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The Big Short
BLU-RAY disk
03.15.2016 By: Sean Wist
The Big Short order download
Director:
Adam McKay

Actors:
Christian Bale
Ryan Gosling
Steve Carell

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Several denizens in the world of finance stumble upon signs leading to the housing bubble burst of 2008, but not before concocting a business plan to turn a profit before the financial crash hits.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
When the name Adam McKay comes up, you think Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and The Other Guys. The man knows how to deliver laughs, which is what makes him the perfect candidate to bring a story like The Big Short to film. The synopsis of this story is enough to put anyone to sleep and McKay knows this. He brings together a phenomenal ensemble cast and infuses this story with a great sense of urgency, energy and fun. Oftentimes a scene will cut off mid sentence or a character will break the fourth wall and address the viewer directly, which is a great way to make the audience a part of the experience. If you find yourself scratching your head at what these business men and women are talking about, McKay will routinely pause the action to bring you up to speed, and it works wonderfully.

The story jumps around 4 different groups of characters as they all figure out just how full of shit everyone in the business world can be, and the acting is top-notch from the big names on down. Ryan Gosling is the narrator of sorts, popping up to give the audience some information from time to time, delivering each line with a charm only he possesses. Christian Bale plays an eccentric investor who marches to the beat of his own drum, and drums to the likes of Mastodon and Pantera (hell yeah!). Steve Carell is the one who I think may surprise some viewers here. Despite working in the business world, he's over it. He's caustic and crass more often than not, but is the one the audience will find themselves identifying with. His emotions reflect what the viewer is feeling has he discovers bogus business practices, fraud, and tragedy. Brad Pitt also pops up for a brief role too, but don't let the big names fool you - everyone does a great job of bringing you into their world of discovery.

As the film continues, that sense of fun slowly starts to turn into malaise as the audience realizes how business practices are actually run. I suppose that's McKay's greatest triumph in that it DOES make you want to go out and do something about this. Still, I can't help but feel that this story was spread out a little thin over too many characters. McKay wants takes a documentary-esque approach in wanting to show several angles of this financial crash. It's effective, but some of the characters are short-changed. That aside, it's an effective film and I think it marks a turn in Adam McKay's career. There's no doubts that comedy will still very much be a part of his future, but now we know how he can utilize it to tell other stories.
THE EXTRAS
In the Tranches: Casting (15:51): The Big Short features a great ensemble cast, and this featurette is the perfect follow up to the film showing Adam McKay talking about some of the players. You'll get little behind the scenes snippets as well as a few words from the cast. Nothing crazy extensive but a nice companion piece to the film. .

The Big Leap: Adam McKay (11:31): McKay and a few others from the crew chronicle his journey to making The Big Short. Like the previous feature, it's short and sweet.

Unlikely Heroes: The Characters of The Big Short (11:28): This goes over some of the real people that the actors are portraying. It's pretty cool to see how much the actors resemble their counterparts, but nothing mind-blowing.

The House of Cards: The Rise of the Fall (14:01): This featurette breaks down the financial crash of 2008 and how it came about. If you've already watched the film, it's not telling you something you don't already know.

Getting Real: Recreating an Era (11:13): Given that The Big Short is a period piece, this goes over what had to be done in order to set people back a decade. More interestingly, it goes over some of the camera work of the film and how it was utilized to bring people into the story.

Deleted Scenes (6:27): With a film like this, I'm willing to be there's a lot more on the cutting room floor. As it stands, we have 6 and 1/2 minutes of some deleted material. Not much of it adds to the story except for a scene involving Christian Bale's Michael Burry and his family. Still, you can see why it was all cut to keep the run time to a minimum.

Also included is a code for the UV/iTunes digital copy of the movie.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Adam McKay has crafted an entertaining and insightful film with The Big Short. I wouldn't say that it reaches Wolf of Wall Street levels of excellence (to make a comparison), but it's absolutely worth seeing to experience what McKay can do with the material. The Blu-ray has a few extras that provide a nice glimpse behind the scenes, but it's nothing you'll find yourself returning to. That's a shame, as McKay usually delivers excellent commentaries. I'd say this disc is worth a purchase if you've seen and love the movie, otherwise I'd advise going with a rental.
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4:28PM on 03/15/2016
what, no BTS on the Margot Robbie scene?
what, no BTS on the Margot Robbie scene?
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