The Big Short DVD Review

DVD Review by Jarred Tito

The Premise
Four denizens of the world of high-finance predict the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s, and decide to take on the big banks for their greed and lack of foresight.

The Review
Ryan Gosling kicks off the film with his own spectacular style of narration, which he has become renowned for, that sets the tone and pace for the rest of the film. It's a comical yet shrewd retelling of economic events, with particular reference to the housing market in the USA, which led to Wall Street crashing and huge banking corps tanking in 2008.

The film is both entertaining and at times dramatic, as well as being comical and informative. It's almost like something Mike Moore (Bowling For Columbine) might have created except in the genre of drama/comedy and not documentary. It had me laughing and almost crying in the same minute in the same way a good speech might do.

The Big Short certainly has its lion's share of big acting names including Brad Pitt, who also co-produces and Steve Carell who you may not have ever seen in this type of role (well not for a while). He plays this extreme guy with a crazy combination of emotional traits which are constantly bursting out of the screen. Ryan Gosling, for me, was at his very best. He plays the very cool but edgy, stable but fragile 'go to' guy who in his own way orchestrates the whole 'betting against collateralized debt obligation (CDOs)' among the more astute Wall Street brokers. However, it is Christian Bale who really steals the show with his performance as Michael Burry who is the first person to cotton on to the whole craziness of AAA mortgages/ CDOs. He delivered a flawless performance and for my part fully deserves some recognition for his role.

I might also add that unlike other standalone movies that I can recall, this one could do with at least one prerequisite viewing of something that will bring you up to speed on what you are seeing. I would recommend the very good documentary, 'Inside Job' or 'The Corporation' part one or two. I found having some prior knowledge to the whole 2008 crash helped me a great deal and gave me an overall much better cinematic experience.  

The Verdict
This film will have you laughing and crying. It may even have you backing the bad guys who are actually portrayed as the good guys. But in my humble opinion, anyone making money off of someone else's losses can't be too good. Although it is a drama and comedy, there is certainly a strong undercurrent of moral obligation on the part of those in control of the large finance companies - such as the banks. You'll enjoy this movie a lot if you enjoy reliving some of the major events that shaped our lives in recent years. My advice is to see Inside Job before you see this one. You'll know why when you do. The Big Short is based on real people and real events, so it does make sense to have a little background.

The Trailer

The Info
DVD Releases: 11th May 2016
Rating: M – Contains offensive language and nudity
Duration: 130 minutes 
Genre:  Drama
Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt
Director: Adam McKay (Anchorman, Anchorman 2, Step Brothers)

The Extras
Author Michael Lewis revealed in an interview that Paramount, the studio distributing the film, allowed director and screen writer Adam McKay to make this film only if he agreed to make a sequel to Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004).

First film directed by Adam McKay not starring Will Ferrell.

Ryan Gosling's first appearance in a film after announcing his "break" from acting in March of 2013.

The character Mark Baum (Carrell) is based on the real-life money manager Steve Eisman.
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Second collaboration between Ryan Gosling, Marisa Tomei and Steve Carell. The three first starred in Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011).

The cast includes three Oscar winners (Christian Bale, Melissa Leo, and Marisa Tomei), and three Oscar nominees (Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt). Pitt has an Oscar as a producer, but not as an actor.