Host of a television show on finances and investing, Lee Gates (George Clooney – Gravity, Tomorrowland) and his producer Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts – Mother’s Day) find themselves in a tense situation when, after some bad information given out by the show, an investor who has lost everything takes over the studio. The investor, Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell) does this live on air.
Money Monster is a film that finds just the right balance between tension and humour. Even the ridiculous dance by Clooney’s character Lee, as part of his show, just seems right. As if it were meant to be there, and not only would his quirky and over-the-top show be missing something without it, the film Money Monster would be too.
With a cast, the likes of Oscar winners George Clooney and Julia Roberts, and a talented supporting cast, helmed by Oscar winning Jodie Foster in the director’s seat, there is no doubt this is going to be an engrossing ride.
Money Monster does dig up memories of Dog Day Afternoon (Al Pacino), with a robbery and hostages live on television, with a few similarities, including the level of talent and creative story telling.
Money Monster grips the viewer right from the start. Characters are revealed as the story progresses, with viewers knowing just enough at each stage to be able to concentrate on the story as the plot thickens and other deeds and underhanded dealings are revealed, adding to the ensemble of people who might be to blame for Kyle’s misfortune. The story does not have too many twists and turns that it becomes hard to follow, but it is certainly not one that will have audiences guessing the outcome from the get-go.
A well rounded film, bringing the right mix of tension, humour and engrossing story, adding a talented cast, and holding the viewers focus right to the very end.
Money Monster is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.
Video is encoded at a high bitrate. There are no visible artefacts on screen. Colours in the film are vibrant (especial the reflections from the many screens in the studio and control room). Blacks are dark, but maintain detail (also important, as there are many scenes in darker settings).
Viewers who wish, can scale the film up to a larger or higher resolution screen.
Audio is encoded in a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Dialogue is clear via the centre channel, with use of the surrounds to further enhance the on-screen events, and draw the viewer in to the story.
The disc starts by presenting the viewer with a choice of languages, with a creative background still of a television test pattern and money, both tying in to the theme of the film. Once selected, there are a few trailers, that autoplay. While there is no way to skip to the next trailer, these can be fast-forwarded or skipped in their entirety.
The menus hold this same theme idea, with static background images and some music. Navigation is simple, and easy to follow.
Options are again available for languages, a scene selection sub-menu with chapter numbers and thumbnail stills, and another sub-menu for special features.
The disc begins with a trailer for Ghostbusters (although misleading, the trailer gives the impression this is a sequel to Ghostbusters and not a remake), a trailer for The Meddler, Concussion, and Angry Birds.
Deleted Scenes: Three scenes deleted from the film, with an option to play all as part of a playlist, or to pick them one at a time. Included in the list is a different opening, on more of a global scale.
George Clooney: The Money Man: A short featurette with director Jodie Foster talking about the show Money Monster, actor George Clooney talking a bit about the character, writer Jamie Linden talking about the character arcs and stories, and other cast and crew.
This is a brief look behind the scenes, and an insight in to the character driving the story forward.
Inside The Pressure Cooker: A slightly longer featurette, again with input from the cast and crew. Talking about the challenges of the film, the tension, cynicism and humour that create a well rounded film, with many varied pieces.
Analysis Of A Scene: The Showdown: A short piece, that looks at the final moments. How the story is rounded off, and the confrontation and camaraderie with Lee and Kyle. The entire story of the film leads to this final incident.
Dan The Automator (Featuring Del The Funky Homosapien) “What Makes The World Go ’round (Money!)” Music Video: With some footage from the film, and a song in keeping to the music Lee plays as part of his show, there is the option to view and listen to music used by the film.
There is also a chance to replay the previews at the beginning of the disc.