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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Films for Planes Review: Wizard of Lies

The Wizard of Lies ☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️

Now this is a great example of a film that is just right for a plane journey. It has an interesting story with interesting characters and you want to keep watching to see what happens next even though you sort of know what is going to happen next. It’s the story of uber-fraudster Bernie Madoff and how he made millions and millions of dollars by pretending to invest money for clients but really paying their imaginary investment gains from new investors. This is what is known as a “Ponzi scheme”, like social security, where the early investors do OK and can withdraw gains because there are enough later investors coming into to cover it but eventually it collapses because you run out of new investors (or younger taxpaying workers).

It’s too long, which meant it was a little boring in places, and I would have preferred a little more detail about how exactly the fraud was perpetrated (I still don’t understand how more people were not suspicious) but it was interesting and enjoyable. The acting of the central character and his wife, played by Robert de Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, is superb by the way - they are both wholly convincing.

Rating System

In case you’d forgotten, I use a five sun rating system. It works like this:

  1. Movie gets one sun for interesting story with good acting.

  2. Movie gets one sun for not having an English villain.

  3. Movie gets one sun for not being too dark or having lots of special effects, so you can enjoy it properly on an airplane screen.

  4. Movie gets one sun if I watched all the way to the end without falling asleep or turning over because I was bored.

  5. Movie gets one sun if it doesn’t have Kate Winslet in it.

So any movie I watch on a place gets at least one sun, and if they pull out all the stops they can get five.

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