THE BIG SHORT (transfer) review

These “transfer” reviews are from when I only did reviews on my Facebook page back in 2015. Bare in mind when reading these, I didn’t have the same formula in my review writing that I do now, and my usual “who starred and who directed” information is completely absent, so everything “italicized” is new. With that said, enjoy this review from 2015.

Alright, who among you actually knew what this movie was about? I don’t mean that you cheated and looked online and found out, I’m talking about the average person who watched the trailers and that was it… just the trailers. Did you know what it was about? No? Neither did I. All I knew was that early critical reviews were calling it one of the best films of the year, and I liked most of the cast. Not sure how much stock I was putting in the early reviews, but I was sure interested in seeing how much I agree with critics, so… yeah, and I needed a movie to wash out the awful proverbial taste that horrible Chipmunks movie left in my mouth, so away I went.

Starring: Steve Carell (CAFÉ SOCIETY [2016], FREEHELD [2015], FOXCATCHER [2014], and upcoming films DESPICABLE ME 3 [2017] and… what the hell?! MINECRAFT: THE MOVIE [2019]???), Christian Bale (THE PROMISE [2017], 3:10 TO YUMA [2007], AMERICAN PSYCHO [2000], and the upcoming JUNGLE BOOK [2018]), Ryan Gosling (SONG TO SONG [2017], THE NICE GUYS [2016], REMEMBER THE TITANS [2000], and the upcoming BLADE RUNNER 2049 [2017]), and Brad Pitt (ALLIED [2016], FURY [2014], MEGAMIND [2010], and upcoming films WAR MACHINE [2017] and WORLD WAR Z 2, due out… who knows when)

Directed and co-written by: Adam McKay (ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES [2013], THE OTHER GUYS [2010], and STEP BROTHERS [2008]). Co-written by: Charles Randolph (LOVE & OTHER DRUGS [2010] and THE INTERPRETER [2005]). Composed by: Nicholas Britell (2016’s MOONLIGHT, A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS, FREE STATE OF JONES, and the upcoming OCEAN’S EIGHT [2018]). Cinematography by: Barry Ackroyd (JASON BOURNE [2016], CAPTAIN PHILLIPS [2013], and UNITED 93 [2006]).

(SUMMARY)

It’s about how a group of relatively unrelated men predicted the collapse of the economic system (what we refer to now as the recession) and took measures to exploiting the inevitable end to secure themselves for the future.

(REVIEW)

For those of you that read my review of SICARIO (2015), I basically called it a “smart-person’s” movie: a movie that is well above my personal intelligence level and therefore cannot fully grasp what the movie is doing, saying, or getting at. This… is much the same way. Of course, the hilarious thing is that this movie kind of talks down on me. Not that I find that insulting, it’s almost like this movie KNOWS it’s a smart person’s movie. They have scenes where they remember how I’m not a smart person, and literally break the fourth wall and say something like, “Here’s a naked Margot Robbie in a bath to explain.” Now, as a red-blooded American male, I can appreciate this imagery, but come on guys, I’m WAY too distracted by that to pay attention. Believe it or not, NAKED WOMEN DO NOT HELP ME UNDERSTAND COMPLEX SHIT!!!

But I digress, is the movie really good?

Like I said, not a smart guy, so I can’t say. But, I can say something about the performances that have been praised up the asshole. And you know what? Yeah, the performances are… solid. Let me be particular: Steve Carell as Mark Baum. Seriously, maximum douche in this movie, but in the most awesome of ways. No joke, his reputation as that half-wit from ANCHORMAN is well behind him with performances like this. He’s intense, he’s fast-talking, he’s… incredible. The price of admission is worth it for him alone.

What’s kind of weird, though, is everyone else. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not… BAD per se, but they’re not nearly as strongly written as Carell. I can’t put my finger on it, but Ryan Gosling as Jared Vennett annoyed the piss out of me. I don’t even hate the man, he’s a fine actor, but… man, his voice, his physicality… I wanted him off screen as much as possible. Maybe I just hate his character and not his performance, who the fuck knows. But this I can’t get past is Christian Bale as Michael Burry and Brad Pitt as Ben Rickert. Bale is SHOCKINGLY dull in this. We get it, you like to listen to hard rock! Not too much diving into his personality. Even if someone were to tell me that he was great, come on, he’s no Carell. And Pitt? He’s barely in the movie. Seriously, he’s a VERY side character and all of the advertisements make general audiences think he’s a main character. Pretty sure we aren’t introduced to him until half an hour into the damn story. And same deal, he’s dull… well, again, at least by comparison to Carell who just OWNS this movie. If you see the movie, tell me I’m wrong, please!

Whatever, it’s hard for me to critique fairly without knowing full well what’s really going on. I get GENERAL ideas, but nothing too concrete, but I guess that’s more than I thought I was going to get. It’s a fun watch to see many of these characters do their thing, but honestly, Carell makes this movie for me. No one else is bad, just not delivering a performance like him.

A strong 3/5

the-big-short-poster-new

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