Tagged: Hamish Linklater

The Big Short

Summary: When America’s banks collapsed a few years ago the world was told a lie. The world was told that nobody, not even the top financial experts, saw it coming. That was only partially true, yes the top financial experts didn’t see it coming, but some men did.

The Big Short tells the story of those men, men the world didn’t listen to. Michael Burry (Christian Bale) ran a small, but successful, financial firm and he saw the crash happening but due to the fact that he didn’t dress the way they did and liked to drum to Metallica in his office nobody really listened. The one person who did listen was Wall Street trader Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) who then went against the bank who he worked for and decided that this was a way to make money… betting against the bank. A misplaced phone call by him then tipped off Hedge Fund Manager Mark Baum (Steve Carrell) who then convinced Vennett to join him on his crusade against Wall Street.

The chain then kept going as eager young investors Charlie Geller (John Magaro) and Jamie Shipley (Finn Wittrock) found a copy of Baum’s flyer and also decide that can make money off what is happening. Not experienced in making the trades they need to do to do so they rope in retired banker Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt) to help them out.

Year: 2015

Australian Cinema Release Date: 14th January 2016

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Adam McKay

Screenwriter: Charles Randolph, Adam McKay, Michael Lewis (book)

Cast: Christian Bale (Michael Burry), Tony Bentley (Bruce Miller), Anthony Bourdain (himself), Lyle Brocato (Casey), Steve Carrell (Mark Baum), Vanessa Cloke (Lucy), Rudy Eisenzopf (Lewis Ranieri), Peter Epstein (Paul Baum), Aidan Flowers (Young Michael Burry), Karen Gillan (Evie), Selena Gomez (herself), Ryan Gosling (Jared Vennett), Jeffry Griffin (Chris), Nick Hwang (Josh Medak), Jay Jablonski (Matt), Rajeev Jacob (Deeb), Tyler Kunkle (Doug), Colin Lawless (Nicolas Burry), Melissa Leo (Georgia Hale), Tracy Letts (Lawrence Fields), Hamish Linklater (Porter Collins), John Magaro (Charlie Geller), Byron Mann (Mr. Chau), Adepero Oduye (Kathy Tao), Wayne Pere (Martin Blaine), Brad Pitt (Ben Rickert), Margot Robbie (herself), Rafe Spall (Danny Moses), Ilan Srulovicz (Noah), Jeremy Strong (Vinnie Diesel), Richard Thaler (himself), Marisa Tomei (Cynthia Baum), Finn Wittrock (Jamie Shipley), Stanley Wong (Ted Jiang)

Runtime: 130 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR THE BIG SHORT REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

When director Adam McKay set about making The Big Short he must have wondered whether or not he could pull off this project. McKay had established himself as a comedy director, a great comedy director to be precise… the man who brought us movies such as Anchorman and Step Brothers etc, but still it was ambitious to decide to make a comedy-drama about the collapse of America’s biggest banks. After all the minuet details of how and why the banks collapsed is so technical and boring it would not only go right over the head of the average cinema goer, but also have a strong chance of making them lapse into some kind of a coma if you bothered to explain it properly. Yes The Big Short was an uphill battle all the way but somehow McKay has made this into one of the films of the year.

So how does McKay make this film work so well? The answer is simple. He does what so many filmmakers are scared of doing these days… and that is be creative. To put it into ‘banker speak’ he thought outside the box. Instead of having a series of long explanations of what exactly is happening with all the financial stuff McKay will allow the film’s story to pause for a moment while Margot Robbie (sitting in a bubble bath as herself) explains what is happening or he will cross to a celebrity chef comparing the market to bad fish. It sounds as strange as all hell… but it works and gets the point across in a way that the audience can understand without putting them asleep.

That being said it isn’t creative ‘gimmicks’ like that which make The Big Short work so well. No McKay is aided by a screenplay that is simply one of the best screenplays to surface out of Hollywood for a long, long time. While it expertly reveals a lot of the greed and shame of Wall Street it is also about strong characters and consists of some of the wittiest one-liners you are ever likely to hear. To the credit of the screenplay you actually come to know and love these characters. You feel sorry for Mark Baum and the personal tragedy that he has suffered in his life while you find yourself barracking for the likes of Michael Burry who are putting everything on the line and copping abuse for doing so. Even though so of the characters are quite unlikable, such as Jared Vennett, the screenwriters have been smart enough to get them to deliver the quips that make people laugh in a bid to make them at least a little likable. Yes the unthinkable happens in this film, you actually like bankers.

Of course that brilliant script also allows the actors involved to deliver some of the finest acting performances of the year. Steve Carrell showed us his serious side in Foxcatcher and here he once again revels in what is a demanding but emotional performance. If he takes an Oscar home for this performance he truly deserves it. Likewise Christian Bale who loses all of his Bruce Wayne good looks as he morphs into the hard rocking recluse Michael Burry so well that you forget who you are watching. The other true chameleon here is Brad Pitt who is completely unrecognisable as the bearded off-the-grid former banker Ben Rickert. These three lead an ensemble that makes this film truly memorable.

