With George Clooney, Julia Roberts hitting Jodie Foster’s marks, it’s easy to believe Money Monster

(From IMDb.com)

(From IMDb.com)

In true life on a slow day, one might hover over a cable network show such as Money Monster for a couple of minutes for sheer shock value. In the movie by that name, producer Patty Fenn seems fully aware of this notion. So the veteran show-maker allows host Lee Gates to ham it up non-stop. He dances. He preens. He employs over-the-top sound effects for his bold stock market predictions. He’s got the confidence of … say, Jim Cramer of CNBC show Mad Money.

She watches all of this from her control booth with the combination of a resigned grin and the loyal friend’s guilty secret that she’s soon leaving for a better job across the street.

Then a man disguised as a delivery guy sneaks his way onto the set during a live broadcast, and all hell really breaks loose. The weasel-like dude connects to a story of the day, a stock that fell drastically because of a “computer glitch,” losing $800 million for investors like-that. On live TV, he forces Gates to put on a bomb-vest, shoots his pistol into the air, and turns the show into a version of the O.J. car chase, viewers looking on in fascination and horror.

Jodie Foster directs the screenplay from Jamie Linden, Alan DiFiore and Jim Kouf (from the story by DiFiore and Kouf), and she’s got major star power in the leads to follow her every wish.

Foster gets the big and small things right, including breaking the tension with well-placed and perfectly timed humor.

(From IMDb.com)

George and Julia got the work chemistry going on. (From IMDb.com)

George Clooney and Julia Roberts play it for all its worth as the on- and off-camera stars. Clooney takes Gates from a superficial buffoon to a host with a clue to a sensitive man relating to life’s horrors in a believable arc. Roberts plays Fenn as the journalistic brains, pushing the story as it emerges and piecing together the puzzle from various sources.

Jack O’Connell, a guy I happily discovered overcoming so much as Louie Zampino in Unbroken on pay cable, shines as Everyman show-crasher Kyle Budwell, first sinister and then sympathetic as his life story unwinds in front of the world’s eyes.

The near-capacity late matinée Saturday afternoon crowd at the big Regal Cinemas theater in Syracuse mall Shoppingtown ate it all up. And why not? Though fiction, this story is as believable and nearly as fetching as the award-winning true tale The Big Short that came down the Wall Street pike just before it.

Which is your favorite George Clooney movie, and why? Which is your favorite Julia Roberts movie, and why? Would you watch a TV show hostage situation, or turn the channel, and why?

17 thoughts on “With George Clooney, Julia Roberts hitting Jodie Foster’s marks, it’s easy to believe Money Monster

  1. Wasn’t sure if this was something I’d want to see, but you’ve convinced me to give it a go. Agree with Beth that 3 Kings is a good one. But O Brother, Where Out Thou is even better. And was there something about goats? I liked that, too. Now I am going to see what you thought of Hail, Caesar. Was looking forward to seeing it, but then it got horrible reviews. ??


  2. i saw it with mg this weekend andi like the chemistry between julia and george it seems natural and easy. my fav george movie was ‘three kings’ and i really love him in the coen brothers films, he has a wicked sense of humor –

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just saw this film over the weekend and I thought Julia Roberts and George Clooney were great in it. It really maintains the suspense. Well I do have to admit that I like George Clooney in just about everything he is in. This film reminded me that Julia Roberts does have the chops when she is given good material. I have seen her is a few films that weren’t as good, like Notting Hill, which I thought was pretty bad. I have to go back to Pelican Brief for a film I liked with her. But there are probably more which I do not recall right now.


  4. THAT’S IT! Steven and I watched this this weekend and I could not figure out where I knew “Kyle” from. And I didn’t want to look it up online, cause that feels like cheating. I’m so glad you gave it away, Mr. Bialczak! Btw, we loved it , too. I was a little surprised by the humor, but it was a good surprise. Great movie!


    • I’m glad I figured it out for you, Rachel. The surprise to me is that the actor is actually Irish. That always floors me when these U.K. actors and actresses play roles and speak American English smoother than I do. 🙂


  5. Have been intrigued by the movie trailers, too although not a rabid fan of the stars – it would be nice to have a movie that stands on it’s script, plot, dialogue and character development so the actors are secondary to all that – but it’s all about money…the movie, oh, OK the movie production business, too.
    Sounds good – thanks for the review


  6. I’m pleased that you enjoyed the film Mark – I’ve wanted to see it since the trailers came out. Unscrupulous financiers and CEOs play with investors’ money with often a very loose control and concern – making sure that they are rewarded personally regardless of the outcome. When I saw the extent of the carelessness and greed whilst doing the Business degree, I was flabbergasted. The frequency with which investors lose their life’s savings even though they are assured their investments are low risk is mind-boggling. I am surprised that more investors haven’t reacted by killing the guilty parties. I suspect it will happen. Ohhhh, it makes me so angry. You know one of the largest business failures in Canadian history was a local Ottawa company – Nortel Networks. I was studying business while working at a trucking company at the time and Nortel hired our trucks to hide their inventory in rented warehouses before an audit and then return it all after the audit. They were recognizing revenue before they were paid and often before the inventory even left the warehouse. In the end they were registering revenue before the product was even built – strictly illegal and causing their collapse (the sales crew and executive were using that revenue to trigger 100’s of millions in bonuses). I stood on their dock and laughed with the forklift drivers and supervisors that Nortel was screwing the auditors. When their failure reached the courts, everyone swore they had no idea what was happening and just two people took the fall – the rest all said they were innocent and KEPT their bonuses.From the executive to the accountants, everyone denied knowledge. The truth was that every single person in that company who was involved with accounting or operations or distribution, down to the forklift drivers, knew what was happening. Virtually all the company management went unscathed and kept their ill gotten gains and virtually all the investors lost their entire investment – billions of dollars just gone into thieving pockets.

    Like I said it fascinates me that more crooked business men and financiers haven’t been shot or otherwise terminated. The same is true of the failure of your home mortgage market Mark. That was specifically due to greed and carelessness and the sales folks and managers kept their bonuses.

    Anyway, a soap box topic for me sir – sorry about the rant. Sounds like a great movie worth seeing.

    Liked by 1 person

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