The Big Short, or why Margot Robbie explaining economics in a bathtub works

Margot Robbie in "The Big Short" via YouTube

Just how often does one leave the cinema these days having actually learnt something?

It’s a question The Big Short, a movie about the men who managed to profit off the 2008 financial crisis, seems badly poised to answer in the affirmative. Economics plus douchebags seldom, if ever, equals entertainment.

Yet somehow, The Big Short works. And why? Because you’ll leave the cinema both smarter and angrier.

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Could 2016 be the start of the end for Hollywood’s cinema days?

Hollywood Sign in disrepair, circa 1978 by Bob Beecher

Right now Star Wars: The Force Awakens is busy making box office history.

In only its third week of theatrical release the film is set to overtake the all-time US box office record of $760m set by Avatar over 34 weeks, and after its release in China the sci-fi epic may well be capable of beating the record for the world’s largest grossing film in the history of the box office – also set by Avatar at $2.8bn.

But this is an odd story for the cinema industry, which many artists predicted was on its way out due to the effect streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have had on the way we consume movies.

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How Hollywood ruined Batman v Superman with overzealous marketing

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice via Warner Bros.

Just a few mornings ago I devoured the latest Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer with great anticipation.

As a film fan and a comic book nerd, my reaction should have been crazed excitement. I should have come away unable to stop talking about new information, speculating endlessly over what a shot or piece of dialogue meant.

But instead, I’m ferociously angry, and bitterly disappointed.

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