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Mad Money – Review

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WARNING: Spoiler Review! If you haven’t seen this movie and plan on it, you’ve been warned.

It was another one of those movie-going weekends. I went to see Mad Money. Now I was a little skeptical this would be anything good. No offense to Diane Keaton, but judging from the last few movies I’ve seen that she’s been in, I thought it was going to be another crazy, hormonal, midlife crisis-themed movie that had a “feel-good” ending. Although, I will say that I would have gone to see this movie solely because Katie Holmes is in it. But the bottom line is this movie was not my first pick, but Tori wanted to see it and I went along with it.

Diane Keaton stars as a woman in her fifties who just found out her husband lost his job and can’t seem to find a new one. The couple is ultimately has $286,000 in debt from unpaid bills that are piling up. They both conclude that they have to do something about it and Keaton gets a job working as a janitor at the Federal Reserve Bank. She then proceeds to get two people she meets there (played by Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes) to help her pull off a scheme to steal millions of dollars that are to be destroyed, and are hence untraceable. They switch out the locks on the cases that transport the warn out money to the shredders and proceed to dump money into the trash where no one can see. Since Keaton is a janitor, she takes the trash (and money) out with her. They even recruit one of the security guards to help them extend and deepen their plot.

It’s not until their spending goes out of control that the Feds start to notice. They are all eventually arrested and detained, except for Keaton, who is still on the run. She consults with a friend who happens to be a lawyer and he shows that the authorities have no proof the group ever stole the money from the facility. They end up with no jail time whatsoever, under the condition that they give all the money to the IRS. They give a lot of it back, but Keaton proceeds to show the other two that she still has a huge stockpile of cash in her basement, hidden in trash bags.

Keaton gives a superb performance in this film, and a refreshing one for her, at that. Katie Holmes is bubbly and somewhat offbeat in the movie, but in a humorous way. She offsets the usual seriousness of the other two nicely. Queen Latifah also is a great supporting actress who works well with the other two.

After seeing Untraceable the night before this movie, I was, believe it or not, inclined to see similarities in the two films. They both involve schemes that are very believable and their plots could be pulled off with lots of work by criminal masterminds.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, whose facility was somewhat fictitiously featured in this film, has a page concerning the differences in the movie and its actual day-to-day operation. They claim such a scheme could never be pulled off, but I’m not so sure. I think everything has a loophole or two, no matter how much security is put in place, if criminals are willing to put the time and effort into it.

Click here to see the page the Feds put up about the film.

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We Own The Night – Review

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I went to the Byrd Theater last night to see We Own The Night. It was an interesting, yet somewhat confusing, look at the 1980s inner-city drug scene. Joseph Grusinsky (played by Mark Wahlberg) heads up a new narcotics unit to reduce drug flow throughout the city. The main man they’re after is Vadim Nezhinski (played by Alex Veadov). The movie follows their mob-like ways and profile their importation of drugs in creative but shiesty ways. This movie has two or three points where you think it’s going to end, but it keeps on going. It would be just as good a movie without keeping it going. It’s somewhat of a grim movie with lots of killing, but overall the police prevail in taking down the drug operation.

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