Two For The Money (2005)

Director: D.J. Caruso

Soundrack released by Arranged Records, 00541 21190-2

Music clip 1, 0'51" (604Kb) [DVD menu music: pop]
Music clip 2, 0'41 (491Kb) [the two-game gamble]
Music clip 3, 1'48" (1.23Mb) [the end, with spoilers (inc. dialogue)]
Music clip 4, 1'21" (952Kb) [end credits music pt.1]
Music clip 5, 1'09" (813Kb) [end credits music pt.2]


It must be possible for a film about the sports betting support industry and a failed sportsman's troubled journey through it and the driven and broken characters that inhabit it, to be a masterpiece, but Two For The Money is not that film. The tensions are feeble, the personal accounts somewhat stilted and the script is somewhat lackluster, but at least the acting talent provides enough stimulating entertainment - perhaps more than it deserves. It just doesn't capitalise on its assets, namely the fevers, dangers and joys of gambling and how people are affected by it. The ending may be a good resolution but it doesn't feel like a journey.


Beck saves his instrumental muscle for the cues that count for the adrenaline : the opening game and the extended double-game bet towards the end - the first percussion-led, the second employing full orchestra (esp. strings, see clip 2). The rest of the score is deliberately sympathetic to the type of film: it remains unobtrusive, sometimes reflective, sometimes contemplative in style, but rarely overt, allowing the minor dramas the film has to offer some space for their own utterance. Beck isn't above employing guitar-led pop scoring to a number of scenes (particularly transitions and entries, but also for one scene where the results of a critical two games must be decided at ca.1:25'45" - the music is also heard in clip 1) but these are not theme-led since they are generally submerged by dialogue. Probably the most fearless part of the scoring here is its absence from a number of scenes, something less common in bigger films nowadays. It shows the director and composer allowing the acting talent to hold centre stage without artificial aid. Where this method is neatly reversed is the very end, where background chatter, cheering and heart-to-heart talks are suddenly muted, leaving the field clear for a beautifully simple piano/string cue. Clip 3 illustrates this, but be warned of spoliers. Verdict: a subtle score that does the film proud but has very little character of its own.


This soundtrack confirms the strengths and weaknesses of the score in film. Most cues are low-key, contemporary-sounding tracks with plenty of synth, drums and electric guitar; some are pretty groovy (e.g. the End credits) but too cramped in their timeframe to break out into a decent pop sequence; a few others feature bland but warm string harmonies, sometimes leavened with synth percussion. This is wallpaper music. A few, notably 'The big game', break free of this straightjacket, temporarily building some momentum and emotional tension; and 'No goodbye' has better flow and contains a touching piano-led central section, but this is no reason to seek out this release. At over 40 minutes this is just too much, too fragmented and just too bland to make a satisfying listening experience outside the context of the film.


01. Main titles (1'32")
02. Jessica hotline (2'30")
03. Rejection letters (1'40")
04. Honest pitch (1'22")
05. NYC (1'34")
06. It swivels (1'15")
07. Million dollar man (1'28")
08. Heart attack (1'04")
09. Alexandra (1'30")
10. The taxi (1'25")
11. The second floor (2'03")*
12. Come to bed (1'13")
13. Blocked calls (1'24")
14. Losing streak (3'50")
15. Toni's advice (1'56")
16. Back to Brandon Lang (1'48")
17. Dinner and a kiss (2'37")
18. Heads or tails (2'09")
19. The best drug in the world (1'08")
20. The big game (2'47")
21. No goodbye (6'04")
22. End credits (1'33")*


* Tracks 11 and 22 composed with Andre Lafosse


Score recorded and mixed by Chris Fogel
Orchestrations - Sean Dougall
Guitar loops - Andre LaFosse
Additional recording and mixing by Casey Stone

Orchestral score performed by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra [Symfonicky Orchester CS Rozhlasu V Bratislave]
Conducted by Allan Wilson
Recording engineer - Peter Fuchs
Assistant engineer - Martin Roller

Score coordinator - Adam Blau
Music coordinator - Season Kent
Music clearances - Jill Meyers

SONGS (etc.)

"Save me (wake up call)"
Written by Scott Russo, Linda Perry, Aimee Allen
Performed by Unwritten Law
Courtesy of Lava Records LLC
Written and performed by Curtis Mayfield
Courtesy of Rhino Entertainment Company
"Big ups"
Written by Triniti Ghaguandas, Andrew Bojanik, Elizabeth Hooper
Performed by Ms. Triniti
Courtesy of Beverly Martel Music
"Shake it baby"
Written by Donnie Heyden, James Moore
Performed by Daddy C & PD&P
Courtesy of LoveCat Music
"Itsy bitsy reggae spider"
Written, arranged and performed byLionel Jean Baptiste
Courtesy of Ice Cream Songs
"I'm sitting on top of the world"
Written by Ray Henderson, Sam Lewis, Joe Young
Performed by Bobby Darin
Courtesy of Capitol Records
"I play you lose"
Written by Dwayne "Tezz" Morgan, Brian Yaskulka
Performed by The Grusomes, featuring Tezz
Courtesy of The Ouitfit & 7th Level Productions
"It's not unusual"
Written by Gordon Mills, Les Reed
Performed by Tom Jones
Courtesy of Seconds Out Productions
"All in all"
Written by Ean Mering, Jason Wade
Performed by Lifehouse
Courtesy of Geffen Records
"You're nobody"
Written by James Cavanaugh, Russ Morgan, Larry Stock
Performed by Dean Martin
Courtesy of Capitol Records