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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Big Short [Blu-ray]


(Adam McKay, 2015)





Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Regency Enterprises

Video: Paramount



Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:10:15.849

Disc Size: 44,758,221,950 bytes

Feature Size: 33,994,721,280 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.23 Mbps

Chapters: 21

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: March 15th, 2016



Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 4958 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 4958 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB

DTS Audio English 768 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
Audio Description:

Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB



English (SDH), English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, none


In the Tranches: Casting (15:51)
The Big Leap: Adam McKay (11:32)
Unlikely Heroes: The Characters of The Big Short (11:28)
The House of Cards: The Rise and Fall (14:01)
Getting Real: Recreating an Era (11:13)
Five Deleted Scenes (6:28)







Description: This adaptation of Michael Lewis' nonfiction book The Big Short explores the 2008 financial crisis through the lens of four unorthodox moneymen, who foresaw the consequences of the fraudulent mortgage-lending practices of large banks on Wall Street. Christian Bale plays Michael Burry, a former hedge-fund manager who was one of the first to forecast the collapse of the credit bubble due to excessive subprime lending. Steve Carell is Mark Baum (based on the real-life Steve Eisman), a money manager who rose to fame after successfully betting against subprime mortgages. Directed by Adam McKay. Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, and Marisa Tomei co-star.



The Film:

It’s a trip. At the end, your brain hurts and you feel sick to your stomach, as can happen when too much adrenaline has been surging through your system. But that queasy, empty feeling is the point: This is a terrifically enjoyable movie that leaves you in a state of rage, nausea and despair. What is to be done with those feelings is the great moral and political challenge Mr. McKay has set for the audience, which I hope is vast and various. I don’t condone mob violence and I’m supposed to keep my political opinions to myself, but as soon as I’m done writing this I’m going out to the garage to look for a pitchfork.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE


Rewriting a Charles Randolph script already commissioned by Brad Pitt’s company, Plan B (Pitt has a cameo as the film’s quasi-counterculture conscience), McKay turns Lewis’s dense source into a blackly catastrophic comedy, a story of greed, venality, incompetence and barefaced corruption in which the good guys are the renegades who see disaster coming and stake their shirts on the apocalypse. Unlike the slick suits and killer sheen of Oliver Stone’s Wall Street, this is a world of chaos and disorder filled with misfits who understand numbers more than people; from Christian Bale’s Michael Burry, a socially awkward heavy-metal enthusiast who dreams up the credit default swaps that enable him to “short” the housing market, to Steve Carell’s bereaved and fractured Mark Baum (a character inspired by the real-life Steve Eisman) who balances moral outrage and repressed self-loathing as he swims with sharks in the cesspool of the financial market.

Excerpt from The Guardian located HERE


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Big Short looks, predictably, adept on Blu-ray from Paramount. It was shot with varied cameras and the 'look' shifts throughout the film showing intentional degrees of grain, noise and the limitations and benefits of HD. Being the film is, for most, probably less about the 1080P image quality than the content of the film - it is still dual-layered with a supportive bitrate. It's clean and crisp, colors look true - there is depth with, overall, acceptable and authentic to theatrical, visuals.
















Audio :

Paramount use a DTS-HD Master 7.1 at a deep 4958 kbps (24-bit) - although the film has few aggressive instances but there are some swift musical chords, however brief by the likes of Wayne Newton, Metallica, The Pussycat Dolls, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin etc. and they sounds tight, crisp and very buoyant at times. The score is by pianist, composer Nicholas Britell and adds a provocative and contemplative edge to the tone to The Big Short. There are optional DUBs and subtitles as well as a 'headphone track' and a 'descriptive audio track' in English and my Oppo has identified it as being region FREE as all Paramount Blu-ray discs are.


Extras :

There are about 1.5 hour's worth of supplements including video pieces on the production including In the Tranches: Casting, The Big Leap: Adam McKay, Unlikely Heroes: The Characters of The Big Short as well as a further examination of the technical details of the story, The House of Cards: The Rise and Fall as well as art direction in Getting Real: Recreating an Era. There are also 5 deleted scenes for those interested. A DVD is included with the Blu-ray..



The Big Short is brilliant in its concise, masterful and educational description of events - that few were fully aware but can now get our collective heads around. The characters and performances are highly interesting and the pace well-establishes a sense of ominous urgency in the story's timeline.  My own personal concern was how much of the story seemed to mirror current events and how very little seems to have changed - as evidenced by the very last text screen of the film. It really seems like the general public are really pawns in the boom-bust cycles. This Paramount Blu-ray package is an easy recommendation based mostly on the strength of the fascinating film. Certainly something everyone should see - and it is strongly recommended. I look forward to multiple viewings and revisiting the enlightening extras.

Gary Tooze

March 10th, 2016




About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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