‘Money Monster’ rates a strong buy

“Greed is good” – Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in 1987’s Wall Street

Money Monster from director Jodie Foster and starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts is another movie set in the world of Wall Street.  In the wake of 2014’s The Wolf of Wall Street and the outstanding 2015 film The Big Short, comparisons are inevitable.  But Money Monster is not a look at the how the market collapsed in 2008.

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Never mind Caesar, Hail the Coen Brothers!

“Would that it were so simple” – Alden Ehrenreich as ‘Hobie Doyle’ Hail, Caesar! is the latest in a long line of superior movies made by the Coen brothers.  Their formula of creating interesting stories and characters, assembling outstanding casts … Read more

Disney’s ‘Tomorrowland’ fails to live up to the level of its namesake

An original Disleyland D Ticket, which gave access to some great rides. Sadly the film 'Tomorrowland' isn't one of them.
An original Disleyland D Ticket, which gave access to some great rides. Sadly the film ‘Tomorrowland’ isn’t one of them.

The image above is from an original D-ticket from Disneyland.  E-tickets were the best, but the D-tickets were pretty good.  Sadly, the Disney film that takes its title from the park’s futuristic area, Tomorrowland earned a D-ticket with the D standing for disappointing.

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‘The Monuments Men’ deserves at least a small monument of its own

The cast of 'Monuments Men' (from right to left): John Goodman, Matt Damon, George Clooney, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray
The cast of ‘Monuments Men’ (from right to left): John Goodman, Matt Damon, George Clooney, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray

In 1943, at the height of World War II, it became clear that the Germans were engaged in the systematic looting of every major art work in Europe.  It was up to the soldiers and civilians who worked in the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Program to recover and repatriate this stolen art back to its rightful owners.  That is the true story on which the film The Monuments Men, written by George Clooney and Grant Heslov and directed by Clooney is based.  If you know anything about the actual events, you know that poetic license is in play.  The choices to exercise such license are good ones in this case, as was the decision that the film wouldn’t take itself so seriously.  This allowed the filmmakers to poke fun at situations where humor works, and still display the high drama that is war right up on the enemy lines.

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‘Gravity’ is likely the best science fiction film of 2013

Sandra Bullock fights to survive in 'Gravity'
Sandra Bullock fights to survive in ‘Gravity’

[rating=3]Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Writer: Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón

Gravity is probably the best movie in which the main character spends half the time in her underwear. But to leave it at that does the movie a big disservice; it may well end up being the best science fiction film of the year.

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‘The Descendants’ is A++ material

George Clooney stars in 'The Descendants'
George Clooney stars in ‘The Descendants’

Director Alex Payne has given us three gems so far, ElectionAbout Schmidt and Sideways.   His latest effort in the director’s chair, The Descendants definitely rises to the standard he previously set for himself.  Starring George Clooney as “Matt King” and adapted by Payne and two others from a novel, The Descendants is a tale of how life is both complex and simple, all at once.

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