Money Monster

Last Sunday night my mom and I went to see “Money Monster”.

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I had a moderate interest in the film when it came out because of Julia Roberts and director Jodie Foster but I hadn’t gotten around to seeing it until now.

The film was good, but not great. There is no doubt that the film is timely. I think that like many people I’ve often wondered about the stock market and how it really works. In addition to taking a look at the stock market and how it can both make and destroy lives the film does a good job of turning the cameras back on the media and the American public (at one point there is literally a camera pointed at the audience). I especially liked how as the events of the film unfold the “public” is transfixed and commenting on it but moments after it is over people act like the whole event was for their entertainment and go back to their lives. When did life itself become so disposable? When did we become so jaded? These are two of the questions this film may have you asking.

George Clooney was fine; he’s been both better and worse. In essence he’s just playing a version of his public persona.

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Julia Roberts is fantastic and can still command the screen after nearly 30 years in the public eye. Jack O’Connell is great as the man who takes Clooney hostage. Simon West is also good but since I watch “The Affair” I know he can play a douchebag in his sleep.

Like I mentioned before the movie is good but not great. The reason it isn’t great is because the story has been done before. I’ve seen movies where people rob a bank or take hostages before. They always play out the same way.

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Somebody seems dangerous and does something crazy but then you learn why they did it and you feel sorry for them and then…well, if you don’t know I won’t spoil it but it’s pretty obvious what always happens to these types of characters. I don’t know if Jodie Foster could have done more with the script or the pacing to fix the fairly standard arc of the film but it does feel like something was missing to make it truly special.

By now “Money Monster” is gone from most theatres. It is worth a watch on DVD at some point though just for the discussions it could lead to if you see it with other people.

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Here is a description:

Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.

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