Say what you might about the B level soundtrack and some of the clunky performances, Inside Game (directed by Randall Bantinkoff and written by Andy Callahan) has the true to life gritty feel of a quality reality show. It’s the perfect movie for sports fans, especially NBA fans, a hot topic right now considering that Uncut Gems (the Safdie Brothers new movie) also delves into the sometimes sordid world of sports betting.
What I liked about the movie:
most of the dialogue was realistic
the acting was genuine, especially the leads: Erc Mabius as Tim Donaghy; Tim graciously came to Burns Court Cinema for a post movie Q & A by my charismatic friend and film expert, Gus Mollasis. Will Sasso as Baba and Scott Wolf as Tommy, all three of whom were high school buddies.
The story telling was mostly good, a nice sandwich of boyhood hoop dreams that devolve into sports betting and drug and alcohol.
The female characters were portrayed as materialistic, but given our extremely wealthy area, it seems the resemblance is very familiar. The men seem sympathetic, attempting to make the moola necessary to fulfill their needs. This does not blame them or excuse the men for their extra-marital conquests, but ask me for my Modern Love column submission where I give my take on the current sad status of men who cater to women’s needs, stuffing their own and then acting out immaturely. This plot adds to my case.
Don’t get me wrong, this is truly a B level movie, yet there was a certain honesty and rawness to it that led me to enjoy most. And of course, given we had one of the three represented to speak after, certainly added to my enjoyment. I root for Tim Donaghy to shop his book, Personal Foul since I think with the right cast and director, and Tim’s personal after prison journey, this could be a blockbuster. Hey PT Anderson, what are you up to?