Money Monster (2016) | Movie Review

This post is spoiler free.

The second I heard that Jodie Foster was directing this movie I knew I was going to watch it. Even before I saw any kind of trailer. I’ve been a fan of her for a long time as an actress, but I hate to see I’ve never seen something she’s directed, so that only made me want to see Money Monster more.

“Financial TV host Lee Gates and his producer Patty are put in an extreme situation when an irate investor takes over their studio.” – [imdb]

Going in I wasn’t really sure what the actual story line was going to be. All I knew was the very basics given in the description above. I’d seen one trailer and that didn’t really give away much either. Now that I’ve seen the movie I can safely say that that was the best way to go into it.

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This movie has a central idea, that is executed very simply. The story line is clearly thought out, but it’s not overly complicated and it goes about showing it in a equally uncomplicated way. It gives you just enough to put two and two together, but never enough to take away any surprise, suspense, or general enjoyment. The way it’s put together is very well done.

The cast has a lot of big and popular names in it: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, and Jack O’Connell to name a few. On that front it definitely doesn’t disappoint, the acting talent is on point, and even those characters that only have maybe one scene give so much. Overall the people on screen and off do a lot to bring this movie together and each of them do it so perfectly.

This movie works. Is it flawless? Perfect? Probably not, but there was never anything major to distract me from having a great viewing experience.

For obvious reasons this movie is serious and full of suspense, but, surprisingly enough it’s funny in places. Not the side-splitting, happy kind of funny, but the kind that has you laughing in the moment as a impulse reaction. Money Monster does a great job of jumping between all the different components so that when you’ve just been laughing at something, the next moment you’re thrown into silence by something a lot more serious and intense.

Critically and technically I can’t really fault it, entertainment wise I can’t either. It was just a really enjoyable movie. I didn’t feel like I wasted any time by watching it. Everything seemed to be wrapped up by the end in some way, shape, or form. It’s greatest attribute (beside the cast and crew) was the fact that it chose not to over complicate things and create a huge show. They managed to keep it entertaining while having everything in check.

Overall this movie is memorable and a great watch. If you’ve been considering watching it then I would highly recommend you do. It was a lot of fun and I have no major complaints.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ /5

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Cell (2016) | Movie Review

This post contains spoilers.

I was surprised I didn’t know about this movie. When I saw that it was in fact a thing and starred names I recognised (John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson) I was shocked to say the least. Of course I had to check it out. Admittedly I went in without having read the book. I’m the first to say that you should read the book first, but in this case I didn’t, and I’m not sure if I’m happy about that fact or not. Let’s just say no matter how I felt about this movie, it didn’t put me off wanting to read the book.

You can watch the trailer here. Be aware there are some flashing images.

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The book of the same name (by Stephen King) is definitely something that I want to read, and fortunately this movie didn’t change that for me, despite it not being a very good movie. Yeah, I didn’t particularly like it. The idea was good, and although critics have spoken poorly of the acting, I thought that was okay. By the end of the movie I simply wasn’t interested anymore, by the time we got there it felt like nothing had really happened, like we were only half way through. It carried well at first, set up decent characters and what seemed to be a good plot, but then anything interesting or seemingly important was rushed and squashed together, to the point that it felt like nothing happened at all.

Even if that hadn’t of been a problem, the one thing I really couldn’t get behind was the camera work. It seemed off, shaky, awkward, and not even in a good way. I remember one or two bits where the camera zoomed in, stopped as if it was stuck, and then zoomed in some more. There were other moments with different things, maybe it was camera work, maybe it was the editing, either way it wasn’t great and for some reason I noticed it a lot during the course of the movie.

Overall I’m glad I watched it, but it wasn’t perfect, and it was very lacking in places. It might have benefited from being spread out and bulked up a bit more in places.

Rating: ★ ★ ½

Finding Dory (2016) | Movie Review

I’m a huge lover of Pixar animated movies and this one was no different. When I first heard that Finding Dory was going to be a thing I was on-board before I even knew what the story was going to be.

For those of you who aren’t aware the story has two components that come together. The first follows Dory as she searches to find her parents, the second follows Nemo and Marlin as they search for Dory. A similar concept to Finding Nemo, right? I know that put a lot of people off, but I have to say, don’t let it.

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Finding Dory is funny, but also very emotional in places. It’s got a lot of adventure, and it had me laughing so much. Admittedly going in I was a little unsure, but as the movie progressed I found myself hooked and so glad that this movie is a thing. Although on the surface it seems to be quite similar to Finding Nemo it’s a completely new story that manages to hold out on its own. It definitely helps to have seen Finding Nemo, but Finding Dory is just as good and equally as lovable.

If you love the characters of Finding Nemo, you’ll love this. It’s got old ones and new ones. The new ones are varying, not only in type of sea life, but also their personality. You thought you had trouble picking a favourite character in Finding Nemo (I know I did), well expect to have even more difficulty now. If you love Pixar, this particular movie won’t disappoint. Whether you think it’s a masterpiece or not, it definitely deserves to be watched at least once.

It’s a new favourite for me, and I will certainly be re-watching again the future.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Spoiler below the cut.

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