Daily Archives: January 30, 2021

Cinema Saturday, 1/30/21

Money Monster

Year: 2016
Runtime: 1h 38m
Rated: R

Director: Jodie Foster

Writers: Jamie Linden, Alan DiFiore, Jim Kouf

Stars: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell

“Once again, it all boils down to good old-fashioned fraud.”

Initial: With George Clooney starring and Jodie Foster directing, this movie has been on my TBW list for a while.

What Did I Think:
Believe it or not, I watched this movie on Tuesday before the whole GameStop nonsense really hit. This film has little to do with the current situation other than being about the stock market and involving high frequency trading.

George Clooney has done a lot of very solid *good* movies. Money Monster is one of those. Clooney plays a charismatic/smarmy Jim Cramer-like character, the host of a Mad Money-like stock advice show. Chickens come home to roost for Clooney’s Lee Gates when a disgruntled viewer takes him to task for advice Lee had given about a stock whose value had nose-dived due to a algorithm “glitch.” What had gone wrong? Lee really didn’t care…until he’s forced to. His director Patty (Julia Roberts) and the CCO of the tanked company (played by Caitriona Balfe) work the mystery from the other side of the camera. Sometimes the tone of this movie is a little off. It’s not quite satire, like Network, so the humor maybe falls flat. The cast, though, is excellent. I hope George Clooney and Julia Roberts had fun in this movie, because I’d love to see them together in more films.


Audition

Year: 1999
Runtime: 1h 55m
Rated: R

Director: Takashi Miike

Writers: Ryû Murakami, Daisuke Tengan

Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki

“Words create lies. Pain can be trusted.”

Initial: Well-regarded Japanese horror film.

What Did I Think:
(possible spoilers ahead)
I thought this movie was a little more of a video-dating-gone-wrong situation, but instead our male victim, Aoyama, is more deceptive, using his position as a film producer to “audition” girls to be his potential new wife. He is smitten with Asami, a young woman who, according to her CV, lost her ballet career due to a hip injury. She is not who she seems to be. She is in fact a very damaged woman, bent on sharing the pain that’s been inflicted on her with unsuspecting men. The interesting thing about Audition is that Asami isn’t taking revenge on Aoyama for his deception; she’s just angry at all men. The movie is trippier than I expected. Though there are no supernatural aspects, the audience is (maybe) given information about Asami in a way that feels more like Aoyama having nightmares. Negative points for cramming a dog into this story, its only purpose to be killed off late in the film…because *that* is what assured us that Asami is unhinged.