Too Big To Fail Blu-ray Review

In 2008, I was blissfully ignorant of the looming status of the economy. I never ever thought or imagined that the entire economic system could be shut down based on the actions and reactions of several key players in the financial industry.  In HBO’s TOO BIG TO FAIL, based on the book of the same name by Andrew Ross Sorkin, we get an inside look into the events leading up to the economy’s collapse in 2008 and the maneuvers that took place to stop a world wide financial disaster.

James Woods in Too Big To Fail

This portrayal of events is quite fascinating.  Watching the story we all know and experienced unfold in an easy to follow yet thought provoking sequence is more than numbers and financial gibberish.  The emotional strain and frustration from William Hurt’s Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson radiates through your screen.  With a star studded ensemble cast, this financial flick will keep your attention from start to finish, leaving you wanting more from this painfully familiar tale.

Paul Giamatti, William Hurt in Too Big To Fail

The thing that keeps this movie going is the proper speed and pacing.  Jumping between the government and private banking sector you see several angles and viewpoints, each party grasping to hold on when the other’s actions make it hard to keep from spiraling out of control. The editing is flawless and the dialogue intriguing, which is imperative for a film that basically takes place in assorted boardrooms.  Dealing with the complicated issues, TOO BIG TO FAIL does not seem one-sided, rather, it lays out all the information for the viewer to decipher.  Even though some of the on-screen moments from the multitude of stars in this film are brief, it is important that we have recognizable faces (Ed Asner, John Heard, Bill Pullman, Tony Shalhoub, Matthew Modine, Evan Handler, Topher Grace and Cynthia Nixon to name a few) in these key roles to distinguish between all the names within the financial industry.

Billy Crudup in Too Big To Fail

James Woods awesomely portrays banking CEO Richard Fuld of Lehman Brothers. He mixes the appropriate amount of smarmy smugness and good intentioned actions to keep his bank afloat.  Billy Crudup as former Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Timothy Geithner adds another layer to the complex problem solving team.  The aforementioned Hurt is flawless. Illustrating the red tape and hoops he has to jump through without spelling things out for the audience is an impressive feat.  In one scene in particular, he transforms from defeated and broken to elated and joyous thanks to the phone call that the news media responded well to his tactics. It was an incredible transformation.  As Ben Bernanke (Chairman of the Federal Reserve), Paul Giamatti once again proves he is a multitalented performer.  Giving me goosebumps when he quietly yet sternly shares the news that action must be taken before the economy becomes worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s,  is almost more powerful than someone shouting to rouse the troops.

William Hurt in Too Big To Fail

As the ramifications of this crisis are still unfolding off screen, I recommend TOO BIG TO FAIL for anyone who has money in the bank to watch, enjoy and discuss.  If you were like me, blissfully ignorant, you will be as shocked and stunned when seeing how close we came to  experiencing an unmitigated catastrophe.

BLU-RAY REVIEW

Audio (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1): The audio in TOO BIG TO FAIL is perfect for this dramatic narrative.

Video (1080p High Definition 16:9, 1.78:1): No matter the setting, outside, home office, board room, the video in TOO BIG TO FAIL was crisp, clear and exactly what you come to expect from a Blu-ray.

The Making of TOO BIG TO FAIL (1:47): In this extremely brief making of featurette, William Hurt, Cynthia Nixon, Billy Crudup and James Woods share pieces that they enjoyed in the film TOO BIG TO FAIL. Director Curtis Hanson shares what dew him to the story.

Opening the Vault on the Financial Crisis (19:07): If you liked the movie TOO BIG TO FAIL, I have a feeling you will enjoy this feature. With input from author Andrew Ross Sorkin, assorted financial experts and authors, and the cast of this film, you really get an in-depth look into this historical event.  A must watch.

Timeline of a Crisis:  An interactive chart  where you can follow the economic decline in chronological order beginning in October 2007 through November 2008. Fascinating facts and pieces of information.

OVERALL 4
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