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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
The High Price of Greed
by Betty Jo Tucker

Some men knew that Wall Street would crash.

They BET on it for lots of cash.

The Big Short tells about these men

plus what happened  -- where and when.

 

The film moves fast to tell its tale.

It stars actors like Christian Bale,

who plays a broker warning folks

that housing stocks are now just jokes.

 

Hard to believe, most others say.

They sure donít want facts in their way.

So bankers go on with bad loans

and people start to lose their homes.

 

And who gets hurt in all this mess?

Not banks or brokers, you can guess.

We bailed them out, helped them succeed

while others suffered for their greed.

 

The Big Short made me quite angry.

Donít tell me itís a comedy.

And film techniques confused me too,

although clever and so brand new.

 

This movie does help us to see

how folks got stuck with misery.

Will it happen again, we ask?

Preventing that is still a task.

My criticism of The Big Short is not meant to dissuade viewers from seeing this film. Itís a very important movie. Directed by Adam McKay from his and Charles Randolphís screenplay adaptation of the book by Michael Lewis, this motion picture deals with the housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s that ended in widespread economic chaos. The topic and theme definitely deserve attention. Thatís why Iím disappointed by its confusing film treatment, one that took me out of the story too many times. For example, the House of Cards-style speaking to the audience (by Ryan Gosling) didnít work for me here. Nor did the scene of a champagne-drinking-bubble-bath beauty thrown in to explain a particular economics point. Plus, jumping back and forth among so many characters makes the film hard to follow.

Granted, performances by Bale, Steve Carell, Brad Pitt, Finn Whitlock, John Magano and Melissa Leo are extremely watchable. Carell excels as Mark Baum, who tries his best to be a good guy amid all the immoral financial deals going on around him. Pitt looks very, very serious -- and it fits his character, Ben Rickert, who helps two ďwannabe richĒ young guys achieve their goal. Whitlock and Magano do a convincing job portraying those eager investors. Leo only appears in one scene, but itís a doozy. She plays an analyst for Standard & Poorís bond ratings, and what she says frightened me more than almost anything else in this very scary movie.

(Released by Paramount Pictures and rated ďRĒ for pervasive language and some sexuality and nudity.)

For more information about The Big Short, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes web site.


                                                                                                                                                                               
 
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