Day 226: The Big Short (2015)

big-lessons-in-the-big-short-01The question of the day is do you want to be educated about something you probably didn’t know anything about? If that is the case and you have Netflix, then you need to check out today’s film The Big Short. The Big Short is a film that chronicles the crash of the mortgage industry on Wall Street back in 2008/2009. The film follows four different denizens in the industry Michael Burry (Christian Bale), Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling), Mark Baum (Steve Carell), and the team of Charlie Geller (John Magaro), Jamey Shipley (Finn Wittrock), and Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt) as they decide to bet against the housing market and it’s loans which was simply unheard of at the time. They were betting against the economy which was considered ballsy. The film also stars Tracy Letts (Killer Joe) as Lawrence Fields, Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny) as Cynthia Baum, Adepero Oduye (12 Years A Slave) as Kathy Tao, Rafe Spall (Life Of Pi) as Danny Moses, Hamish Linklater (Battleship) as Porter Collins, Jeremy Strong (Zero Dark Thirty) as Vinnie Daniel, Melissa Leo (Red State) as Georgia Hale, Karen Gillan (Guardians Of The Galaxy) as Evie, and the film features cameos from Anthony Bourdain, Margot Robbie, Selena Gomez, and the film was directed by Adam McKay (The Other Guys).

the-big-short_0If you do not know anything about trading stocks, bonds, and the housing market then you better pay full attention to the film cause you could get absolutely lost. They have Margot Robbie, Anthony Bourdain, and Selena Gomez appear on screen to help break down some of the terms into dummy form. Even then, I would still advise people not to leave at any point or you will be confused. If you want to see how crooked and stupid the US Government and the banks were with the average working persons money then you need to watch this movie because it’s all about how they screwed you with no lube. It’s hard to choose an MVP for this film because they all really did a terrific job in the film, but some of my favorite moments belonged to Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell especially when they were together. One of my favorite scenes in the film is when Gosling is trying to explain why he is betting against the market to Steve Carell using the Jenga format to represent all the loans. The interactions between the two during this scene are just awesome and worth seeing. After you have seen the film, you are going to be astonished about how so many things just slipped through the cracks during this whole ordeal especially with the mortgage market in the early to mid-2000’s where so many people were defaulting and foreclosures were happening. This film sheds the best light on the reason for the collapse of the economy so be prepared. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade because it’s smart, thought provoking, and intuitive. Check it out on Netflix right now as we speak.

Day Three: Foxcatcher (2014)

foxcatcherEver since last year’s Academy Awards and The Golden Globes, this was definitely a film I wanted to see for all the buzz it caught. The film Foxcatcher was directed by Bennett Miller (Moneyball) and it starred Steve Carell (The Way Way Back), Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street), and Mark Ruffalo (Now You See Me). The film centers around two of America’s greatest wrestling brothers and a very rich man from an important American family. Mark Schultz (Tatum) is training for his ultimate goal which is to win the gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. One day he is contacted by John du Pont (Steve Carell) multimillionaire who wants Mark to train as his facility to legitimize his Team Foxcatcher. Mark is a very impressionable person and du Pont quickly creates a rift between the two brothers.The union ultimately leads the Schultz’s into tragedy as du Pont is quickly losing his mind. The film also stars Sienna Miller (American Sniper) as Nancy Schultz,  Vanessa Redgrave (Howard’s End) as Jean du Pont, Anthony Michael Hall (The Breakfast Club) as Jack, Guy Boyd (Taking Chance) as Henry Beck, Brett Rice (Forrest Gump) as Fred Cole, and Lee Perkins (Wild Card) as Corporal.

foxcatcher-channing-tatum-steve-carell-1The film didn’t win any of the big awards, but it definitely put up a fight against some of the heavy contenders at the time. The thing that amazed me the most about this film was the transformation Steve Carell went through because not only does he appear different, but his character is strange. He was a man with a lot of money to throw around and for a little while no one, but Mark could tell that there was something strange about him. He was definitely one of those guys who was socially awkward and sheltered from the dangers of the real world by his mother. Mark Ruffalo is as brilliant as he usually is as he went through a transformation of his own having to put on weight and muscle for the film. The film isn’t full of action, but it’s a slow decent into madness as you dive deeper into it like the characters are. The film is relatively dark in tone if you ask me as there is nothing happy about the film. It’s definitely a film about a match made in hell that turns out drastically bad by the end of the film. There are no spoilers to give here as the film is based on a true story so you can look it for yourself without having to watch the film.

brthsThere is a post online that questions what is true and what isn’t true about every film naturally as they are on “Based” on a true story. One of the facts that went into question was whether or not Mark had a sexual relationship with du Pont and Mark took to his Facebook page to explain the truth saying, “Leaving the audience with a feeling that somehow there could have been a sexual relationship between du Pont and I is a sickening and insulting lie. I told Bennett Miller to cut that scene out and he said it was to give the audience the feeling that du Pont was encroaching on your privacy and personal space. I wasn’t explicit so I didn’t have a problem with it. Then after reading 3 or 4 reviews interpreting it sexually, and jeopardizing my legacy, they need to have a press conference to clear the air, or I will.” There are a lot of details about the film that is wrong so if you want to read any if it, just visit this website for more. Otherwise, I thought it was a great film. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.