Starring: Mark Walhberg, Brie Larson, John Goodman, Micheal K. Williams, Jessica Lange
Director: Rupert Wyatt
Synopsis: Jim Bennett (Mark Walhberg) struggles nearly hourly with his addiction, by day he is a local college professor and by night he gambles his money away with reckless abandon. Throughout his recent string of self destruction he has accrued a hefty debt of nearly $300,000 from two big time loan sharks. His mother who is extremely wealthy has had enough of his destructive ways and bails him out financially for the last time, only for him to take student/love interest Amy Phillips (Brie Larson) to a casino where Jim again spends $260,000 like its nothing. Just to get rid of his mother. With only a few days left to pay his debts Jim becomes a little more desperate and shows up to the biggest loan shark in LA. Frank (John Goodman) is willing to give Jim the loan if he can admit he isn’t a man, to which Jim cannot do. After that run in with Frank, the other loan shark shows up and puts a beating on Jim and demands he uses his in with star basketball player to shave points in the big game. Jim begrudgingly goes to Lamar and asks him to do the favor. Jim then goes back to Frank and borrows the 260,000 he owes and bets it on Lamar to cover the points. The movie comes to a climax when Jim invites Frank and Lee to a gambling den where he bets it all on roulette to finally free himself of all DEBT!
Review: The first time I watched this movie I thought it was pretty forgettable overall, but after watching it more closely and through different eyes it was better than I remembered. Mark Walhberg played an interesting gambling addict who until the very end couldn’t control his destructive behavior. Then came in Brie Larson who is always one of my actors, she played a supporting role in this movie, but at the same time when she’s on the screen you are always drawn to what she’s doing. Also on my rewatch I liked John Goodman’s character a lot more, him playing somewhat of an advocate for Jim (Mark Walhberg) to change his outlook was a good spin on his loan shark persona. This movie had a relatively happy ending which i wasn’t expecting due to how much Jim was struggling with his addiction.
Favorite Scene: The scene where Jim Bennett’s mother comes to his house and he is being his usual detrimental self, and she slaps the cereal right out of his mouth, belittling him for his behavior, after Jim makes a snarky remark back to her she smacks him again. And asks “is your ego too much to come to the bank with your mother?” I just really enjoyed the back and forth between Mark Walhberg and Jessica Lange in this scene.
Recommendation: I would recommend this movie if you are bored and looking for a movie to pass the time or if you are Mark Walhberg fan. He is pretty consistent in his roles, and delivers a solid gambling addict in this movie.