Sure a film about the banking world might not exactly make you feel like you want to rush out and purchase tickets at the box office, but like Wall Street and The Wolf Of Wall Street before it The Big Short is a ground-breaking film that shows a completely different side to the filmmaking skills of Adam McKay. Creative, original and hard-hitting The Big Short is a film that I’m sure I’ll be revisiting when I put together my Top 10 Movies of 2016 list.

 

Stars(5)

 

Adam Ross:

You can listen to Adam’s The Big Short review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #161

 

Stars(4)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(4.5)

 

IMDB Rating: The Big Short (2015) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment The Big Short reviews: You can listen to our full Big Short Review  review on a The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #161. You can also read our The Big Short review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

Magic In The Moonlight

Summary: An uptight English magician (Firth), who prides himself on knowing the detail behind every popular illusion, reconnects with an old colleague while on tour in Europe. Intrigued by the story of a young spirit medium (Stone) who claims to be able to speak with the dead husband of a wealthy widow (Weaver), the pair travel to the sun-dappled coastal villa of the family to assist in unmasking this possible swindle. Set during the 1920s against a backdrop of the Côte d’Azur, glorious provincial mansions, garden parties and fashionable jazz joints,

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 28th August, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Woody Allen

Screenwriter: Woody Allen

Cast: Eileen Atkins (Aunt Vanessa), Colin Firth (Stanley), Marcia Gay Harden (Mrs. Baker), Erica Leerhsen (Caroline), Hamish Linklater (Brice), Simon McBurney (Howard Burkan), Catherine McCormack (Olivia), Jeremy Shamos (George), Emma Stone (Sophie), Jacki Weaver (Grace)

Runtime: 97 mins

Classification: PG

 

OUR MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Magic In The Moonlight review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #94

Stars(3.5)

 

Nick Gardener: You can check out Nick’s Magic In The Moonlight review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #94

Stars(3.5)

 

David Griffiths:

It seems like talented actor/director Woody Allen really is Mr. Teflon. The scandals that have plagued his personal life over the years would have been enough to bring other filmmaker’s careers crashing down around them. They would have become box office poison and eventually been shunned by film studios right around the world.

That certainly hasn’t happened with Allen though who has instead just merrily gone about his business churning out at least one film a year for as long as I can remember. The good thing about that though is that even with age the level of greatness he has managed to bring to each of his films has never dropped. Over recent years he has proved that with films such as To Rome With Love, Midnight In Paris and Vicky Cristina Barcelona which have all been absolute gems.

Now comes Magic In The Moonlight a film that sees Allen drag his audience make into the roaring 1920s as he tells the story of the talented yet seemingly perennially grumpy Stanley (Colin Firth) who is brought in to investigate the claims by a young girl named Sophie (Emma Stone) who says that she is able to predict people’s futures with her connection to the ‘universe.’

With a rich family, including young Brice (Hamish Linklater), believing every word that Sophie says and now giving her money for her services Stanley’s good friend Howard (Simon McBurney) demands that he investigates her.

Not only does Allen make sure the set design for this period is absolutely spot on but he has also delivered a film that almost feels like it was made back in these times as well. A time when filmmakers knew that a good script and some great acting were far more important to the audience then special effects or the like. In fact if Allen had filmed Magic In The Moonlight in the black-and-white you could have been excused for thinking the film was a re-born classic. Yes, this isn’t the kind of film that you want to watch in the latest multiplex cinema, to get the true beauty of this film you really need to hunt down the oldest theatre in your city and go watch it there.

Having praised Mr. Allen to high heaven though it is worth pointing out that Magic In The Moonlight is not one of his finest films, but then even an ordinary Woody Allen film is usually better than most films out at the time. Still Magic In The Moonlight does have all the things that a true Allen fan looks for his films – the witty dialogue, the big twist and an air of mystery that only the masters of old can manage to create.

But there is one big weakness with Magic In The Moonlight, and that is the romance element. It does work and despite some fears that whole idea of Colin Firth and Emma Stone coming together isn’t as gag worthy as what we had to sit through with Zeta-Jones and Connery in Entrapment, but the romantic element of the film seems to be the only reason that the last quarter of the film has been tacked on. Once the big reveal happens the romance seems unnecessary and as a result the ending of the film drags a little as all the suspense has already dissipated.

Just like all of Allen’s films though, he gets the best out of his cast. As usual Colin Firth is smooth and seems to enjoy the opportunity of delivering some of the catty lines that Allen’s script contains. At times it does feel like the screenplay has called upon Firth to almost parody the a 1920s gentlemen and he seems to do that well. He is also well supported by Emma Stone who seems to keep being able to silence her critics who cruelly suggest that she has better looks than talent. While she doesn’t exactly steal the show like she did in Easy A she again shows that she can move between comedy and drama in a heartbeat with ease.

Magic In The Moonlight is far from one of Woody Allen’s best films. The romance coming to the fore towards the end does let it down a little, but for the most part it does work. Just be warned that the film is aimed for an older demographic so if you are a little on the younger side this may not be the film for you.

Stars(3)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3.5)

 

IMDB Rating: Magic in the Moonlight (2014) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘Magic In The Moonlight′: For our full Magic In The Moonlight review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #94. You can also read Dave’s Magic In The Moonlight review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer: