Wednesday, January 10, 2018

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD -- My review

There’s a great old joke in Hollywood. “Who do I have to fuck to get off this picture?” Well, the joke actually applies to Kevin Spacey and ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD. The big achievement of this film is that Ridley Scott was able to re-cast Christopher Plummer, re-shoot all his scenes (and there were a ton of them), and still get the movie released on time. That was awesome filmmaking. If only the movie itself were better.

Warning: This is another film that critics praised to the heavens so if you disagree with me you’re not alone. But I was disappointed. The title should have been ALL THE ENDINGS IN THE WORLD because every time you thought it was over there were twelve more things to wrap up.

The premise was very intriguing. J. Paul Getty’s grandson was kidnapped in 1973 (true story) and Getty, the richest man in the world (before Ryan Seacrest) wouldn’t pay the ransom. Cool. So now what?

The problem is the two protagonists, Michelle Williams as the boy’s mother, and Mark Wahlberg at Getty’s assigned handler of her basically just react. They sit and wait for the phone to ring. They travel back and forth between Rome and London to meet with Getty. They raid the kidnappers hideout… after they’ve left. And even then, they stay behind in the car.   The rule of thumb in a taut thriller is that months don't go by. 

Otherwise we see that J. Paul Getty was a despicable human being. Duh! Christopher Plummer gave such a good performance I’m now hoping the director of BEYOND THE SEA will go back and replace Kevin Spacey with him as Bobby Darin.

Michelle Williams fulfilled the Oscar-bait role as the strong but sensitive mother, and Mark Wahlberg was one note the entire film. The kidnapped kid was played by Charlie Plummer (no relation to Chris, so don’t get that confused Academy voters).

To me, a way better movie would have been watching Ridley Scott scramble to re-shoot and edit the film in time for Christmas release. That at least had some tension and a ticking clock.

37 comments :

Lisa said...


“Who do I have to fuck to get off this picture?”.

Sorry, but isn't it “Who do I have to fuck to get - a role in - this picture?”.


Bob said...


Kevin Spacey's career isn't over as media reports. He has a movie releasing this year Billionaire Boys Club

Jenny said...


Mark Wahlberg is laughing all the way to the bank because of the re-shoot. But Michelle got paid just £60 a day !!!???

http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/mark-wahlberg-got-paid-15million-11826697

I feel sorry for Michelle. Always overshadowed by some other actress and she loses her awards. Former partner dead. Now shafted with the re-shoot salary.

God... Please give her a break.

Mark said...


Did you see the news Ken? Michelle Williams got just $80 a day for the reshoot compared to the million or so Mark got.

Every celebrity has gone nuts over twitter. Jessica Chastain, Judd Apatow...

And to think, this was the same Michelle who was part of the "Time’s Up campaign" wearing all-black and protesting. Why didn't she demand equal pay in the first place? Instead of just joining someone's bandwagon, people need to first stand up for themselves against this inequality.

Kerri Philpott said...

Mark, she wasn't the only one to agree to the reshoot at a reduced rate. I assume it's because she didn't want the months she spent making the movie be a total waste of time because of the need to get Spacey as far away from it as they could. Word is even the director worked for scale. I don't know what went through Wahlberg's mind.

Rashad Khan said...

Hate to break it to you, Ken, but Spacey directed himself in "Beyond the Sea."

estiv said...

Lisa, what you quote is the original version. What Ken wrote is a long-standing variation, meant to suggest that an actor has realized the movie being made is so bad that they should get out of it in any way possible.

Ken Levine said...

Lisa,

That's the original line. Then someone who hated being on a particular movie twisted it around.

Lisa said...


Thanks Ken :)

therealshell said...

THe same story, but longer - https://etcanada.com/news/287791/donald-sutherland-and-hilary-swank-star-in-new-series-trust-about-getty-kidnapping/

Valerie Geller said...

"Best Lead In A Blog" goes to.... Ken Levine

Lisa said...


Thanks estiv :)

Your explanation only appeared now.

Mike McCann said...

Christopher Plummer has never made a bad movie. The surprise is that he hasn't more movies.

He really has cornered the market on playing suave, sinister older men.

Aaron said...

Christopher Plummer is good in everything. I cannot think of many other actors whose film career started in the 60s who are still relevant and doing good work. Dustin Hoffman maybe? Donald Sutherland? Maggie Smith? I guess there are more than I thought. But I would argue Dustin Hoffman and Donald Sutherland have kind of phoned it in for years whereas Plummer still seems to give a riveting performance.

Plus how many other actors have played a Klingon and a Getty? Gotta be a short list.

Ted said...


In reference to all the talk on Mark's salary. I found this long, repetitive article :
https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2018/01/10/the-cruel-reason-michelle-williams-was-paid-1500x-less-than-mark-wahlberg/#4db7616f7d8b

Basically it says neither is Mark a villain, nor Michelle a martyr.

The villains here are WME who represent both of them.

Now onto awards.... Anyone here wants to bet, with this salary episode, Michelle will score an Oscar nomination like Meryl did last year with her speech ?


Buttermilk Sky said...

Geoffrey Rush, who was at the Golden Globes, resigned as director of the Sydney Theatre Co. after an anonymous complaint about "inappropriate behavior" while he was in "King Lear" three years ago. He seems to be fighting the charge through his attorneys. Michael Douglas also gave an interview today to defend against charges of masturbating in front of a woman. So there is another side to be heard in these cases. We can take the victims seriously without throwing "innocent until proven guilty" out the window.

Robert Forman said...

So do you think it’s a good movie to show as a triple feature with High and Low and Ruthless People?

Thomas Pinto said...

