MARCH 25TH, 2014
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET // Leonardo DiCaprio gives one of his best performances of his career in Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf Of Wall Street”, a brutally honest look at the life of real life New York stockbroker, Jordan Belfort, who scammed rich people out of their money to live his lavish, no holds barred lifestyle. Almost pornographic in nature, the film brings out the animalistic sides of its characters, who throw midgets like lawn darts and who spend insurmountable quantities of cash on the strangest of things. There’s a humor in this film, as Jonah Hill and his fellow cronies work their way up the Wall Street ladder, with DiCaprio leading the way. Hill fills the role of Donnie Azoff, Belfort’s best friend and partner in crime most of the time. The two play off each other well and the roller coaster ride of that is this film sees them through some very comical moments together. Matthew McConaughey has a very brief but humorous part in the film as Belfort’s first eccentric boss Mark Hanna, who shows him the dark but glamorous side to drinking and doing drugs at lunch, but still performing impressively at the stock exchange. Also, Kyle Chandler mixes in wonderfully as the FBI agent bent on taking down the corrupt world that Belfort lives in.
One of my favorite roles is of Belfort’s second wife, Naomi, played by the young and immensely gorgeous Margot Robbie, who steals almost every scene she’s in with DiCaprio and commands her role just as she commands Belfort. “The Wolf Of Wall Street” is a crazy masterpiece from Scorsese, delivering enough action and comedy to warrant multiple viewings, bringing not only understanding to what was going on during the Wall Street scandals but delving deeper into the wild party side. The best moment in the film by far, involving DiCaprio’s character taking very powerful Quaaludes, losing motor function, and crawling to his car marks the only time this year that I laughed until I cried in the movie theater. Scorsese hasn’t missed a beat and even at three hours long, which feels long, there’s not a moment I could pinpoint that I would take out, marking a very brilliant use of screen-time. Filled with amazing talent, especially the star of the show, DiCaprio, this is yet another fantastic film for Scorsese to add to his filmography, continuing his untouchable legacy as a director.
DELIVERY MAN // Sadly, Vince Vaughn’s star is falling, or plummeting if you will. Once on top and in the spotlight of his comedic heyday, “Delivery Man” proves that he’s just not the comedic genius we once thought him to be. Now, most of this can be placed on the material, with the exact script from a French-Canadian release titled “Starbuck”, written and directed by the same man, Ken Scott. Talk about completely unnecessary. Not only are remakes now coming from the same exact director, but they’re using the same script and leaving a year to separate the films. Although I have yet to see “Starbuck”, from what I’ve heard, the films are almost shot exactly the same as well, with the same shot choices and absolutely nothing changing in the script.
Yes, I believe Vaughn still has the wherewithal to pull off comedic scripts, but this film falls into a strange borderline between family comedy and raunchy frolic, making it the worst of both worlds and a film very few people will want to see. The script is horrendous. I can perhaps suspense my disbelief enough to accept that a sperm donor could father 533 kids, and I can maybe believe that they would sue to find out who their biological father is, but how in the hell did they all end up staying in New York City? How in the hell is Vaughn’s character able to find them all without leaving the state. It’s absolutely ridiculous and without involvement from Chris Pratt and his great comedic timing, “Delivery Man” would almost be unwatchable. Now Vince Vaughn just needs to find a comedy that actually works and then we can all decide whether he’s completely past his prime or not.
THE GREAT BEAUTY // Having won the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Feature, “The Great Beauty” or “La Grande Bellezza” was one of the only foreign film anyone was talking about this Oscar season. Setting the bar high for foreign film contenders, with amazing visuals and memorable performances, this French film is filled with breathtaking sequences and unforgettable imaginary, including a scene with a giraffe in a courtyard at night, a flashlight lit art gallery tour, and a screaming little girl fist painter, among a list of spectacular images that goes on and on. From director Paolo Sorrentino, who made his English debut recently with “This Must Be The Place” starring Sean Penn and starring Toni Servillo (“Il Divo”) as the lead character, Jep Gambardella, “The Great Beauty” follows Jep after his 65th birthday party, as he entertains his group of friends on several occasions, finds himself in a relationship with a much younger woman who makes a living as a stripper, and leaves his successful career as a writer to interview and produce columns. Jep reminisces of a lost love from when he was a young man, just as her husband informs Jep that she has passed and had always loved him. Servillo plays this role wonderfully, bringing a vitality to the aged man and a sophistication needed to present the lyrical delivery of many of his criticisms. Although often over my head, the film grabs hold enough to fill in the voids left by its dense material and really does impress on every level.
|The Great Beauty: Criterion|
|The Past (Le Passe)|
|The Truth About Emanuel|
|The Wolf Of Wall Street|
|Walking With Dinosaurs: The Movie|
|Welcome To The Jungle|
TV Box Set
- Californication: Season Six
- Continuum: Season Two
- Here’s Lucy: The Complete Series
- Key and Peele: Seasons One & Two
- Little House on the Prairie: Season One Remastered
- Mapp & Lucia: The Complete Collection
- Veep: Season Two
- Special Editions/Other Releases
- Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher
- Beast of the Bering Sea
- Beneath (2013)
- Cabin Fever 3: Patient Zero
- California Scheming
- Chinese Zodiac
- Dragons: Defenders of Berk Part 1
- An Exorcism of Evil
- Free Ride
- Geography Club
- Girl On A Bicycle
- Let the Fire Burn
- Ms. 45
- Musicares Person of Year: Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
- The Punk Singer
- When A Woman’s Fed Up