• Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

DUMB MONEY – GameStop Stock Run Amok!

ByTaylor T Carlson

Sep 15, 2023

DUMB MONEY is directed by Craig Gillespie. The film stars Paul Dano, Pete Davidson, Vincent D’Onofrio, America Ferrera, Nick Offerman, Anthony Ramos, Sebastian Stan, Shailene Woodley, and Seth Rogen.

YouTube personality Keith Gill is regularly sharing stock tips on his channel, encouraging investing. Going against the common belief, he takes a chance on GameStop stock; he feels stock for the video game store is severely undervalued. Despite initial skepticism and naysayers, it isn’t long before people from all walks of life are on board, snatching up GameStop stock in record numbers, causing its value to skyrocket. But it isn’t long before wealthy Wall Street types began to feel the sting of this activity, causing them to lose billions in the process. Before long the process spirals out of control, with even the United States Congress investigating. Will Gill and his followers come out on top?

Despite being a video gamer who regularly shops at GameStop, I wasn’t familiar with this story; that was part of the reason DUMB MONEY intrigued me. An ensemble cast of actors certainly didn’t hurt, not to mention director Craig Gillespie on board, a man with a resume that includes hits of recent years like I, TONYA and CRUELLA. It’s a stranger-than-fiction story that must be seem to be believed. The story and the everyman types seen in the film will appeal to mainstream moviegoers, though some of the stock market terminology may be a bit overpowering at time.

A movie, be it realistic or fictional, doesn’t work unless we’ve got a hero worth rooting for. Paul Dano gives us this in the role of Keith Gill, giving us a everyman hero with a wife and young child, with his family having been no exception to tragedies and hardships brought on by the pandemic. He strikes that perfect balance between cocky smartass and the guy we sympathize with and want to root for. Dano’s performance makes me want to go learn more about the real Gill, and I don’t think there’s greater praise that can be given than that.

The movie is only enhanced by the other personalities who are along for the ride. One of the most entertaining aspects of the film is seeing the “net worth” of each character we are introduced to throughout the film. These range from ridiculously high to comically low, and at times, high levels of debt. It’s a novel concept that adds something interesting to the film. A wide array of personalities played by the ensemble cast show just how far Gill’s YouTube spread stretches. These characters make the film dramatic, edgy, and gripping, but also laugh-out-loud funny at times.

The one minor aspect that holds DUMB MONEY back is its overuse of stock market terminology which is bound to overwhelm many of the more casual viewers who will go to see the movie. I consider myself a reasonably intelligent human being (albeit one who hasn’t invested before) and I found myself looking up many of these terms after the screenings I attended. I appreciate that the movie doesn’t feel, pardon the bad joke, dumbed down for audiences, but including definitions for some of these terms in the movie wouldn’t have hurt and may even have made the final product more enjoyable.

DUMB MONEY may overwhelm a bit with its market slang, but it’s still a winner with a worthy ensemble cast and a stranger-than-fiction story that stretches from middle-class America to the mansions of the super elite. It must be seen to be believed. Highly recommended!

By Taylor T Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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