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Friday, May 27, 2011

Too Big to Fail on HBO

Did your 401K dry up and blow away sometime after 2008? Is your house in foreclosure? Have you recently been down-sized by a large corporation? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you might want to give "Too Big To Fail" on HBO a wide berth. Or, you can take a few swigs of Pepto Bismol, put a clothes pin over your nose, and follow me. "Too Big" is based on the best selling book by Andrew Ross Sorkin and it tells the tale of the big banks and financial institutions that were behind the U.S. financial melt down in 2008.

I'm not going to attempt to re-cap the plot here. It's not an easy story to tell. For one thing, it's pretty difficult to make a gaggle of millionaire middle aged white dudes (mostly bald) who do nothing but sigh and stare at spread sheets in a dark conference room seem compelling. But HBO has a knack for bringing sizzle to made-for-television movies about big bad business decisions. They did it with TV talk shows in The Late Shift and with the machinations of tech giants Apple and Microsoft in Pirates of Silicon Valley. They manage to do it here too, although it's quite humorless and doesn't have a happy ending. If you like revenge and comeuppance, this one's not for you. Nobody ever gets punished for tanking the U.S. economy, and sadly it's doubtful that anyone ever will.

Hunt for "Too Big to Fail" On Demand, if you did not catch the premier on HBO this past week. It has a stellar cast including William Hurt, Ed Asner, Paul Giamatti, Topher Grace, Matt Modine, Tony Shalhoub, James Woods and Cynthia Nixon as the token corporate PR girl. Watching this movie is not a walk in the park, but do it anyway. It's like taking your vitamins, you'll be stronger afterward if you do.

5 comments:

Lisa said...

It's the no happy ending and no justice for the bad guys that I can't tolerate. This movie obviously goes hand-in-hand with the great Oscar-winning doc "Inside Job" which will also make you insane. So even though all the facts are out there and everybody knows these guys are the worst scum on earth, how can they dare to walk the streets?

Jane said...

It really makes me question the faith I always had that justice would prevail in this country. So depressing. I guess my political world view has changed substantially over the past three-four years and this is a major reason why. :(

Lisa said...

I forgot to mention that, though I am loath to say anything positive about TNT under any circumstances, actually it was TNT and not HBO who did "Pirates of Silicon Valley" about Jobs and Gates. In fact, my colleague Phil and were fighting to get a dream sequence included where Jobs and Gates fought with lirpas like Kirk and Spock in Trek's Amok Time. Like at least one of those geeks wouldn't have had a dream like that?? Couldn't get the folks to go along with it, but boy, do I still think it would have been hilarious in the promo and perfectly captured the brainy combat between the two computer geniuses! :-)

Dean Treadway said...

INSIDE JOB was enough for me. I can't look at anything more about it all. I'm already sick enough as it is. (I heard the movie played like a bunch of exposition, too, which I don't care for).

Jane said...

I had a feeling that Pirates was another network and not HBO but after searching online for about a half hour (even imbd didn't have it) I couldn't determine for certain. Thanks for verifying that it was in fact TNT. I actually found that movie fascinating and a fantasy Jobs and Gates fight ala' Star Trek would have been delicious!