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Entertainment Blog

Entertainment Blog

Do you get sad when you finish a good book? Would you rather spend a rainy afternoon in the movie theater than take a nap? If yes, tune in to the Princeton Online’s Entertainment Blog and find out what’s new in the world of books and film.
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Most recent posting below. See other blog postings in the column to the right.

The Big Short

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The Big Short feels like a Michael Moore Baz Luhrmann Quentin Tarentino frenetic mashup, so I was surprised to find Will Farrell partner in crime (Anchorman, Talladega Nights) Adam McKay behind the camera as director. The movie,  based on the Michael Lewis business bestseller, is not at all what one would expect as holiday film fare, nor is the sheer parody McKay is known for.

But the very deep cast is terrific, led by the amazing Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt and Steve Carell, and the story riveting and often funny (black comedy) despite the sometimes ponderous subject matter.  Using Jenga to replicate MBS tranches was quite clever, and pairing up Selena Gomez and economist Richard Thaler in a casino to explain the ins and outs (and gambling parallels) of the financial crisis is a hoot.

Michael Lewis has had other movies made of his books (Moneyball, also with Pitt), but this one seems to have taken the book to a new level. In reading The Big Short, I found some parts engaging and others a bit longwinded, but the movie uses images to tell a thousand words. The Florida (one of the hard hit "sand states") scene, alligator in pool and empty houses on the barren horizon, tells the story of subprimes gone wrong better than any book can.

The Big Short is not for everyone, but for anyone who wondered what went wrong in 2007/2008, this says it all.

 

Moderated by Wendell Collins.

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The Big Short

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