Monday, January 25, 2016
The Big Short (a movie review post)
Honestly, Steve Carell was enough to make me want to see it, but it's a subject I have interest in. And I like Gosling, too. I'm not a fan of Bale, but I do concede that he's a good, possibly great, actor, so I could get let his presence slide. And, um, I had actually forgotten that Brad Pitt was in it at all. I do like him, so that would have been a plus... if I had remembered.
Then the movie turned out to be a comedy! A dark comedy, granted, but a comedy nonetheless. I suppose I could have known that before going in, but I don't like to know too much about a movie before seeing it and the fact that this is a comedy in no way takes away from the movie or the subject matter. Humor may have been the best vehicle for a movie like this, in fact.
Christian Bale plays Michael Burry, the actual guy who saw the housing bubble and knew it was going to burst. I'm not going to get into all of that or what happened because you can watch the movie or do the research to find that stuff out, and you should because it's interesting and somewhat fascinating. That he saw the bubble was not "luck" or a good guess or anything like that; it was an ability to look at the data and know what it means, something most (nearly all) people are incapable of. So, yeah, of course it sounded ludicrous when he suggested that the housing market was going to collapse. Also, he was trying to make money off of it but not because he was trying to make money off of it. No, I'm not going to try to explain that. Also, Bale was incredible as Burry. Like I said, he's a good, possibly great, actor whether I like him or not.
Brad Pitt was also cast somewhat against character and, since I had forgotten that he was in the movie at all, it was halfway through or something before I even realized it was him. It was one of those "oh!" moments: Oh! That's Brad Pitt! And, well, if someone like Brad Pitt can make me not even recognize him, you have to know that it's a good performance.
Carell was playing more to character, kind of an angry Michael Scott kind of guy, but he was really good and fit the part perfectly. He's actually the guy you end up having the most connection with because he's in this investment business but really hates everything about it. He hates all of the corruption and deceit and greed but, yet, there he is. So, yeah, at first, when he and his group figure out about shorting the housing market (they'll explain that to you in the movie), it's about the money but, as he finds more out about what's going on, for him, it's really about hurting the banks. Carell is actually great in the role and makes you really feel for the character.
Speaking of the movie explaining things, that stuff is awesome. They actually stop the action of the movie to have celebrities explain concepts, like the bit with Margot Robbie in a bubble bath explaining whatever she was explaining (I don't remember what anyone explained, now, so that has nothing to do with Robbie in the bubble bath). Those bits were pretty brilliant; the one with the chef and, um, whomever was with him was probably the best one.
And, oh, yeah, Gosling is good, too, though he didn't really do anything that you wouldn't expect of Gosling, so hos performance doesn't really stand out to me. It's the kind of thing you'd expect of Ryan Reynolds, but Gosling does a lot of that kind of thing, too.
All in all a really great movie, as good as Spotlight, really, which fills me with conflict, because I want Spotlight for best picture, but The Big Short, though a different kind of film completely, is equally as good. I wouldn't want to have to pick between the two as to which one is actually the "better" movie.