Director: Adam McKay
Cast: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling
Release Date: Available on Blu-ray & DVD March 15, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9.5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Based on the best-selling book by Michael Lewis, THE BIG SHORT details the true story of four outsiders who risked everything to take on the big banks during the greatest financial fraud in U.S. history.
Based on the true story, ‘The Big Short’ follows four individuals and their associates who become aware of a potential mortgage bubble and while laughed at by the majority of others nonetheless opt to invest in the collapse of the housing market which one odd and incredibly bright individual has somehow deciphered to be a certainty. From the point of the initial discovery to the inevitable recent financial crash we are all more than aware of; ‘The Big Short’ accompanies this course of events through the perspectives of these four eccentric folks.
Directed by Adam McKay (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, The Other Guys) from a script he also co-wrote along with Charles Randolph (Love & Other Drugs) which was based upon the book by Michael Lewis , McKay does a fantastic job at the helm of ‘The Big Short’ guiding this darkly hilarious and entertaining film with near perfection. The film also owes a tremendous amount of credit to the incredibly talented individuals who comprise the cast including Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Marisa Tomei, Finn Wittrock and more, all of whom deliver solid if not exceptional performances in each of their respective roles.
‘The Big Short’ is a wonderfully strange and darkly hilarious film which immediately yanks the viewer in and throws them any which way with a hyperactive and unique storytelling method that results in one wild and extremely enjoyable ride from start to finish. Directed with an odd and fittingly aggressive charm by Adam McKay, best known for such directorial outings as the Anchorman films, Step Brothers and other similar comedy films, McKay has really displayed some incredible talent with ‘The Big Short’ which is perfectly complimented by the phenomenal cast. While some may initially be slightly thrown by the erratic and hyper pace of the film, I would still highly recommend giving it a whirl, especially for those who can appreciate the unique gem that it is.
Overall, ‘The Big Short’ is downright fantastic. A unique, energetic and wildly funny look at the recent financial collapse featuring a powerhouse cast at their absolute best and guided beautifully by director Adam McKay. I give ‘The Big Short’ one of my highest recommendations; it’s easily one of the very best films of 2015 and well worth the cost of a rental at the very least. Fans of true cinema definitely won’t want to miss out on this wonderful film.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Big Short’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding, delivering a consistently sharp, clean and nearly flawless video presentation, holding up impressively even during the frequent fast paced jumps and cuts in the film and never resulting in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is another impressive high definition video presentation from Paramount that should easily satisfy the masses.
The Blu-ray release features a DTS: X (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds wonderful and provides a continually crisp, clean and surprisingly aggressive audio presentation, utilizing all seven available channels quite frequently in order to surround the viewer with the films soundtrack in addition to a barrage of random auditory elements along with crowd chatter and plenty more making its way throughout the channels, while never causing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a fantastic DTS: X (DTS-HD MA 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that contributes yet another layer of fun to this enjoyable film.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Big Short’ includes some enjoyable and informative extras. Included on the release are ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the film (running approximately 6 minutes in length altogether), along with a number of behind the scenes Featurettes which include interviews/comments with members of the cast and crew, behind the scenes footage and more; the included Featurettes are: ‘In The Tranches: Casting’ (approximately 16 minutes), ‘The Big Leap: Adam McKay’ (12 minutes), ‘Unlikely Heroes: The Characters of The Big Short’ (11 minutes), ‘The House of Cards: The Rise of the Fall’ (14 minutes), and ‘Getting Real: Recreating An Era’ (11 minutes).