Tagged: Rafe Spall

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:

The Good The Bad The Ugly

This week Dave, Nick, Adam and Greg take a look at new release films Cloud Atlas, Side Effects, I Give It A Year, Save Your Legs!, The Imposter and The Paperboy. Plus they took an in depth look at all The Oscars wrap-up and have Part 1 of their look at the 2013 Alliance French Film Festival. This episode also features interview with Zac Efron, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jude Law, Scott Burns, Channing Tatum, Rooney Mara, Minnie Driver, Dan Mazer, Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall, Anna Faris, Simon Baker, Stephen Merchant, Jason Flemying, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, James D’Arcy, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent, Keith David, Lana Wachowski and the cast of Housos vs Authority.

Also make sure you listen for your chance to win a copy of ‘Storm Surfers 3D’ on Blu-Ray thanks to Madman Entertainment.

I Give It A Year Helium Review

Summary: Starting where other romantic comedies finish, I GIVE IT A YEAR charts the trials and tribulations of a rather mismatched couple navigating their first year of marriage.

Since meeting, ambitious high-flyer Nat (Rose Byrne) and struggling novelist Josh (Rafe Spall) have been deliriously happy despite their differences. Josh is a thinker, Nat’s a doer… but the spark between them is undeniable. Their wedding is a dream come true, but family and friends think they won’t make it. When Josh’s ex-girlfriend Chloe (Anna Faris) and Nat’s handsome new client Guy (Simon Baker) come into the picture, the situation gets a little more complicated. Neither wants to be the first to give up, but will they make it?

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 28th February, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: UK

Director: Dan Mazer

Screenwriter: Dan Mazer

Cast: Jane Asher (Diana), Simon Baker (Guy), Rose Byrne (Nat), Olivia Colman (Counsellor), Minnie Driver (Naomi), Anna Faris (Chloe), Jason Flemying (Hugh), Kerry Howard (Clare), Martin John King (Roger), Stephen Merchant (Danny), Joseph Millson (Charlie), Rafe Spall (Josh)

Runtime: 102 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘I Give It A Year’ Review: 

For some of the reason it is always the British that rise to the task of delivering a decent comedy, and this time that decent comedy is ‘I Give It A Year’… a film that may be an anti-romance film but is still a cut above most of the romantic comedies that make it to the big screen.

The film begins with the wedding of Nat (Rose Byrne – The Place Beyond The Pines, TV’S Damages) and Josh (Rafe Spall – Life Of Pi, Earthbound), a marriage that almost seems doomed from the start as the priest chokes at an important time and the reception is kind of ruined by the best man, Dan (Stephen Merchant – Movie 43, Hall Pass) whose jokes go down like a lead balloon.

Flash-forward to nine months down the track and now Nat and Josh’s marriage has already hit the skids. The pair decides to try marriage counselling, which almost seems like a mistake seeing they end up being counselled by a counsellor (Olivia Colman – Hyde Park On Hudson, TV’S Accused) so inept at her job she does more damage than good. Their marriage is then further tested when Nat’s new advertising client turns out to be charming American, Guy (Simon Baker – Margin Call, TV’S The Mentalist) while Josh seems to spend more and more time with his ex-girlfriend Chloe (Anna Faris – Movie 43, The Dictator).

Director/screenwriter Dan Mazer (TV’S Dog Bites Man, TV’S Da Ali G Show) does do a lot to make sure ‘I Give It A Year Works’, some of the jokes work a treat but there is still a massive flaw in this film. Like so many comedy films seem to do these days the actors have been directed to pause after they deliver a funny line, works well when the audience is laughing, but too many times in this film that pause is filled with sound of crickets and tumble weeds as the joke goes down like a lead balloon.

Still Mazer does deserve some credit for the work that he has done with ‘I Give It A Year’. Not many people like to ‘break the mould’ when making a romantic comedy and to his credit Mazer doesn’t just break it he shatters it. And while this may be considered an anti-romantic comedy it certainly won’t leave those looking for a bit of a romance in their films out in the cold… it has romance it just goes about telling the story a little differently.

‘I Give It A Year’ sees Rose Byrne once again show that she has a flair for comedy, while Rafe Spall may have been a surprising pick as a leading man but to his credit he does a great job with the material that he is given to work with. Anna Faris also shows that when given a good script she can deliver although most of the comedy points here have to go to Stephan Merchant who steals many of the scenes that he is in.

