Silver Linings Playbook was nominated for a few awards this season. It already won some, too. Pull together $8.50 and see it, will you? Or don’t. Whatever. I don’t run your life anymore. And listen, I don’t want to put too many readers off if I turn this into an avant-garde film criticism piece, but in my amateur opinion, I think there are some pretty good parts in Playbook. Good parts are in it, and if you like to see good parts, well, this could be the movie for you. No offense! That’s just my opinion.
I hope that didn’t go over too many heads. Especially because I ain’t done critiquing this bad boy. Ready for some more no-holds-barred analysis? Strap in, pony boy. Here we go.
The running scenes you probably caught in the trailer — those are well done. You get a good feel for what it might be like to run, which is the point of those scenes, I’d guess. The climax in the dance hall is tense and articulate. You may very well feel an emotion at that part, so look out buddy! Haha. Speaking of “Haha”, Chris Tucker even shows up and gets a few laughs. Chris Tucker! Yes, that Chris Tucker! The actor and everything. I wouldn’t lie to ya!
Well that’s my review…I hope you liked it! Please send any more movie ideas to email@example.com. I’ve already seen The Spiderwick Chronicles and one of the Star Wars movies….not the famous ones, but a different one I think, idk. Anyway, don’t suggest those. See you at the conception stands! Bring the popcorn lol
Oh! Wait! Holy shit. I almost forgot the most important thing. I’d forget my damn ass if it weren’t attached to my body by my long, gorgeous neck. There’s this one fucking part of the movie…several parts, actually, where they talk about Desean Jackson’s famous “spike at the 1 yard line” play. Remember that play?! What a dunce. Caught a lot of shit for that, ol’ DeSean did. It was a few years ago, but it’s recent enough to stick in a movie, I guess. Gives a sense of realism, which is evidently important for a two-dimensional moving image made by a bunch of professional fakers. But there’s more! That play ties into the arc for the main character, too! Oh, damn. Damn damn damn. David O. Russell went into his bag of tricks and pulled out a metaphor. David O. Russell? More like David O Nohedidn’t!
Well I got bad news for ya, Dan. Shit, I mean Dav. Dave. Id. David. I got bad news for ya, Darrell: YOU dropped the ball at the one yard line, and I caught it and runned it in for a big-time score (this popular blog post). You tried to write and direct a powerful character piece on love, forgiveness, and mental illness starring two promising young actors, and it was a wild success – but on occasion, one of your actors said some minor things about sports that were not totally accurate! Aggghhhhhhhhh your life is over, Daniel Russert! Owned. Owned times a million. Owned by the Boston Sport Man (my new moniker, for legal reasons). Let’s pore over your embarrassing mistakes, shall we?
Fuck-Up the First
These are all about Robert De Niro – I guess I should get that out of the way. I’ll try to find different pictures? Sure, I’ll probably do that, if it’s not too much work. De Niro is actually really flippin’ good in this movie, principally because he’s Robert De Niro and he can’t piss his pants without squinting his craggy eyes, sticking out his bottom lip, and telling you how fucking excellent it feels to have wet fucking trousers in the most casually believable baritone possible. But also, this is his character, right? Mean Italian Guy #3? Look at his face. This guy gets it.
And he’d be so believable in this role if some Hollywood phony had enough sense to hire me, the Boston Sport Man, as a consultant, because here’s some bullshit he says during a touching scene with his son, Pat, played by Bradley Cooper:
“We need this game to get into the division.”
*Old-timey submarine alarm blares*
Look, I know you could scoop out the collective sports knowledge in Hollywood with one pass of a melon baller, but this is not good, and you know it, and I haven’t even given you the context yet because I’m a shitty blogger who’s distracted by eating a sandwich. Basically, De Niro is setting up the climax of the film: if his hometown Eagles defeat the division rival Giants, they keep hope alive for a playoff spot, to be determined the next week in Dallas. In the middle of a competent speech about father-son relationships and good luck charms, Robert apparently had a stroke and ad-libbed that nonsense junk in the hope that David O. Russell would turn off the camera and get him some medical assistance. Get into the division?! Fucking shit, guys, if you had to win to get into the division, the Browns would be wandering the vast expanses of the Empty Terror Void right now. Get your head checked.
