Money Monster (2016)

money monsterDirector: Jodie Foster

Writer: Alan DiFiore, Jim Kouf, Jamie Linden (Screenplay) Alan DiFiore, Jim Kouf (Story)

Starring: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell, Dominic West, Caitriona Balfe, Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher Denham, Lenny Venito


Plot: Financial TV host Lee Gates and his producer Patty are put in an extreme situation when an irate investor takes over their studio.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Amazing Thriller


Story: Money Monster starts as we see Lee Gates (Clooney) preparing for his financial TV show as we see the director Patty Fenn (Roberts) trying to make everything go to plan. What looks like an everyday show takes a sinister turn when a delivery man Kyle Budwell (O’Connell) takes the show hostage.

Kyle is a victim of a stock call by Lee, keep the show live on air Kyle wants to expose the truth with Diane Lester (Balfe) who is second in command under the man responsible for Kyle’s target Walt Camby (West). Kyle wants answers and this could bring the stock market crashing down around the tycoon Walt.

Money Monster tackles the stock market ups and downs with the idea that it can drive the victims to the limits. We do get the great idea that we could have had way too much stock market talk which does stop us getting bored rather than just getting to the point. This is a thriller that starts in one location while we do learn the truth with everything going on in the background which all works too. I will say this is one of those stories that is easy to follow and will go in a direction you don’t always see it going.


Actor Review


George Clooney: Lee Gates is the charismatic TV host of a financial show that guides people on all the best and worst investments. Lee finds himself being held hostage having to keep Kyle calm as the truth get exposed live on his own show. George is great in this role showing his charming side along with his desperate to survive side.lee

Julia Roberts: Patty Fenn is the director of the Money Monster television show, she has to deal with Lee’s ego but is capable of keeping him in line. She also has to make the difficult decisions when it comes to deciding whether to keep the show on the air. Julia is great in this role being strong throughout.patty

Jack O’Connell: Kyle Budwell is the young man that takes the show hostage because he has been a victim of an altercation on the stock exchange, he wants answers after losing all of his money and this will give him that chance. Jack continues to show his rise starring in this role where he matches the A-listers with ease.kyle

Dominic West: Walt Camby is the owner of the stock that crashed, he can’t be reached for the hostage situation. All fingers point to his involvement but can he get exposed. Dominic is good in this role as the greedy business man.

Support Cast: Money Monster has a supporting cast that all give good performances with Caitriona Balfe be the star of them with Christopher Denham added comic relief.

Director Review: Jodie FosterJodie gives us a great directed thriller that builds up the tension from the first moment until the final scene.


Crime: Money Monster throws into a crime taking part where we watch how Kyle holds the show hostage to expose the real crime going on.

Thriller: Money Monster keeps up the tension from the moment Kyle walks onto the stage till the final scene.

Settings: Money Monster keeps most of the films real tension inside the studio while also walking down Wall Street.
Special Effects
: Money Monster doesn’t use many special effects and really doesn’t need them.

Suggestion: Money Monster is one I do think everyone will enjoy especially if you are a fan of tension. (Watch)


Best Part: Tension building.

Worst Part: Nope


Believability: No, but certain parts could be away from the hostage.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: I would like it to and I will say outside shot.

Budget: $27 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

Tagline: #FollowTheMoney


Overall: Brilliant Tension Filled Thriller





Rush Hour (1998)

logoDirector: Brett Ratner

Writer: Jim Kouf, Ross LaManna (Screenplay) Ross LaManna (Story)

Starring: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Tom Wilkinson, Tzi Ma, Chris Penn, Ken Leung, Rex Linn, Elizabeth Pena, Philip Baker Hall, John Hawkes


Plot: Two cops team up to get back a kidnapped daughter.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Classic Entertainment


Story: Rush Hour starts by showing Officer Lee (Chan) closing a big case for his boss Consul Han (Ma) who is leaving the city in the hands of Griffin (Wilkinson). Moving to Los Angeles we meet Carter (Tucker) an undercover officer who shows he is all talk but capable of completing the job. Consul Han starting his new job in Los Angeles when his daughter is kidnapped, with the FBI involved Han wants his own man involved. This brings Lee over but when the FBI want to leave him out the picture they call the LAPD leading to Carter being put on the assignment as a punishment.

Carter talks too much believing that Lee doesn’t speak any English leading to the comedy tension between the two starting early. Carter and Lee being pushed off the case decide to look into the case on their own free will. They couple find themselves in the middle of the battle after Lee loses Carter. When it becomes apparent that Lee is going to be up against an old enemy Sang (Leung) it becomes clear that the kidnapping is personal.

Carter and Lee have to put aside their differences and go against the orders of the FBI to save the girl from the infamous yet elusive Juntao.

