Mar 102016
 

The Big Short was easily my favorite movie of 2015. The strong cast helped but the writing by Adam McKay and Charles Randolph was sharp and in conjunction with Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling’s performances made for one fun yet thoughtful flick that worked so well from beginning to its bitter end.

 

 

The Big Short
(2015)


REVIEW NAVIGATION

The Movie
| Special Features | Video Quality | Audio Quality | Overall

Genre(s): Drama, Comedy
Paramount | R – 130 min. – $39.99 | March 15, 2016

Date Published: 03/10/2016 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Adam McKay
Writer(s): Michael Lewis (book); Charles Randolph and Adam McKay (screenplay)
Cast: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Rafe Spall, Marisa Tomei, Finn Wittrock, Melissa Leo, Karen Gillan
DISC INFO:
Features:
Featurettes, Deleted Scenes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS:X/DTS-HD MA 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Disc Size: 41.6 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C


THE MOVIE – 5.0/5

The Big Short tells the true story of the housing bust that occurred in 2008 though started years before due to the banks lack of foresight and greed but if that weren’t bad enough, foresight was instead revealed to be fraud leading to the worst economic collapse in U.S. history that led to a domino effect leading to millions in losing their jobs and homes and quickly spread overseas for a worldwide economic slowdown.

This ensemble drama-comedy follows three storylines all beginning with Dr. Michael Burry (CHRISTIAN BALE), a former physician turned hedge fund manager for Scion Capital. He’s a brilliant man who sees a pattern in the numbers and realizes that the housing bubble is about to go bust. With complete autonomy, he utilizes the company’s wealth to first start a new market to short the housing sector, which had never been done before; making deals with various banks who gladly signed what they felt was a sweetheart deal.

Meanwhile, Burry’s moves haven’t gone unnoticed. When Jared Vennett (RYAN GOSLING) writes up his own proposal to short the housing industry, he doesn’t get much action… until a dialed wrong number to hedge fund manager Mark Baum (STEVE CARELL) and his team. Although it was a mistake, they take a meeting with Vennett and after a demonstration done more for the audience than Baum, they agree to go in on this venture.

The third storyline follows two young investors, Charlie Geller (JOHN MAGARO) and Jamie Shipley (FINN WITTROCK), who, after being rejected to even get a meeting at a large bank, discover Vennett’s prospect outline which just so happened to be on a table in the lobby. In truth, as one of them states breaking the fourth wall, it was found from a friend of a friend, one of the funnier lines of the movie. But since they do not meet the threshold to get in on the investment, they enlist Ben Rickert (BRAD PITT), a retired banker who has shunned his former industry for the simpler life.

Co-Scripted and Directed by Adam McKay, and adapted from the book by Matthew Lewis, The Big Short is one of the best, and biting, stories following the stock market crash of 2007. But beyond the plot, McKay was able to get the ensemble cast their due time. Ryan Gosling is the standout of the group serving as the moderator for the audience, as was Christian Bale who was deserving of his Oscar nomination, while Brad Pitt, in one of the more limited part, makes use of his screen time while Steve Carell continues to show his great balance of comedy and drama.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.0/5

This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover and inside is a DVD Copy and redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

In the Tranches: Casting (15:51; HD) breaks down the cast of many stars and the characters they portray combined with some behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Adam McKay, various producers and the actors including Gosling, Bale, Carell and others.

The Big Leap: Adam McKay (11:31; HD) is a profile of the co-writer and director, looking at his approach to bringing the story to the big screen.

Unlikely Heroes: The Characters of The Big Short (11:28; HD) looks at the characters and how they interact with one another within the plot of the financial collapse.

The House of Cards: The Rise of the Fall (14:01; HD) takes a look at how the collapse occurred but making it understandable for the general audience.

Getting Real: Recreating an Era (11:13; HD) – This is a featurette on the style of the film.

Deleted Scenes (6:28; HD) – There are five scenes that were removed and probably nixed for pacing issues.

 


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Paramount releases The Big Short on Blu-ray shown in its original theatrical 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer (the usual MPEG-4 AVC codec). The movie is bright anyway with its more comedic tone (early on) and detail looks especially sharp and well defined. There were no obvious signs of artifacts, aliasing or other flaws making for a movie that has a nice pop on the small big screen.

 

AUDIO – 4.5/5

Although this is primarily a dialogue-driven film, there are a few scenes, like at a strip club, convention hall or casino, where this DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track really takes off. Sure, dialogue levels and crisp and clear but the front and rear channels do kick in with ambient noises as well as Nicholas Britell’s score.

 



OVERALL – 4.5/5

Overall, The Big Short was easily my favorite movie of 2015. The strong cast helped but the writing by Adam McKay and Charles Randolph was sharp and in conjunction with Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling’s performances made for one fun yet thoughtful flick that worked so well from beginning to its bitter end. The Blu-ray released through Paramount offers up excellent video and audio transfers and a fine selection of bonus material.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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