Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!

The Big Short – The Nick Review

I have a financial planner.  His name is Terry.  He’s a good guy.  I have completely faith in Terry and his office with my investments.  Not just because I fully trust him, but because things like the stock market, Dow Jones, and Nasdaq are completely baffling to me.  When talking heads start to babble on about such things and how some are good and bad, I tend tune this stuff out.  Mostly because these people don’t know what they are talking about, but also because if something was going to south, Terry would let me know.

short

Given my lack of knowledge and general disinterest in the stock market, I can’t say I overly enjoyed time when I saw The Big Short this past weekend.  Don’t get me wrong.  It is a good movie with some interesting performances by Steve Carell and Christian Bale.  But I don’t think I appreciated it as much as the film wants me to given that the film surrounds itself with a lot of stock market and banking lingo.  Specifically with how it related to the housing market crash of 2008 and how a select group of individuals saw it coming and was able to profit from it.

To be fair, though, the film does do a good job of dumbing it down so the average film goer can pick things up as they go through humorous cut-away segments hosted by various pop-culture personalities.  The film, for better or worse, does speed through these explanations fairly quickly that I found myself trying to absorb what I just learned while watching the next steps of the narrative.  By the end of the movie, I understood what had happened and how it happened, but I could never fully become engrossed in the film as I would have liked given I was playing catch up as it went along.

This movie also defied my expectations a bit as I went into it expecting our leads, consisting of Carell, Bale, Brad Pitt, and Ryan Gosling, all teaming up to take down the banks in some sort of more-dramatic Ocean’s Eleven style caper (but with playing the stock market instead of robbing places).  All of this was based on the trailers for the film which somewhat reflected this premise.  The final film is nothing like that at all.  In fact, the film is divided between three stories in which three of the four leads never meet one another let alone scheme together.

I do have to say that it is interesting to see Adam McKay do something that doesn’t involve Will Ferrell acting like a man-child for the Nth time.  This is really the first “serious” mainstream film that he’s done.  While there is some room to grow for him (for example, the film suffers from too many quick montages of then-contemporary pop-culture segments and clips – I have no idea where he was going with any of that), I think he is on to something there. I’d like to see more of this Adam McKay.

I’m not sure about The Big Short (disregarding the poor marketing). I don’t regret seeing it, but I never see it again, that’ll be okay.  This is one of those movies that you probably need to see twice to fully get everything that is going on (unless you are big into financial planning), but there is nothing that is really drawing me back into it.  I guess if I was channel surfing one day and found it on HBO, I’d leave it on.  But I wouldn’t seek it out.

~N

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