Cinema Dispatch: Tulip Fever

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Tulip Fever and all the images you see in this review are owned by The Weinstein Company

Directed by Justin Chadwick

Now THESE are the movies I live for!  What makes a good or bad movie even better is if there’s a good story behind it, and this looks like a disaster waiting to happen; what with its troubled production (it’s earliest incarnation was supposed to be filmed in 2004) and the fact that it’s been sitting on Harvey Weinstein’s shelf for almost three years now.  Not only that, the premise itself sounds completely absurd (a steamy period romance AND ALSO the explosion of the Dutch tulip market) and the trailers made it look like a muddled mess; probably due to that whole “sitting around for three years” thing.  Sometimes a film can rise above a nightmarish film shoot with films like Apocalypse now and even The Shining being great examples of that (even if Shelly Duvall’s treatment on set was pretty freaking grotesque), but other times we get stuff like Waterworld, The Super Mario Bros Movie, or even Food Fight.  Does this film manage to come out of all this turmoil as an intact and extremely entertaining film, or should they have never bothered dusting this off in the first place?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows Sophia (Alicia Vikander) who’s agreed to marry Cornellis Sandvoort (Christoph Waltz) in exchange for her younger sister getting a free trip to American and her getting out of the orphanage.  All she has to do is sire him an heir and live a happy domesticated life; provided the dude who more or less bought her doesn’t get bored and throw her out on the streets.  Still, even if a baby would have kept him from doing such a thing (at least not right away) she seems completely unable to get pregnant which puts a strain on their “relationship” which I guess you can call it.  In walks Jan van Loos (Dane DeHaan) who is painting a portrait for them but manages to fall madly in love with Sophia who eventually reciprocates his feelings.  After more than a few bangings behind Sandvoort’s back, trouble starts to brew when Sophia’s maid Maria (Holiday Grainger) gets married and the father (Jack O’Connell) disappears due to some contrived misunderstanding.  Now her being pregnant and unmarried is a problem while Sophia being NOT pregnant is a problem as well.  I wonder if the two things could somehow come together to come up with a solution!  Oh and there’s a Tulip Market bubble that’s going on in the background that I’m sure means something important.  Will Sophia be able to give Sandvoort what he wants while also finding a way to escape his clutches?  What will happen to their brilliant plan if the REAL father comes back at the WORST POSSIBLE TIME?  Are we SURE that Dane Dehaan isn’t just playing Valerian again and this is one of his Time Travel stories?

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I don’t think this is EXACTLY how Laureline entered the series…

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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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