Tuesday, April 04, 2017

The Big Short

(Movie Reviews)

So, as usual, I'm behind the times with my reviews.  I know this film was very trendy to talk about 2 years ago, and now is officially old news.  But I just got around to seeing it now, so here I am with my review

The Review
It's difficult to come in some 2 years later and review a critically acclaimed movie like this, and expect to have anything new to say.
And I don't really have anything new to say.
My review would basically just repeat all the things the other reviewers have already said.
But let me go through the motions anyway, and list the things I liked about this movie:
* It was really interesting.
* The director and screenwriter did a good job of taking something complex and boring and making it interesting. (This is the perfect film for those of us whose attention spans have been ruined by the Internet.  All the information about banks and finance in this movie was in nice bite-sized information nuggets)
* The breaking the 4th wall bits were interesting.
* The movie is politically relevant.

9 out of 10 Stars

Unfortunately, not being an economist, I really don't have any intelligent insight to offer about this film.  But Paul Krugman does.   Read his review here.

Internal Links

* My own thoughts from the 2008 Financial Crisis are here.  (Although the predictions I made in that post turned out to be dead wrong.  Add that to a long list of predictions I got wrong.)

* I was reminded of what I wrote just a couple weeks ago in my review of Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell.  To quote myself:

I thought Orwell made a really good point on chapter 31, when discussing how people despised beggars.  Orwell said that most people will tell you they despise beggars because beggars are parasites, bringing nothing of value to society.  But, Orwell said, if you examine any number of "respectable" jobs, you will see that they also bring nothing of value to society.  So why don't we despise those jobs as well?
The reason, Orwell says, is that we respect money and despise poverty.  If beggars were able to make a middle-class income by begging, we wouldn't despise them.
I thought that was a really good point, and in fact to Orwell's own examples, I think I can add several examples of my own.
For example, anyone involved in the production of soda (Pepsi, Coca-cola, etc) is contributing nothing of value to society, and is actively making society worse.  And yet thousands of people employed by the soda companies live respectable middle-class lifestyles.
Anyone involved in the production or sale of tobacco or alcohol is a parasite on society.
Arguably a lot of the jobs in the stock market or finance sector  do not create anything of value for society.
And yet all these people live respectable middle class lifestyles while we despise the poor.

Video Review 
Video review here and embedded below.

(The movie I was trying to think of, and blanked on in the video review, was 24 Hour Party People (W) which dealt with a completely different subject matter, but used many of the same narrative techniques and 4th-wall breaking).

Link of the Day
Noam Chomsky 2017 & Chris Hedges On Barack Obama Being A Fraud

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