Monday, December 28, 2015

The Big Short Review

The Big Short Review
I was in my first year of college in the 2008 financial crisis happened. But when I was a freshman in college, I didn't pay much attention to the news, nor did I really understand what was going on. I am not a numbers guy, I have never been a numbers guy and I don't think I will ever be a numbers guy. People have tried to explain what happened and alot of the jargon goes right over my head. I have watched the documentary "Inside Job," and still explanation goes over my head. I don't have a mind built to understand the stock market or the big terms used in that everyday charade. I just know that the stock market crashed in 2008, bankers were involved, it mainly had to do with the mortgage and housing markets in our country. 

Then I saw "The Big Short."

"The Big Short" is more than just a bunch of great actors getting together to have some fun. If they wanted to rename the movie, they could have called it "2008 Financial Crisis For Dummies." Because the movie literally takes you by the hand and explains exactly what happened and why. Don't fret though, the movie isn't interested in feeling superior or making you feel dumb. The movie does a good job of showing the audience just how something like this happened and who saw it coming. Ryan Gosling plays Jared Vennett and he is also our narrator into this world of Wall Street and money. There is a fun style the movie uses, there are several definitions pointed out in the movie which would make Quentin Tarantino smile. Need help understanding something? There are some key cameos by Selena Gomez and even Anthony Bourdain who explain certain things in the movie in a humorous manner. The film also features some of the best montages in any movie I have ever seen. Yes, montages are clever here, and enjoyed it very much.

The movie focuses on three key groups of people. One of those groups involves Vennett, who catches wind of somebody betting against the housing market in 2005. Vennett digs deeper and realizes that the housing market was completely unstable. Vennett realizes that by creating credit default swaps, he can profit when the market crashes. Vennett gets trader Mark Baum (Steve Carrell) onboard to jump into the market. Another focus is on Michael Burry (Christian Bale), the man who did predict the financial crisis in 2005 and began setting up credit default swaps in banks all over New York, and is the one Vennett learned about. And the last group focuses on young investors Charlie Geller (John Magaro) and Jamie Shipley (Finn Wittrock) who find out about Vennett's realization and plan to profit of the swaps as well. They enlist the help of retired banker Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt) for help. The movie follows these three stories, and they rarely interlock. But it tells the story of the guys who something awful coming, and how right they are ultimately haunted them.

Everybody is great in this, which is no surprise. Was there honestly any doubt that Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Christan Bale and Steve Carrell wouldn't be good? The thing is, there are several wonderful performances in this. Melissa Leo shows up in crucial moment in the movie, and she's stellar. Marissa Tomei is brilliant in the limited screen time she has. Wittrock and Magaro are big discoveries here. I also particularly liked the actors in Baum's crew, which consists of Rafe Spall, Jeremy Strong and Hamish Linklater. They stand out in a big way here, and should credited for their work.

So, "The Big Short," is big fun. If what I wrote isn't incentive enough to see it, boys. Well, let me just say that Margot Robbie shows up in a bubble bath. Incentive enough?

FINAL GRADE: A

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