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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Movie Review: The Wolf of Wall Street

Could you live life knowing you are stealing from people every day? In December 2013, we watched as Jordan did just that, and man could he live.

Directing this 180 minute biography/comedy/crime/drama is Martin Scorsese.

Telling this true tale is: Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort, Jonah Hill as Donnie Azoff, Margot Robbie as Naomi Lapaglia, Jon Bernthal as Brad, Rob Reiner as Max Belfort, P.J. Byrne as Nicky Koskoff, Kenneth Choi as Chester Ming, Brian Sacca as Robbie Feinberg, Henry Zebrowski as Alden Kupferberg, Ethan Suplee as Toby Welch, Kyle Chandler as Agent Patrick Denham, Matthew McConaughey as Mark Hanna and Jon Favreau as Manny Riskin. With an appereance by Jordan Belfort as .

In 1987 Jordan Belfort started a job that would change his life forever. After starting his new job as a stockbroker, Jordan's boss, Mark Hanna, gives him some advice on how to succeed at their job. Sadly,
Jordan's new job doesn't last long due to the firm having to close it's doors. Now, with no job and little options in the job market, Jordan is unsure what to do. Then opportunity knocks in the form of a penny stocks job (stocks that trade at low prices) with a small company where Jordan's salesmanship skills would make him rich. Seeing the potential income, Jordan decides to start his own firm and grabs some friends that have had previous sales experience in other fields. Together they start a questionable, but booming, firm that soon has tons of hungry young brokers running to them for a job. Unfortunately, when you live the life of a rockstar, with huge parties and tons of money being thrown around, you can't be surprised when someone finally notices you, and want to know all about you, like the FBI for instance. Yet, having more money than Jordan knew what to do with and deals making him even more money daily, life couldn't be better, even with the FBI watching him. Then came the wake up call. All this time Jordan had been juggling life, deals, money, family and the law. Finally leaving Jordan in a spot his sales skills couldn't get him out of.

So, how did we come to have this film? Well, it's based on the memoirs of the real life Jordan Belfort, which was then flipped into a screenplay by Terence Winter. When he got caught he served twenty months in prison and had to pay back millions of dollars in restitution for securities fraud and money laundering. Later he cracked out two books (The Wolf of Wall Street, and Catching the Wolf of Wall Street) about his life. The film gives us over two hours to be envious and slightly disgusted by how a man lives. After watching this film I was surprised by two things, of the life Jordan lived and the fact that he somehow lived to tell his story. As far as the film, Scorsese did an amazing job directing this huge film. I'm kinda glad an independent company (Red Granite Pictures) picked this up instead of a bigger named company (like Warner Bros or Paramount Pictures) because they had a little bit more freedom to move idea-wise and that freedom truly shined in the end product, making for a very entertaining film. The only draw back was that it ran a little long for me. I surprised myself by this finding, but I can only watch something about drugs, sex and money for so long. Who knew, right? The cast was great. DiCaprio is starting to make me a fan of his with his latest run of films. Also, Jonah Hill even won me over in this one. Yes, there is comedy (which he's known for) but there was more to his character and he pulled it off. Set design and costumes did a good job setting the scene for the film. Overall, if you're looking to see how the other half lives and eventually falls on their face, then this is the flick for you. It's worth the time to check it out.

It's rated R for language, nudity, violence and drug use.

Scorsese aimed for the moon, but got 4 stars.


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