Saturday, January 9, 2016

Daddy's Home: Successfully Doesn't End Will Ferrell's 'Meh' Streak

Since around about The Other Guys (the other movie with Will Ferrell and Mark Whalberg), Ferrell has put out some decent dramatic pics, sub-par (or 'meh') comedies, and downright crap. It's probably not coincidence that The Other Guys (other than Anchorman 2) was one of his last collaborations with director Adam McKay (Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Stepbrothers).  They both took time off from doing silly Ferrell films to focus on other projects (McKay's The Big Short is astounding btw). Ferrell has had just a bunch of meh comedies since then.  So, the reuniting with Whalberg for another film sounds like it might be the punch to draw Ferrell back to comedy glory, but it really wasn't.  It's not a terrible movie.  It's bad, but it's bad the way TGIF sitcom was back in the 90s. The jokes are kinda obvious, the acting is a little hammy, but it's harmless fun for a younger generation. That's what Daddy's Home is.  It's harmless, but it's also not very good or funny.

The general premise is that Will Ferrell is a step-dad to two kids who don't really like him.  Once he's sorta earned their love, their real dad, Mark Whalberg shows up and he's a real cock. He treats Ferrell like shit and he's trying to win back his ex-wife, a severely under-utilized Linda Cardellini.  He's also trying to get his kids to hate Ferrell.  Ferrell, on the other hand, is trying to out-dad Whalberg and shit goes awry and stuff.  If it sounds like it's a one-joke pony, then you're about a joke over. It's like an idea you sit around and talk about, but no one ever really has the time or energy to sit down and actually write it.  Then, if someone does, it's the lazy writer who produces movies like Leap Year and When In Rome.  Again, they're harmless comedies that families can watch, but no one will enjoy.

A couple of things really got to me when watching the film.  The first was the mother's character.  If you're a Freaks and Geeks fan then you know how much talent Linda Cardellini has.  Her character doesn't do anything but comment here and there about shit going on.  Never once does she intervene and try and stop her creepy ex-husband from invading her home and defending her clearly ill-equipped husband. She responds to ludicrous situations with "that might not be a good idea" or "okay, sounds good".  That's it.  A deaf mute holding a cue card would have more characterization and brain power than her character.  And it's not that she's bad in it, there's just literally nothing for her to do.

The other major problem I had with the movie which leads to it being not very funny is it didn't really know who its audience is.  It's a movie where the majority of the running time is very family-friendly and kind of a silly kids movie that parents watch, partly enjoy, but are mostly glad to have the kids shut the hell up for an hour and a half.  But, then there are a few hard PG-13 moments that come out of nowhere that a lot of parents wouldn't want their smaller children to see (probably).  So, the tone was off.  Is this an off-color film for teens and adults riddled with obviously raunchy double entendres or is this a kids movie that's mostly clean, vanilla comedy? Neither one is given enough for one side to take the other. So, moments of goofy Disney Channel-esque humor (like Will Ferrell riding a skateboard up a ramp and getting shocked by a powerline), or is it standard Ferrell fare (like when he visits a sperm bank and there are several comments about his dick compared to Whalberg's)?

But, in the end, I couldn't hate the movie.  It's forgettable and it's not going to last.  It's a lot like Ferrell's last film, Get Hard (which I ended up liking more than I thought I would).  No one will remember it as one of the greats.  They'll remember that it was essentially a movie long prison rape joke. There were two... count 'em... two moments in Daddy's Home where I actually laughed out loud and for a decently extended period of time.  But two laughs in a film that's over 90 minutes long doesn't warrant your fifteen dollars to see it in a theater.  It warrants looking up a highlight reel of the best moments (two) on youtube in a year or so. It's meh.


Monday, January 4, 2016

Anomalisa: The Saddest Damn Cartoon I've Ever Seen

I was a fan of Charlie Kaufman when he began his career with three near-perfect films.  Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind were three incredibly strange, yet poignant films.  They were odd and new and esoteric and almost the perfect examination of humanity whether it be love or creativity or neurosis or any other facet of human existence that Kaufman decided he wanted to aptly express through his art.  Since then, Kaufman is still expertly examining humanity, but in much darker and more difficult to watch ways.  I didn't make it through Synedoche, New York mainly with how dark and uncomfortable it was.  His latest feat, a stop-motion animated picture, Anomalisa, lightens up a little bit, but it still takes a cold, hard look at loneliness.

