find information about the movieís genesis, the story and characters, and the collaboration on the set. The show tosses out pretty basic notes and exists mainly to promote the movie. Some of the actorsí comments are good, but I canít say this promotional show was terribly valuable.
Called Insider Interview: The Real Brandon, we get a 16-minute and 16-second look at the person who inspired the McConaughey character. We find notes from Brandon Link as he chats with Gilroy about how they met and developed the project, Linkís real life experiences and how the movie reflects them, facets of the gambling business, and other reflections on his life.
Though we hear a little from Link in the prior featurette, this program gives us a much better look at him. He seems candid and lively in this chatty piece. We get a solid view of the reality behind the movie, and this turns out to be an interesting program.
Eight Deleted Scenes run a total of six minutes, 56 seconds. Each one lasts between 13 seconds and two minutes. Given the brevity of the clips, the absence of a ďPlay AllĒ option causes annoyance. Anyway, these are virtually all minor additions. We do get to see Brandonís attempted football comeback, though, and a moderately fun alternate intro to Toni appears. Nothing remotely vital shows up, however, and all of it likely deserved the axe.
We can watch the scenes with or without commentary. Actually, we can see them with two separate commentaries. One option allows you to hear Carusoís thoughts, while the other airs Gilroyís remarks. They occasionally say the same things, as they give us basic notes and usually tell us why the clips were removed. Iím not sure why the guys didnít do their deleted scenes comments with each other since they sat together for the main track, but they add some decent insights here.
In addition to the trailer for Money, we find a collection of TV Spots. The DVD includes seven of these, and each one lasts about 30 seconds.
Messy and melodramatic, Two for the Money takes an interesting story and punts it. The film wastes a strong cast along with its intriguing premise. It never remotely lives up to its potential, as it simply meanders and bores along its erratic path. The DVD presents fairly average picture and audio plus some moderately useful extras. This is a decent DVD for a lousy movie.