January 27, 2014

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and the annoying blonde girl from the ill-fated TV show Pan Am

Jesus, where do I begin. Between this and the last movie I watched, I feel like I need a long shower and some eye drops...

This movie is drawing frequent comparisons to Goodfellas in the media. To me, this is like how every year some movie is "this year's Juno" or "this generation's Love Story." Basically, a movie critic is too lazy to write an original review and sees a couple of similarities and calls it the same as a "quirky" movie from the previous summer or whatever.

I don't want to delve into the similarities of both movies. If you're really interested to know what Goodfellas and Wolf have in common, Google it - there are plenty of people out there mulling over that exact topic. I want to focus on what made Wolf noticeably different from a cinematic classic like Goodfellas.

To be clear, it's not the acting. Leo, as always, is spectacular. It will never be clear to me why he still doesn't own an Oscar. I'd say maybe the Academy voters are hating on him being a modelizer, but that then that wouldn't explain why George Clooney has 2 Oscars. (No seriously, why does George Clooney have 2 Oscars?) One can't help but think that years from now he'll win for some crappy movie because the Academy knows it screwed up and owes him and it'll be awkward because it'll be screwing someone more deserving that particular year, who will then need to be compensated somewhere down the line (and the cycle continues...)

I'm going to need to take a drink before admitting this, but *gulp* Jonah Hill does an excellent job in this movie as well. *gulp* Seriously. *gulp* I thought we were all being Punk'd by the Academy when he was nominated for Moneyball, but this nomination was *gulp* well deserved. He's so f*ucking dirty in this movie I wanted to crawl into the screen and strangle him to death with my own hands. And this is my cooled down reaction a few days after watching the movie. I mean, I still question whether the giant white teeth were really necessary for his role, but hey, "based on a true story," right?

So we've got Leo, we've got Jonah Hill not detracting from the movie, and we've got the great Martin Scorsese at the helm. What could go wrong? As it turns out, letting Martin Scorsese run the show.

I realize I'm basically risking going straight to movie review hell for even thinking this, let alone telling others, but Scorsese does not walk on water. Not everything he touches turns to gold. His movies do not turn water into wine. Ok, I'm out of metaphors. But seriously, not every movie he makes is guaranteed to be an instant classic and while this movie had a lot of good in it, it had one large, irredeemable flaw that is common to a lot of Scorsese films:

It was too f*cking long.

Now, I'm not one of those annoying people who can't go 15 seconds without checking their smartphone because I'm ADHD or lack an attention span for movies without something exploding every ten minutes. The Sound of Music (the real one, not the hideous Carrie Underwood remake, whatever that was) was one of my favorite movies as a kid. Can you imagine a kid sitting through that thing now?

It takes a solid hour before you even care about Jordan Belfort, the main character, and quite a bit in the middle could be edited out. The movie is like a model who gets told she would be better looking if she lost 10-15 lbs.

Don't get me wrong - this movie is important. It is important to our current time of financial crisis like watching Amour is important to anyone thinking about getting married. I guarantee if this movie had come out a year earlier the Occupy Wall Street movement would still be going strong and wouldn't be left to the crazy stragglers who just enjoy camping out in urban areas. But that still doesn't make the movie go by any faster.
Final word: So excessive it becomes uncomfortable to watch.

Side note: Ray Liotta scares the bejesus out of me. This has nothing to do with the movie, I just want to know if he scares anyone else out there.

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