A M O V I E R E V I E W The Big Short j u n e 2 0 1 6 A L I V E E A S T B A Y 39 T R I V I A L MATTERS B E N F E R N A N D E Z CAROLYN HASTINGS Summer is here. Kids are home. Vacations are nigh. What could be better? I will think of something. Let's celebrate June. 1. He coached the Atlanta Falcons from 1988 to 1996. He coached University of Hawaii from 1996 to 2004. He coached SMU from 2004 to 2008. Who was he? 2. What was Beaver's mother's name on "Leave it to Beaver?" First and last name, please. 3. It was a rousing number in the early portion of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Carousel." What was it? 4. She played opposite Fred McMurray in "Where do we go from Here," then became his wife in real life for his remaking 40 plus years. Who was she? 5. Famous as the girl next door, she was married to Dick Powell and made a few movies with Van Johnson and Jimmy Stewart. Who was she? 6. She sang memorably with Stan Kenton and was known for years as the First Lady of Jazz. Who was she? May Answers: 1. Pete Rose 2. Daisy (Buchanan) 3. Pansy 4. "Being There" 5. Black Dahlia 6. "Cactus Flower" May Winner: Roger Smith of Walnut Creek WIN $25 ON BEN! The first person to email or mail (no calls please), the correct answers to all of the above questions will win a $25 gift certificate, compliments of Ben! Entries must be received by June 20, 2016. In the event of a tie, the winner will be drawn at random. Please email your answers to email@example.com, or mail to ALIVE, 3200 A Danville Blvd., Ste. 204, Alamo, CA 94507. Prizes are limited to only one winner per household per quarter (every three months). Employees and family members of employees of ALIVE are not eligible. Dark comedy; satire; disaster; detective story; drama or a character study—before I watched it, I saw The Big Short described with all these terms. After seeing it, I guess how you would describe it would depend on how much money you lost. Some lost millions. Some lost their life savings. My heart breaks for these people. Many retirement accounts took a brutal beating. Few, in any were left unaffected in some way I’m almost glad that this movie took so long to get to the big screen. I used to hear my parents and their friends talk about the Great Depression. I guess our generation will eventually talk about The Big Short. You see, the recession of 2008 was not a fluke. Just because most of us either did not know or couldn’t articulate the cause doesn’t mean there wasn’t one. I have been a Real Estate Broker for 45 years. I also had a Mortgage Company for a short time. I’m not saying that all mortgage companies are crooks but before the recession, did you ever notice the cars in the parking lots of some mortgage companies? In some areas, Bentleys and exotic sports cars were not uncommon. I believe that just because someone tells you that you can afford to drive a Mercedes, doesn’t mean your bank account validates that. Let’s step back a decade. Things were humming. Politicians were making decisions that would affect the financial future of our great country. Wall Street and the big banks were making big bucks. Their CEOs and other upper level management were riding high. Everybody was making money and leveraging, for many, their biggest asset, their home. There were even real estate/mortgage guru’s making a fortune showing us how to leverage our homes to buy more homes. Yeah! We own 10 houses, and they’re all hocked to the hilt! The Big Short is an expose of an era; an event. I guarantee that it will get a little technical but I also guarantee that if you don’t “get it” the first time, you’ll watch it again. You need to so you can at least know enough to hold Washington, Wall Street and the banking system accountable. The Big Short is based on a true story, written by Michael Lewis about real people. The acting is superb: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt. Amazingly creative, Adam McKay wrote the screenplay and directed. I just read today that the hero of the movie, Dr. Michael J. Burry, MD finally sold off some of his banking holdings this year. Still a hero. I will buy this movie. I have movies that I buy for different reasons. It is always for the way they make me feel. I love a good laugh. I love a good cry. I especially love to learn. The Big Short is a movie from which you learn. Unless, you don’t have a checking account and keep all your money in gold under your mattress, you need to see The Big Short. It is rated R, besides your kids won’t understand it anyway. Once you figure it out, you can explain it to them in much simpler terms. Let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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