Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, John Magaro, Finn Wittrock, Hamish Linklater, Marisa Tomei
Written By: Charles Randolph Adam McKay
Directed By: Adam McKay
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Adam McKay has made an Oscar-nominated movie about the financial crisis and the people that discovered the problems. It’s based on a true story, has a great cast, a good screenplay and it will make you angry all over again.
The Big Short is based on the book by Michael Lewis, and it’s about the financial crisis of 2007-2008. The movie follows a few different groups. There’s Hedge fund manager Dr. Michael Burry (Christian Bale) who discovers that the market will collapse because of high risk subprime housing loans. Whatever that means. There’s Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) who’s a bond salesman at Deutsche Bank and does a lot of the narrating. Vennet approaches Mark Baum (Steve Carell) to invest in “credit default swap” (pretty much betting against the housing market). There’s also young investors Charlie Geller (John Magaro) and Jamie Shipley (Finn Wittrock), who discover Vennett’s plans and decide to get on it as well. They get some help from reluctant retired banker Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt). They all take advantage of knowing the economy is going to collapse from these loans and they profit from it, handsomely.
As someone who doesn’t know a damn thing about Wall Street and Real Estate, besides that they are all crooks, this was a hard movie to follow at times. I felt like there should have been a Wall Street for Dummies subtitles throughout the movie. There were some funny cameos that would pop in to explain dumb-down versions of what was going on. Some of those cameos include Margot Robbie, Selena Gomez and Anthony Bourdain. It was sort of helpful but still left me scratching my head. I think this movie would be beneficial to me if I saw it a few times.
Despite the confusing dialogue, I still liked the movie and it’s one people should see. The ending should definitely make people angry considering no one was arrested for their slimy ways on Wall Street. The acting was superb, particularly Christian Bale, Brad Pitt and Steve Carell. I liked the way it was shot and directed. It felt like you were right there, with the camera focusing on the actors and blurring out. It’s got that documentary style you remember from Moneyball, another Michael Lewis book.
The extras for the Blu-Ray were good. There’s a few featurettes on casting, director Adam McKay, the characters of The Big Short, a more in-depth look at the financial crisis, and other things. I liked the featurettes on the casting, Adam McKay and the featurette House of Cards: Rise of the Fall. Watching the extras made me understand what exactly happened, especially when McKay explains things.
I don’t think the movie was the best of the year but it was good film. It’s surprising to see Adam McKay doing a semi-serious movie and looking forward to seeing what he does next.
In The Tranches: Casting
The Big Leap: Adam McKay
Unlikely Heroes: The Characters of the Big Short
The House of Cards: The Rise of the Fall
Getting Real: Recreating an Era
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
English: DTS Headphone:X
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
English, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Bottom Line: A movie that will make you laugh at times, make you feel dumb at times. When it’s over, you’ll want to throw your remote at your TV.
Running Time: 130 mins