Michael Stone (David Thewlis... or as you probably know him, Remus Lupin from Harry Potter) is staying in a hotel preparing to give a big speech to a conference about customer service advice.  However, Michael is struggling with his own overwhelming depression and loneliness. So much so that every single person around him whether it be cab drivers, bell boys, or ex-girlfriends they all essentially have the same face and the exact same voice (Tom Noonan).  This is until he hears Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) who doesn't sound like everyone else and doesn't look like everyone else.  She's quiet and breathy and anxious and nervous and lacks serious self-confidence but Michael is instantly in love. She is the anomaly in a world of familiar faces... the Anomalisa.

Things I particularly liked about this film were ample.  The animation is top notch and it's funny to see how mundane clay can become.  There's a simple hotel room complete with turn-down service, a television with a remote that can be velcroed to the table.  There is the reenactment of an actual scene from My Man Godfrey on the television and its spectacular.  The attention to detail is wonderful and makes for a really unique film. There's also the very dark humor.  Michael Stone is a very unpleasant man due largely to the fact that he is out to please no one.  They are a sea of familiar faces and if everyone becomes a singular entity, why please them all?  But, due to this his curmudgeon attitude lends for some pretty funny moments. The scenes between him and Lisa are very interesting.  We're able to see a happiness, albeit brief, out of Michael we know he hasn't shown in years.  Yet, their interactions, especially when he gets Lisa back to his room is very uncomfortable in nature that as a viewer it's hard to stomach because you know instantly it is doomed to fail.

Things that I found kind of hindered the film, and this may just be my opinion is that everything is so black or white with Michael that he's hard to relate to in any way. He's SO unhappy that if there was any connection to the character once, by the time we're meeting him it's almost too hard to understand.  The chemistry he shares with Lisa invites us in to knowing his true self, but it's just very hard to relate.  Kaufman examines loneliness, but to the most severe degree. And I'm sure this is the point, but it's still on the darker side of his films whereas Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine both have dark ideas of examination, and are presented in very quirky and other-worldly ways, they are still relatable.  The relationship between Joel and Clementine is one of the most organic and realistic relationships I've ever seen on screen and everything you're watching is something that could never happen in life, but that doesn't mean they weren't relatable. Kaufman's examination of humanity and loneliness we all suffer from at times is very profound, but it's past the point of relatability and on to the point where we can't see why this dude doesn't just suck it up and fix his shit.

It is a fascinating movie to watch.  There is some definite Charlie Kaufman quirk amongst the ennui, but it's a sad movie.  It's something to behold, but it may leave you feeling emotionally dead inside after seeing it.  The voice acting is also top notch.  Thewlis is able to give this level of melancholy to Michael's voice that doesn't ever really leave him, even when he thinks he's found "love".  It's beautiful.  And Jennifer Jason Leigh gives Lisa this breath of fresh air, a girl who we believe should be a lot more confident than she really is.  All she can really do is talk about how ugly she is and how no man ever wants her, and we believe her, but we understand why Michael would choose her over everyone else. Like I said, it may not be the most enjoyable film you'll ever watch, but it is one of the most fasinatingly strange.


Sunday, January 3, 2016

The 11 Best and Worst Movies of 2015

2015 was a strong year for movies.  Stronger than the last few years, anyways.  There were a lot of really good movies, so much so that it overshadowed the terrible ones.  It was also a year when the average moviegoer finally decided not to invest their time in bullshit and a lot of bad movies bombed.  A few good movies bombed as well (poor Crimson Peak and Steve Jobs), but mostly people decided that if it got a low score on rottentomatoes then it wasn't worth their time.  It was also the year that it was hard to pin down a best film of the year.  There were a few great films, a lot of good films, but finding that best film of 2015 was a difficult decision. As with the last few years, I tried to stay away from most of the shit so my worst list doesn't necessarily have the worst movies of 2015, it's just the worst of what I saw.  That's why Jupiter Ascending, Insurgent, Hot Pursuit, Entourage, Paper Towns, Fantastic Four, Hitman, Sinister 2, We Are Your Friends, Transporter, The Perfect Guy, The Last Witch Hunter, Victor Frankenstein and Point Break aren't on the list because I did not and would not watch them. I was actually very fortunate, with easy access to screeners, I saw all the movies I wanted to for the year 2015 (though if I missed one you loved, let me know).  I'm also pulling the same crap I pulled last year where I couldn't nail down a solid ten so I went with eleven.  Shut up.  It's my blog.  Deal with it.  So, let's jump right into: The BEST of 2015!

