Director: Jodie Foster
Cast: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell
Release Date: September 6, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
In the real-time, high stakes thriller, George Clooney and Julia Roberts star as financial TV host Lee Gates and his producer Patty, who are put in an extreme situation when an irate investor who has lost everything (Jack O’Connell) forcefully takes over their studio. During a tense standoff broadcast to millions on live TV, Lee and Patty must work furiously against the clock to unravel the mystery behind a conspiracy at the heart of today’s fast-paced, high-tech global markets.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Money Monster’ follows the hectic real time events revolving around the unexpected takeover of a financial TV show. Known for his insight into stock trading tactics, “Money Man” Lee Gates (Clooney) is prepping for another episode like any other of his popular TV series with his right hand and producer Patty (Roberts) always by his side. Unbeknownst to the team, a stranger has another plan for tonight’s episode, and once the show begins Gates is taken captive on live television by an armed man demanding an explanation to an apparent random computer glitch in an uprising new company that cost him everything after taking Gates’ on air advice to invest in the stock. Now Lee and his faithful producer Patty must move quickly and cautiously as they attempt to unravel the real truth behind the glitch before time runs out and Lee is executed live on his own show.
Directed by Jodie Foster who is surely known best to the majority of folks for her impressive acting credentials, although many may also be familiar with a few of her previous directorial efforts such as ‘Home For The Holidays’ and ‘The Beaver’. Foster does a highly competent job at the helm of ‘Money Monster’ guiding the film along with a fitting level of building tension. The film owes a tremendous amount of credit to the talented individuals that comprise the cast and really propel this thriller along, including George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell, Dominic West, Caitriona Balfe, Giancarlo Esposito and a number more, nearly all of which deliver competent performances at the very least in each of their respective roles.
‘Money Monster’ is a tense, entertaining and overall competent thriller that isn’t afraid to have some fun with itself when fitting and it should keep most viewers thoroughly enthralled as the tension continually builds up until the final moments. As capable and well rounded as it may be, it’s also by no means a perfect film and the dialogue is likely the most negative aspect of the film which can be somewhat sloppy at times, often feeling somewhat out of place. Fortunately the capable guidance of director Jodie Foster and (more importantly) the talented cast including George Clooney and Julia Roberts manage to keep things on a level that never veers into goofiness, utilizing their notable talent to tighten some loose knots and really make the film work quite well as a whole. ‘Money Monster’ may not be perfect, but it’s an intense and enjoyable real-time thriller that any fan of Clooney, Roberts or similar thrillers in general should have quite a bit of fun with. I would also recommend those who are somewhat interested yet hesitant give it a whirl should the opportunity present itself; chances are you’ll be fairly pleased you decided to.
Overall, ‘Money Monster’ is an enjoyable thriller boosted by a fitting layer of accelerating tension that should keep most viewers glued to the screen. The film suffers from its share of faults, primarily some sloppy dialogue which is fortunately balanced by the talented Jodie Foster at the helm and the incredibly talented cast, primarily George Clooney and Julia Roberts whose solid performances help greatly to balance the negative. I would definitely recommend giving this one a shot if you enjoy an overall entertaining and competent thriller, it’s well worth the cost of a rental at the very least.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Money Monster’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding as a whole and delivers a wonderfully sharp, detailed and often quite colorful presentation from start to finish. It holds up impressively even during the fast moving sequences and never results in anything becoming negatively affected in the slightest, let alone rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is another fantastic high definition video presentation from Sony that should easily please.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack provides a consistently crisp, clean and occasionally fairly aggressive audio presentation. Utilizing all five available channels on numerous occasions in order to immerse the viewer within the score, in addition to contributing plenty of crowd activity and background auditory elements within the building making their way throughout the various speakers; never causing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it and contributes some welcome additional tension to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Money Monster’ includes a few ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the film (running approximately 2 minutes in length altogether), in addition to a few behind the scenes Featurettes that include behind the scenes footage and interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus more. The included Featurettes are: ‘George Clooney: The Money Man’ (running approximately 5 minutes), ‘Inside the Pressure Cooker’ (approximately 10 minutes), and ‘Analysis of a Scene: The Showdown’ (7 minutes). A Music Video for ‘Dan the Automator (featuring Del the Funky Homosapien) – “What Makes the World Go ‘Round (Money!)”’ is also included.