The Wolf Of Wall Street

What a promising pedigree! Leonardo DiCaprio stars in a Martin Scorcese film about Scorsese’s favorite subjects: excess, especially involving cocaine! The cast also included brief appearances by Spike Jonze, Matthew McConaughey, Jon Favreau, Rob Reiner, the dude from Friday Night Lights and Super 8, Patsy from Ab Fab, and a horde of other familiar faces. It was so disappointing that the Wolf turned out to be bloated and incontinent. Wolf made watching crime, drug abuse, hookers, strippers, sex with pretty ladies, financial scandal, shipwrecks, and domestic abuse look bo-o-o-ring. It had a promising start and some funny performances, but overall its six hour running time felt a little bloated. Scenes just kept going on and on, and the plot kept bending back on itself, so just when you thought it was finally coming to an end there was another hour of plot. How many times did Leo’s character have to make money, ingest some drugs, outsmart the authorities, then get busted by them, then outsmart them a little bit, then ingest some drugs, then rinse and repeat? The acting in each scene was fine (or more than fine: Leo and Jonah Hill threw themselves into their roles) but good lord I wish there was less of it.

You know how people looked down on Scorsese’s Casino because it was a retread of Goodfellas even though in some ways it was a better movie? There were any number of movies I was strongly reminded of about rich Alpha Male douchebags while watching Wolf of Wall Street that I would have rather have been watching. For instance: Casino, Goodfellas, Blow, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Great Gatsby, Catch Me If You Can, The Informant! and even Titanic and Inception. And I kept thinking, while checking my watch, that I should really get around to watching Boiler Room and Downfall one of these days.

Worst of all, Leo’s character is based on a true douchebag, one who is real and enthusiastically wanted his version of his story told. On an objective morality scale, he’s just a little below Hitler and that asshole that ran Girls Gone Wild. Jordan Belfort lived hard and fast by ripping off people, betraying family and personal attachments, producing infomercials, committing treason (okay, maybe not the legal interpretation of treason) and any number of other crimes short of murder and simony, and suffered minor consequences after all of that. By buying tickets to his movie, I feel like I’ve only given money back to this fucking so-and-so. I hope he chokes snorting coke out of some poor woman’s colon from the proceeds, since he’s going to be doing that anyway.

I’m torn on going to see this. On the one hand, Scorcese and DiCaprio. On the other, he is a douchebag, and not a very interesting one at that.

My cousin and her husband lived next door and were good friends with Belfort. In fact, eyebrows were raised when she named her daughter Jordan. And while they are mentioned by name in the book on which the movie was based, they aren’t named in the movie, but are in a key scene. They were party guests on board the yacht that sunk in Italy.

She still fights a substance abuse problem to this day, thanks to her ex husband and that asshat.

I heard this get thoroughly bashed on the way in to work, today. A seemingly salient point: DiCaprio was fantastic in playing his character to the hilt, but the movie was awful almost beyond belief and it ran an hour and a half too long.

I’ll see it once it hits redbox. It does look interesting.

Jordan Belfort: I Will Turn Over All ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ Profits To Past Victims

Wow! I’m sorry to hear about your cousin. While I wouldn’t recommend the movie to my worst enemy, unless it was on TV and he was watching TV anyway, I wonder how much similarity there is between real life, the book, and the movie. The disclaimer in the movie seemed to say that while the main character was real, everything else, including the supporting characters, may be mostly or wholly fictitious.

I dunno, Roger, this guy seems like he’s spent his adult life saying one thing and meaning three others, especially where his financial life is concerned. This article seems to say that he’s promised to pay restitution to his victims ever since going to jail, but so far has only “paid back” what has been seized from him. Maybe he even will hand over what he earned from story rights, etc., but he’ll expect that he can charge much more for his sleazy sales seminars because of the publicity.

This is such a strange paragraph it’s almost an endearing movie in itself.

I suspect, to paraphrase the great Jack Webb, while the story is true, names were changed to protect the not-so-innocent. I’m not sure how movies based on real events handle the issue of names. I would guess my cousin would have to have signed some sort of release, but she was never even approached, afaik.

It’s cute he thinks that his net will be “countless millions” and sufficient to pay back the $100m he stole during his crime spree.

