Dumb Money Blu-ray Review: Fascinating to Watch Because of the Plot and Entertaining Because of the Cast

Based on Ben Mezrich’s The Antisocial Network, Dumb Money tells the true story of the GameStop short squeeze when Keith Gill, known on YouTube as Roaring Kitty, led a mini revolution of retail investors (“dumb money”) against hedge fund managers who were short selling their GameStop stock, betting the company would fail. Although the specifics are different and might be hard to fully grasp, like the business shenanigans of Trading Places or The Big Short, the story is a familiar one of little guys versus big guys. The talented cast director Craig Gillespie assembles takes the viewer on an enjoyable journey even though the ending is anti-climactic.

MassMutual financial analyst Keith Gill (Paul Dano) spends time online on Reddit and YouTube offering his thoughts about the stock market and strikes a nerve with viewers when he invests his family’s nest egg, with the approval of his wife Caroline (Shailene Woodley), into GameStop, which he thinks is undervalued. The movie spotlights also four investors who follow Keith’s lead: GameStop employee Marcus (Anthony Ramos), nurse and single mom Jenny (America Ferrera), and college students Harmony and Riri (Talia Ryder and Myha’la Herrold). On the other side of the ledger, Melvin Capital Management founder Gabe Plotkin (Seth Rogen) is the face of hedge-fund managers who are caught off guard when the market and investors don’t act and react as they expect.

Dumb Money and the GameStop short squeeze reveal the unfairness of the stock market and the world of finance. While it’s clearly a form of legalized gambling, one imagines, like paying a game in a casino, that there’s unfettered chance of winning, i.e. making money. As GameStop investors see the value of their stock grow, tension grows as characters consider cashing out but no one wants to do so soon and missing out on making more money. At the same time, Gabe and those who bet against the company by short selling lose money. A lot of money. This leads to some of his associates rigging the game in their favor, including using tactics that lead to Congressional hearings.

The video has been given a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 encoded transfer displayed at an aspect ratio of 2.39:1. Colors appear in strong hues. Blacks are inky and contribute to a good contrast. The image looks clean and has a sharp focus that presents texture details. The audio is available in DTS-HD MA 5.1. Right out the gate, Cardi B’s “WAP” blares out the surrounds, evoking the youthful, in-your-face attitude of those following Keith. Other songs and composer Will Bates’s score also fill the speakers. Dialogue is clear and positioned across the fronts as are ambient effects.

The Special Features are:

  • Fat Cats & the Roaring Kitty (8 min) – cast and writers talk about people and events of the film
  • Diamond Hand Ensemble (6 min) – talking about the cast
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes (3 min) – three scenes with nothing that impacted the story.
  • Commentary by writers & executive producers Lauen Schuker Blum & Rebecca Angelo

Dumb Money is fascinating to watch because of the plot and entertaining because of the cast. Vincent D’Onofrio and Nick Offerman particularly revel in their fat-cat portrayals. Being based on real-life events, the end results aren’t completely satisfying because of how unfair both the financial and legal system are, skewing in favor of the rich. Also, the character conclusions are shown in text rather than the events playing out on screen. While not called upon to deliver a lot, the Blu-ray’s high-definition presentation is satisfactory.

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Gordon S. Miller

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of this site. "I'm making this up as I go" - Indiana Jones

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