Money Monster, Dark Horse, High Rise, Sing Song

Money Monster



It seems the critics were expecting a Wall Street epiphany from this Jodie Foster directed film about a live Investments Television show that is derailed when a young disgruntled blue collar investor takes over the set and threatens to blow everyone up with a bomb.

I’ll admit, it’s not perfect and there are some wrinkles that are a bit far fetched, but the core story is pretty good.  Strong performances by George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Jack O’Connell as the would be bomber whose character is way out of his league.

The tension factor is about right.  The police as mislead heavy handed public servants is reflective of the current public perception.  It was an entertaining way to spend a couple of hours.  Just don’t expect any big industry awards for this one.

Rating: 2 globes

Dark Horse



It is hard not to like this true story.  A hand full of working class friends from a poor mining village in Wales pool their meager resources to buy a broodmare who produces a foal that eventually becomes a champion race horse that wins the Welsh Grand National.

It is a documentary that flows like a soap opera or sit com.  There are plenty of social commentaries woven into the story.  In fact, it is core to the story.  It’s the winner of several audience awards including the 2015 World Documentary Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

It is a feel good film that offers a rare glimpse into simple village life in rural UK.

Rating: 3 globes

High Rise



This is suppose to be a Fantasy Science Fiction film about class warfare that erupts in a modern urban high rise residential building resulting in chaos and  carnage.  The idea seems to reveal or exploit the extreme socioeconomic canyons between the “haves” and “have nots”.

Instead, the story degenerates into obscure violence, strong sexual content/nudity, and a plethora of disturbing images and language.  I am surprised with only an R rating.

The great cast and well intended plot could not save this film. At almost two hours, we were delighted when the movie ended.  Note the rare rating.


Sing Street



Here is a feel good movie that will remind you of your youth (hopefully).  Set in Dublin, Ireland in 1985 and filled with music of the era.  Fourteen year old school boys from a poor rough Catholic neighborhood decide to start a band.

The lead singer falls for the young “model” across the street.  The suitor uses the “band”, not yet created, to draw her into the making of a music video to promote the new venture.

The talented young want-to be-band members quickly find their ‘sound’ (think Duran Duran) and eventually land a gig at the school.  Of course there is the parallel love interest and a great ending.  Rated PG.  Some strong language, bullying and drugs.  (It was the 80s!)

Special note: There is a scene in the movie set in the Dublin suburb of Dalkey.  John and I and John’s Mom were there in 1985 (same year the movie is set in).  It looks as charming now as it did then.

Rating: 3 globes

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