WALL STREET: DVD
Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) is an idealist and ambitious young broker in 1985 New York who dreams of being rich. His idol is Wall Street legend and millionaire Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), but Bud discovers that overnight riches come at a price.
Review by Louise Keller:
To the strains of Frank Sinatra singing Fly Me To The Moon, the opening shots of a fiery sunrise framing the silhouette of New York's Twin Towers sets the tone of this urban horror story about greed, morality and corporate espionage. This is Michael Douglas' Academy Award winning performance as Gordon Gekko, ruthless man of questionable ethics, who says those immortal words 'Greed is good; greed is right; greed works; greed clarifies and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.' It is also a fine moment for Charlie Sheen as naïve rookie Bud Fox who takes the high road and the low road before discovering how to be true to himself. It might be 21 years since Oliver Stone made the film, but Wall Street plays just as effectively as the day it was made. It's a terrific thriller whose powerful underlying message still packs a punch.
Crowds of faceless people jam into ferries, buses, trains and cars; horns beep, trains lurch and packs squeeze into lifts to get them to work on time. Welcome to the urban jungle and the struggle for survival. It is the world in which Bud Fox lives. When his boss Lou Mannheim (Hal Holbrook) tells him good things take time and that there are no shortcuts, he does not want to listen. Bud has his eye on the prize - the shortcut to wealth and power - through Gekko, the slick, callous man who only bets on sure things. Gekko opens doors, shows him the value of information and how to get it. Bud quickly finds himself in a quicksand from which there is no safe return as he becomes Gekko's informant, participates in illegal insider trading and compromises his father's company. 'There's no nobility in poverty any more,' he tells his father. Champagne lifestyle, an apartment on the East Side and the blonde decorator (Darryl Hannah) who is a great spender of other people's money, become life's must-have ingredients.
The script is sharp with some wonderful lines. 'Not only would you sell your mother to make a deal, you'd send her COD,' Terence Stamp's Sir Laurence Wildman spits at Gekko. And there are those pearls of wisdom from Holbrook, like 'The main thing about money is it makes you do things you don't want to do,' and 'Man looks in the abyss and finds his character; that's what keeps him out of abyss.' All the performances are excellent with the emotional highlights including the father/son emotional angst between Sheen and his real life father Martin Sheen.
As Blood Sweat and Tears' 70s song Spinning Wheel says, 'What goes up... must come down ...' . The film's final 15 minutes are genuinely thrilling as Bud tries to double cross the invincible Gekko. How much is enough? This film tells all.
Special features on the DVD include a documentary, an audio commentary with Oliver Stone and two trailers.
Published April 3, 2008
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WALL STREET: DVD (M)
CAST: Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Tamara Tunie, Franklin Cover, Chuck Pfeiffer, John C. McGinley, Hal Holbrook, James Karen, Leslie Lyles
PRODUCER: Edward R. Pressman
DIRECTOR: Oliver Stone
SCRIPT: Stanley Weiser, Oliver Stone
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Robert Richardson
EDITOR: Claire Simpson
MUSIC: Stewart Copeland
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Stephen Hendrickson
RUNNING TIME: 125 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES: Documentary, audio commentary by Oliver Stone, trailers
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: April 2, 2008
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays - March 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015 - at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.