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May 13th, 2016

Movie Review - Money Monster

Money Monster

Starring: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O'Connell, Caitriona Balfe, Dominic West, Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher Denham, Lenny Venito, Chris Bauer, Dennis Boutsikaris, Condola Rashad, Emily Meade, Aaron Yoo, and more.

Directed by: Jodie Foster Screenplay by: Jamie Linden, Alan DiFiore, Jim Kouf Story by: Alan DiFiore and Jim Kouf Cinematography by: Matthew Libatique Music by: Dominic Lewis

Premise: After a seeming computer glitch loses owners of Ibris stock 800 million dollars, an unhappy New Yorker decides to take a stand - he decides to hold a TV host on a stock show hostage, hoping to also snare one of his guests, so he can make them tell the world on live TV how it is that they cheated him and many others out of their money. (Rated R)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: The film is filled with a lovely powerhouse of actors. George Clooney and Julia Roberts are pure magic as Lee Gates, the show's host, and Patty Fenn, the director of the TV show Money Monster. Jack O'Connell adds in a nice counterpoint of chaos to their otherwise predictable lives. All the characters, large and small, contributed something. Some lovely acting work all around.

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: While there are no giant explosions, alien invaders, or gigabytes of CGI, we still got a nice share of special effects in the film. The opening sequence showing the electronic workings of stocks was visually fun. Lots of lovely video effects for the show, even some great bits of what "normal" people would have made with regards to a piece of footage at the end. Too darn funny!

3) Plot/Story - Total Thumbs Up: Hubby knows a lot about stocks, so I know if the premise and mystery had seemed to be out there he wouldn't be shy about saying so. But he enjoyed the film as much as I did. I've watched Mad Money with him at home, so we loved their taking Kramer's show one step to the side and three steps up - making it that much more fun. George Clooney can definitely ham it up. :)

While the main plot of the film seems straightforward, there were still several unexpected and lovely surprises. The motivations and moves are well supported, even the ones that seem a little crazy. I loved that even while doing things in a way to make them seem bigger than life, reality kept asserting itself into the equation keeping it 'real' - whether the characters liked it or not. :)

Multiple themes are explored - most centering around those caught in the middle of the madness. Friendship, leadership, the little things we hide from ourselves and others, taking things for granted. Trust - gaining it, respecting it, destroying it - was definitely a major theme in all manner of forms. Making human connections - even despite ourselves. Lots of great dynamics were involved.

Loved the snide, soft glimpses into our lives and attention spans, and how much social media and our phones are a part of everything. The world gets smaller everyday.

4) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: The story spans wide so we get all sorts of location shots from around the world. Also a lot circling around the small world of the studio and those who spend most of their lives creating entertainment for the masses. And how those self same masses will do anything if they feel it will be entertaining. :P

Conclusion:  Money Monster is filled with layers and not all of them centered on the main problem at hand. Strong performances and unexpected surprises made it a very fun ride.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Paying Full Price to See Again!)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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