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Too Big to Fail (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)

4.4 out of 5 stars 910 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Based on the bestselling book by Andrew Ross Sorkin, Too Big To Fail offers an intimate look at the epochal financial crisis of 2008 and the powerful men and women who decided the fate of the world’s economy in a matter of a few weeks. Centering on Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, the film goes behind closed doors to examine the symbiotic relationship between Wall Street and Washington.

Special Features

Digital Copy of Too Big to Fail expires 06/30/2014.

- Timeline of a Crisis - An in-depth look at pivotal events that impacted the economic crisis

Additional Blu-ray with HBO Select features:

-The Making of Too Big To Fail - The cast and crew share their thoughts on the events that inspired the film

-Opening the Vault on the Financial Crisis -The cast, crew and financial experts discuss the origins of the economic crisis

Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Giamatti, Ed Asner, James Woods, William Hurt
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, AC-3, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen, Digital_copy
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: June 12, 2012
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: June 12, 2014 (Click here for more information)
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (910 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004EPYZDK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,336 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Too Big to Fail (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on May 25, 2011
Format: DVD
In the realm of made-for-TV movies, there is no question that HBO has been leading the way with critically acclaimed and Emmy nominated fare within recent years. Why? They simply have made an effort to be a prestige label and to support and produce edgier, more sophisticated entertainment--oftentimes projects that you can't imagine any other network or studio championing. Turning Andrew Ross Sorkin's provocative chronology "Too Big To Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System--and Themselves" into a film version seemed like a somewhat dubious idea. Financial crisis as entertainment isn't the most comfortable notion, and yet the story is rife with drama and intrigue. Curtis Hanson's (L.A. Confidential) riveting docu-drama chronicles the pivotal period in 2008 where the United States, and indeed the world, faced an insurmountable financial collapse. As we still feel the devastating repercussions and are still exposed to the some of the same risk, this makes "Too Big To Fail" a must-see project for serious minded and adult audiences.

Centered around Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (William Hurt, who we will be seeing around Emmy time), the film charts the period when Lehman Brothers was spiraling into bankruptcy and how the government's decision not to bail them out exacerbated a worldwide crisis with AIG. Like a house of cards, the tenuous balance of the economic system was in danger of toppling unless some major moves and compromises could be made. Introducing a huge cast of characters, the narrative puts Paulson at the center of the action as he wrestles to maintain an overall financial stability. As a dramatic recreation and interpretation of events, this plays as a blow-by-blow thriller.
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Format: DVD
This is a must see... along with Inside Job.

The story is incredible... One caution: it's tough to keep all the players straight. I had to watch it a number of times in order to follow the cast of characters. You'll need to have time when you can concentrate to watch it.

It's a tale of tumbling dominos.... you'll be shocked at how the key players were not at all in front of what was happening. The story is incredible, complemented by excellent acting and a great cast.

Inside Job gives a longer term view of some of the same players (please see my review)... and their relationships before, during, and after the crisis. Shocking!

I hope this is helpful.
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Hello. Is it worth the time to view this film? YES. Is this film an unbiased portrayal of what happened to the US financial system in 2008? NO.

Too Big To Fail is an entertaining drama, BUT it is just that, a drama, not a documentary. You cannot take everything you see in this film to the bank. The movies made about the financial crisis fall into one of two categories; reenactment drama / documentary. Be aware which category the movies you choose to watch regarding this event fall into. This reenactment is well acted (a blessing as well as a curse), it paints a picture of who some of the key players were -during the crisis but not necessarily leading up to the crisis- and it describes a few of the elements that triggered the events (though the actual explanation of what created the crisis is lacking). But when unrecorded conversations that took place behind closed doors are scripted by someone who wasn't there, and character attributes are assigned to actors playing key people in positions of great power, truth sometimes becomes a casualty of drama, not to mention any (well intentioned or otherwise) agenda by the book author / film maker that creeps in. Watching this production is an exercise of separating the wheat from the chaff.

If you want to view an actual documentary that depicts the events as they occurred check out "Inside Job". This production interviews the actual people working in the industry at the time (or at least the ones willing to appear on camera, which in and of itself is telling).

To further illustrate the point let's take one player as an example; Treasury Secretary Henry [Hank] Paulson.
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Format: DVD
I have had friends ask me to explain credit default swaps (CDS). In Too Big To Fail (TBTF) it was the first time, including the Congressional Hearings, where I have ever heard CDS's explained in layman terms.

I am the first to admit that I find non-fiction much more palatable when wrapped around a good story. What TBTF does is to almost perfectly cast a star studded ensemble around a really good story.

I loved the characterizations of John Mack by Tony Shalhoub ("Cover your ears. Tell Tim Geithner to bl.w me!"), Lloyd Blankfein by Evan Handler ("You are stepping out of a limo going to the Federal Reserve and not a Higgins Boat storming Omaha Beach" and Jim Wilkinson by Topher Grace ("and we all know how well the Post Office works!"). Honorable mention to James Woods (Dick Fuld) & Billy Crudup (Tim Geithner).

IMHO, the real value of TBTF is in it's illustration of the multiple levels of incompetence:

1.) Despite having more employees than many private sector corporations, neither the Treasury, Federal Reserve or SEC knew that the British Banking Regulators had to approve any merger by Barclay's. BTW, this oversight was further compounded by Treasury steadfastly refusing to backstop Lehman for the 30-days it would take for a Barclay's share holder vote

2.) Dick Fuld walking into a meeting with a Korean bank that had already agreed to take a stake in Lehman sans their "toxic: real estate. Fuld wanted the suitor to take another look at the real estate, which caused a loss of "face" and killed the deal

3.) See #1. Not knowing how long it would take to enact the proposed toxic asset buy back program (AKA "Cash for Trash")

4.
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