Wall Street (Oliver Stone Collection)

January 28, 2012 8 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) comes from a humble background, but his hopes & dreams point him toward a much richer future. He went to college and is now a broker on Wall Street, but his career is not as rewarding as he would like it to be. But he keeps plugging away at his work, spending money to enhance his lifestyle, and visiting with his father, Carl (Martin Sheen). His dad’s advice and loans help him through the tougher times, but he still remains depressed about his current place in life. So he works hard and at night, he works even harder and tries to put together a proposal to take to a serious power player. He plans to prepare a deal for Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) and if he succeeds, his road to the good life will contain no traffic. Gekko’s power, money, and influence will guide Fox to the serious cash, but Bud doesn’t give much thought to the potential consequences. Is the price of being rich & powerful worth what Bud might be forced to surrender?

This movie, for lack of a better word, is good. Well in truth, Wall Street is a great movie, but who can resist mimicking a classic quote, right? I know a movie about the stock market doesn’t seem to interesting, but the antics of Gordon Gekko and Bud Fox are nothing short of cinema legend. I use quotes from the film on an almost daily basis, as do most of my friends and in this film, there’s plenty of memorable lines to recite. I feel this is Oliver Stone’s best movie and coming from a big fan of his like me, that is a real compliment to Wall Street. The film follows Bud Fox as he climbs the ladder, is faced with trouble, and then has to deal with his actions. The cast is excellent in all respects, this film has no real weak link within the performers. The cast is loaded with gifted actors, all of whom turn in superb performances in the movie. Add in what I think is Stone finest work behind the camera and viola, a cinematic masterpiece! I do believe Wall Street is one of the best movies of all time, but then again, I know it won’t hit all chords with everyone like it did me. Fox has given the film a new transfer and audio mix, as well as some nice supplements, which means a purchase or rental is more than justified.

As I mentioned above, Oliver Stone is one of my favorite directors and I think this is his best film in the end. I am hesitant to make that claim, as Stone has several films close to this level, but I think Wall Street takes the cake in the final vote. But this is my personal take and of course, your mileage will vary. Stone used his more conservative editing tools for Wall Street, which is good because I don’t think his more modern trends would suit the film well at all. This more restrained approach works to perfection and never rushes the visuals or storyline, which allows the film to unfold at a nice pace. Stone has always been a fantastic director, but I stand by my claim of Wall Street as the best work of his career. I also recommend such Oliver Stone pictures as Natural Born Killers, Born On The Fourth Of July, Talk Radio, Heaven and Earth, Platoon, Nixon, and Any Given Sunday. The cast of Wall Street is headed up by Charlie Sheen (Major League, The Arrival) and Michael Douglas (Basic Instinct, The Game), but also includes such gifted performers as Hal Holbrook (Waking the Dead, The Firm), Martin Sheen (Lost & Found, Spawn), John C. McGinley (Office Space, Nothing To Lose), Terence Stamp (The Limey), Josh Mostel (Billy Madison, Jesus Christ Superstars), Sean Young (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective), and Daryl Hannah (Splash, The Real Blonde).

Video: How does it look?

Wall Street is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. I am a little disappointed with this transfer, as it is quite soft, but it is still leagues better than previous editions. This release features a clean print and I saw no evidence of compression flaws, but this where this transfer slips is detail. The contrast is sharp and well balanced, but due to the softness of the image, not much detail can be seen at all times. This is a minor issue, as the image looks very good, but it is still worth mentioning here. The colors look good and show no signs of bleeds, while flesh tones appear natural also. I wish this transfer was a little sharper and more defined, but this is the best edition available, so still worth a look.

Audio: How does it sound?

This disc includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, but this film isn’t one to spin if you want dynamic audio. This movie is reliant upon dialogue for the most part and in truth, I didn’t hear much surround use aside from the musical soundtrack. But I don’t think this track is lacking that much, as dialogue sounds good and I didn’t expect much from this mix in the first place. I suppose more surround use in certain sequences would have been nice, but I am pleased with this mix in the end. The disc also includes an English 2.0 surround option, French mono track, and Spanish & English subtitles.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes a few nice bonus features, such as a forty minute documentary on how the film was made. The piece is heavy on interviews and also shows a few clips of rare behind the scenes footage, which was a real treat to view. I liked the interviews a lot and this documentary proves to be much more than a simple fluff piece, as it is loaded with information and memories about the production. An audio commentary with Oliver Stone is also found on this disc, in which Stone recounts the entire process behind the film’s creation. As always, Stone is very talkative for the most part, but he does slack off toward the end of the track. Rounding out the disc are two theatrical trailers, which are of course most welcome.

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