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The Big Short - Movie Review

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the Big Short - Movie Review

4 stars

The Big Short isn’t so much a movie as it is the continuation of a movement designed to wake America the fuck up. Don’t believe me? Go watch Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes or J .C. Chandor’s Margin Call because messages are being delivered and audiences are paying attention. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Why? Because the financial meltdown of 2008 REALLY happened and too many of us ignored Charles Ferguson’s 2010 documentary The Inside Job when it documented the criminality behind the scenes that allowed for a lot of Americans to lose their retirement, their benefits, their jobs, and their pride.

It is not business as usual anymore. The Big Short is a clever reminder of why.

Okay, so the majority of Americans ignored the serious one (like we always do) so maybe now we will pay attention to the ironic comedy sewn into the fibers of this narrative. Hopefully, we will because I’m not bailing out another bank and to hell with Wall Street. Let ‘em sink in their own shit. You’ll feel the same way when you see the calamity and shenanigans that go on behind the scenes in The Big Short. Everything you suspected is confirmed. They are all – every last one them – asshats.  

The movie – starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt - is a prime example of a comedy growing up.

Director Adam McKay (Anchorman, Stepbrothers) decides to subvert expectations and tackles some raw and real material. Sure, it’s sprinkled throughout with elements of comedy and some fine imrov, but it is the delivery which really seals the deal. The Big Short is drama with a twist. Full of quick edits, asides to the audience, lots of improvisational moments, and pop cultural segments like the one in which world-renowned chef Anthony Bourdain explaining sub-prime mortgages while selecting ingredients for his latest feast.

To put it bluntly, The Big Short is the modern day crime movie…except it isn’t fiction. And we all – yes, every last single one of us – let it happen. Based on the 2010 book of the same name by Michael Lewis, Adam McKay and Charles Randolph’s adaptation of the material is poignant, dumbed-down without being insulting, and sharp as a tack. It highlights the type of person who profits off of betting against the system and, keeping in line with his social misfit man-boy comedy, makes us both laugh and cringe at the attitudes they display as the reality of bundling subprime mortgages into highly rated investment products begins to settle in.

What the hell were they thinking? And no one – NO ONE – went to jail for any of this insanity. That’s the biggest kick to the crotch. The Big Short, while Gosling does most of the guiding, is the story of the four men who recognized that all was not right within the housing market and, because very few were hip to the news, decided to try and profit by betting against the grain. Some did. Some didn’t. This is their story.

Oh, The Big Short will make you mad. It will scare the shit out of you, too. More so than any other horror film released this year. This is why it matters. McKay makes this all look so damn easy and free-swinging. That’s his style. And while the actors do their lines, he keeps you entertained.

The Big Short is a movie like few others this year. Of course, it will also make you laugh and, to McKay’s credit, there is nothing insulting in its comedy as financial insiderism gets roasted on its way to the global collapse of the economy or, in other words, just another day at the office.

the Big Short - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language and some sexuality/nudity
Runtime:
130 mins
Director
: Adam McKay
Writer:
Adam McKay
Cast:
Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling
Genre
: Biography | Drama
Tagline:
This is a true story
Memorable Movie Quote: "Tell me the difference between stupid and illegal and I'll have my wife's brother arrested."
Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
Official Site: http://www.thebigshortmovie.com/
Release Date:
December 23, 2015
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: When four outsiders saw what the big banks, media and government refused to, the global collapse of the economy, they had an idea: The Big Short. Their bold investment leads them into the dark underbelly of modern banking where they must question everyone and everything.

No details available.

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