A sleekly made thriller with a sparky sense of humour, this is also a rare action movie that has something important to say. Centred around the corruption in the political and banking systems, the film is just as enlightening as The Big Short, but it's a lot more fun to watch. And it's directed by Jodie Foster as a sharp media satire that seems to be skimming along the surface but is actually taking no prisoners.
It's set on Wall Street, where TV guru Lee (George Clooney) hosts his financial advice show Money Monster, directed by his long-time friend Patty (Julia Roberts). Then in the middle of a broadcast, Lee is interrupted live on-air by Kyle (Jack O'Connell), who is consumed with anger because Lee's investment suggestion resulted in the loss of his life savings. Kyle's real target is the banking executive Walt (Dominic West), who has blamed the wipe-out of share prices on a computer glitch. But something about that story doesn't hold water. While Kyle threatens Lee live, a media storm develops around them. And Patty digs into the story with the help of hackers in Korea, Iceland and South Africa, feeding information to Lee through his earpiece.
As the situation spirals out of control, Foster maintains a terrific sense of balance between the edgy suspense and the jagged comedy. This works because, even amid the virtual globe-hopping, she keeps the focus tightly on the interaction between Lee, Patty and Kyle. Clooney and Roberts aren't hugely stretched by their roles, but they are able to add likeable moments of subtle revelation and interaction along the way. O'Connell is the heart of the film, with an impassioned performance that's surprisingly moving. And of course it's easy for everyone in the audience to sympathise with Kyle's frustration about a system in which bankers and politicians pocket billions while the average person struggles to keep their head above water.
Continue reading: Money Monster Review
John Wells, Marilyn Wells, Lysa Heslov and Grant Heslov - The Weinstein Company's "August Osage County" Screening Benefiting Children Mending Hearts & The Episcopal School Of Los Angeles At the Landmark Theater - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 5th December 2013
Lisa Heslov; Grant Heslov InStyle And Warner Bros. Golden Globe After Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel - Arrivals Featuring: Lisa Heslov, Grant Heslov Where: Beverly Hills, California, United States When: 13 Jan 2013
Ben Affleck couldn't resist getting involved in both acting and directing in new film 'Argo' after seeing the incredible script shown to him by writer Chris Terrio and producer Grant Heslov. The film has been picking up plaudits during its run over the recent film festival season, but it seems none of those reviewing it are bigger fans than Affleck himself, who spoke with enthusiasm about the project recently to reporters.
''I wanted to play him [Tony] because the script was really interesting" he enthused. ''It struck me, right away, that you had this thriller and then, in equal measure, this comic Hollywood satire and this really intricate real-life CIA spy story based on truth.' It was that, he said, that initially made him want to direct it: "That seemed like a fantastically interesting and unusual movie to be a part of" he claimed.
He added ''And then, the actor side of my brain that's still in that phase of auditioning and trying to make connections and get work asked the director of that movie for a job, and the director was in a tough spot and had to say yes.'' Continuing, he said ''When I got the script, I couldn't believe how good it was. They said, 'This is our best script.' And I thought that was some executive hyping me on it, but it really was pretty incredible. I was amazed. I talked to Grant and George and said, 'Look, I really want to do this. This is amazing!' And they said, 'Okay, great! Let's do it!'" It doesn't sound like anyone's going to enjoy the new Ben Affleck movie more than Ben Affleck has.
Steve (Gosling) is working with campaign director Paul (Hoffman) on the presidential campaign of Pennsylvania Governor Mike Morris (Clooney), and the current focus is the pivotal Ohio primary. As Steve starts to fall for young intern Molly (Wood), he is invited to meet with rival campaign manager Tom (Giamatti). And soon he finds his idealistic world disintegrating around him: Molly reveals information that could destroy Morris' campaign, while meeting with Tom jeopardises Steve's job. Meanwhile, backroom deals with an ambitious senator (Wright) call everyone's integrity into question.
Continue reading: The Ides Of March Review
No one really knows Jack (Clooney). Or maybe his name is Edward. Some call him Butterfly, and he's clearly a ruthlessly efficient man who leaves little to chance. An expert in customised guns and ammunition, he's hiding in an Italian village from some nasty Swedes. There he's making a rifle for Mathilde (Reuten) while befriending a priest (Bonacelli) and starting a tentative relationship with local prostitute Carla (Placido). But he doesn't trust anyone, and starts to worry whether he'll survive this job.
