Tag Archives: Giancarlo Esposito

Cinema Dispatch: Money Monster

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Money Monster and all the images you see in this review are owned by TriStar Pictures

Directed by Jodie Foster

Once again, George Clooney is trying to save America’s soul through his world class acting skills!  Not too long ago he directed and co-starred in The Ides of March which was a vicious take down of the electoral process and the idea of there ever being a perfect candidate and then just last year he was in Tomorrowland which, from what I understand, is damn close to a Randian take on a Save the Future kids movie where the best and brightest separated themselves from the rest of the world to form a Utopian society that is no doubt run on renewable energy and good vibes.  Now we’ve got Money Monster; a movie he didn’t direct but seems to be right in his wheelhouse as it takes the finical system and investment culture head on.  Does this movie manage to make an intelligent statement on capitalism and Wall Street, or is this simply an angry and half-thought out screed that just shows how little the filmmakers and writers know about what they’re railing against?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with douche bag television personality Lee Gates (George Clooney) going about his normal everyday routine of giving financial advice on his show Money Monster with his trusty director Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts) in the booth making sure it all comes together instead of just being a big cacophony of egotistical noise radiating from the self-centered host.  Today is not going to be a normal day for anyone however as a complete stranger Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell) manages to sneak his way into the studio with not only a gun but a bomb vest.  He takes everyone hostage, puts the vest on Lee, and begins his own personal broadcast to spout off about the ills of Wall Street and their hype men like Lee.  Specifically, the guy lost A LOT of money when a company called IBIS suspiciously lost eight hundred million dollars in a single day due to a supposed computer glitch and he wants answers for it; especially after Lee said on national television that the company was a sure thing for any investor.  Can Lee talk his way out of a bullet in the head?  What really DID happen to the money that IBIS claims to have lost?  How amazing are the ratings gonna be for THIS show?  Maybe he can get another desperate asshole to break in during sweeps…

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“On today’s episode, we see who wants to get shot in the face!  Any takers?”     …     “Come on people!  If you can’t decide amongst yourselves, then  I’m gonna choose for you!”

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Cinema Dispatch: The Jungle Book

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The Jungle Book and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios

Directed by Jon Favreau

In the early and mid-2000s, we got a deluge of straight to video sequels to classic animated features in the Disney catalog.  Almost NONE of them were any good, and they thankfully died off by 2007.  Now we’re in a new age of cannibalizing those cartoons by making them into live action, albeit with better results.  These include Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, Cinderella, and now this with PLENTY more on the horizon.  Can Disney continue to successfully rehash their older properties, or are we getting to the point of diminishing returns?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the adventures of Mowgli (Neel Sethi); a young child who was abandoned in the jungle and raised by wolves.  Most of the animals don’t have any real beef with him, so they coexist without much strife to speak of until the fierce (and apparently ONLY) tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) shows up and declares that the boy must be turned over to him for death, else he will wage war on the other animals; particularly the wolf pack Mowgli’s a part of that also seems to be the highest ranking species here… or something.  Rather than have his pack go to war over him, he leaves them behind and goes with his panther friend Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) who’s gonna lead him back to the human village which is the one place he’ll be safe from Shere Khan’s anti-human wrath.  Unfortunately, the two get separated along the way and Mowgli instead finds himself moving in with a bear named Baloo (Bill Murray) who will teach him about chillaxing and eating honey.  Will Mowgli truly be safe in his new home?  What will Shere Khan do once he learns that Mowgli is not dead?  Does this have at least the Bare Necessities to make it a good film!?

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“What have I told you TIME and TIME again?”     “Don’t forget to take that left turn at Albuquerque?”     “And did you?”     “No.  I’ll do better next time.”

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