Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Film Review: THE BIG SHORT

Steve Carell yelling into his cell phone.
Talk about your visual stream of consciousness: The Big Short is a mass of confusion from beginning to end. It's about the buildup of the housing bubble that burst back in 2007, I think, and brought down Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers and some other big banks, perhaps. Honestly, I'm not sure. And I went with a really smart person and she wasn't sure either. This is one movie where you need Cliff Notes to follow the action. (Not that there is any action.)

I tried to pay attention, but it was just like back in high school when my history teacher was explaining the "three-pronged attack" of General Burgoyne in some war or other: I kept nodding off. Each time I opened my eyes there were still the same old talking heads going on and on about money and banking and mortgages, but it was so boring I'd close them again so I totally missed what the heck a "short" even is.

To spice things up, they stuck in lots of unrelated images that flash on the screen like subliminal advertising that have nothing to do with anything in the plot. Many of these are of nude women, naked breasts and bare bottoms, as well as random shots of police and traffic and crowds and apparently anything lying on the cutting room floor from movies made during that time period. (I'm guessing the director and the film editor got their hands on some killer weed.)

Peppered throughout are impressive performances by Steve Carell yelling into his cell phone and Christian Bale staring at his computer. Brad Pitt is in the film too, sort of, but he was obviously too exhausted from all those kids he has at home to do anything or learn any lines so they gave him a role where he could just hang around looking disgruntled and still get his name in the credits. Marisa Tomei appears for a dull few minutes looking old, which is sad because she used to be so young.

Not that I was expecting more, but The Big Short was a Big Disappointment.

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