Wall Street (1987)

Wall Street (1987) — You know it always bugged me when people watched Scarface and missed the point.  Tony Montana is a cautionary tale of what NOT to do and who NOT to be.  Instead a bunch of morons idolize him. I think a quick look at headlines confirms that the same problem has befallen Wall Street. Gordon Gekko is supposed to be the villain, instead he’s become a hero to a bunch of people who are fucking up the country.  But that’s all extra-textual… as for the movie itself, meh. I was handicapped largely by my admittedly deficient knowledge of the world of finance but the story still came through clear. The big thing with the movie is that it feels stylistically dated. Not just in the large women’s hairdos or the gigantic cell phones but more in the way it was shot and lit and the music by Stewart Copeland of the Police. A good movie, while noticeably a product of its time, will hold up over the decades. I don’t think Wall Street does.  There’s a lot of good acting in the movie, most notably Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko.  Martin Sheen and Hal Holbrook also do well as the moral centers of the film.  Charlie Sheen (remember when he used to be a “serious” actor?) seems pretty shallow through most of the movie, but that’s kind of the point. In his antepenultimate scene in the film he lets some emotion crack through and it works.  Daryl Hannah is pretty bad in this. Directorially it is not one of Oliver Stone’s stronger pictures.

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