Saturday, January 25, 2014


Rated: R

STARS: Leonardo DiCaprio,  Jonah Hill,  Kyle Chandler,   Matthew McConaughey,  Rob Reiner
DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese
GENRE: Dark Comedy

The first hour or so of The Wolf Of Wall Street is an out of control, never ending pep rally with cheerleaders who are out of their minds screaming right into your ear.  It's excessive and annoying,  like a nagging spouse trying to make the same point over and over when you already got it the first time. Which fits in, I suppose, with a film about excess and greed taken to ludicrous limits  ( based on the book of the same name by the infamous swindler Jordan Belfort. )  If you make it through that part of the  movie without cashing out and leaving the theater, The Wolf Of Wall Street pays substantial dividends the rest of the way.  

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill are gut-busting funny as drug addled  stock brokers riding the crest of an artificially created financial wave that is about to crash into the rocks as it gets closer to shore.  With a cast of "thousands" of literally hysterical hangers-on and bosomy beauties letting it all hang out in an orgiastic microcosm of what the world would be like if we all  followed our base instinct to live for nothing but our own self- satisfaction without regard to consequence.    

Grade:  B +


Tim and I saw this flick two weeks apart so my feeble mind has forgotten much of what makes THE WOLF OF WALL STREET worth seeing. What I do remember, however, is Leonardo DiCaprio's Oscar-contending performance.
It's hard to believe he wasn't on speed while filming this movie. (His character certainly sniffed enough coke throughout!) I also remember thinking the movie would have benefited from some serious cutting. Not that I nodded off or anything. Still, the scenes of excess—drugs, yacht trips, group orgies—were overly long in my opinion.

Being a big fan of this film's director Martin Scorcese's hit HBO series "Boardwalk Empire," I had to laugh at how many subliminal plugs he gave that show. When the well-stoned characters were watching TV, guess what they were watching? And many of the actors in BE had bit parts in this film. I'm all for loyalty—especially among movie directors—but I felt a lot of those bit parts were unnecessary. (Like Shea Wigham as a ship's captain?) Then again, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is all about excess. And since I have often been accused of living on the edge myself, I could certainly relate.