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The Big Short

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The Big Short

This is a true story.

20152 h 11 min
Overview

The men who made millions from a global economic meltdown.

Metadata
Director Adam McKay
Runtime 2 h 11 min
Release Date 11 December 2015
Details
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

Free State of Jones

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Poster for the movie ""

Free State of Jones

Based on the incredible true story.

20162 h 19 min

Free State of Jones was a little misleading with its trailers, but that by no means indicates that it was not a good film. The trailer portrayed the movie as more of an action film. There are a fair number of gunfights throughout, most of which can be partially glimpsed in the trailer. But the action sequences are not what the film is about. A large portion of the story takes place during the American Civil War so of course there are going to be battles. This is by no means an action movie; nor could the brief action sequences even be intense or focused enough to call Free State of Jones a thriller. It is, at its core, a historical film.

If you are a fan of history, that is fantastic. I sincerely think that you are going to enjoy this movie. Other viewers may feel that the film just drags on and on and on. The movie has a lot of talking; characters just standing around and talking. Sometimes they talk to each other and sometimes they monologue, but talking is talking. While that may not be the best path for a giant blockbuster $$$ film, it was perfect for a historical story. War is a lot of standing around and talking with brief moments of action, just as this film portrays. Free State of Jones is meant to show another side of the Confederacy. Not everyone in the Confederate Army was up in arms ready to fight for the South. Many of them were men who were just told, “We are going to war. Consider yourself conscripted.” But Free State of Jones is not about the war itself.

For viewers who are not very familiar with the American Civil War, it will be harder to follow this film. That being said, the movie deals with a theme that is not entirely uncommon. Soldiers who are poor farmers and other simple men ask themselves, “Why are we fighting and dying for these rich folks? They are not bleeding to keep their wealth, so why should we bleed for them?” This leads to soldiers deserting and they end up being helped by runaway slaves, whom they help in return. These black men fight alongside them for freedom from the Confederacy and become fellow soldiers, brothers-in-arms. Then the war ends.

Anyone who has ever read a history book can tell you that the Emancipation Proclamation was only a baby step forward in ending slavery. When there is a war on, people are willing to let bygones be bygones so that they will not die. But once that is over, things become a racial issue again. Free State of Jones ultimately focuses not on war or even freedom, but segregation. The abolishment of segregation is an increasingly slow process that even today is still a major issue. It certainly did not come close to ending within Newton Knight’s lifetime. Nor did this one man’s action in a single county of Mississippi have a particularly remarkable impact on history. But the film portrays how the seeds were planted for those equal rights and how much of a struggle it is to have those seeds germinate. While the overall rating for Free State of Jones is not exactly 5 stars, as a historical film it is certainly worth your time.

September 25, 2016