It had a promising start and some funny performances, but overall its six hour running time felt a little bloated.

He should have followed the Peter Jackson plan and made it 3 2-hour movies.

Is this movie actually six hours? WTF?

Nah, the description was hyperbolic. It’s around three hours; it just felt much longer.

While I really had fun with movie, thought a number of the performances were really enjoyable/well done, it was definitely too long. I appreciated the talk to camera scenes where the finance stuff would just get hand-waved away with a wink, but I feel like a lot of the one-note content could have been hand-waved or dismissed as well. Scenes seemed to start way before the point of the scene occurred and ended well past the end of the moment at times.

I also feel like they should have done a lot more with Clear Eyes Full Hearts Can’t Lose as a way to ground the movie for us regular people and balance out the one note stuff going on with dicaprio’s side. In the end, I had fun watching it, but I could see how someone not having fun would find the film arduously long.

Saw this tonight, was kind of disappointed. When you go to see a Martin Scorcese R-rated film, you know you’re going to get snappy dialogue, electric interplay between actors, amazing editing and cuts, and scenes of almost hilariously spontaneous physical conflict. I got all that out of WoWS. In fact, that’s all I got. It was like a Marty Scorcese highlight reel that just kept going and going and going. It was like having an entire meal of chocolate chip cookies. Really delicious while you’re gorging, but totally empty and devoid of anything meaningful.

I think my biggest problem lies in what I consider a fundamental weakness of the script or story. Moreso than any Scorcese film I can remember, this movie settled into a predictable pattern of montage with voice-over narration and then set piece. In fact, that’s all the movie was in retrospect. It was like the Baldurs Gate of Scorcese movies. Here’s a box with this scene in it. Now we’ll do a montage and set up the next set piece. Here’s that. Now here’s another montage, and that takes us into the next diorama shoebox. I thought the scenes where Jordan addresses the assembled stockbrokers were dull and uninteresting (especially compared to their obvious antecedents, Baldwin’s turn in Glengarry and George C. Scott’s address in Patton) and went on way, way, way too long. I thought the movie tried to have about 3 separate climaxes, none of which totally worked because the script yada-yadas over the most important information in the story.

Scorcese still has skills, but one that’s eroded from him is his ability to select amazing scripts, apparently.

I guess I’ll be the lone voice in this thread speaking up for the movie. I thought it was one of the best movies I’ve seen all year, and the first hour was probably the best thing I’ve seen in many, many years. I was stunned at how fantastic that first hour was. I thought it was ballsy, inventive, hilarious, and electric. At the two hour mark, during the never-ending Lemon lude scene I felt physically nauseated. And by the end of the movie I was a little beat down and exhausted.

Leo put on a performance for the ages. The amount of range he had to have here was staggering. Jonah Hill surprised the hell out of me, I thought he was fantastic. And the introduction of Margot Robbie was an awesome double take movie moment.

I couldn’t disagree more, I thought Terence Winter’s script was perfect for what this movie ended up being. There were plenty of improvisations of course, but I felt the script provided plenty of smaller more richly contained scenes such as:

The McConaughey martini lunch;
Early scenes with Jordan’s first wife;
Scene with Spike Jonze;
First sell at the penny stock agency;
The coaching cold call;
Scene in the conference room talking about the dwarves;
Scene on the boat with the FBI agents;
Margot Robbie in the pink room;
During a Jordan speech singling out a woman in the front and telling her rags to riches story;
Scene with FBI agent and Judge on the subway.

I thought the microphone speech scenes were brutal and compelling; the party/debauchery set pieces wild and choreographed like the best action scenes; and the ultimate “point” of the movie spot-fucking-on. The entire movie is like the third act of Goodfellas spun out to its absurd breaking point.

I can’t stop thinking about this movie and hope it eventually gets the love it deserves.

EDIT: I also think all the culprits come off as stupid, vapid, and pathetic.

That’s the problem, though. The movie essentially devolves into a bunch of slightly related SNL sketches that start off fairly funny, but after a while I felt like I was on the 500th page of a self-congratulatory Tucker Max book.

