Blu-ray/DVD, Reviews

“Money” a Nicely Crafted Thriller

A test of your observations turns Money from an ordinary tale into a cool mystery thriller as you wind your way through a script of twists and guesses. The acting helps along with a nice job of direction even though there may be maybe a few flaws that are hardly distracting. Now on DVD and Digital HD the home video is a treat that can be repeated as often as you wish to find out what you missed the first time through.

The film opens with Sylvia Dudeck (Jess Weixler) talking to the gardener Carl (Fredric Lehne) who is just about finished for the day. Her husband Mark (Kellan Lutz) has just arrived home and avoids his wife as he heads for the game room in the cellar then to the master bedroom of the large secluded mansion where he puts a large sum of money into the safe.

Lucía Guerrero, Kellan Lutz, Jesse Williams,and Jess Weixler in MONEY

Sylvia has set up a dinner evening expecting Sean Wells (Jesse Williams), Mark’s co-worker, and his new lady friend Christina (Lucia Guerrero). She’s excited to meet them both and it isn’t long before Sean drives up in his new Ferrari. It’s a meet and greet and then Sean and Mark head for the cellar game room and the girls chat in the living room. A knock on the door and Sylvia opens it to find John (Jamie Bamber), a new neighbor, with a bottle of $1000 wine.

Jamie Bamber as John in MONEY

John gets invited in for introductions and the scene has been set for a gripping movie that offers even the smartest “detective” to figure out this creative mystery that often blindsides. Director Martín Rosete’s first feature film has a lot going for it even if it does emulate some of the TV crime shows. He guides his cast through each of the scenes pulling some nice performances that make the film work. His only flaw comes with trying to stretch the movie with needless dialogue and one scene that adds nothing but distraction. Most mystery’s need not fit the whole hour and thirty minutes, especially if you already have your audience in the palm of your hand.

Jamie Bamber as John and Jess Weixler as Sylvia in MONE

The actors make the show and it certainly works here especially with the excellent performance of Jamie Bamber as John. He’s a sly visitor that seems to know all about the owners and the guests of the Dudek house. Suave and refined, he’s heads and shoulders above Mark and Sean. They even feel threatened by him as Sylvia and Christina take a liking to John right away. But he’s the arrow and they are Achilles’ heel.

As for the rest of the cast, Jesse Williams as Sean, head of finance at Winfield Pharmaceuticals, becomes the center of a controversy when he finds himself at odds with John. He becomes the mixing spoon that churns the plot while the others try to fend for themselves as they attempt to avoid one confrontation after another.

Jess Weixler as Sylvia and Kellan Lutz as Mark in MONEY

As the lovely Sylvia, Jess Wexler gets to be the catalyst that sets most of the action in motion. But it’s her husband, played aptly by Kellan Lutz, in a role of trying to figure a way to work out the problem in which he and Sean find the whole group. They make the film just implausible enough to add several twists you thought were figured out from the start.

DVD BONUS FEATURE:

“Money: Behind the Scenes” a making of extra that takes you through the steps of production, script and characters. Chiming in are Director Martin Rosete, Producter Atit Shah and Writer Josep Ciutat, with most of the main cast.

Lucía Guerrero as Christina in MONEY

Money has been rated R by the MPAA for language throughout, drug use and some violence. The film’s violence gets a bit gory and may upset the meek and the rough language does get a little vicious at times. Definitely not for kids.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A nice mystery thriller for a dark night and a hot toddy.

Specifications and additional video information:
Cast: Jesse Williams, Kellan Lutz, Jess Weixler, Jamie Bamber. Lucia Guerrero and Fredric Lehne
 Director: Martín Rosete (first feature film)
MPAA Rating: R for language throughout, drug use and some violence
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Running Time: 1 hr. 26 min.
Video Release Date: June 27, 2017
Language: English
Reviewed Format: DVD
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Widescreen 16:9 (Aspect Ratio 2.39: 1)
Subtitles: English French Spanish
Number of Discs: 1 disc
Distributed by: Twentieth Century Home Entertainment
Released in: DVD + Digital HD

The comments within this review are the critic’s expressed opinions.

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Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 12 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com