Thursday, January 12, 2012

Margin Call

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Margin Call - 4 out of 5
I don't know much about money.  I'm not good at making it and I find it nearly impossible to save it (but that has more to do with the fact that I'm incapable of finding a job that can pay me a living wage--but I'm sure my bosses have all appreciated the fact I've adjusted to living in a refrigerator box under the bridge and living off of garbage).  I know nothing about day traders or investments--I still regret selling my cow for those beans.  The only thing magical about those things was the gas it gave me.  I know enough about the banking industry to understand that those suits are greedy on a level that Scrooge McDuck stopped mid-dive into his vault of money and said, "WOW, those fucks are greedy."  I know enough to know that they nearly destroyed our country's economy with their desires to rape the America public in order to get their gold-rimmed toilet seats and seal-lined luxury vehicles.

This is what Paul Bettany does when he's not an angel with a gun, a vampire killing priest
or the voice of Tony Stark's computer...or being a crazed albino.

So, that being said, this review is about Margin Call, a drama about a investing firm (based on Lehman Brothers) that gets caught in the financial crisis that drove the country to its knees and began to consider working the corner in order to pay its bills.  The film focuses on a single 36-hour period where a risk analyst (played by the awesome Stanley Tucci) sees a shit storm coming but, along with numerous other employees, is laid off before he could blow the lid off of it.  On his way out, he gives his work to a junior analyst (played by Zachary Quinto) who works his magic, finds the danger and lets his superiors know.  Red alarm klaxons fire and the men in suits scramble to try and catch the heaping pile of excrement that is about to hit the fan.

When I first watched the trailer, the film looked pretty damn intense.  Check it out for yourself...

Look at it!!!  Listen to the music and pay attention to the editing.  Damn!  You would think that the coming financial crisis was a demon trying to enter into our realm!

Okay, the trailer is a little misleading because the film is in, no way, as intense as the thumping music cues would make you believe but it is still a great film with some heavy dramatic edges lining it.  Seeing the discovery of the problem to the back-stabbing and nearly criminal way the suits get involved in to stop the shit (remember the excrement I mentioned) from inching every closer to the fan blades was brilliant crafted by both the director and actors and made for a very engaging film.

Is Jeremy Irons trying to cast a spell on someone?  When did Jeremy Irons become a Dark Wizard?

He's focused...he must be looking at porn.
With a terrific ensemble cast (including, but not limited to, Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany and Jeremy Irons) Margin Call is one of the best Wall Street based films I've ever seen--better than Wall Street (but I must admit, I don't watch a lot of films where Wall Street is the central focus).  The story has the potential to come off as slow moving and boring but with the amazing talent the film holds, they move the story along amazingly as we watch these moneybaggers try and keep their cool as the roof is figuratively coming down around them.  Even more surprising was the fact I wasn't completely annoyed by Quinto's impressive ability to overact.  When I first saw Quinto, it was on 24 and I said, "Wow, this guy is annoying."  Then, when I saw him on Heroes I said, "I hate Heroes, why am I watching this?  Also, that guy is annoying."  Then when I saw him in the reboot of Star Trek I said, "That guy is annoying...also, I hate Star Trek.  Why am I watching these things I already know don't entertain me?"  But surprisingly, Quinto wasn't a whiny brow-noser like he was in 24 or an overacting villain or trying to be Leonard Nimoy.  He was actually a real person and did a fantastic job of keeping up with the talent he was surrounded by.

Is Kevin Spacey coated in a fake tan or is he going to a Willy Wonka themed party after
the shoot is finished?

After Margin Call was over, I realized I still know very little about money but I did realized I enjoyed the movie.  The story is interesting and the acting is incredible but it did make me remember how I lost my cow for some lousy beans.

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