The Top 11 BEST Film of 2015:

11. Dope

Dope was the indie surprise of the summer. It kinda came out of nowhere, but it was a blast to watch.  While it unfolded a Big Lebowski-esque caper, it still carried with it it's own voice and style. It's a shame that the movie didn't get as much publicity and profit as it should have because it's a very enjoyable film that should find some of that return in Redbox rentals. Keep this one on your radar because it's one of the only films on this list that is both entertaining and original.
Review here.

10. Bridge of Spies


It's no surprise that the pairing of Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks is going to produce nothing short of greatness, but it is a bit of a surprise when you hear the term "cold war thriller" as something that merits your viewing or keeps your interest.  Bridge of Spies wasn't so surprisingly good because it was a Hanks/Spielberg vehicle, but because of the source material that kept the viewer's attention all the way to the thrilling end.  Oh, also the Coen Brothers wrote it, so it's pretty much a perfect film.
Review here.

9. The Hateful Eight

It's only been a few days since I've seen The Hateful Eight, but it's stuck with me.  Walking away from the movie I knew that it didn't cross the top four or five of Tarantino's filmography but it has this thought provoking aftertaste to it that makes me just want to watch it and rewatch it over and over. It's a fantastic film with a very satisfying conclusion that brings us back to the Tarantino roots.  And yes, it isn't his best movie, after a few days I've realized that it really is one of the best movies of the year.
Review here.

8. Love and Mercy


You may not have heard of Love and Mercy this year and that's a damn shame because it's a phenomenal film.  It's the story of Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys and the examination of his life and disease.  The film jumps from past Wilson as part of the Beach boys when he's played by Paul Dano to present Wilson dealing with his schizophrenia played brilliantly by John Cusack. It's a heartbreakingly beautiful film to see.
Review here.

7. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I'm guessing there will be a bit of backlash for this movie not only being so high on the list, but making the list at all.  How could you put Star Wars up on the best films over films like The Big Short or Anomalisa?  The answer is I really liked it.  I've never been a huge Star Wars fan, but this one really spoke to me.  I loved the new characters, I loved the re-introduction of the classic characters, I thought the childish angst of the growing villain was perfect.  It had heart, it had humor, it had everything. This was a perfect return to Star Wars form that has only left the door open for opportunity and improvement.  It's well-deserving of the seventh spot.
Review here.

6. Mad Max: Fury Road


Was there a crazier, more ball-kicking, ratshitting unbelievably fun and grotesque film of the entire year? I submit that there was not. Mad Max had all the pieces in place to make a movie that only spoke to a select few.  A repulsive post-apocalyptic world complete with certain humans known as "blood bags", a hero that only spoke probably five lines the entire movie, and a heroine with one arm.  But it was good.  Damn good. It was fresh, it was nuts, and it was a movie that showed us that a female-driven action film could be just as cool, if not cooler than any male-driven action flicks the entire year.
Review here.

5. Room


Room was  a surprisingly emotional film of 2015.  It's a small movie with really only four characters that focused on a young woman trapped for over a decade in a small room.  During this, she gave birth to a son (the father of which is her captor) and finally escapes.  The movie is told through the perspective of the boy, a kid who's never known anything but the inside of the room. It's so poignant and honest and while material like this should make you leave the theater feeling like shit, it's actually a very uplifting film.  One of my favorites.
Review here.

4. Bone Tomahawk


Speaking of a little-seen film, Bone Tomahawk is a fantastic film. Western-themed, Kurt Russell driven films lately don't get much attention without the attachment of Quentin Tarantino as director, but this film was actually a little bit better than The Hateful Eight.  It exudes all of the best qualities of a classic Tarantino film presented through fresh eyes.  It's one of the bloodiest, most thrilling, and funniest movies of the entire year.  This movie has everything you look for in a film.  Plus, you can't beat the cast (especially Richard Jenkins who steals every scene he's in).

3. Inside Out

I've seen Inside Out about four times now and it gets better with every viewing. This is going to be Pixar's best for a long time.  This is a movie for legitimately everyone.  If you're a small child looking for a fun adventure (because small children definitely read this blog, I"m sure of it), or an adult looking for a smart, emotionally resonant film about dealing with growing up, Inside Out gives the audience not just what they want, but what they need.
Review here.