Fuck-Up the Second
De Niro’s so damn concerned about the Eagles because he’s a passionate man who loves heartbreak. In addition, also, as well, he’s a bookie. Like any good bookmaker, he’s become attached to the team that, with each win, stands to cost him the most money. Wait, what? That’s dumb as hell? Ah, well, they thought of an answer for that criticism, and it was this:
De Niro is a small-time guy, having just resorted to the career, with some 200 bettors in a given week (according to the number of envelopes he keeps in his Dad Office). It’s a good assumption that the majority of his clients are personally known to him (since the police officer assigned to his neighborhood makes multiple appearances at his home and appears to have no knowledge of the bookmaking, meaning it’s not exactly advertised) and Eagles fans (given his smallish profile and the parade of Eagles fans with whom he is acquainted). So it stands to reason that most bets on a given Sunday are on the Eagles, meaning two things:
1. De Niro’s Eagles lines are artificially high to discourage as many of the non-homers as possible from betting them
2. He roots against them if he has a brain in his head
But there he sits, rubbing his lucky handkerchief and cursing Andy Reid’s poor decision-making, as if thousands of dollars aren’t riding on it. And no, they don’t mention the vig in the movie.
Fuck-Up the Third
Finally, after losing a reckless bet in which virtually all of his bookmaking profits are staked on the Eagles, De Niro does the sensible thing and attempts to chase the loss with a parlay. Ignore for a moment the fact that a bookmaker, who should be well-acquainted with the fact that 99% of humans can’t profit from sports betting, and that even those who do only do so in the long run and not with parlays — because that shit is ridiculous and there is yet more ridiculous shit to tangle with.
The parlay is this: a double or nothing bet with the same gambling buddy that took the first wager – the Eagles will beat the Cowboys straight up (Philly is the favorite) and that a Pat (Cooper) and Tiffany (Lawrence) dance team will earn at least a 5.0 on a one-to-ten scale at an upcoming pro-am exhibition. Irresponsible? Sure. Absurd? Definitely. Logical? Well…
De Niro’s character, Pat Sr., wants to open Philadelphia’s very first cheesesteak restaurant, and instead of waiting until his very fucking illegal business of basically printing fucking money can pile up enough cash to get started (tried an SBA loan? Christ..), he’s going to win it all on football. Well, that was the idea with the first bet, anyway. Now he owes his buddy whatever the bet was (we’re never told). Or does he?!
De Niro wins the parlay. And in classic double-or-nothing fashion, the original bet is forgiven, putting both bettors back at even, and Pat Sr. can continue working toward his dream without having fucked it up royally. *BIG ASS RECORD SCRATCH, CUT TO PAT SR. OPENING A RESTAURANT WITH TONS OF CASH*
Wait….what the fuck happened? Well, according to the film, Pat Sr.’s gambling buddy has, by virtue of losing the parlay, more or less financed the restaurant in its entirety. How is that possible? I’m not sure.
If De Niro lost, say, $50,000 on the first bet, then the second bet would at least have to win him double his stake, I believe. After all, if $50k (or $25k, or $10.75, or whatever amount it was) weren’t enough to start a restaurant, but $75k were, why bet twice what you need to win? So what scenario would net him at least $50k for the second wager?
Well, betting $50k all over again would technically qualify, if the parlay paid 2:1. A 2:1 parlay based on a minor favorite and a totally unquantifiable dance competition would be a pretty bad bet, especially for a professional bookie, but it would give De Niro $100k (or 2x his initial wager) to start his restaurant. Presumably this is what is meant by “double or nothing” – De Niro has doubled his money….kind of. But look at it from his betting partner’s perspective: In this scenario, he bet $100k to win $50k, it sounds like. Aside from the problem of where De Niro could even come up with the money should he have lost, who the fuck could afford such a ridiculous bet? That’s not double, and it’s not nothing either. Where does the nothing come from? Someone was going to owe someone a lot of money no matter what happens in this gerrymandered scenario I just wrote to cover David O. Russell’s ass.
Well fuck that gorgeous rump, I’m outta here. I’m starting a new website called Pantland.com! Write me an e-mail! I might even feature it in my Boston Sport Man Correspondence Column!
Yup….these are my balls. My sport balls. Until next time!