Friday, September 25, 2015

The Wolf of Wall Street

Year 7, Day 268 - 9/25/15 - Movie #2,160

BEFORE: I've made it to the end of the McConnaughey chain - and I now realize that I didn't just go chronologically through his career, I almost went chronologically through history as well, starting with "Amistad", set in the early 1800's, and reaching to "Interstellar", set in the year 2060 or so.  The ones that didn't fit were "Dallas Buyers Club" and tonight's film, which are both set in the 1980's.  Oh, well, I can only organize the films one way.  Even though McConnaughey is not the star of today's film, according to IMDB he's in the cast somewhere.

After tonight, I've got just 11 films until I break for NY Comic-Con, then 19 more films will take me through to Halloween, then another 9 films gets me to "Star Wars: Episode VII".  If I stick to my actor-linked chain, that means I can start another topic, roughly based on movie stars and music artists, but I won't be able to finish it, I'll have to pick up on that topic next year.  I still haven't figured out what the first movie of 2016 is going to be, or what I'm going to watch in the first two weeks, since I've only been able to program from mid-January to mid-March.  Perhaps I'll get inspired over the holiday break - if not, I just have to pick from among 40 or so films that haven't been put in order yet.

THE PLOT: Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.

AFTER: Yesterday's film was nearly three hours long, and this one is another three hours even.  That's 6 hours out of the last 27 spent watching movies - I feel a bit like I've done nothing else for two days but watch "Interstellar" and this.  Oh, I've had longer movie-watching sessions, like a week at Sundance where I saw almost 20 movies over a 6-day stretch, but that was a special case - and at the end of that week, I was completely worn out.  Today I'm just regular tired. 

But my question is, did this film NEED to be three hours long?  "Interstellar" kept me fascinated for the whole film, because I love space travel films, and there were three different "acts" to the story, but this is just the same same same - selling stocks, doing drugs, sleeping with hookers, repeat - for the whole damn film.  Surely they could have told that story in two hours instead of three?  Mr. Scorsese, it's called editing, and perhaps you should look into giving it a try.   It's possible to showcase the excess of someone's life without being excessive in the film - or was that the point?

Like, if we had seen Jordan cheating on his wife four times instead of five, I think we still would have gotten the point.  Or if we had seen him stoned and acting irresponsibly nine times instead of ten, the effect would have been the same.  

Generally speaking, though, it's nice when there's a narrative film that has some semblance of cause and effect - this person does THIS bad thing, and other bad things happen as a result.  Without any sense of karma or cause + effect, this film just became three hours of near nonsense, from a storytelling viewpoint.  Like, I have no sympathy for the central character, because of what a royal bastard he was.  Couldn't we have picked a better person to make a movie about?

Also starring Leonardo DiCaprio (last seen in "Django Unchained"), Jonah Hill (last seen in "22 Jump Street"), Margot Robbie, Kyle Chandler (last seen in "Argo"), Rob Reiner (last seen in "Edtv"), Jean Dujardin (last seen in "The Monuments Men"), Jon Bernthal, P.J. Byrne, Kenneth Choi, Henry Zebrowski, Ethan Suplee (last seen in "Cold Mountain"), Cristin Milioti, Jake Hoffman, Bo Dietl, with cameos from Jon Favreau (last seen in "Something's Gotta Give"), Joanna Lumley (last seen in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"), Christine Ebersole (last seen in "True Crime"), Thomas Middleditch, Fran Lebowitz, Steve Wittig (last seen in "Bad Words").

RATING: 4 out of 10 Quaaludes

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