Lee Gates (George Clooney) is an outlandish financial pundit for FNN. Much like his real life counterpart CNBC’s Jim Cramer, Gates give ‘can’t miss’ stock tips daily on his show Money Monster. However, the stock market is a gamble. Winners are celebrated regularly as geniuses, while losers plunge into bankruptcy. One of Gates’ pick, that was such a sure winner “you could bet your savings” was Ibis Clear Capital. The advice was sound, the logic was clear but the tip failed miserably. Reported as a “computer glitch” by Ibis, their new rapid trading algorithm proved fallible and with it Ibis’ stocks nearly flatline; losing somewhere in the vicinity of $800 million. While it’s c’est la vie for Gates, one of the bigger losers of the day, a disgruntled investor named Kyle (Jack O’Connell) sneaks on set and holds the Crew of Money Monster hostage.
Searching for ‘answers’, Kyle calls shenanigans on the ‘glitch’ and forces Gates into a vest rigged with explosives. While Ibis Clear Capital tries to maneuver through this PR nightmare, unfolding live around the globe; the man at the center of it all is suspiciously AWOL. Ibis’ CEO Walt Camby (Dominic Cooper). The search is on to find the elusive Camby while at the FNN studios, Gates and his long time producer Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts) continue to negotiate with the desperate Kyle.
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In 2009 South African director Neill Blomkamp made a big splash with District 9. Arguably the best film of that year, District 9 was a thought provoking cautionary tale of the complexities of human nature through xenophobia and class-ism against aliens. There’s also mech-suits! What’s not to like. In Blomkamp’s sophomore effort Elysium, there’s a similar feel to this dystopian world and more than a few elements from District 9 have been carried over. I can’t say the Blomkamp has been bitten by the sophomore slump but, Elysium falls short of the high expectations yet by the 2009 gem.
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One of the norms of the twenty first century is over conscious very feeling parents of the upper middle class urban type. You those type of parents that you think are a little too PC for their own good. They treat every little thing with their kids like Def Con 4 and their whole world will end. The film Carnage really perfectly captures this type of world. The two couples portrayed in this film is the perfect storm of upper middle class urbanite parenting nightmare.
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Kids will be kids. And with kids there’s always going to be one kid that picks on another kid. Why do they do it? Well, there’s probably a ton of studies out there that try to explain that very fact. Why is it that anyone picks on someone else. But when you’re a parent what is it that you do when your child picks on another child in terms of making an apology or saying something to the other childs’ parents? Do you say something at all, and does it really mean anything at all?
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Mental illness is a tricky subject to deal with when it comes to film. One can look at it in a very serious tone or one can chose to look at it more light hearted. But that really depends on exactly the type of mental illness you’re talking about. Let’s be honest with ourselvesâ€¦most of us are either depressed or have had depression in the past. It’s not fun. In fact depression can lead to further depression and a deeper sense of dread. So whenever Hollywood decides to tackle this sensitive subject you have to be prepared to take a step back and see whether or not the filmmaker makes the right decision on the tone of the film, based on the source material.
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