Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Fight The Power

My wife and I go to a lot of movies. Maybe not as many as we used to, but enough that we legitimize our subscription to Entertainment Weekly. The reason we have chosen this particular outlet for our disposable income is simple enough: escape. It's pretty much the same reason that people have been heading out to the moving picture show for the past century. I am sometimes challenged for this somewhat hedonistic attitude, since I am generally buying tickets to the most recent popcorn movie or box office blockbuster, I end up feeling a little defensive. I'm just a guy going out with his wife looking for a little diversion, a distraction from the day to day humdrum existence.
That distraction often takes the form of super hero movies. You know, men and women in tights with all manner of special powers that make us feel safe from the evils that they will face. I am looking for truth, justice and the American Way. Whatever that is. Lately, it has occurred to me that the American Way isn't really battling super-villains or even sorting out disagreements of policy between rival groups of super-humans. It's about getting up in the morning and making sense of that day to day humdrum existence. It's about getting to that next place you are allowed to set down your butrden and maybe take a break: go see a movie. 
That's what I was thinking about as I watched Money Monster. There weren't any super heroes in this one, but there were superstars: George Clooney and Julia Roberts. It told the story of a common man who busted onto the set of an investment guru's TV show in order to right the wrong he feels was done with him via the bad advice the investment guru gave him. That wrong was the loss of his nest egg. He is desperate and carrying a gun, insisting that the investment guru wears a vest covered in plastic explosive. He's not looking to get his nest egg back as much as he is looking for justice.
And I'm not going to tell you how it ends. Because there was another movie made last year about a bunch of people who lost their nest eggs. It had an all-star cast too. And it didn't end well. Not for the nest-egg losers. It worked out really well for the guys who bet against The Big Short. It worked out really well for the people who made the movie, making the folks at Paramount Pictures a whole bunch  of money. Not Star Wars or Avengers kind of money, but enough cash to go out and make a few more movies with big stars.
Stars like George Clooney, who recently raised an "obscene amount of money" for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. His words, not mine. This seems to be his super power. Meanwhile, my wife and I are buying tickets to see this movie that ends - well - I promised not to tell. Not because I need you to go and buy a ticket to find out. That's up to you. I do wish that it had ended differently. Just like I wish that Captain America could have taken all the Wall Street evil and taken care of it just as easily as he did that horde of Hydra soldiers and their leader, The Red Skull.
But that's not real life, is it?

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