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  • The Big Short

    The Big Short

    ★★★½

    You see a poster. You groan. A bunch of trending movie stars in unconvincing hair and makeup.

    You see a trailer. You’ll probably skip this one. Everything is set to a lighting preset called “comedy” and the screenplay seems to lack the Mamet or Sorkin panache necessary to bring life to dense topics.

    You see the Golden Globes. Cherry picked clips draw respect, and there might actually be something to this. You decide to keep it in mind.

    You see…

  • Capitalism: A Love Story

    Capitalism: A Love Story

    ★★★½

    Beginning with a broad view, and playing comfortably in a large sandbox, Moore gradually narrows to a well argued, relatable and bold framing of the financial bailout as an orchestrated coup. Other accounts focus squarely on evil bankers who got us here through insane risk, and what they did afterwards. Less deliberate, same result.

    I do wonder, after being enthralled by his intercut editing of old movies and jaw dropper soundbytes, if this one is unfairly coercive to the audience.…

  • Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve

    Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve

    ★★½

    When this documentary finally gets around to the Federal Reserve’s role in the road to the 2008 housing crash, it recovers quite a bit from a long and boring buildup. With a made-for-TV style presentation and no creative idea for how to make the information engaging, Money for Nothing feels about as interesting as high school History homework for an unnecessarily long stretch.

  • Inside Job

    Inside Job

    ★★★

    Matt Damon’s soothing voice is tinged with disappointment, but simultaneously grants unearned elegance to names like “Ben Bernanke”. He serves to sufficiently break down the ins and outs of dangerous economic in-breeding, but the script doesn’t convey the reality of the situation as well as the autobiographical approach taken by The Big Short five years later.

    The choice of narrator is interesting because Damon was raised in Cambridge to a stockbroker father and professor mother. None of that is approached…

  • Generation Zero

    Generation Zero

    ½

    Conservative Briebart News propaganda blaming the 2008 sub-prime mortgage collapse on Free Love.

    No, seriously.

  • The Bank

    The Bank

    ★★★

    Have you seen Jackie Chan dispatch twenty ruffians with no more than a mop handle at his disposal? The Bank is precisely that, but with the mop head still attached and the combat accidental.

  • The Bank

    The Bank

    ★★

    A.I. infused tech thriller that serves up a simple-to-a-fault story of corporate banking greed and the unaware families affected by it. The Bank isn't a particularly bad movie, but one that does so little that its reason to exist is minimal and its plot naïve and full of oversimplification.

    I’ll grant this Australian export one thing, though. At a time when people are worried about jobs lost to automation, this 18 year old movie serves as a warning call for a more pressing concern, which is who can afford bleeding edge R&D, and how they got their money in the first place.

  • Rollover

    Rollover

    ★★

    Act 1: Chris Kristofferson and Jane Fonda want to fuck.
    Act 2: Chris Kristofferson and Jane Fonda want to fuck.
    Act 3: Chris Kristofferson and Jane Fonda want to fuck.

    Epilogue: Saudi Arabia may be duplicitously orchestrating financial collapse of the Western world by positioning itself as ally to American business and political interests to facilitate a hidden agenda.

    Assuming Chris Kristofferson and Jane Fonda still want to fuck, this movie remains relevant today.

  • Working Girl

    Working Girl

    ★★★★

    100th review!

    Imagine the volume dial on a stereo system and crank that all the way round. With some songs, that’ll be harsh to the ears, disruptive to your neighbors, and drown out what might actually work about the music in favor of being aggressively HEARD. With other songs, you could afford to go even louder without losing any of what the piece seeks to communicate. This remains true when both songs essentially say the same thing. It’s all a…

  • Generation Wealth

    Generation Wealth

    ★½

    Generation Wealth is the story of a lesser noble sighing at the squandered life of royalty around her, assuming importance even in the smallest matters of concern because she has so much free time with which to be concerned.

    Much like The Queen of Versailles, Lauren Greenfield’s follow-up starts with a sense of great promise and gradually reveals itself to be a trap. This time her work has the backing of Amazon Prime and a musical score reminiscent of PTA’s…

  • The Queen of Versailles

    The Queen of Versailles

    ★★

    A timeshare magnate claims to have illegally swung the Florida election to George W. Bush, without giving specifics, and thus considers himself personally responsible for that presidency and the Iraq War. Prophetically, the next person he mentions is Donald Trump, in a documentary released between Obama’s two terms.

    This does wonders to set up the fall from power on display in Queen of Versailles, with the story focusing as much or more on his beauty pageant trophy wife as they…

  • Barbarians at the Gate

    Barbarians at the Gate

    ★★½

    The 1990s pulled one final atop-the-world crafty businessman performance out of James Garner, whose early 60s career transitioned from the western space to corporate cunning movies like Cash McCall and The Wheeler Dealers. This one, produced by Columbia pictures but released on HBO, marks a moment in premium cable history when network television’s knees began to shake. Movie stars in television exclusives? How big are those paychecks that they should lower themselves?

    Big enough to change the status quo, much…