In Review: Vice

Vice arrives on the screen in a haze of dorm room pot smoke and farts, the kind of conceptual satire brewed up and whiffed out by dudes confusing vacuous provocation for sociopolitical sharpness. But the film’s larger problem is the self-awareness it lacks to see how its own gauche glibness bends closer to the boys club point of view of its demonic subject than it intends. The film belches ill-conceived sketches at us, guffawing at its structural somersaults as it depicts the wheel-turners of the Bush administration creating irrevocable circumstances both immediate and reemerging. Skewering is not enough to excuse how Vice renders some of the most dangerous people of our era into cartoons, resulting in a film grossly stooped in privilege, a film that wants to have its dumb cake and eat it too. It’s torturous, audience-hating claptrap.

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In Review!: “The Big Short”

The 2007 financial crisis has left behind not only global financial destruction and economic distress, but also lingering rage among the masses still mind boggled about the particulars of just what hell caused so much upheaval. That rage fuels the fire of Adam McKay’s The Big Short, a well-intentioned misfire that somehow aims to clarify through cacophony.

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Perhaps the clang and clutter of the film’s construction is intended to reflect the over-stimulated world that we find ourselves in today, where every bit of consumerism and media drives a culture of distraction that keeps us from noticing the rug being pulled out from under us, let alone how and who is doing the pulling. But the film distracts us much in the same way: cocaine editing and zipping eyesore handheld filming prevent any type of resonance with the subject. It’s simply too much and the film buckles under the strain of withstanding such recklessness.

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