2. The Revenant


I'm still reeling from The Revenant even a week after seeing it.  The cinematography, the direction, the acting (especially Leo and Tom Hardy) make this one of the best movies, not just of the year, but that I've ever seen.  From what I've heard it was a harrowing experience all around just filming the damn thing, but the product, to me, was well worth it.  I know there are a lot of skeptics, but I'm telling you if this is what we had to wait for for Leo to get an Oscar, it was worth the wait.
Review here.

1. The Martian


Like I said earlier, it really was difficult to pin down a best movie of 2015 so I had to look back and think about the best time I had watching a film this year. Mad Max was fun, but in a crazy nutso kinda way.  The Revenant was amazing, but in a very dark and painful way.  But, The Martian was exemplary in giving audiences an authentic and very human experience that was both passionate and fun.  Every actor cast was amazing, every problem that went awry you felt it, every throw away joke was not only funny, but welcome and organic. The Martian is the reason we go to the movies.  It embodies every great quality of movies and was, essentially, my favorite movie of the year.
Review here.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: The Big Short, Brooklyn, Creed, Ex Machina, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Spotlight

The Top Ten WORST Films of 2015:

10. Taken 3


This one isn't so much bad, but disappointing.  Don't get me wrong... it was bad.  But it was disappointing how bad it was.  I love Liam Neeson and whenever he has to get revenge and kill hundreds of dudes to do it... you can't really go wrong.  Except in the second and third Taken films. They were just bleh.  The first movie struck gold and launched a good career for Neeson as an action star, but the rest of the series was just boring PG-13 crap.  You want good Neeson revenge check out Run All Night.
Review here.

9. Poltergeist


There's a lot of reboots and sequels in the worst category because Hollywood doesn't understand that we don't need sequels to certain movies and we certainly don't need reboots of classic films, Poltergeist is one of them. Yes, it was cool to cast Sam Rockwell, but it really didn't do anything to add much to the film.  It lost all of the fun qualities of the original in favor of cheap "scares" and CGI ghosts.  While the effects of the original are quite dated, the movie still holds up to this day and didn't deserve this kind of reboot treatment.
Review here.

8. Goosebumps

I'm all for making a "scary"/fun movie for kids to be able to enjoy.  Why should us as adults be the only ones to get the full effect of the genre?  I'm just not for treating kids like they're idiots. Goosebumps actually got decent reviews so I was surprised to see how bad it was.  Jack Black really needs to get back to his roots with comedy because this film made everything look foolish. It was another one in a long line of films that are so stupid and intentionally goofy so that "kids" will like all the silliness, except you can be silly and smart at the same time.  Kids aren't dumb, but Hollywood insists on dumbing everything down because they don't know the right kind of movie to make.  Maybe they could get a Pixar writer or two next time to lend a hand.
Review here.

7. Insidious: Chapter 3


The reason why the first Insidious was such a good film is it preyed upon things that were actually frightening to a viewer.  An alarm going off in the middle of the night and the front door wide open, but no one is inside.  Ghosts appearing in your baby's room.  Your child in a coma which is actually another deminsion riddled with ghosts.  The apparitions were new and freaky looking and it was a terrific horror movie.  By the third, we've got one ghost.  A decomposing dude with asthma. It wasn't scary.  It wasn't fun.  It was boring and lost all the magic from the first movie making it one of the most disappointing films of 2015.
Review here.

6. Aloha


Man, this movie sucked a fat butt. It was a great cast and one of my favorite writer/directors and it was just a mess.  There was no real coherent plot.  There was an abysmal love story.  The characters were obnoxious and nowhere near resembling real humans.  It wasn't cute or funny.  It was a misfire on nearly every level you can misfire when making a movie. No one remembers it came out anyway and video stores no longer exist, so hopefully it can just disappear into the ether until Cameron Crowe can give us his redemption film.
Review here.

5. Hot Tub Time Machine 2


The first film should never have worked.  A film about a hot tub that is also a time machine is something you'd find in a short sketch on SNL or FunnyOrDie, but not a full film. But, somehow it did.  So, you know a sequel would be happening and if John Cusack who literally takes any role says that he won't do it because the script is a pile of trash, then it must be worse than we imagine.  And it is.  It's terrible beyond all recognition.  It doesn't elicit a single laugh and it's more about how much out-dated raunch can we fit into one abysmal film.
Review here. (Though you don't have to read it as it's only three words long.)

4. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension


Fuck you, Paranormal Activity. Way to bastardize a franchise that certainly had a chance and end with the worst one of the entire series. Lets build up this kind of cool mythology, not really explain any of it and give any closure to the franchise.  Let's release a terrible last film so that people don't get mad that we didn't tie up any loose ends and just forget about us altogether. The "hook" for this film was that we FINALLY get to see the activity.  So, by see the activity you mean instead of shit moving on its own, it's a stringy black goop-like substance doing it for us visually.  That's perfect.  Except did we forget that the reason the first film was so great is that the horror was left up to our imaginations and the unseen is what freaked us out.  If I had known it was black goop I would've saved five years of my life.  The problem, too, is the one before this redeemed the three before that.  The Marked Ones was a return to form and it was just forcibly held down and shat upon with this final entry.  Fuck you all for making me think there'd be some satisfying conclusion to a series that I cared about once upon a time.

3. Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser


The first Joe Dirt is dumb.  It's like getting pelted in the head with a bag of hammers dumb.  But, I saw it when I was a kid and I liked it.  I've seen bits and pieces here and there since then and it's not funny, but it carries with it some nostalgia that makes me keep it on.  Did it warrant a sequel?  About as much as Titanic deserves a sequel or Reservoir Dogs or The fucking Benchwarmers.  I didn't even finish Joe Dirt 2 as I could tell that it was severely lowering my IQ.  It was about the time a bunch of lumberjacks in a (I shit you not) ten minute scene just repeatedly kept farting all over David Spade.  It was ten minutes.  I couldn't handle it anymore.  Spade was funny with Farley and his stand up is pretty good, but please Jesus keep him away from film that has anything to do with Happy Madison. I found myself outside whipping myself with a switch after watching the movie as punishment for even suggesting we even watch it.

2. Pixels


Go ahead and start writing your suicide note to the Easter Bunny if you liked this movie because there is something wrong with you and you shouldn't ever be behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. You should be sitting on one of the Toys-R-Us racks inside of a kid-sized RC car with your hands at ten and two. It's unfunny, it's incredibly sexist, and it's an abomination.  When someone had the idea for this film it was kind of the exact opposite of when Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. I don't know how Chris Columbus got involved with directing this.  He either got blackmailed or had multiple bowling balls land on the soft spot of his skull.
Review here.

1. Jurassic World

This was the worst movie of the entire year.  Not just because it was an egregious waste of talent and money, but because it was supposed to be good.  It was supposed to revitilize the Jurassic Park name in a time where effects are at its most beautiful peak. It was supposed to showcase good writing and be, for all intents and purposes, the most fun movie of the year.  After Guardians of the Galaxy properly showed us how to utilize Chris Pratt, the writers of Jurassic World took those ideas and gave it the ol' helicopter dick. This is how I imagine the writing of the script went down between its FOUR writers:

Rick Jaffa: Hey, so I'm thinking about the lead character.  It needs to be like that fun Jeff Goldblum type for people to root for, you know?  But like a badass and with fun and clever quips!

Amanda Silver: Why does it have to be a dude?  Can't it be a chick?

Derek Connolly: We got a chick.  She's a workaholic stereotype and she runs around the entire movie in high heels.  That's... badass...

Colin Trevorrow: Fuck character! DINOSAURS!

RJ: Colin, you're the director, you should care about character.

CT: Dinosaurs.  I want one that's like T-Rex, but like more evil and shit and then T-Rex fights it and T-Rex is good now. And an underwater Dinosaur that pops up out of nowhere like the shark from Deep Blue Sea.

DC: Deep Blue Sea was a really stupid movie.


RJ: Look, back to the main guy... I'm thinking Chris Pratt from Guardians or Parks and Rec.

DC: He's good, but I don't think we should do the whole Pratt schtick that people love.  He should be really, really boring.  He should only have one look... serious face.  And he should never say anything funny... the audience is expecting that.  It's all about defying audience expectation.

CT: You wanna defy audience expectation... let's make the raptors blue this time.

AS: Blue? Raptors weren't blue, they were brown.

CT: They're blue now.  I'm the director.  I get to make these choices.  I want all dinosaurs.  Fake ones.  And blue ones.  And strippers.  Put a bunch of strippers in my trailer.

AS: If we're defying expectation why is the lead woman a stereotype?


