Charles Randolph - 2016 Writers Guild Awards at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza - Arrivals at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Writers Guild Awards - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 13th February 2016
Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using humour to outline the 2008 economic collapse from the inside. With characters who are based on real people, the film shows how economists made a fortune from the financial devastation inflicted on millions of families. And the movie cleverly points out that all of this happened (and people are still getting away with it) because the general public can't be bothered to pay attention.
Things were so booming in the first years of this century that it was easy for the media to divert the attention of Americans away from the dark underbelly of the financial world, creating big scandals out of nothing, spurring rampant buying sprees and making stars of non-entities like the Kardashians. Meanwhile in 2005, investment expert Michael Burry (Christian Bale) noticed that America's mortgage market was turning toxic. So he offered to "short" it, betting against this always-stable market by purchasing credit default swaps. The banks thought they would make a fortune from him, carrying on their dangerous practices. But other experts saw Burry's point, including the nerdy genius Mark Baum (Steve Carell), the shark-like Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) and a pair of newbies (Finn Wittrock and John Magaro) who tip off their reclusive mentor Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt). When the economy imploded, these men became billionaires.
Director-cowriter Adam McKay is better known for silly movies like Anchorman, so he packs this film with raucous cutaways to pop culture references of the period, as well as hilariously absurd explanations of economic issues from, for example, Margot Robbie in a bubble bath or Selena Gomez playing blackjack. This approach actually heightens the horror of what's going on as fraudulent bankers and corrupt government officials conspire to undermine the foundations of the economy. Although the explanations still feel like gibberish to mere mortals, it's at least presented in a way that's entertaining.
Continue reading: The Big Short Review
Charles Randolph - AFI FEST 2015 Presented By Audi Closing Night Gala Premiere of Paramount Pictures' 'The Big Short' - Arrivals at TCL Chinese 6 Theatres - Hollywood, California, United States - Thursday 12th November 2015
In 1996, Jamie (Gyllenhaal) has discovered his gift as a salesman, mainly peddling his own charms to every young woman he meets. In need of a higher-paying job, he trains as a Pfizer pharmaceutical rep in the Ohio River Valley. It takes awhile to learn the ropes, and sales are tough due to a fierce rival (Macht). But when Pfizer introduces Viagra, his numbers improve dramatically, to say the least. Meanwhile, he meets Maggie (Hathaway), a feisty young woman with early-stage Parkinson's who challenges his view of himself.
Continue reading: Love & Other Drugs Review
The contrived setup gives us Nic as one Silvia Broome, a long-time resident of Africa who now makes a living as an interpreter at the UN. The headlines have a hated president from her homeland by the name of Zuwanie who's accused of genocide coming to give a speech to the General Assembly; most observers assume that the speech will save him from being tried for crimes against humanity as he pledges democratic reforms, and so his enemies are -- possibly -- planning to murder him at the podium. Or at least that's what Silvia says, as she overhears a potential plot late one night in her talkin' booth when she returns to the UN to get her "flutes and stuff."
Continue reading: The Interpreter Review
This is a movie meant to be a sophisticated take on criminal punishment, but unfortunately it's actually the kind of garden variety thriller that Hollywood pumps out with one thought: to keep you guessing what surprise The Big Twist will bring. Unconvinced? Recent garbage like High Crimes and Reindeer Games leap to mind. Same formula, same disastrous results.
Continue reading: The Life Of David Gale Review
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