Movies, Books, & TV shows

Movie Review: The Wolf of Wall Street

Here’s something I haven’t done yet – a movie review. I hesitate when using the word “review” because that seems really dry and academic. A more apt discussion might be “a discussion of my thoughts and feelings about this movie I recently saw that has a lot of hype around it.”

First of all – spoiler alert! If you haven’t seen the movie yet and don’t want to find out what it’s like – stop reading here and come back later.

The pros:

  • This was possibly Jonah Hill’s greatest performance to date. I didn’t think he was capable of playing someone other than himself – a goofy slightly-overweight young Millennial. He actually pulled off the old-school stock broker with strangely white and straight teeth look, and was a very convincing middle aged unhappy schmuck.
  • For some – the gratuitous sex scenes and shots of prostitutes and naked people may be a pro. For me – there is only so much sniffing-coke-out-of-a-hooker’s-ass that one can watch in any given year, much less all at once in a 3 hour period.
  • DiCaprio does some superb acting as always.
  • You get to see Matthew McConaughey wearing a weird hairpiece and playing an unusual character for him – he actually remains clothed during all his scenes and plays a surprisingly small role.
  • Margot Robbie is very attractive and plays a scarily convincing Brooklyn beauty queen (especially for an Australian actor!). She adds some entertaining twists to the otherwise male-driven story.

The cons:

  • It’s way too long. Maybe I’m biased because I went to a 10:40pm showing and didn’t get home until 3:00am and was subsequently pretty exhausted and grumpy but in my opinion – a movie should be less than 2 hours. Maybe we can make exceptions for truly epic movies that simply cannot be any shorter (like Lord of the Rings but even that is a bad example since those movies are so poorly rated), but generally speaking a movie should be less than 120 minutes.
  • Is it just me or was there a shit-load of straight up screaming in this movie? Maybe I am over-sensitive to people yelling at the top of their lungs but I felt my blood pressure rise each time a scene included generous amounts of screaming matches which felt far too often. Maybe it’s a personal preference but listening to people screech, argue, cry, and generally break down is on my list of undesirable experiences – although further down the list than watching violence, gore, and frightening, twisted mind games à la Saw.
  • Likeability of the characters: starts high and ends pretty low. Did you see Will Smith’s heart warming movie The Pursuit of Happyness? It has some similarities in its rag to riches story on Wall Street – except by the end of the movie you want to hug Will Smith and his adorable son, and by the end of the Wolf of Wall Street I was partially hoping that everyone would end up in jail or dead just so they would hush up and I could go home.

Caveat: I’m realizing now that my movie experience could have been colored by my tired and increasingly irritable state…but hey aren’t all movie reviews biased??

TL;DR: 6.5/10 entertaining film but would not highly recommend

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