DC: I have a real problem with this script... it's too much fun.  Let's ruin everyone's childhood that grew up loving the original.  They'll be all like, "Spielberg, who?"  I want all jokes written out and I want the intelligent child characters we have written to be changed into whiny ones.

CT: Yeah, and they're good at building cars and stuff.  DINOSAURS!

AS: Building cars?  What the fuck, Trevorrow? What movie are you trying to direct?

CT: Anybody want some coke? I'm gonna get Amanda drunk and do lines off her ass!

AS: I'm standing right here.

RJ: Last thing before we go off writing... we don't really have a villain.

AS: Why do we need a villain... we're on an island with rogue dinosaurs.

CT: Dinosaurs?!

RJ: That's not enough.  Let's put some crazy general in there to fuck some shit up.

CT: Yeah, yeah, he could like wanna train the dinosaurs as soldiers and fight the A-rabs. BENGHAZI!!!

AS: This movie is gonna suck.

CT: (smiling through a heroin haze) Totally.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Chappie, The Gunman, The Ridiculous 6, Vacation 

The Big Short: Smart Satire Sings Sad Songs

Director Adam McKay has a filmography that includes Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Stepbrothers, The Other Guys and Anchorman 2.  So, when choosing a director to adapt a dramatic, fact-based story of a few investment bankers that discovered the housing crash that messed up the US economy in 2007-08, he wouldn't be high on any lists. He's a very funny and capable director, but not one that I could see bringing life into this story with any sort of finesse.  However, I'm happy to say that I have been proven wrong.  McKay not only breathes life into what should be a very dull and un-filmable story, but he delivers one of the strongest directorial jobs of the year.

The Big Short is a very complicated movie if you're not wise to a number of wall-street, real estate, banker terms (of which I can admit that I am not... I was a writing major... and I suck at math) then a lot of the movie may go over your head, it did mine. However, McKay and writing partner Charles Randolph take such complicated terminology and make so that the common person (like me) can mostly follow along with what is going on. What's cool about what they've done is they haven't dumbed down any of the discourse, they've just written it in a way that these guys are talking to each other the way they normally would, but the events surrounding them give us indication of the seriousness of each situation. It's very entertaining.  It's somewhere in the same vain as what I would guess Moneyball would be to someone who has never watched a game of baseball in their life.  Though they're not familiar with the terms, they're still able to follow along with a great film and understand as much as possible without spoon feeding them Sabermetrics For Dummies.

What McKay has also done is made a very funny movie as well.  The people involved in unconvering the impending economic crash are almost as greedy as the big banks so there isn't much of a protagonist per se because everyone is trying to exploit everyone, but some motivations are slightly more noble than others. Like Robin Hood for assholes. But, these are characters we kind of want to see shove it to the big banks even though we know they're kind of the same.  McKay has taken these characters and made them real, but also made them very funny.  They're not caricatures of the real people, these ARE real people. We're also given proper explanation of banking terms from celeb cameos popping up literally only to break the fourth wall and give us the important info we need to know but probably aren't already privy to. It's the type of quirk we're used to from McKay but matured from spoof to satire very cleanly. It's highly enjoyable.

And, of course, you can't have a cast with Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt without mentioning the stellar acting that goes along with wonderful storytelling. It's funny, the only real comedic actor of the bunch is Carell and he's probably the best one of the entire troupe.  No one moonwalks through their scene, but Carell really shines as a banker in anger management who flies off the handle at anyone he meets and believes that everything in the entire world is corrupt.  While McKay matures as a director, we're certainly watching the maturity of a great actor unfold over the years.  After Little Miss Sunshine and especially Foxcatcher Carell isn't that far off from leading a drama that will be his acting masterpiece.  The others are great as well and it's a strange thing too, that was a bit misleading in the trailer, but other than Gosling/Carell in a couple of scenes, none of the characters played by these huge stars ever meet. They all independently discover the phenomenon on their own and try to profit from it.  The story isn't manipulated so that they all end up finding one another and plotting together.  That's what's so perfect about the story... it's all true (and the one instance that something is manipulated, it's commented on directly towards the audience to let us know that it didn't go down exactly like that).

While The Big Short goes down into 2016 with important other true stories (like Spotlight and to some extent, Concussion) it shouldn't just be remembered as such.  It's a movie that not only tells of a really fucked up time in our recent history, but it's a very smart comedy for adults who have brain cells they're prepared to use while watching a film.  It's funny, it's smart, it's tragic, and it's something to be seen.