Jodie Foster has starred in her share of excellent thrillers (The Silence of the Lambs, Flightplan), and this year she directed the nail-biting thriller Money Monster, a creative venture which is blessed with a top notch script from Jamie Linden and an A-list cast (George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell). Paying a slight homage to the Sidney Lumet, New York set dramas from the 1970s (most notably Network), Money Monster is a movie that thankfully doesn’t let up on the adrenaline.
Financial TV host Lee Gates (George Clooney) is a cynical shill whose successful program Money Monster gives viewers stock and investment tips. Even if his tips end up being horrible financial advice to his captive audience, Gates remains undeterred and continues to persuade his fans to keep following his lead. When a disgruntled and somewhat mentally unhinged investor named Kyle (Jack O’Connell) sneaks into the news station to hold Lee and his crew hostage (Julia Roberts is Patty, the producer of Money Monster), Lee’s devil may care lifestyle, as well as the lives of his fellow employees may come to a tragic end. What starts off as a tense standoff between Kyle and Lee evolves into actually finding out the culprit behind an $800 million conspiracy. A melange of thriller, comedy, and melodramatic elements, Money Monster is a tight, 99-minute narrative which doesn’t disappoint. As the frustrated and down on his luck investor, O’Connell delivers the film’s most memorable performance while Clooney and Roberts‘ age old chemistry is also on display.
Interviews with Jodie Foster, George Clooney, Jack O’Connell, the film’s producers, and writer Jamie Linden are sprinkled throughout the extras. Special features on the Blu-ray include:
1. Deleted Scenes (2:23) – Three scenes overall, with one of them being an alternate opening to the film.
2. “George Clooney: The Money Man” (5:28) – A featurette on the actor but also a look into Lee Gates’ evolution throughout the story.
3.”Inside The Pressure Cooker” (9:56) – An interesting look at the challenges of making the film, as the production featured both broadcast and film cameras (director Jodie Foster breaks down the difference between the two). Foster also adds that Clooney and Roberts actually only spent two days working together on the production, as most of their scenes were shot separately.
4. “Analysis of a Scene: The Showdown” (7:10) – A breakdown of shooting the third act of Money Monster in New York’s Financial District. The ambitious sequence was a logistical challenge for Foster and her crew, and these scenes were shot over four weekends in New York.
Money Monster is now out on Blu-ray and DVD via Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.