It is exceedingly rare that the wife and I see a movie the first weekend it comes out.
But owing to a long-planned “date night,” the fact we’re going to be vacationing with our almost 2-year-old for the next two weeks (more on that in Wednesday’s post), and the fact that “Money Monster” looked so damn good in the trailers we’ve been seeing, we went out Saturday night to see how good a Julia Roberts-George Clooney movie about a hot-shot money maven and the troubled investor who takes him hostage live on TV could be.
Man, I had such high hopes for this flick. Jodie Foster directed, the premise (how the financial markets are all rigged and only a few people are in on the con) is timely, and it seemed like it couldn’t miss.
But boy, was I wrong. Such wasted potential, “Money Monster” turned out to be. Let me start by saying that while it was a mess of a film, it was an entertaining mess. In that, even as I was watching it and getting annoyed/mad at the turns it was taking, I had to admit it was fun to watch.
So what was wrong? Lots of things. First, the tone of the movie shifted every five minutes. First it was a snappy comedy with great banter even in tense situations between Clooney’s Lee Gates, his director Patti (Roberts) and others. Then it gets serious when troubled and now broke Kyle Rudwell (Jack O’Connell) takes Gates hostage live on the air.
And for a few minutes, the movie really sparkled, as Kyle raged at the unfairness of the system, and we slowly got to see Gates reveal himself as a human being and not just a TV character who loves money.
But the movie shifted tones four or five more times after that, for no apparent reason. It was like Foster couldn’t decide which movie she wanted to make, a drama or a comedy, so she made both.
There were also, of course, huge gaps in logic and plot, leading to an “action scene” and “feel good”resolution at the end that almost but didn’t quite work, since they rushed through the important details over how the movie’s villain Walter Camby (Domenic West) managed to lose his investors so much money.
Clooney was good, and Roberts was stellar like always, and the movie looked great visually. But with this caliber of acting and directing talent, this movie could’ve been so, so much more.
What a shame.
So every day, several times a day now, there emerge more ridiculous and in any other election, disqualifying facts, stories and pieces of video about Donald Trump. Honestly I try to ignore them and not waste time and effort blogging about 99 percent of them, because there’s just so much. But two pieces of Trump-analia I found interesting over the weekend: first, I saw this clip (above) from March, 2012, with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, of The Donald talking about his huge respect, admiration and personal like toward the woman he’s going to spend the next five months trashing and calling every name in the book.
Sadly, this guy above is revealing his true feelings about Hillary Clinton; the cartoon showman we’re watching now in 2016 is merely a character. If I were a Democratic Super PAC I’d be running that clip as an ad in all 50 states, every week.
The other “big reveal” over the weekend was the wholly unsurprising but still pathetic fact that in the 1980s and ’90s, Trump used an alias named “John Miller” to call magazine and newspaper editors and pretended to be a publicist urging positive coverage of Trump.
When, in reality, it was Trump, calling and bragging about his friend Trump.
If you were to create this “Donald Trump” person in fiction, nobody would believe he was real.
**Finally today, Army softball player Kasey McCravey had maybe the athletic feat of the weekend on Saturday in a game against Lehigh.
Watch this creative and awesome way to avoid getting tagged out at home plate.