6 items from 2016
★★★☆☆The closing credit sequence of Adam McKay's The Other Guys inexplicably plays out with infographics on ponzi schemes, the immorality of big bank CEOs and just what a naughty boy Bernie Madoff was. In spite of unquestionable comedic wit - from numerous Will Ferrell offerings - it's hard to see how or why the director was chosen to bring Michael Lewis' straight-laced book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine to the big screen. Sporadically hilarious, dizzyingly dynamic and at times downright infuriating, The Big Short admirably attempts to distil the rhymes and riddles of complicated banking practice for a lay audience. Films of a similar ilk went for an approach of either less is more - Margin Call - or overtly more is more - The Wolf of Wall Street - but McKay's latest feature is all over the map.
- CineVue UK
The story of how Marvel's Ant-man inched its way to the big screen is practically the stuff of legend in fanboy circles. From Edgar Wright pitching the film before there was any "Cinematic Universes" to discuss, to the English writer-directer working on the film for years, to murmurs of clashes with Kevin Feige over the direction of the film now that the studio wanted to incorporate the film into its larger plans, the deceptive casting campaign where major star Paul Rudd was revealed to be playing the titular hero after months of denials, and- ultimately- Wright's departure from the film, there was a lot to digest. For many, the loss of Wright was monumental because he would've been the first really unique voices to sit in the director's chair of a Marvel film.
- Mario-Francisco Robles
I met Adam McKay at some posh hotel, where he’d just done some filmed interviews. As such, when he got to me, he told me he was going to recline on the couch “aggressively”. Which he did. So as the Oscar-nominated director and co-writer of The Big Short made himself comfy, with his film having pocketed a bunch of Oscar nominations, and finally heading into UK cinemas.
I thus began….
You’ve talked to us in the past about there being a purchase point where you commit to a film. That with Anchorman, it was Will Ferrell seeing footage of a sexist 70s real-life anchorman. With The Other Guys, it was a dinner with Mark Wahlberg when you realised he could do comedy.
Yeah, the two »
A dramatic retelling of the 2007-8 financial crisis reveals a riveting world of chaos, corruption and misfits
Unlike the slick suits and killer sheen of Oliver Stone’s Wall Street, this is a world of chaos and disorder
One of the strangest elements of Anchorman director Adam McKay’s goofy 2010 comedy The Other Guys was the inclusion of some credit sequence infographics about corporate fraud and capitalist corruption that seemed to have been crowbarred in from another movie. It now transpires that McKay, a Saturday Night Live graduate who is no stranger to political satire, viewed The Other Guys as a slapstick allegory for the recent financial crisis and was working on the movie when he first read Michael Lewis’s nonfiction book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, an account of the people who predicted (and profited from) the crash of 2007-8.
Continue reading »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
Nominated for five Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor for Christian Bale and Best Adapted Screenplay, The Big Short arrives on our shores smothered in accolades and reeking of Oscar buzz. Based on the book of the same name by Michael Lewis (Moneyball), it marks director Adam McKay’s first foray into big drama, having very successfully forged his way with comedy and his creative partnership with Will Ferrell (Anchorman, Step Brothers, The Other Guys). Here sans Ferrell, he moves away from the jokes but holds tight to his wit as he dives into the Us financial crisis of 2008. While not the most enticing of concepts, two hours of people talking about mortgages and banking, McKay has pulled some very skilful moves. First, by assembling a top notch cast at the top of their game in the shape of Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Clare Daly)
Default swaps, synthetic Cdo, and subprime loans are not the first things that come to mind when watching a star-studded Hollywood drama. In fact, unless one happens to be a Wall Street stock advisor, these terms sound like nothing more than a superfluous runaround to ensure that the men in charge stay in charge – at least, that’s how narrator Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) sells it. As the eyes, ears, and big mouth of the audience, smooth trader Vennett takes viewers by the hand and leads them down the parade of corruption, stupidity, and denial that went into the stock market crash of 2008. He also finds time to define all of the previously mentioned terms, so us simple folk can keep up and focus on the terrible events that transpired.
Adapted from Michael Lewis’ 2010 novel of the same name, The Big Short is about as comical as tragedy can get. »
- Danilo Castro
6 items from 2016
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