This may not be the greatest comedy of all time, but it will provide some laughs and is a lot better than many of the other trashy comedies that have surfaced recently.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘I Give It A Year′: Check Episode #22 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘I Give It A Year’. Dave Griffiths also has another review of ‘I Give It A Year’ available on the Helium Entertainment Channel.

Rating: 3/5

IMDB Rating:

Life Of Pi

Summary:Based on the best-selling novel by Yann Martel, LIFE OF PI tells the story of a young man’s incredible survival at sea against impossible odds. Director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiget Hidden Dragon) creates a groundbreaking movie event about a young man who survives a tragic disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While marooned on a lifeboat, he forms an amazing and unexpected connection with the ship’s only other survivor… a fearsome Bengal tiger. A remarkable technological breakthrough in 3D epic adventure, LIFE OF PI is an emotionally captivating experience that will inspire, touch and transport audiences to a place of discovery that they will never forget.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 1st January, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA, Taiwan

Director: Ang Lee

Screenwriter: David Magee, Yann Martel (novel)

Cast: Elie Alouf (Mamaji), Gauter Belur (Pi Patel 5 Years), Gerard Depardieu (Cook), Adil Hussain (Santosh Patel), Mohd Abbas Khaleeli (Ravi Patel 13/14 Years), Ayan Khan (Ravi Patel 7 Years), Irrfan Khan (Adult Pi Patel), Shravanthi Sainath (Anandi), Suraj Sharma (Pi Patel), Vibish Sivakumar (Ravi Patel 18/19 Years), Rafe Spall (Writer), Tabu (Gita Patel), Ayush Tandon (Pi Patel 11/12 Years)

Runtime: 127 mins

Classification:PG

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Life Of Pi’ Review: 

‘Life Of Pi’ may well be when of the best looking films that you are ever likely to see. Director Ang Lee (Taking Woodstock, Brokeback Mountain) has created a film that is so visually spectacular it for once justifies the use of 3D technology and the fact that the audience has to pay that little more to go and see it.

Based on the best-selling novel by Yann Martel ‘Life Of Pi’ finds a writer (Rafe Spall – Earthbound, Prometheus) who is searching for an interesting story as he suffers from a bad case of writer’s block. His journey leads him to the door of Pi Patel (Irrfan Khan – The Amazing Spider-Man, Thank You), a man who promises a tale that will not only captivate him but make him believe on God.

At first the writer isn’t convinced but soon Pi tells him a story that occurred when his teenage self (Suraj Sharma – newcomer), his mother (Tabu – Urumi: The Warriors Who Wanted To KillVaco Da Gama), his father (Adil Hussain – English Vinglish, The Reluctant Fundamentalist) and his brother (Vibish Sivakumar – newcomer) boarded a ship that would leave India and ferry them and their zoo animals to the United States. Unfortunately the boat sinks during a storm and soon Pi finds himself having to battle for survival in a lifeboat not only against the elements but also against Richard Parker… a fully grown Bengal Tiger.

Ang Lee has developed some truly amazing imaginary during the film. The meerkat island looks amazing on the big screen while the visuals of the whale and the jellyfish look so amazing and brilliant you could be excused for thinking they should be paintings hanging on the walls of some of the world’s finest art galleries.

However, it is worth pointing out that ‘Life Of Pi’ still has its faults. Screenwriter, David Magee (Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, Finding Neverland) does a wonderful job making sure that the film’s story remains interesting and keeps moving along at a steady pace even when it is just Pi and Richard Parker in the boat and lost at sea but it does feel that perhaps the film remains in India too long at the start and that there are too many scenes between the adult Pi and the writer, at times they seem to slow down the action of the film.

Like ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ did for Dev Patel ‘Life Of Pi’ is going to make actor Suraj Sharma an absolute star and he truly deserves it. He does a wonderful job whether he is called upon to do action or the more intense drama scenes. Film lovers should also be praying that ‘Life Of Pi’ makes sure that Rafe Spall is noticed by more film producers… which is great news considering he is one of the most underrated actors going around.

If you love fine films that you certainly need to take a look at ‘Life Of Pi’ it is one of the best looking films you are ever likely to see on the big screen.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Life Of Pi′: Check Episode #13 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Life Of Pi’. Dave’s other review of ‘Life Of Pi’ can be found on the Helium Entertainment Channel

Rating: 4/5

IMDB RatingLife of Pi (2012) on IMDb
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