Belfast Telegraph

DVD Releases: Thriller doesn't break the bank

Money Monster (15, 99 mins)

By Damon Smith

Lee Gates (George Clooney, above with Julia Roberts), gregarious host of a network television show that surveys the the financial market, prepares to interview Diane Lester (Caitriona Balfe), chief communications officer of IBIS Global Capital, whose complex trading algorithm glitched overnight and lost investors $800m.

No sooner has Lee delivered his opening monologue than a labourer, Kyle Budwell (Jack O'Connell), who has just lost his entire life savings in the IBIS crash, storms the set brandishing a gun.

Money Monster is a tense hostage thriller, which unfolds in real time.

However, once the central plot of skullduggery reveals its intentions, director Jodie Foster's iron-tight grasp on realism slackens and she is compelled to take big gambles to engineer a slam-bang finale. Some of them don't pay off.

Alice Through The Looking Glass (PG, 113 mins)

Alice (Mia Wasikowska) tumbles through a mirror into Wonderland and reunites with the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), Tweedledee and Tweedledum (Matt Lucas), Absolem the Caterpillar (voiced by Alan Rickman), The Dormouse (Barbara Windsor) and the White Rabbit (Michael Sheen).

They reveal that the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) is in an emotional funk because he's convinced that his family, including his milliner father Zanik (Rhys Ifans), did not perish in the Jabberwocky's inferno. Alice Through The Looking Glass is a topsy-turvy jaunt too far for Lewis Carroll's iconic characters, which largely abandons the 1871 source novel.

Wasikowska ably reprises her role as the spirited adventurer while Depp, Cohen and Bonham Carter compete to see who can scene-steal with the greatest abandon. James Bobin's sequel feels considerably longer than 113 minutes. If only the Chronosphere existed and we could fast forward through the sentimental goo.

Belfast Telegraph

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