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The Wolf of Wall Street Review


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#1 of 57 OFFLINE   Yavin

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Posted December 25 2013 - 12:32 PM

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Clocking in at a hefty three hours, The Wolf of Wall Street is a surreal study in excess, debauchery and narcotics that’s not for the faint of heart. Think of the film itself as one giant metaphor for the subject matter. Jordan’s meteoric rise from the ranks of the middle-class to the upper echelons of the rich and powerful makes him — and all those who idolize and follow him — a poster child for “too much, too soon”, impairing his judgment and leaving him with a distorted world view. With very few actual barriers between him and his desires, he becomes a slave to his primal urges, guided only by his inflated ego and animal instincts. All of this is reflected in Scorsese’s opus, which revels in its depictions of hedonism and drug use, coating everything in a candy shell layer of absurdity and sardonic humor. There’s no denying the entertainment factor of the film; but it's easy to forget that beneath all of it is a cautionary tale of greed and power, even though its impact may be muted by the more bombastic elements of the script.[/font]

 

4 out of 5. Highly recommended.

 

Here's my full review.


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#2 of 57 OFFLINE   Freddie Z

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Posted December 26 2013 - 02:07 AM

For a three hour film it sure didn't feel like it. Great pacing and a whole lotta fun to watch.

#3 of 57 OFFLINE   Vic Pardo

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Posted December 26 2013 - 05:44 AM

Everyone raving about this movie should keep in mind that Jordan Belfort (portrayed in the film by Di Caprio) ripped off ordinary citizens (not rich people) for millions and millions of dollars. He still hasn't paid them all back, yet he's making money off his book and this movie. He's promised to use the profits to pay them back, but I'd rather not pay a cent to see this movie until he's made good on his promise.



#4 of 57 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted December 26 2013 - 06:38 AM

Everyone raving about this movie should keep in mind that Jordan Belfort (portrayed in the film by Di Caprio) ripped off ordinary citizens (not rich people) for millions and millions of dollars. He still hasn't paid them all back, yet he's making money off his book and this movie. He's promised to use the profits to pay them back, but I'd rather not pay a cent to see this movie until he's made good on his promise.

 

This is a big problem I have with the film too. Because he was in the financial sector, the 'son of sam' laws get bypassed thanks to his plea deal with the government. Belefort stole hundreds of millions, and while I enjoyed the book, I often felt.. a bit abashed at a book that too often focused on celebrating the wild and crazy life, and not enough about the real consequences to others.

 

There was another film - nowhere near as good, but interesting - that focused on this with a much more 'they are bad guys' mantra ... in 'Boiler Room' (2000).

 

I've got some free passes to see this later today, but that's the biggest qualm I have. Slate covered this in an article that really made me grit my teeth

 

http://www.slate.com...by_bankers.html

 

Then, intercut with Popeye eating spinach, the film shows Belfort irrevocably high on Quaaludes (or "ludes," a muscle relaxer) and dumps coke into his nose to remedy the situation—more cheers. The worst, though... 

Spoiler

 

Bankers: First of all, don't cheer in a movie. It's weird. You can laugh, but no cheering. Second, guffawing while Leo attempts to evade federal indictment doesn't exactly help America's perception of your societal value. Hopefully this kind of euphoria was confined to one boozy, Financial District pre-screening (Paramount gave us popcorn and martinis upon entrance), because it would be a real shame if Martin Scorsese just accidentally inspired the future Jordan Belforts of the world.


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#5 of 57 ONLINE   Ejanss

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Posted December 26 2013 - 09:15 AM

This is a big problem I have with the film too. Because he was in the financial sector, the 'son of sam' laws get bypassed thanks to his plea deal with the government. Belefort stole hundreds of millions, and while I enjoyed the book, I often felt.. a bit abashed at a book that too often focused on celebrating the wild and crazy life, and not enough about the real consequences to others.

 

There was another film - nowhere near as good, but interesting - that focused on this with a much more 'they are bad guys' mantra ... in 'Boiler Room' (2000).

 

Even the Alex Gibney documentary Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room focuses more on the real-life bad-boys games of hi-roller deal swindlers hyped up on the crack-addiction of their own adrenaline and overconfidence, than on the stripper parties.

Haven't seen Scorsese's movie yet, but I kept looking at the trailer underwhelmed, thinking "Is THIS it, Marty, or is there some larger message to the movie you're not telling us?"



#6 of 57 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted December 26 2013 - 09:49 AM

I usually like as much as dislike Scorsese's films, and comments about the "Wolf" make me even less inclined to go see it. Perhaps I should instead see "Inequality for All," which a good friend has been urging me to see.

 



#7 of 57 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted December 26 2013 - 10:10 AM

I just want to see it for the goodies Will Smith was playing with...allegedly.



#8 of 57 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted December 26 2013 - 02:29 PM

Judging from the trailer, the film looks good; however, this is one film that I wish (unlikely to happen) that WOULD bomb. It has nothing to do with the film or its quality; it has everything to do with the scumbag who will profit from its success. I'm sure the word of a scumbag that defrauded thousands of ordinary people out of their savings can be taken at face value when he says that he intends to pay them back. Ha ha, yeah....right! Whoa, was that a flying pig I saw just now? Nope, just the regular two-legged type that infests Wall Street and every bank and financial institution in North America today.

