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Chasing Madoff [Blu-ray]

4.1 out of 5 stars 656 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

At approximately 8:30am on December 11th, 2008 two federal agents entered the New York City penthouse of 133 East 64th Street and arrested Bernard Madoff, the admitted mastermind behind the largest act of financial fraud in world history. Ten years prior, Boston based securities analyst Harry Markopolos discovered that Bernard L. Madoff Securities was a Ponzi scheme.
 
Based on the New York Times best-seller No One Would Listen, CHASING MADOFF is the compelling story of how Markopolos and his team of investigators pieced together a chain of white-collar predators and revealed some of the most frightening truths behind the infamous scandal.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: n, a
  • Directors: Jeff Prosserman
  • Format: Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: April 3, 2012
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (656 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006Z7Z3IG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,460 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Everyone should watch this documentary, even if you think you're familiar with the Madoff story.
The media did not report on a lot of the details, and there are things here that you may not have not heard before.
The main thing is that the Madoff Ponzi scheme was much bigger than most people realize; it was truly global in scope and people all the way up to many European royal families (and perhaps Prince Charles) were affected.
Also, Madoff did not act alone. He kept the smallest slice of the pie for himself and made sure that all the feeder funds made big money. There was also offshore or "dark" money invested in Madoff's scheme.

Because of this, Markopolos had valid reason to fear for his life.

Also, prior to watching this documentary, I was not aware of the story of Thierry de la Villehuchet, which was tragic. Markopolos seems to think he was involved with head-hunting for Bernie, while Harry's colleague Frank Casey believes Thierry was an honorable man who got duped like everyone else. Either way, it was sad to hear how he despaired and took his own life when the scheme came crashing down.
Also the story that Frank Casey tells of "Abe" and his failed attempt to warn his new wife and father-in-law to not invest was sobering and sad to hear.
Saddest of all is that almost no one listened to Markopolos and his colleagues; the economy is what brought Madoff down. Even though Markopolos was invited to testify before Congress, and received praise from some representatives, you could tell he was not a welcome guest there; but they finally had to listen to him since the scheme had blown up due to the financial collapse.
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First, the pluses:
The subject is riveting. And the documentary did manage to impart some information about it.

Now, the minuses:
I have never seen such ridiculous overdramatizations in a documentary in my life. Roughly half of this movie - time that could have been spent going into the SEC's version of things, or delving into the 300 groups that just get a mention at the end of the film, or even delving into the math... was instead spent on film cuts of people storming banks that had nothing to do with Madoff, film cuts of mob hits that, in the end, had nothing to do with Madoff, photos of dead people that had nothing to do with Madoff, fake explosions that never happened, dramatized arrests that never happened, and even the interviews, in order to make them more dramatic, were filmed with a camera that slowly turned from a straight angle to a dutch angle. A simple resignation was filmed with an image of the protagonist disappearing in a puff of smoke. All the interviews of the main people are shot against a pure black background. A dropped reference to one of the people having gotten a mob threat in an unrelated incident earlier in his life - that came to nothing, was punctuated by a cut to a photo of a random murder with a booming sound effect. Typing is punctuated with the sound effect of furious typing on a typewriter - even though the people are actually typing on computers. The list goes on and on. So much effort, that could have instead gone to investigative journalism. Ugh.
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Greater story than the greatest fictions. I nominate Harry Markopolos for president of the universe. The director of this documentary, on the other hand, should count his lucky stars that the bare facts can't be made uninteresting. The directing and cinematic renderings are beyond painful. I had to close my eyes and listen so I wouldn't have to endure the ridiculous dramatizations. This documentary should be preceded with a warning: "Danger: viewers may believe they're having a stroke due to idiotic scenes in which the video blacks out every few seconds to simulate a vantage point between a ceiling and the blades of a ceiling fan. No we're not kidding."
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I am a layman when it comes to Wall Street and all that goes with it, so going into a documentary like this I expect a couple things: 1. to probably get a little discombobulated with the various players and their individual roles in such major situations (where I have to assume there are many players involved), and 2. to learn a few things that I didn't know about the situation before watching, and those things would likely make me very angry.

Well, first, I can say, even as someone who didn't follow this story closely when it happened, I still didn't learn anything especially new either, and so that tells me there isn't really much of a story here (beyond what we've already heard from the news years ago). Secondly, the person who this particular story angle is centered on, the "whistleblower", never actually gets to blow the whistle at all so the story doesn't truly go anywhere. Instead it spends over an hour sensationalizing "potential" threats or 'he's gonna get caught this time!' moments, and then...nothing. Madoff turned himself in, on his timeline no less, the rich stayed rich, those that turned a blind eye continue to live their lives and enjoy their money, and those who didn't have much to lose are now in total poverty. The end. It's pretty much the same story over and over again when it comes to Wall Street so if you are looking for something beyond that simple truth you aren't going to find any justice or satisfaction here, and you aren't even going to learn anything new to boot. This one is basically only good for white noise.
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