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Money Monster Review

Excellent

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

The Jungle Book Review

Good

Using remarkably photorealistic animation, this remake of the 1967 Disney classic is warm and enjoyable, with a few moments of suspense for the kids in the audience. Loosely based on Rudyard Kipling's stories, it's a lively tale packed with memorable characters. But it feels relentlessly tamed for a family audience.

Stranded in the jungle as a baby, Mowgli (Neel Sethi) was rescued by the panther Bagheera (voiced by Ben Kingsley) and raised by a pair of wolves (Lupita Nyong'o and Giancarlo Esposito). But the presence of a human in the jungle is unacceptable to tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba), who was injured by a man and now wants Mowgli's blood. While fleeing to the human world, Mowgli has a fateful encounter with the seductive python Kaa (Scarlett Johansson). He's rescued by the bear Baloo (Bill Murray), with whom he has a series of adventures, including being kidnapped by a gang of monkeys led by King Louie (Christopher Walken). But Shere Khan is still searching for him, and Mowgli can't hide forever.

Filmmaker Jon Favreau (Iron Man) keeps the story skimming along the surface, avoiding the darker themes woven into the premise. So instead of exploring the meaning of humanity or mankind's relationship with nature, the film is a breezy adventure romp with the usual action movie beats and some surprisingly nasty violence. And it looks utterly amazing, especially since the credits note that it was filmed completely in downtown Los Angeles.

Continue reading: The Jungle Book Review

Money Monster Trailer


If you're looking for news on what stocks to buy, you switch on the TV and watch Lee Gate's show - he's the most popular presenter on the Financial News Network and is full of good tips for his viewers but what happens when one the stocks he hypes up mysteriously crashes out it leaves some of his ex-viewers penniless.

Kyle Budwell was one of those people when Kyle believes he has no other option, he takes Lee and his production team hostage live on TV. Between the presenter and his producer (Patty Fenn) they must find a way to satisfy both their captor and the special forces put on standby who are ready to storm the set.

Money Monster sees Julia Roberts and George Clooney team up once again and also sees Jodie Foster make a return to directing after her 2011 film The Beaver.

Activision Pull Out The Stops In Live-Action Trailer For 'Destiny' [Video]


Jon Favreau Giancarlo Esposito

Destiny is the latest multi-platform shooter from gaming powerhouse Activision (working in collaboration with fellow game manufacturer Bungie) and last night (May 23), the developers behind the game released the kick-ass part live action/part CGI trailer for the much-anticipated video game. The gaming studios even enlisted some Hollywood help for the promo, hiring Jon Favreau to direct, and Giancarlo Esposito as the star of the live segments.

The trailer doesn't feature any game play from the upcoming title, but we are treated to some classic English literature as Breaking Bad's Esposito reads his son Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book before bed, his story intertwining with the CGI clips highlighting the inner workings of the game. The Revelations actor reads aloud from the book, his chosen extracts seemingly reflecting the 'no man is an island' ethos of the game as he narrates; “The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”

Jon Favreau
Iron Man director Favreau handled the camera work for the promo

Continue reading: Activision Pull Out The Stops In Live-Action Trailer For 'Destiny' [Video]

Rabbit Hole Trailer


Becca And Howie Corbett have a perfect life, they live in a nice house with their son Danny and their dog. When Danny runs out of the garden and is hit by a car their existence is thrown into turmoil. Struggling to deal with the loss, the couple find very different ways of dealing with their pain.

Continue: Rabbit Hole Trailer

Fresh Review


Weak
Acclaimed, but why? Fresh is the nickname of the prototypical urban street punk (Sean Nelson), who runs drugs for the local hoods when he isn't busy attending dogfights, witnessing murders, visiting his prostitute sister, or playing chess with his homeless father in the park. Presumably, we are meant to sympathize with Fresh because he's a chess player, and hence an intellectual, but when he launches his plan to turn the tables on his drug bosses, it's hard to rally behind him. Extremely disturbing and unnecessarily violent, Fresh plays like Spike Lee for Dummies.

King Of New York Review


OK
King of New York, a violent story of one gangster who shoots, stabs, and beats his way to the top of the local crime scene, has never had the street cred of Scarface, despite the similar themes.

And though Artisan is issuing a two-disc DVD release of the film, don't expect it to find much more of a cult audience 14 years after its original release.

Continue reading: King Of New York Review

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