They Say Time is Money, and They also Say – It’s Always About Money …

Yeah, time and money – these are the subjects of three films coming out this fall that are on my must-see list. There’s another one called The Debt that I will also see, but it’s not about money, so it’s discussion will be a topic for another time.

The first film for this topic opens on September 23rd, less than a month away, and just ahead of the Major League Baseball Playoffs and World Series. It’s title is Moneyball. This is the film version of Michael Lewis‘s very popular and best-selling book of the same name. In the simplest of terms the film/book is described: The story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players.

Beane turned baseball upside down by knocking the game off its feet and on to its head. Because of budgetary constraints, he decided to analyze young and upcoming prospects by crunching the numbers rather than solely utilizing the scouting reports written by seasoned professionals who in many cases, were former professional baseball players themselves.

As someone said to Beane (played by Brad Pitt),  in the film, “You’re discounting what scouts have done for 150 years?

Did he make it work? Did he re-invent a system that’s been working for years? The jury is still out on that question. But one thing is certain, he did it because he had to. Why did he have to? The answer is simple – money.

On October 21st, a film about the biggest financial game in the world opens. The film is entitled Margin Call. It is likely that you won’t the least bit surprised if I say that the biggest crap-shoot in the world is the stock market. It is the essence of capitalism but it is really about survival.

The film can be described this way: A thriller that revolves around the key people at a investment bank over a 24-hour period during the early stages of the financial crisis.

You start with a great cast in Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell, Stanley Tucci, and Demi Mooore. Then you get a look behind the curtain. You go right into the board room of an unnamed financial firm, and see what really happens to yours, mine, and our money.

Simon Baker says, “Sell it all…”

Kevin Spacey says, “You’re selling something you know is worthless?”

Jeremy Irons interrupts and says, “To survive! There are three ways to make money in this business, be first, be smarter, and cheat.

Like I said, it always comes down to money.

The last film on my horizon for this topic opens on October 28th. It’s title? In Time. As you can see, the poster is subtitled Time is Money. In the not too distant future – the late 21st century, we are told (in the trailer) that time has replaced money as the unit of currency. At 25 years old, aging stops, and each person is given one more year to live. Unless you replenish your clock — you die.

Sounds like a fun world, eh? For example if you go out for a coffee , the price is 4 minutes, black tea is 6 minutes, and so on. Justin Timberlake plays a man who suddenly finds he has an unlimited amount of time in his account. What does this mean?

Since aging stops, it would mean that he would remain at the age of 25 – he’d be an immortal (and stay at 25). This is also known as the dream of all dreams for actors the world over. The problem is simple and two-fold: greed, and  if too many people acquired sufficient time – the world would eventually become overcrowded. So there are folks out to get him. He has to go on the run.

There’s a corrupt police force chasing him, and there’s a powerful tycoon of time out to stop him who is calling the shots. For sure a confrontation looms. While there’s some similarities to the 1976 Logan’s Run, where life ended at 30, this one is more a thriller and less of a fantasy.

So, what goes around, comes around. Time is money, show me the money, and as always – it’s always about  the money.

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