5 June 2016

Eggs And Tomatoes Are As Rotten As The World

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I really fucking wanted some scrambled eggs the other day but I knew that if I attempted to make any, I'd end up running late. Would it really be worth it? ...Almost definitely not. Anyway, so now I'm driving as quickly as I legally can with a lovely fresh bowl of scrambled egg sat next to me in the passenger seat of my car. My plan to eat the thing each time I was sat at the traffic lights was scuppered however when a little old lady pulled out in front of me and I had to hit my brakes. The car slowed with a little more force than I'd hoped for and my fucking eggs slid right out of the bowl and onto the floor. Being that the only reason I was now running late was because I was hungry, I decided to give them a try anyway. I mean, it was the passenger side floor that they'd landed on, and right at the back of the footwell, too... How dirty can that bit really be? I was barely through my first bite before I had to spit out a god-damned pebble. Here's a little tip that you might not have considered until now: don't eat scrambled eggs off the fucking floor.

I tell this story in response to the fact that I've recently seen Jodie Foster's latest directorial effort Money Monster. The film begins with George Clooney as an absolute cock-womble who hosts his own show in which he advises people on the various companies in which they should invest. Although the level of smugness and arrogance by which he does this suggests to me that he must down a pint of Piers Morgan's essence before each recording. Sadly a company that Clooney told his viewers to throw their savings at has just lost $800 million meaning that his advice is directly responsible for ruining at least one persons life. Jack O'Connell lost everything because he thought it'd be a good idea to listen to the financial advice of the shittest Bruce Wayne ever. What an idiot. He therefore decides that the best thing to do is to turn up to a recording of Clooney's show with a gun, strap a bomb to him, and then hold the studio hostage until he can discover where all that money actually went. To me, the movie seemed to be all about fucking up, things being fucked up, and people being fuck ups. I might not have lost my company or personal savings, but my attempts at eating scrambled-egg whilst driving do fit those three criterias.

However whilst I have been dealing with my rotten egg situation, it seems that Money Monster has been having it's own problems with some Rotten Tomatoes. Reviews have so far been relatively mixed for this movie, but in all honesty I'm not sure why because I really enjoyed it. Arguably I was already on the movie's side before walking into the cinema due to the people involved. George Clooney and Julia Roberts in a film together? Sounds good to me. At the very least I know the low bar has already been set by those two in Oceans 12. Do you remember that bit in which the character that Julia Roberts plays has to pretend to be the actual Julia Roberts in order to get into a building? But then the real Bruce Willis sees her and obviously doesn't realise that she's a doppelgänger.. or that she's also surrounded by people who happen to look like Clooney, Damon, Cheadle, and fucking Pitt? Either those con-artists run an unmentioned side-business of being fucking spot-on lookalikes or we're meant to assume that they live in a world in which Julia Roberts and Bruce Willis do exist but the rest of them don't. I mean, what a load of shit. At the very least I knew that Money Monster wouldn't be that bad!

Interestingly, I actually saw another film the other week called A Hologram For The King in which Tom Hanks seemed wrongly cast as a man that we were meant to think was a bit of a dick. I mean.. it's Tom Hanks... I think he'd actually have to have proven links to the Nazis before we stopped finding him completely charming. Well here, the equally likeable Clooney has to pull off the same trick which he actually manages much more successfully. At the very least it can be said that he accomplished it more gracefully than I managed to eat my scrambled eggs whilst driving. In fact, I think it's probably thanks to Clooney's performance here that the film actually works as well as it does. On a related note, one of my favourite films is the shoot-a-chav thriller Harry Brown in which we see Michael Caine evolve from a frightened, lonely old man, into the multi-knee-shooting, Carter-esque bastard that we all really know him to be. Well, Clooney does a similar thing here in that he starts off as the kind of egotistical, Bill O'Reilly-esque degenerate that we'd all like to see shot in the head, before transforming into the kinder and more familiar Clooney that we all know and love. You know.. the one who comes across as such a nice guy that we only occasionally think to get angry about the bat-nipples.

One of the many films that Money Monster draws from is obviously Dog Day Afternoon in that it's about a guy who goes into a place to do an illegal thing and then gets surrounded. Although you could argue that by comparison, Jack O'Connell's character is slightly less likeable than Al Pacino's and nor is he robbing a bank to fund his boyfriend's sex-change. I mean, O'Connell does give a great performance, but from the moment we see him, he's completely on edge and so it's only as Clooney begins to warm to him that we do too. I guess the message here is that if things aren't going so well in a relationship then never underestimate the power of Stockholm Syndrome. Which isn't to say that I'm not sympathetic to his character's cause, of course. Along with The Big Short and 99 Homes the greed of our bourgeois, capitalist pig-dogs is becoming a decent backbone to some pretty good thrillers right now. Although, I suppose you could also argue that Julia Roberts has the most likeable character in the film and it's only through her ability to control the two men that we warm to all three of them. It's just a shame that I was never able to tell if she was playing a character that looked like Julia Roberts or if she was the actual Julia Roberts under an assumed fucking name. Money Monster also includes a few cast members from The Wire but as anybody who watches anything will know, the cast of The Wire are like rats. They get fucking everywhere.

As well as Dog Day Afternoon, I suppose the other Sidney Lumet movie that this shares DNA with is Network. Both are a sort of satirical look at the way the media and its audience will react to human misery, and in both cases the man in the spotlight has decided “I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this any more”. As a result you can probably look at Money Monster in one of two ways.. either you can see it as the dumbing down of cinema in the way that it's taken Network and turned it into a B-movie thriller... Or you can see it as proof of Foster's directorial skill that she can take a B-movie thriller and provide it with the left-leaning overtones and hints at the substance of those 1970's giants. In all honesty though, I kind of feel it's the second of the two options because as a B-movie thriller alone it was really good. The fact that it attempted to tap into our anger at being shat on by the system is just a bonus, I guess. If the film had intended to actually be a scathing attack on the system then I think it could have just looked at the corruption of the system itself instead of having the 'human-element' third-act twist. Plus, as thrillers go, this one was only ninety minutes long. In a world in which films like Batman V Superman have a duration that's equal to the average life-span of some third-world inhabitants, a mere hour and a half is what critics secretly refer to as a four-star running time. As a result, the movie is as lean and well formed as a majestic horse and as enjoyable and satisfying as the Ikea meatballs that the horse is ultimately blended up to make. Now if only I had some scrambled-egg to go with that... Thanks for reading, motherfuckers, and see you next time.



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