REVIEWED
7/28/04

STORY



LOOK

Wall Street
Director: Oliver Stone
Year: 1987
TRT: 2:05


Insider trading, and an up-close look at how it works. Apparently. I don't know jack shit about it, so I can't really say, but this seems to be a pretty decent look at it from Oliver Stone's point of view. I mean, c'mon. The story takes place in 1985, and the film rings with truth without presenting any facts persay, but it's a cut-throat business where the bottom line is absolutely, totally the financial gain for those that have the $cratch to dabble in such high-stakes gambling. Screw the $25 poker tables at Vegas, this is where the big money is made.

The young hotshot broker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) tries to skip a couple of rungs up the ladder by getting in with one of his wannabe top clients Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas). He quickly realizes in order to do this, a couple things like "ethics" and "conscious" need to be sacrificed for the almighty dollar. But what would a movie be without internal conflict and questioning, as his solid upbringing and respect for his father make him start to question his own identity.

Hmmmm. Apparently Martha Stewart never saw this movie. Don't tell me she had no idea that this kind of this was legally wrong. Fuck That. When there's that much money at stake, you better sure as well know what the fuck is going on, or you deserve the consequences. Hands down. Otherwise you're just supporting the continuing (unjustified) nightmare of the working class. Soapbox aside, some good performances here by Martin Sheen as the father (go figure), Chris McGinley as the co-worker left in the dust, and Hal Holbrook as one of the old-timer traders who is kind of the moral center that Bud still doesn't quite understand. The main thread of Gekko taking Bud in and mentoring him in all things money is excellent, earning Douglas an Oscar for the role.

Great Scene: Michael Douglas giving his little speech to the stockholders convincing the majority that greed is good. While I'd like to say it was the ultimate frenetic goal of the 80s, the same fucking rule apparently still applies today, just in a slightly mutated, much more abhorrent form.

DVD Notes: Decent release by Fox that includes a good transfer and subtitles. Also included is a pretty good 47 minute documentary with interview clips of Stone, Douglas and the Sheens, and director commentary by Stone that is pretty personal and tends to wander a bit.