Jim Kouf

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Money Monster Review

Excellent

A sleekly made thriller with a sparky sense of humour, this is also a rare action movie that has something important to say. Centred around the corruption in the political and banking systems, the film is just as enlightening as The Big Short, but it's a lot more fun to watch. And it's directed by Jodie Foster as a sharp media satire that seems to be skimming along the surface but is actually taking no prisoners.

It's set on Wall Street, where TV guru Lee (George Clooney) hosts his financial advice show Money Monster, directed by his long-time friend Patty (Julia Roberts). Then in the middle of a broadcast, Lee is interrupted live on-air by Kyle (Jack O'Connell), who is consumed with anger because Lee's investment suggestion resulted in the loss of his life savings. Kyle's real target is the banking executive Walt (Dominic West), who has blamed the wipe-out of share prices on a computer glitch. But something about that story doesn't hold water. While Kyle threatens Lee live, a media storm develops around them. And Patty digs into the story with the help of hackers in Korea, Iceland and South Africa, feeding information to Lee through his earpiece.

As the situation spirals out of control, Foster maintains a terrific sense of balance between the edgy suspense and the jagged comedy. This works because, even amid the virtual globe-hopping, she keeps the focus tightly on the interaction between Lee, Patty and Kyle. Clooney and Roberts aren't hugely stretched by their roles, but they are able to add likeable moments of subtle revelation and interaction along the way. O'Connell is the heart of the film, with an impassioned performance that's surprisingly moving. And of course it's easy for everyone in the audience to sympathise with Kyle's frustration about a system in which bankers and politicians pocket billions while the average person struggles to keep their head above water.

Continue reading: Money Monster Review

Taxi Review


Good
Meet Belle (Queen Latifah), a classic New York loudmouth with a hunky boyfriend and a dead-end job. By day, she works as a bike messenger, hustling from destination to destination, utilizing garbage truck roofs and crowded department store floors as shortcuts. By night, she spends her time skipping out on dates and transforming her Crown Victoria into supercharged yellow taxicab. After all, if she's going to drive at NASCAR someday, she will need a lot of practice, and if she can win the title as the Big Apple's fastest taxi driver, it might help her chances.

Now, meet Andy Washburn (Jimmy Fallon), a bumbling misfit of a New York City police officer. He screws up nearly every case his lieutenant -- who also happens to be his ex-girlfriend -- throws at him. Most recently, he blew an undercover assignment by getting his partner shot in the arm just before crashing the police car into a street market. His driver's license has been revoked (not that he could ever drive), and now might fight the streets of New York on foot.

Continue reading: Taxi Review

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Jim Kouf Movies

Money Monster Movie Review

Money Monster Movie Review

A sleekly made thriller with a sparky sense of humour, this is also a rare...

Taxi Movie Review

Taxi Movie Review

Meet Belle (Queen Latifah), a classic New York loudmouth with a hunky boyfriend and a...

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