The Big Short

I woke up and watched Leslie Caron on CBS Sunday Morning. My parents phoned me. I went out to Trader Joe’s before I came back to watch a bit of football. The Seahawks got off to a horrible start against the Panthers. I went out to catch the bus to Jack London Square. There was a long line outside the movie theatre, and I discovered that Sunday admission had been increased by a quarter from $5 to $5.25. I took a walk to the farmers’ market, but the fish taco stand that I sought wasn’t there in the rainy weather. I went back to the theatre and stood in line to get popcorn. I was there to see “The Big Short.” I thought it was rather like “Moneyball” with mortgages. It had people who apparently studied some data more closely than others, and thus saw the financial future of the country. The lesson with Michael Lewis is to go out there and do some work and be somewhat thoughtful in order to come up with some insights. Christian Bale did his usual method acting, which I find increasingly annoying as the years go by. Does he get any enjoyment out of acting, or does he continue with it because he has emotional problems? Brad Pitt is around to be another Billy Beane character. I wonder if he can add two and two in real life. I thought that Steve Carell was an odd person to be in the cast, although he is good at being characters who are out of step with the rest of the world. You can compare this movie to the recent “99 Homes,” which had more of a dramatic punch to it. “The Big Short” has a bit more challenge to it as far as the information and ideas in it. It’s kind of amusing that there are moments of breaking down the fourth wall, although I didn’t see the point in telling us that the movie version wasn’t the way things really happened. The audience on this afternoon knew that they weren’t seen the latest Star Wars movie or “The Revenant,” so they were preparing for a lot of talking about money. This collection of oddball characters supposedly anticipated the financial crisis of 2008. Assuming that they really knew what they were doing, if you look at the landscape, you can spot some small number of people who were looking at the economy the same way. The question, though, is how we’re supposed to know to pay attention to these particular individuals rather than the people the media picks out to talk to us, or anyone else in the massive world of the information age. I don’t know how anyone who listens to such loud music could be so confident in being right. I think that everyone I knew who listened to rock music at such volume had some kind of brain damage. They at least had eardrum damage. What we got in this movie was a blast of Metallica. It was both humorous and frightening that strippers could have five mortgages. Greed in this country really gets out of control sometimes. I cannot believe in those politicians who keep saying that the free market should decide everything. The problem with capitalism in these cases is that there is incentive to evade the rules in search of the quick buck. I was irritated with the way this movie is set out to be an explanation of the financial meltdown of 2008 for us idiots who go out to see movies on the weekends. Are Brad Pitt and Michael Lewis going to explain the world to the rest of us for years to come? The idea of turning failure into success is so crazy that we actually saw it in Mel Brooks’ “The Producers.” Nobody gets punished for the damage they do, which made me think back to “The French Connection.” Two of the celebrities who explain things to us are Margot Robbie and Selena Gomez. Marisa Tomei is in the cast, and I think that she has given good performances in several very interesting movies in recent years. One of the effects that “The Big Short” had on me was to make me feel very tired. I think I would have preferred seeing a movie that simply tried to entertain me. I think that the football games on television and the rainy weather affected movie attendance this weekend. Also, I guess that everyone has already seen the Star Wars movie. As I walked out of the theatre, I saw that it was raining steadily. I listened to the radio on my way home. I sat in front of the television to watch the fourth quarter of the game between the Broncos and the Steelers. So the possible Super Bowl matchups are the Patriots and Panthers, the Patriots and Cardinals, the Broncos and Panthers, and the Broncos and Cardinals. I don’t know if I really want to root for the Panthers. I am not going to be as enthusiastic as that little girl in Charlotte who got that football. I didn’t want to watch Amy Trask on television talking about the Raiders’ future because I thought it was going to be like watching a sports chapter of “The Big Short.” I thought that the Rams’ return to Los Angeles was pretty good for the NFL, although I was hoping that they would go back to that blue and white look of the days of Roman Gabriel, Merlin Olsen, and Deacon Jones. Roman Gabriel is still alive, and is 75 years old now. I watched a little bit of Match Game from 1978. Jo Ann Harris was one of the celebrities. She was in “The Beguiled” and was Tina in Goober and the Ghost Chasers. I watched a bit of Johnny Carson because Goldie Hawn and Buck Henry were guests. I was kind of tired of hearing about Sean Penn and his interview with El Chapo. Goldie Hawn talked a little about “Foul Play.” It was raining steadily, so I didn’t go outside. I listened to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times program on KCSN, and he played tracks from some of the best albums of 2015, which included Jason Isbell, Adele, Courtney Barnett, Kendrick Lamarr, and Sufjan Stevens. I liked “Elevator Operator,” and Sufjan Stevens again reminded me of Elliott Smith. I thought that I wouldn’t be too happy if the rain continued to come down during the Martin Luther King holiday. Some of the people who died on January 18 include Rudyard Kipling (1936), Curly Howard (1952), Sydney Greenstreet (1954), Carl Betz (1978), Richard Crenna (2003), and Bobby Fischer (2008). Today is a birthday for Mark Messier (55) and Kevin Costner (61). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for January 18, “The Jeffersons” debuted on CBS in 1975. Also in 1975, Barry Manilow had his first Number One hit, “Mandy.” In 1986, Dionne and Friends, consisting of Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, and Elton John, reached Number One on the singles chart with “That’s What Friends Are For.”

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