Friday, April 4, 2014

The Wolf of Wall Street

Remember years ago when David Spade used to do those Hollywood Minute bits on SNL? There was one where he "reviewed" the then newly released film Casino by saying, "I liked it better the first time... when it was called Goodfellas." Anyway, that's all I could think about while watching the now newly released film the Wolf of Wall Street. This movie was ok. It's worth watching. I liked it, but... well... I just liked it better the first time, when it was called Goodfellas.

Of course Spade was making a jest at the similarities between Goodfellas and Casino, since both were Martin Scorsese-directed mob pictures starring Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci, but at heart both were very different films... but this one is Goodfellas. No, it's not about the mob and DeNiro and Pesci are nowhere to be found, but scene for scene and beat for beat it's pretty much the same film. Except while Goodfellas was great, this one was just ok. I maybe preferred Goodfellas because it was more fresh and original and unlike anything anybody had ever made before, or maybe I just preferred it because the mafia is a more interesting -- or at least entertaining -- subject matter.

I know why the mafia are bad people. Wall street... I don't know anything about Wall Street, and this film didn't really teach me anything. Maybe I wasn't paying attention enough, or maybe it's just that I'm dumb, but I never really followed much of the actual Wall Street wheeling and dealings. The film details an extensive FBI investigation into a Wall Street trader, but I never knew what he was doing to break the law. He did lots of drugs and banged lots of whores, but what was illegal? All they ever said was that he broke the law and made illegal deals, but I didn't really know what laws were broken or how the deals were illegal. So at the end of the day, I never really cared much, which is too bad.

Also, it's a three hour movie, with at least half of that time just spent on people getting high and banging whores. It was all fun and entertaining, but I dunno. I just never cared much about the story, and every main character was so awful it just got hard to watch. But Martin Scorsese sure knows how to keep a story moving, even when that story is ultimately hollow.


Mugato said...

I was on the fence about even watching this. I really like DiCaprio, but I really hate Jonah Hill.

Justin Garrett Blum said...

I'll check it out. It's tough to find the time to watch a 3-hour film, though. That sounds pathetic to have to admit, but when your leisure time doesn't usually start until 9:30 at the earliest, long-ass movies sort of fall by the wayside.