Continue reading: The American Review
Bob (McGregor) is a Michigan journalist desperate to prove himself, so he heads to Kuwait, hoping to find a story in Iraq. He meets the enigmatic Lyn Cassady (Clooney), whose story is so surreal that he can't help but follow him into the hot zone. Lyn is a member of the New Earth Army, a secret platoon formed in the 1980s by a hippie (Bridges) to create soldiers with Jedi mind powers. But their work went wrong when a jealous teammate (Spacey) dragged them into the dark side.
Continue reading: The Men Who Stare At Goats Review
The movie is a lazier, stupider version of Tommy Boy. Al Donnelly (Tim Matheson) is running for governor in Washington state, but his chances are hurt by his well-intentioned but reckless younger brother Mike (Farley), who is a newspaper editor's wet dream. Enter Steve Dodds (Spade), an eager Donnelly volunteer who offers to supervise Mike until the election ends. The pairing is disastrous from the start, and things really get out of hand when Mike gets framed for arson. The two escape to a remote cabin, where they encounter redneck kids, a runaway boulder, and Gary Busey, before uncovering an election scandal.
Continue reading: Black Sheep (1996) Review
$$$ may be right, but  is definitely not forthcoming, at least not in the case of Dante's Peak, a shameless and blatant rip-off of the mildly entertaining aforementioned film that is largely responsible for the return to prominence of the disaster movie. This time around, it's a volcano that threatens the peace of little Dante's Peak, and it's Pierce Brosnan who comes to the rescue.
Continue reading: Dante's Peak Review
The story of the witch-hunt has endlessly retold, usually laden with the same self-satisfied 20/20 hindsight that afflicts stories of the civil rights movement, and fortunately Clooney and co-writer Grant Heslov see no need to go through it all again. With admirable precision, they've sliced away most all the accoutrements often used to open up the era for the modern viewer, ala Quiz Show. This is a film that takes place almost entirely inside a CBS studio and newsroom, with occasional trips to hallways, elevators, and a network executive's wood-paneled office. Once, they all go out to a bar. It's best in the studio, because that's where we find Murrow - incarnated with almost indecent accuracy by David Strathairn - looking and sounding like as though Rod Serling had decided to rejoin the human race, his manner clipped and astringent, cigarette cocked in one hand like a talisman warding off evil.
Continue reading: Good Night, And Good Luck Review
The Scorpion King ably rehashes the plots of the variety of other, better films including Gladiator, the Indiana Jones series, Flash Gordon, Beastmaster, and even The Goonies. Set 5,000 years ago, a warlord named Memnon (Steven Brand), acting on crazed Napoleonic urges, ravages the land and bends its people into totalitarian rule. With the aid of a seer who foretells the future, Memnon stands invincible against all aggressors.
Continue reading: The Scorpion King Review
Call it a premature yet promising start to the summer action season. Somehow "The Scorpion King" -- a movie starring a professional wrestler and spun off from a shameful sequel -- has become the most enjoyably, unapologetically jumbo-sized popcorn flick since 1999's remake of "The Mummy," this picture's indirect ascendant.
While "The Scorpion King" aims for a considerably lower brow, it's a vast improvement on its idiotic immediate predecessor. In "The Mummy Returns," WWF wrestler The Rock had a bit part as the movie's second resurrected bad guy, an ancient Akkadian king who sold his soul to a "dark god" in order to win a war. "The Scorpion King" is that character's backstory, a tongue-in-cheek, "Conan the Barbarian"-like, 3000 B.C. adventure packed with over-the-top action and intentionally cheesy catch-phrase dialogue.
The Rock plays Mathayus, a sinewy assassin hired by the assembled remnants of several defeated tribes to kill the sorcerer who serves a powerful tyrant king that decimate their lands and peoples. Without supernatural guidance, the inexplicably interracial tribes (led by colossal Michael Clarke Duncan, "The Green Mile") believe they can defeat the ruthless, psychopathic Memnon (Steven Brand) and his silly mohawk-flattop hair-do.
Continue reading: The Scorpion King Review
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