It was all so empty and kind of vapid. It was funny, it executed the script expertly…but it’s all just empty calories. The characters aren’t dynamic. They never grow or change appreciably. The things that happen to them in the movie are only slightly related to previous things that have happened to them, and again the movie requires narration and montages to tie them together. In a case like that, the story has to take up the slack and it just doesn’t, mostly because Jordan Belfort’s life isn’t particularly interesting.

In high school and college, we all had “Man, I was soooooo wasted last night” one-upmanship stories. I had roommates and acquaintances who specialized in them, and delighted in one-upping any story being told with ludicrous tales of idiotic excess. Many times these stories were quite entertaining, but in 20 minute doses perhaps monthly. At some point though, I outgrew my need for three hours of that, which is pretty much what Wolf Of Wall Street felt like.

I really hated this movie. There are a couple of bits, Jonah Hill talking about his cousin/DiCaprio trying to make it to his car, that were awesome. I mean those were as memorable to me as anything thing else I’ve seen this year.

But there is a real soulless quality to all this. None of it amounts to anything. I guess it’s because it doesn’t tell the audience anything we don’t already know. You mean a guy who makes money selling stocks, whether his clients lose money or not, won’t care about those clients? You mean he might even be a gasp crook? Didn’t Trading Places cover this already, and do it better? Then he’s stupid. Didn’t we learn from watching Columbo that you don’t talk to the cops? Talking to the cops doesn’t end well for the noncop. How am I supposed to care about how this all turns out when these characters are even less appealing than the Cloverfield characters? The hardcore party scenes were a yawn, Scarface had the mother of all drug use scenes, if you can’t top that why go there?

In short, I probably would have been more impressed with this movie if it came out back in the 80s or 90s, now it just seems a little behind the times.

I tried reading the book at the insistence of my sister, because of the family connection. After reading half of the first chapter, and hearing over and over again how big his house was, how beautiful his wife was, and how fucked up he got,I gave up.

gameoverman points to other problems I had with the movie.

At one point, Belfort is telling us about how a pump and dump scheme works as it relates to his chicanery with Madden shoes. DiCaprio is breaking the fourth wall to do this…and then he stops and basically says “Ah, you don’t care…” and we move on to another shoebox scene.

Well, see, maybe once we didn’t. But…now we live in a world where movies like Margin Call exist, where they do take the time to explain what’s going on and they don’t dumb down Wall Street and that’s actually interesting, riveting, and relatable.

The fourth wall is breached about two minutes into the film, and it continues to be broken throughout. He waves off the explanation because he thinks you’re too stupid to understand. He has contempt for you. You are, after all, just another subway chump. Why should he waste another moment trying to explain something to an insect when he’d much rather have you bask in the glory that is Jordan Belfort ; )

Margin Call is great, and I’m glad you brought it up, it’s the perfect counterpoint. But The Wolf of Wall Street is way more subversive and timely than that film. It doesn’t really care about the nitty gritty of Wall Street, or the financial collapse.

It’s about a base American desire for wealth at all cost. Just look at those eager faces in the audience at the end. Leaning in, yearning, coveting the knowledge that Jordan has for them. This shit is way more devastating than any boardroom intrigue.

EDIT: It’s an honest to goodness American dream movie in the same vein as Goodfellas, just with a different kind of crook, operating in a different kind of world. A world where these kind of transgressions aren’t punished.

I don’t think it comes off as devastating, because it’s clear what is required to be this type of person and most people won’t do it, not even for money. That’s where the soulless aspect comes from. Sure, you can be him, but would you rat out your friends and colleagues? Oh wait, you are living a life without friends, I forgot. That undercuts the potential for devastating commentary because most people wouldn’t go for it. Most people want lives with friends and family. Sure, everyone wants the trappings of wealth, but are not willing to whatever it takes to get it. So the movie isn’t about the average person, it’s about these specific types of self absorbed, anti-social, amoral greedy bastards. Not many people can relate to that.

Goodfellas was about a KID who fell in with the wrong crowd, I think that’s an important difference. We could see the allure that kind of life would have for an impressionable kid. In Wolf of Wall Street, DiCaprio plays a grown man who deliberately chooses that kind of life out of pure selfishness, that’s hard as hell to relate to, at least for me.