Yes, props indeed to Ridley Scott and Mr Plummer for coming through in the clutch, but I agree with Wahlberg's character when it comes to a sense of moving the story forward. Is it just me, or is it incredibly difficult to imagine Spacey in this role now?

Peter said...

Plummer was fantastic as the badass villain in Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country.

Ralph C. said...

Oh yes he haaaaaaassssssss...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079946/

Mike Bloodworth said...

Yet another movie I wouldn't pay to see. Since its a Ridley Scott film, to make it more exciting, maybe an "alien" could have burst out of someone's chest or we find out that J.P.G.III was in fact, a "replicant."

J Lee said...

Getty creeped me out in those E.F. Hutton brokerage commercials back in the early 1970s. In hindsight, it was like trying to get people to invest their money with you because some guy who looks like Emperor Palpatine comes to the front door of his house and waves at you (yes, that was J. Paul's participation in the commercial...)

TimWarp said...

Ken, have you seen they're releasing Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice in Blu-ray? https://www.twilighttimemovies.com/bob-carol-ted-alice-blu-ray/
Natalie is so stunning in that!

Brian said...


Just randomly I started to type 'Ken Levine writer' in Google search and the auto fill words came as "ken levine writer net worth"

And the search results threw up many sites talking of the other Ken Levine.

But there is one site where they talk about you:
http://howmuchnetworth.com/richest/how-much-american-screenwriter-writer-ken-levine-net-worth-salary/

But no answer.... :D


It must be a great feeling to have separate page dedicated to your net worth, huh Ken? :D

D McEwan said...

Whoever photoshopped the opening photo of Plummer and Spacey got the scale wrong, so it looks like Spacey is taller and wider than Plummer. Looks weird. Side-by-side, Plummer would tower over Spacey.

I saw Plummer's one-man show A Word or Two from the second row a couple years ago. I hear he's a bit of a monster offstage, but what a GREAT actor!

D McEwan said...

I know the Ryan Seacrest line was only a joke, but interestingly, as of yesterday, Jeff Bezos was given the title not only of "The Richest Man in the World," but also "The Richest Man Who Has Ever Lived."

Kosmo13 said...

Here's a link for the recently-departed Bruce Gray's reminiscence of working and socializing with Christopher Plummer

https://brucegrayactor.wordpress.com/2015/04/16/christopher-plummer/

Peter said...

Could Jeff Bezos put some of his billions to good use and run for president in 2020? He seems a nice guy. Hell, I'd settle for Oprah running for president. Yes, you read that right. But then, at this point, I'd settle for Pauly Shore as president.Any of them would be preferable to the current incumbent.

D McEwan said...

I'm afraid I do not see much difference between Trump and Oprah. Both are TV stars who are massive narcissists. Oprah's ego is so huge, it can be seen from space.

I've got a crazy idea; how about we put forward someone who is

MikeN said...

The Wahlberg vs Williams 'story' is fake news. All that happened was Michelle did it for free while Mark did not. The per diem for Michelle hid this aspect and allowed them to claim a 1500 to 1 ratio.

Peter said...

Once the nightmare of the Trump years have passed, the question will be who will play him in the Oliver Stone film about the presidency?

Peter said...

Doug, I totally agree that Oprah is an egomaniacal narcissist, but as Ken said the other week he's had enough of posts bashing celebrities, I thought I'd dial it down on my Oprah comments, and in the end, her Golden Globes speech actually wasn't that bad and wasn't the hilarious comedy I had predicted it would be and I have no problem admitting that!

Jon B. said...

I was really intrigued by the notion they would try to insert a new actor seamlessly and still release the movie on time in 30 days or so. How could they do that? Sir Ridley Scott, in promotion for the film, recounted that fascinating story endlessly. I was entranced. Aside from Christopher Plummer, no one was paid anything (beyond the bare minimum)!!! That's just cool.

Wait, hold please, what? No, that cannot be. Mark Wahlberg got paid what to re-film those scenes?

Whatever respect I had for Ridley Scott is now GONE. Can he please make the rounds again to ALL of the same places where he previously shilled for the movie? This time, can he answer in detail exactly how he could lie repeatedly in his phony version of the rescue effort?

I do not believe that Michelle Williams should necessarily have been paid exactly the same as Marky Mark to appear in the movie originally. You get what the market allows. But, c'mon! At least be fair with the stars on a re-shoot. This is not going to go well for either Wahlberg or Scott.

MikeN said...

What happens if Christopher Plummer gets accused?

Buy your DVDs and Blu-Rays now before they are pulled.
Luckily, I don't care much for Miramax movies, though Rounders is good.
I'm surprised Harvey didn't insist on a nude scene for Famke Janssen, as Bill Simmons complains about.

MikeKPa. said...

"Michelle Williams fulfilled the Oscar-bait role as the strong but sensitive mother, and Mark Wahlberg was one note the entire film."

Mark Wahlberg is one note in every move he plays. He's like Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. To quote the late wit Dorothy Parker, "He runs the gamut of emotion from A to B."

Mateja Đedović said...

"I’m now hoping the director of BEYOND THE SEA will go back and replace Kevin Spacey with him as Bobby Darin."

Somehow, I don't think Hollywood would let the director of "Beyond the Sea" anywhere near a movie camera nowadays.

William C Bonner said...

I'd wanted to see this film based on the early previews with Spacey.

When I finally got to see the film with Plummer, I enjoyed the film but was not as ecstatic about it as I was hoping. I think the hype about the replacement in less than a month made me think more about why it takes so long for a movie to get made.

I'm assuming that Spacey got paid, either by the movie company or the insurance company for the film.

What I'd really like would be if the Spacey version were to be leaked for comparison with the Plummer version.

Spacey may be a terrible person, but that doesn't mean I like any of his characters less because of the recent relevations.