Monday, September 27, 2010

Insider Reviews Wall Street 2


WAS EXPECTING TO DISLIKE IT, cause I don't care for Oliver Stone, his politics or even his looks. But lo and behold, after being taken there on Saturday after bemoaning then acquiescing, I ended up liking it better than I ever expected. While MadHedgeFundTrader can better give you details of who each character in the film represents in real life---though it's not rocket science--- I can tell you most of the film rang true on a lot of financial themes and cast of characters that have played out over the past few fast-paced years. These are the same themes that will undoubtedly play out to an even greater degree in the years ahead and fodder for more movies to come starring those bedeviled stars of quantitative easing (money printing) and S&P and bond manipulation now in the process of collapsing the economy for us and our children and grand-children. Men like Geithner and Bernanke will be easy to spot as they're drug off to the electric chair.....just a little joke.

Still, we never seem to learn from history and so are doomed to repeat it. Nevertheless, if you want to see how the big boys play their games at the top echelons of madness and then get bailed out using our money, then go and see this movie.


gcotharn said...

A rank amateur's perspective from my theater seat: I like films; I didn't like this film.

Did anyone care about the laser company? For the film to work, we needed to care about that. At the end, re the laser company, we ought have been in tears. For me: nothing. Less than nothing.

The girl didn't do it for me. We needed to care about her. She didn't have the charisma to draw us (only me?) in and have us caring about her. I like the way her mouth can go crooked. Made me want to hug and protect her. She might be a good character actress. But I didn't care about her and Shia Lebouf. From the very opening moments of the film, they could have shown a bit more tenderness: could have drawn us into rooting for them. Instead, they abruptly jumped out of bed and onto a motorcycle. I'm not a huge fan of tender scenes, but some additional tenderness was called for right from the beginning. The audience needs to be on the side of and rooting for the main characters.

--continued in another comment--

gcotharn said...

Oddly, the first Wall Street, which I thought was a very enjoyable film, also suffered from miscasting Darryl Hannah as the lead actress - and for the same reason: we needed to care about whether Hannah and Charlie Sheen's relationship survived, yet Hannah didn't have the onscreen presence to draw us in and make us care about her.

Its also possible that Oliver Stone doesn't know how to script and light and film and edit women. He may be the problem, instead of the actresses. Thinking back on his films which I have seen: I cannot think of a single lead woman character who came off well. Even Meg Ryan, in The Doors - playing a character which could not fail to be a hit with an audience - came off weird under Oliver Stone's direction. In JFK, Sissy Spacek came off as unnecessarily whiny and neurotic. So, I'm changing my mind: I think Oliver Stone is the problem. He neither understands, loves, nor knows how to film and edit women.

-- continued --

gcotharn said...

Since I'm in full bitchy mode, and b/c I really really didn't like this movie: I became fully sick of being fed cliche; of being expected to receive cliche as wisdom. Yuck.

Now consider the plot. Not the stuff which tracked the financial meltdown, but rather the plot which was central to the movie, i.e. the plot revolving around the girl and Lebouf. Did her actions make sense? Did you believe a real person would have taken the actions which she took? The ring? The money? The petulance? The sudden personal decision out of left field? Lebouf: would Lebouf suddenly and openly threaten the guy he was planning to secretly betray? Who (besides Oliver Stone?) would have such lack of discipline and lack of commitment as Lebouf's character displayed?

I just didn't ever buy into this movie. I'm willing to buy into movies which have unbelievable stuff; which have plot holes. I didn't buy into this.

I did think Lebouf was good. Lebouf had heart. I thought Josh Brolin was a powerhouse - though he could have benefited from a bit more character development -- which is an odd thing to say about a movie which is at least 15 minutes too long as is.

It's really easy to complain and to tear stuff down, as I have done above. But I think this movie deserves it.

Webutante said...

Thank you so much for your comments, always all points well taken for sure....and none without merit.

I will only say in response that most of the characters and plot are cliches because it's about one of the oldest, cliched games in the world.

The main men in the story are highly leveraged and spiritually and morally bankrupt playing high stakes Ninetendo with other people's money and ultimately bailed out by the same guy who helped create the mess in the first place---the Hank Paulson cliche. Sure the twist at the end could have a humanizing effect, but in truth...there's not much to care about in any of the movie including the couple's 'love story.'

In the end, they all go forward after another crap shoot and massive bailout living very high on the hog as if there were no tomorrow and as one big happy ending which we know is totally unsustainable.

Even today as our stock markets rocket upward again in party mode before mid-term elections, as if all is well once again, we know and sense the final scene of the movie is like our real life scene today....a rally for sure, perpetrated by the FED
but totally unsustainable in this devilishly fallen world....Oliver portrays the ups and downs of this high stakes boom-bust game in spite of himself and yes in cliches, imho...

gcotharn said...

Night and day are dramatically different for me. Now, the morning sun is streaming in through my windows; the day is full of possibility. Now, I would never dump on anything so vociferously as I did last night, on this movie.

We watched different movies under different circumstances. You went in with low expectations. B/c I enjoyed the 1988 movie, I went in w/ high expectations, then found myself disappointed. You enjoyed the Wall Street parts, i.e. parts of which you are familiar and expert in real life. I am less familiar, less expert. I didn't specifically flash on true life characters being represented, as you did. I did enjoy the Wall Street representations. I wish the Wall Street story had been emphasized more. I wish we had seen more exposition of it. I wish it had been built up more dramatically and made the central focus of the movie.

Re cliche
I was unclear: I was speaking of the scriptwriter's cliche dialogue in several places - inch deep cliche dialogue which we were supposed to receive as wisdom; which Oliver Stone maybe actually believes is wisdom. Conversely, I've no problem with cliche formula in movies. I love cliche formula in movies! I enjoyed the representation of Wall Street in this movie.

Webutante said...

Interesting...this was anything but a perfect movie and I was stretching the meaning of cliche...still so much of our lives is lived the land of cliche.

If I have further thought, will comment later....your input is always valuable and thought-provoking...thank you, Greg!