BY THE COMMANDER
2 (out of 4 stars)
Unless you've been living under a rock or on one of the 7,000 uninhabited islands in the Philippines, you probably already know that there is a lot of crazy stuff on television. However, if that is not the case, do I have news for you! First, the war in the Pacific is over, and second, there’s a cable network program on CNBC called “Mad Money”, hosted by Jim Cramer, which should be on your favorites list. It's supposed to be an educated, informed financial show regarding how to profit by investing in the stock market and commodities.
Jim Cramer, a Harvard College and Harvard Law school graduate, gives us guidance on to how to navigate through the difficult waters of the stock market. His financial advice is supposed to be both educational and informative. However, understanding the intelligence level of the average American, the show is set closer to the vein of Bozo the Clown with big buttons and sound effects, foolish skits, screaming into the camera, dancing and prancing, in order to keep the audience entertained. The show has a huge following, and whether or not the antics of his “buy, buy, buy” or “sell, sell, sell” has anything to do with a stock’s price is anyone's guess.
Well, you knew it was going to happen sooner or later, but the time has finally arrived. Hollywood has created a film named Money Monster, which is loosely based around “Mad Money”. The premise is pretty simple. The show’s host, Lee Gates (George Clooney), and his producer, Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts), are going about their everyday business in preparation of another daily show, when low and behold, Kyle Budwell (Jack O'Connell), interrupts the live on-air show with a gun and a bomb, demanding to know what happened to the money that he lost in the stock market based upon the information the show provided. Wouldn't it be nice if this happened in real life! I sure would love to know why my stocks drop like a rock but increase at a snail’s pace.
Imagine if you could actually hold someone responsible for losing your money? In this case, over $850 million was lost due to a "computer glitch”. How is that possible, you may ask? Well, that is the premise of the movie, and we spend the next 90 minutes cursing our way through the story, trying to figure it out, until it all boils down to... fraud and greed. NO! Really? Bankers and Wall Street are dishonest? You’re kidding!
While I was not highly impressed with this film, I found it a great waste of talent. There were some humorous moments, including an absolutely hysterical performance turned in by Kyle’s wife (Olivia Luccardi), however the film was loaded with so many profanities, it actually turned 60 minutes into a 90-minute film.
This film has little redeeming box office value. It is a film you should watch at home on cable, as the stock market slides. Save your money from buying a ticket and invest it into something else. Besides, you can watch it every day for free on CNBC. That's probably the best tip that I can give you.