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Margin Call [Blu-ray]

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Product details

  • Actors: Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Demi Moore, Stanley Tucci
  • Directors: J.C. Chandor
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Nov 2012
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009900UJ8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,074 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Walton TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Dec 2011
Format: Blu-ray
I saw this corporate drama last month in New York, just after attending a conference about managing financial risk (which, coincidentally, is one of the film's themes). The head of risk at the bank in this story is played by Demi Moore, who acquits herself well in a very strong ensemble alongside Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, and others. Based on the events at the start of the financial meltdown of 2008, the film isn't so much about the technical details about what it meant for a bank's assets to be suddenly realised to be worthless, but wisely concentrates instead on the human drama as the characters react to the disaster, and try and deal with it.

Beginning with Zachary Quinto's careful, respectful junior analyst who uncovers the problem, the viewer is drawn into an escalating series of encounters with his superiors, which culminates in a board meeting helmed by the bank's authoritative, adept CEO played by Jeremy Irons. This is a brilliantly nuanced portrayal by Irons: just watch the way he tries to calm the analyst's nerves with a self-deprecating remark whilst he testily flicks at the corner of his damning report. He's also compellingly watchable in his meetings with the experienced, exhausted trading manager (another compelling performance by Kevin Spacey), and in a short encounter with Demi Moore, whom he effectively crushes in spite of her brave attempts at resistance.

Filmed on a limited budget over a few weeks (mostly in an office in a midtown Manhattan high-rise which had recently been vacated by a trading firm), the camera is closely focussed on the actors and what they have to say. Since they're so skilled, and the story is so compelling (even though we think we already know what's going to happen), the result is a richly satisfying viewing experience.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Skillwizard on 1 Oct 2012
Format: DVD
I must say for some reason I wasn't expecting too much from Margin Call despite the awesome cast. I guess I'm angry with the banks and financial companies for what they did and didn't think I'd enjoy watching what went wrong in 2007/8. But I was wrong, the movie blew me away much more than any I can think of for ages. It seems to be very much based on the Lehman Brothers fall but it's not explicitly mentioned to be so. The film reminded me very much of what I liked about The Firm, the original Wall Street and has the general feel of the similar feeling (and also excellent) Michael Clayton. The film gets straight into the action as people are getting fired and builds quickly into the looming threat of the crisis. The direction is very subtle so you really believe what you are seeing and the awesome array of acting talent mean you are really rooting for many of the characters despite what they do for a living. The script and dialogue are both excellent with a Glengarry Glenross feel to a lot of the exchanges. There is one moment that sums up how subtle it is for me. Demi Moore's character is being given some bad news and without even blinking or moving her eyes the slightest bit you can see something die inside her, it's really quite amazing big screen acting and there is not one false note here to be found. If you enjoy very well acted thrillers then give Margin Call a try ASAP, it will also teach a bit more about how these idiots wrecked our economy! Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sussman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 May 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Other reviews have described the film fairly well; I wanted to comment on the themes.
For me the narrative of the movie is about how its principal players are concerned only by the prosperity of their corporation (played out very well with a sterling cast of actors). There is no sense, or effort shown for the public good. In essence, the message here is that Corporations are amoral, and their existence owes its need to survive and succeed, at any cost. As the cast, play out their respective roles there is reflection, they reflect on the enormity of what is happening: For their company and their lives are being rendered meaningless. While the movie does not depict any one single financial event, or any one financial institution, however, there are `threads' that link this `fictional' account into the real world. This can be exemplified by the 2008 financial crisis: Goldman Sachs and the organisation's efforts to move early to reduce its position in mortgage-backed securities.

A film with no CGI, car chases or amazing fighting sequences. However, it has tension - the frailties of loyalties betrayed. A film that is really worth seeing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By The Movie Guy TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Aug 2013
Format: DVD
I saw a Kevin Spacey interview where he claims the practices in "Margin Call" are still going on today. This review contains some early plot synopsis for those who may have some trouble with the Wall Street jargon. The film appears to be about a fictional investment firm at the start of the 2008 financial crisis.

The drama opens with an investment bank downsizing. An outside agency has been hired to do the layoffs. We see sad scenes of people being tapped and escorted out. This company laid off much of its middle level management layers and kept the worker bees. Sam Rogers (Kevin Spacey), a big boss is visibly upset. He has a bottle of Pepto-Bismo on his desk. His Chocolate Lab is dying. Spacey is spending $1,000 a day to keep his dog alive. While he appears to be reviving his role in "Horrible Bosses" we later find out he is our closest thing to a good guy.

One of the laid off mid-level bosses, Eric Dale (Stanley Tucci) hands off a thumb drive to Seth Bregman (Zachary Quinto) who burns the midnight oil going over the data. Bregman panics at the numbers. The volatility index (VI) indicates the company will incur losses that will greatly exceed its total assets. The firm goes into panic mode. The company holds bad assets known as derivatives which is nothing more than pieces of various risk mortgages lumped together. If they attempt to dump them all, without buying, people will suspect something is up and won't buy their assets. If they wait too long to dump them, the fear is someone else will figure out what is going on and beat them to the punch. They are between the proverbial "rock and a hard place."

This sets the wheels in motion as the CEO is notified that the company may collaspe.

Penn Badgley views their job as legalized gambling.
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