Those of us who only pony up for HBO when Treme is in season can take heart in the fact that the cable network’s often outstanding original movies do come out on DVD and Blu-ray — as long as you’re willing to wait a year or so to see them.
One prime example is the recently issued Too Big to Fail. Based on the best-selling book by New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin (who also co-produced the film), the movie compresses America’s 2008 financial meltdown into 98 dense and harrowing minutes. Director Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential) wisely puts familiar faces in the many key roles, making it far easier to keep track of characters and events. Seasoned actors like William Hurt (Treasury Secretary Paulson), Billy Crudup (Tim Geithner), Paul Giamatti (Ben Bernanke), James Woods (Lehman Bros. CEO Dick Fuld), and Ed Asner (Warren Buffet) clearly relish their juicy roles and revel in the chance to illuminate what Bernanke now calls “the worst financial crisis in the history of the world.” We were 48 hours away from an unstoppable series of catastrophic events that would have left grocery-store shelves empty within weeks. It’s a real-life cautionary tale that very few Americans know, and that is a damn shame. There’s really no excuse now that Too Big to Fail is widely available.