Rush Hour is a style of film that put together correctly works to high levels, Rush Hour reaches those levels with the brilliant pairing of Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. The story is simple to follow and relies on the twos action to keep us entertained. It will go down as one of the last great buddy cop films because certain parts wouldn’t be accepted in the cinema nowadays. We get to see Tucker’s wise cracking joking spitting character mix with Chan’s all action character to give us a great blend of comedy and action that really keeps us fully entertained. (9/10)


Actor Review


Jackie Chan: Lee brilliant detective from China who gets bought to America to help find the kidnapped daughter, but once there he gets treated like a tourist. He ends up teaming up with the unlikely Carter to make for a great team when it comes to solving the kidnapping. Jackie is always going to give us great action scenes but moving his style into comedy worked perfectly here. (8/10)


Chris Tucker: Carter loud talking streetwise detective who’s against the books techniques lands him on babysitting duties with Lee. Carter’s connections do end up helping solve the kidnapping. Chris does a good job to create a character that you actually hate but love at the same time because when it comes down to business he always comes through. (8/10)


Tom Wilkinson: Griffin/Juntao we do see Griffin as a friend of the Consul but we do also see that he is the infamous Juntao who is the evil businessman. Tom gives a solid performance as the typical generic evil business man. (6/10)


Ken Leung: Sang the main henchman for Juntao, he ends up going up against Lee on multiple occasions always seeming escaping the duel. Ken does a good job but we are waiting for a battle between him and Lee which never happens. (7/10)


Support Cast: Rush Hour has a supporting cast that includes the FBI who are the typical stupid characters. The Consul and his family who play the victims well. We also have the typical henchman there to give Jackie Chan a chance to kick ass.


Director Review: Brett Ratner – Brett does a good job directing this action comedy that still feels fresh today over 15 years later. (8/10)


Action: Rush Hour has plenty of fight scenes, chase scenes and a giant shoot out at the end which all work well for the genre. (9/10)

Comedy: Rush Hour has plenty of laughs through the clashes in culture between the two leads. (8/10)

Thriller: Rush Hour doesn’t have the thriller level that the story could have but this is more about the comedy anyway. (5/10)

Chemistry: Rush Hour uses Chan and Tucker’s chemistry to make this film a stand out 90s film. (9/10)

Settings: Rush Hour LA always makes for a good setting but we don’t see any landmarks that make the settings truly memorable. (5/10)

Suggestion: Rush Hour has to really be seen at least once by everyone it has a great blend of action and comedy. (Watch)


Best Part: Restaurant fight scene.

Worst Part: Tucker can get annoying at times.

Action Scene Of The Film: Restaurant fight.

Funniest Scene: Lee breaks into the consul’s home.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has 2

Post Credits Scene: Bloopers through the credits.

Similar Too: 48 Hours


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $244 Million

Budget: $33 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

Tagline: Pals Forever. If they can get past today.

Trivia: According to director Brett Ratner, this film is the first one released in the U.S. featuring Jackie Chan in an English-speaking role without any kind of dubbing. According to Ratner, before this film Chan always had his voice dubbed over in his English-speaking roles because of his uncertainty in speaking the language. For this film, however, Ratner convinced him to forgo the dubbing as it would lend to the authenticity of his character.


Overall: Buddy Cop Comedy Entertainment

Rating 80

Snow Dogs (2002)

logoDirector: Brian Levant

Writer: Jim Kouf, Tommy Swerdlow, Michael Goldberg, Mark Gibson, Philip Halprin (Screenplay) Gary Paulsen (Book ‘Winterdance: the Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod’)

Starring: Cuba Gooding Jr, James Coburn, Sisqo, Nichelle Nichols, M. Emmet Walsh, Graham Greene, Joanna Bacalso


Plot: When a Miami dentist inherits a team of sled dogs, he’s got to learn the trade or lose his pack to a crusty mountain man.


Verdict: Family Film Plus

Story: We start by meeting our dentist in Miami running a business where he face is on the buses and everything is going well for him. He gets a shock when he finds out he is adopted and his real mother has just died. He goes to Alaska to find out more about his parents but he ends up biting off more than he can as it turns out she is a dog racer and his father is the scariest man in the town.

This is a very basic story of finding out that someone really is. It also shows the uncomfortable bonding between lost of son and father. It also enters us into the world of Huskie racing and shows one man wanting to prove he fits in where he originally comes from. All this makes for a solid family film that can be shown to children of all ages and still enjoyed by the adults. (7/10)


Actor Review

Cuba Gooding Jr: Ted Brooks Miami dentist who travels to Alaska to find out about his real parents only to find out that he mother is one of the town’s most popular people and his father is one of the least popular. He also has to deal with the huskies who don’t want to make anything easy for him. Cuba gives a solid performance that is full of slapstick which he looks out of place in which works for this role and a character outside his comfort zone. (7/10)


James Coburn: Thunder Jack father of Ted who is the town loner that everyone is scared off. He wants the dogs to help him finally win the Artic Challenge and refuses to bond with his son. James gives a good performance. (7/10)


Joanna Bacalso: Barb local bar manager who gives Ted the tour of the town and helps Ted with the dogs as well as become a romantic interest. Joanna gives a solid performance. (6/10)


Support Cast: Filled with the locals of the town and the best friend from Miami that are all used for a few extra laughs.

Director Review: Brian Levant – Brian does a good job to create a solid family film. (7/10)


Comedy: Has a few laughs but nothing over the top funny. (6/10)

Family: This is a good family film that will be enjoyed by all. (9/10)

Settings: The settings make for extra laughs and help Ted look out of place. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Some terribly lazy CGI effects to make the dogs expressions. (1/10)

Suggestion: This is one to sit down with the family to enjoy. (Family Time)


Best Part: The mush training scenes.

Worst Part: CGI effects on the dogs.

Funniest Scene: Demon chasing Ted


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $115 Million

Budget: $35 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: Get ready for mush hour!

Trivia: Many of the dogs in the movie later went on to appear in the film ‘Eight Below’


Overall: Solid Family Film For All

Rating 70