 

Skipping a possibly good film is a drag, but people like this have gotten enough of my money without me willingly handing over more to be entertained in seeing how he (they) did it and how he (they) enjoyed it by snorting coke and hiring hookers.


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#9 of 57 ONLINE   TravisR

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Posted December 26 2013 - 03:01 PM

...it has everything to do with the scumbag who will profit from its success. I'm sure the word of a scumbag that defrauded thousands of ordinary people out of their savings can be taken at face value when he says that he intends to pay them back.

Is he legally obligated to pay his victims back though? If he has to make restitution then at least, they'll get something back off of that thieving piece of garbage. If he's not being forced to pay people back then I wouldn't take him at his word either (then again, I wouldn't trust my own mother if she worked on Wall Street either).



#10 of 57 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted December 26 2013 - 04:12 PM

Is he legally obligated to pay his victims back though? If he has to make restitution then at least, they'll get something back off of that thieving piece of garbage. If he's not being forced to pay people back then I wouldn't take him at his word either (then again, I wouldn't trust my own mother if she worked on Wall Street either)

 

 

Yes and no.

 

According to federal prosecutors, Belfort has failed to live up to the restitution requirement of his 2003 sentencing agreement. The agreement requires him to pay 50% of his income towards restitution to the 1,513 clients he defrauded. Of the $11.6 million that has been recovered by Belfort's victims, $10.4 million of the total is the result of the sale of forfeited properties. The sentencing agreement mandates a total of $110 million in restitution.[11]

In October 2013, federal prosecutors filed a complaint that Belfort, who had income of $1,767,209 from the publication of his two books and the sale of the movie rights, plus an additional $24,000 from motivational speaking since 2007, paid restitution of only $243,000 over the past four years. The government is currently not holding Belfort in default of his payments in order to keep negotiations open, but it is unclear when the full amount of the mandated restitution will be repaid.[12]


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#11 of 57 ONLINE   TravisR

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Posted December 26 2013 - 07:34 PM

^ Thanks for the info. Hopefully the attention of a major movie will force all involved to make sure that the victims get paid.



#12 of 57 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted December 27 2013 - 02:54 PM

A descent into the pit of moral corruption, astonishing greed and acidic decadence. Jordan Belfort is not just a wolf that rips off the sheep's legs and devours, but one that grins and laughs maniacally about the wails in the air that follow. DiCaprio dives headfirst into the persona of this wickedness, and like the final minutes of GoodFellas the chaos and desperation through it all is a farce and a lie, but the entrapment has become too large to escape. The victims of this thief have almost no voice here, and the coldness of that makes it a film I doubt I will revisit; one doesn't retread the war field when the bodies are still strewn across the grounds. 8/10Sent from my VS920 4G using Tapatalk

#13 of 57 ONLINE   Tino

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Posted December 28 2013 - 12:56 PM

Over the top in almost every way. Drugs sex language etc. I liked it a lot but it's pretty much a love letter to drugs. Jonah Hill steals the film IMO. Destined to be a cult classic. *** out of ****
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#14 of 57 ONLINE   TravisR

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Posted December 28 2013 - 01:49 PM

Possibly the funniest movie of the year and probably my favorite movie of the year. Great music, wonderful performances, excellent direction and just over the top in all the best ways.



#15 of 57 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted December 29 2013 - 04:12 PM

Very well-paced 3-hour film, and mostly enjoyable, and got some nice laughs out of me due to the unexpected nature of one scene, that's for sure. Is it over-the-top? Yes, that's the point. I wasn't fazed by the NC-17-ish material, but 3 people left during a sex scene. Heh.I give it 3.5 stars or a grade of B+.


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#16 of 57 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted December 29 2013 - 05:27 PM

*
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I'm always amused when people can't handle a sex scene...but a grenade blowing people up is fine.

#17 of 57 OFFLINE   Brett_M

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Posted December 30 2013 - 11:44 AM

I thought the film was electrifying.  Great performances and a fantastic script.  


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#18 of 57 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted December 30 2013 - 06:45 PM

I'm always amused when people can't handle a sex scene...but a grenade blowing people up is fine.

Speaking only for myself, I find sex scenes generally uncomfortable because there's a privacy aspect to sex that is removed. Add to that the even more cavalier way sex is used in this film and that uncomfortably increases. Even knowing that's part of the point Mr. Scorsese is making doesn't exactly remove that gut reaction of mine.And a lot of people can't handle heavy violence, either. I have a similar, though triggered via different buttons, discomfort over the vice scene in Casino, for example.Sent from my VS920 4G using Tapatalk

#19 of 57 OFFLINE   theonemacduff

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Posted December 30 2013 - 07:25 PM

I'm more interested in the reports that Scorcese originally delivered a much longer cut (four hours? five hours?), which all who saw it said was fantastic, and they couldn't see how it could be cut further. Maybe the longer cut was more balanced, with more time devoted to the victims. Of course, I'm just speculating here, and since Scorcese has never released an extended or a director's cut (afaik), we can probably kiss the longer cut goodbye, and will end up with only the "excess-as-narrative" cut, which is a theme he's done more than once, and which I kind of don't find all that interesting any more. 



#20 of 57 OFFLINE   theonemacduff

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Posted December 30 2013 - 08:04 PM

And here is the link 

 

http://collider.com/...llas-interview/

 

Lots of interesting stuff here.






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