The Big Short

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The Big Short

This is a true story.

20152 h 11 min

The men who made millions from a global economic meltdown.

Director Adam McKay
Runtime 2 h 11 min
Release Date 11 December 2015
Movie Media DVD
Movie Status Available
Movie Rating Very good

The 2007-2008 financial crisis was a dark time for many people across the world. It should go without saying that economics is an extremely complex subject that no single person fully understands. It can seem kind of far away now, given recent events, but it was a huge deal at the time. And despite that, a lot of people still do not understand it because, again, economics is complicated. So how do you put a topic like into a format the average layman can understand? Why you turn it into a black comedy film of course! Enter, The Big Short.

A comedy movie about people in high society doing bad things for money is not exactly a new concept. Every few years we see one of these, like The Big Short or The Wolf on Wall Street. And they are as hilarious as they are terrifying. I like watching horror movies, I’ve seen more than 1,000 of those things, and these films are scarier than anything in the horror category.

Now, you always have to take these “based on a true story” movies with a grain of salt. But The Big Short was surprisingly good about this. Not 100% good, but better than most other films. The big thing is that the movie portrays the characters as if they were the only ones to see the financial crisis coming. But a lot of people back then knew there was a housing bubble. The thing that made these people special was figuring out it would happen soon. And the movie makes a big point of them researching the housing market and realizing how rotten the banking industry’s system is. It turns out that people buying houses they couldn’t afford with money they didn’t have from the banks that weren’t paying attention was a bad thing. Who knew?

And at the end of the day, you cannot really argue that the protagonists are good people. They are all banking on the economy to collapse and have set themselves up to profit from the disaster. But the flipside of that is: what else were they supposed to do? The goal of any business, banks included, is to make more money constantly. Gotta keep those shareholders happy, baby. They probably would have been laughed out of the room even if they could have gotten some banking or government bigwigs to listen to their argument. The lack of action against the bankers following the financial crisis seems to back that up.

Anyway, this is a film everyone should watch since it is a very important piece of recent history. And it’s just, you know, a good movie. Great actors, a strong script, and a portrayal of real-world events that will keep you up at night. Good times.

June 28, 2020

The Equalizer 2

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The Equalizer 2 is more of a thriller than an action movie. There were plenty of action sequences and Denzel Washington does kick a lot of ass. But compared to a full-on action movie, the action was tame. It was not crazy over-the-top Mad Max level action; like the first film, the action was down-to-earth and felt like it could happen in real life. The actions scenes were a bit spread out but not so much that the film felt slow. Some parts were borderline on feeling slow but managed to stay on the line instead of stepping over it.

Denzel is certainly a badass in this movie. He is still able to take down a roomful of men single-handedly. The Equalizer 2 focuses less on what he can do and more on who he is. We already know his character’s backstory from the previous film. This time around it focuses more on who he is now, after the previous movie partially come out of hiding. He is more actively helping people from the beginning of this film but, like in the first Equalizer, his hand gets forced and the situation escalates.

It is not very common to see an action hero who is also a person. While Denzel’s character is very skilled and methodical, you do not get the sense he is invincible. He is extremely intelligent and constantly two steps ahead, but he is not Rambo. On top of his intellect, he cares. He genuinely cares about other people, even people he does not know. At one point in the film someone he saves asks, “Why me?” and he simply responds, “Why not you?” The scene where Denzel and the young man get off the elevator (to keep this vague and spoiler free), particularly shows what kind of man he is. He has a gentle soul but also the heart of a warrior.

While I still hold that Denzel’s best film is The Book of Eli, The Equalizer 2 turned out very good. It is on par with the first film, which similar but not identical structuring to the story and characters. The story is extended from the first film but also left open enough that they can make The Equalizer 3 if they want to. While not necessarily one of the top action films ever, The Equalizer 2 is solid enough to be well worth the watch.

July 29, 2018