Tag Archives: Jodie Foster

“Money Monster” had such great potential, but it was an entertaining mess. Trump on Hillary from 2012, he loved her! And a very-cool softball leap onto home plate


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.


“Carnage” totally worth your time at the movies. Who’s a bigger fraud, the Jets or the Giants? And a 4-year-old’s reaction to “Empire Strikes Back.”

I have a general rule in life that I never see the movie adaptation of a book I’ve read and liked.

Because nine times out of 10 when I’ve done that in the past, the movie has stunk, and I end up getting mad because it’s not as good as the book, and the movie’s terribleness almost ruins the memory of how good the book was. Happened to me with “The Firm,” happened with “Presumed Innocent,” and many others before I passed my self-rule.

But until Friday I don’t think I’d ever seen the movie of a play I’d loved. But then I saw the new flick “Carnage,” starring Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly, and Christoph Waltz. And it was superb. Brilliant. Phenomenal. Almost the equal of the Broadway play it’s based on “God of Carnage,” that I saw a few years ago with James Gandolfini and Jeff Daniels.

The very simple plot is this: Two 11-year-old schoolboys get into a fight on the playground, with one knocking two of the other boy’s teeth out with a stick. The parents of both boys then get together to discuss what should be done about it.
That’s it. That’s the whole movie. Four people in an apartment, talking. But it’s so much more than that. The writing is cracklingly good, with Foster and Waltz both giving amazing performances as well. The emotions that each of the quartet goes through, and as well drawn as each character is, is truly something special to behold.

It’s funny, it’s dark, and it’s pretty entertaining for a movie that’s set all in one place. Reilly has the best one-liners, and Winslet is her usual fabulous self, but all four are terrific. Go see it when it’s playing near you (supposed to get nationwide release in early January).

**Since I moved back to NY I always enjoy listening to WFAN on Mondays to see which team’s fans, the Jets or the Giants, are the most bitter and miserable. It’s rare that they both play equally awful on the same week, but yep, the Jets and Giants tried to outdo each other in the “pathetic” category Sunday.

My Jets were horrendous. Down 21-0 before you could even say “Mark Gastineau,” they self-destructed on defense, offense, everywhere. Santonio Holmes cost ’em at least seven points, then acted like a 4-year-old moron with his idiotic TD celebration when he finally did catch the ball.

Mark Sanchez wasn’t good, the defense was non-existent, and it’s remarkable how many blowout losses my boys have had this year; the coaching preparation has been highly lacking. I don’t think this team deserves to make the playoffs, but I have a funny feeling the green and white will get in, again.

Fortunately for NY football fans, the Jets and Giants play each other this Saturday, so somebody’s fans will have a Merry Christmas.

I sure as hell hope it’s me.

Couple other quick-hit NFL thoughts today:
 0-13 Indy finally wins. 13-0 Green Bay loses to a Kansas City team that stinks. Two more reasons I never gamble on the NFL.
— I gotta start watching Detroit Lions games every week. They always play thrilling, down-to-the wire finishes. Man that Calvin Johnson is phenomenal.
— It’s gotta suck to be a Buffalo Bills fan. Seven straight losses, after a 5-2 start.
— Finally, here’s hoping Tebow-mania dies down a little this week. Funny what happens when he plays a really good team.

**Finally, this is just superb. A father filmed his 4-year-old son watching “The Empire Strikes Back” for the first time, right at the part where Vader gives his “Luke, I am your father” speech. Kid’s face is priceless: