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John Drew

Money Monster

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I'm pretty surprised we didn't have a thread started for this film considering the names involved.

I caught it last night, already in the second run theatres.  It's pretty thin.  Clooney starts off well, but as soon as the script asks him to play scared I just didn't buy into the performance anymore.  Foster's direction is okay when the film confines itself to the TV studio (a fabulous set piece), but she seems to lose control when the story veers away from that set, and into the subplot settings.  Roberts isn't given enough to do, but manages to come off the best here. 

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Where did the great screenwriters go, I wonder?

In an age of great change and upheaval, there seems to be a dearth of clever, thoughtful political commentary. I know Hollywood has done its very best to eradicate good writing, but I'm not seeing these writers at work in other art forms, either.

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16 hours ago, Ryan H. said:

Where did the great screenwriters go, I wonder?

In an age of great change and upheaval, there seems to be a dearth of clever, thoughtful political commentary. I know Hollywood has done its very best to eradicate good writing, but I'm not seeing these writers at work in other art forms, either.

Oh, I agree.  The sad thing is in regards to Money Monster is that early in the film there were a few scenes that completely caught me off guard in the direction they went (especially the scene where they bring in Kyle's girlfriend).  And I thought, when I left the theatre, how sad it was that the writers didn't have the courage to play more scenes that way.  Unfortunately, the screenplay got more and more predictable as the movie progressed.

Edited by John Drew

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On 6/20/2016 at 5:00 AM, Ryan H. said:

Where did the great screenwriters go, I wonder?

This is an intriguing question, considering how we tend to privilege directors here. I'm about to see the latest work by our most honored and prolific writer, the indefatigable Woody Allen, and I've allowed myself to hope for a pleasurable time. 

We still have Robert Towne, Robert Benton, and William Goldman, although Towne hasn't made a film since 2006 (Ask the Dust), Benton since 2005 (The Ice Harvest), and Goldman's latest one (last year's Wild Card) bombed here. Paul Schrader has been sinking into a similar irrelevance for at least the last 20 years, alas. 

David Mamet hasn't done a major film since 2008 (Redbelt), and I'm wondering if he has another in him. The Coens are still turning out good work, but I'm afraid they are also in decline.

Aaron Sorkin and Charlie Kaufman, two of the most writerly of screenwriters, are still finding purchase with critics, but I just don't care for their work the way others do. 

That leaves us Wes Anderson, P.T. Anderson, Alexandre Rockwell, Kenneth Lonergan (when he chooses to work), Noah Baumbach, Tina Fey, Quentin Tarantino, Judd Apatow, Shane Black, Nancy Meyers, Diablo Cody, Tom McCarthy, and a few others I'm forgetting.

Edited by Nathaniel

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On 6/21/2016 at 10:08 AM, Nathaniel said:

This is an intriguing question, considering how we tend to privilege directors here. I'm about to see the latest work by our most honored and prolific writer, the indefatigable Woody Allen, and I've allowed myself to hope for a pleasurable time. 

We still have Robert Towne, Robert Benton, and William Goldman, although Towne hasn't made a film since 2006 (Ask the Dust), Benton since 2005 (The Ice Harvest), and Goldman's latest one (last year's Wild Card) bombed here. Paul Schrader has been sinking into a similar irrelevance for at least the last 20 years, alas. 

David Mamet hasn't done a major film since 2008 (Redbelt), and I'm wondering if he has another in him. The Coens are still turning out good work, but I'm afraid they are also in decline.

Aaron Sorkin and Charlie Kaufman, two of the most writerly of screenwriters, are still finding purchase with critics, but I just don't care for their work the way others do. 

That leaves us Wes Anderson, P.T. Anderson, Alexandre Rockwell, Kenneth Lonergan (when he chooses to work), Noah Baumbach, Tina Fey, Quentin Tarantino, Judd Apatow, Shane Black, Nancy Meyers, Diablo Cody, Tom McCarthy, and a few others I'm forgetting.

Ummm. Nick Hornby waves hello.

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On 6/21/2016 at 10:08 AM, Nathaniel said:

That leaves us Wes Anderson, P.T. Anderson, Alexandre Rockwell, Kenneth Lonergan (when he chooses to work), Noah Baumbach, Tina Fey, Quentin Tarantino, Judd Apatow, Shane Black, Nancy Meyers, Diablo Cody, Tom McCarthy, and a few others I'm forgetting.

Do you personally esteem all of those writers? Or are you just naming notable contemporary screenwriters?

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I've enjoyed the work of each at one time or another, but inconsistently. 

I think you and I both lament the decline of that period in Hollywood history in which bizarre projects like The Swimmer used to get green lit! 

The documentary Tales from the Script offers an entertaining glimpse into the difficulties of the profession. 

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13 minutes ago, Nathaniel said:

I think you and I both lament the decline of that period in Hollywood history in which bizarre projects like The Swimmer used to get green lit! 

The documentary Tales from the Script offers an entertaining glimpse into the difficulties of the profession. 

Yes, I've seen the first part of Tales from the Script. I need to go back and finish it.

I'm very nostalgic for that era that I never experienced, when films The Americanization of Emily and The Swimmer could come from major studios. Admittedly, if those two films count as a successes of the era, then there were also misfires like The Magus or The V.I.P.s or what have you, but it was an era when people were still trying to make movies that mattered.

Just looking at the trailers, Money Monster seems like a ghostly reminder of that era in American moviemaking, a meager attempt to make a contemporary Chayefskyesque satire in the midst of an age of four-quadrant, brand-name spectacles. Given our tremendous cultural upheaval, it's a shame that America's art culture has so severely atrophied.

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