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The fatal flaw of "The Big Short" (2015)

Something I'm trying to be more mindful of nowadays is how smug I come off when asserting things.  Like, yeah, I may be right about something - I could have a literal boat full of evidence to back me up - but all that comes to naught if somebody I'm trying to convince thinks I'm a fucking tool.

You kinda wonder sometimes how many people believe foolish and harmful things simply because the first person to tell them otherwise was an asshole.  You ever have a shitty doctor tell you you're too fat?  Don't you want to just cram all the donuts you can right afterward to prove a point?  "Oh, you think I need to lose twenty pounds, do you?  How about I beat twenty pounds out of your ass just as soon as I'm finished with this twelve-pack?!"

The painful, frustrating truth is that the presentation of an idea carries almost as much weight if not more than its content.  That's the main reason I have any complaints at all about The Big Short, which is otherwise a well-made, concise, and insightful commentary about the late 2000s mortgage crisis and ensuing recession.

This is Adam McKay's first venture into somewhat-dramatic filmmaking.  It's mostly him aping Scorsese, but with a lot more sarcasm.  And I mean that in the best way possible - it's very snappy and watchable and engaging even if it doesn't feel like a new and unique voice.

Unfortunately, that sarcasm is also its downfall.  Multiple times, McKay brings the movie to a full stop to explain a financial term, sometimes by way of onscreen text and sometimes by saying, "Here's a miscellaneous celebrity to talk at you for a bit," and then the movie cuts to whoever the hell was available that day to describe it.

I appreciate the joke, sure.  Doesn't matter.  This stuff is condescending as hell and really left a sour taste in my mouth.

You didn't think I was smart enough to get your movie without having Anthony Bourdain, a guy whose too-cool-for-you shtick I'm already kinda getting tired of, snarkily tell me how shitty investments are kinda like shitty fish?  Dude, knock it off.  You were already dumbing it down when you had the narrator say, "Banks packaged shitty investments in with better ones and that's why nobody noticed how shitty they were."  I don't need a celebrity to give me a visual demonstration.

This - this here is the sort of thing that got Trump elected.  You go around acting like people are too stupid to get what you're saying and after awhile they resent you and your opinions, facts be damned.

Such a waste.  The Big Short is maybe 90% a great movie about a topic that is generally understood, but for which long-term solutions have yet to be established.  Right now we need a movie that's at 100%.  Anything short of that and you're likely to drive away the people who need to be onboard with reform in order to make any progress.  I mean, hell, you're already going to turn off the audiences who don't feel like reliving some of the worst years of their lives - why make it worse for them?