Fox // 1987 // 125 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Jim Thomas // September 16th, 2010
Every dream has a price.
It was late at night when the phone rang. Muttering under my breath, I put down the DVD Journal. "Hello?"
"Judge Thomas? Hey, it's Vic, your broker. You told me the other day that you were looking to diversify your DVD portfolio, and I've got a hot tip for you: Wall Street: Insider Trading Edition."
"It's perfect for you: A strong, original story that's as timely now as it was twenty-two years ago, an unprecedented level of realism. Did you know that Stone got the New York Stock Exchange to let him film on the sales floor? Plus all those great performances..."
As he paused for breath, I seized control. "Original? You might want to rethink that one, Vic. The movie is basically Stone's previous movie in a different location. Platoon had Tom Berenger and Willem Defoe fighting for Charlie Sheen's soul, and this one has Michael Douglas and Martin Sheen." I paused. "I will give you the performances, though. Michael Douglas is magnificent as Gordon Gekko; it's amazing that people told Stone that Douglas couldn't act. Everyone talks about the 'Greed is good' speech, but I've always loved the offhand way he reels Bud Fox in. At one point, when Fox tells him that he's fully on board, Gekko gives him a look like Fox is a puppy that's learned a new trick. And Hal Holbrook does a great job essentially playing a Greek Chorus, making pronouncements about The Right Way to Do Things. Anyone else and the role would be insufferable, but it's Holbrook, so it's OK. All the acting is top notch; well, Darryl Hannah is kind of weak, especially at the end, but Stone has never been known for crafting strong female roles. Hey, do you know if Gekko sells car insurance in the sequel? That'd be cool."
His exasperation comes through the line. "Focus, will you? I'm telling you, this disc will add real value to your portfolio. Let's get back to the realism; I've been in this business for the better part of ten years, and let me tell you, Stone absolutely nails it. Did you know his dad was a stockbroker? And it's not just the physical details. He captures the relentless pressure to succeed, the tunnel vision, the conspicuous consumption. Hell, remember when Charlie Sheen gets whipped by a latex-clad dominatrix for losing a hundred large? Or when she made him crawl on his belly like a reptile? That stuff really happens, man!"
"Uh, Vic? That doesn't happen in the movie."
"What? No, it's the scene with Desiree, the mistress with the mostest. The same one who used the pickle brine and that car battery."
Pouring Clorox in my mind's eye, I interrupt, "Sorry, not in the movie. But that reminds me, why were you walking funny the last time we had lunch?"
"Oh, uh, never mind...I must have, uh, gotten confused with another movie. That one with Kevin Bacon as the bike messenger? Yeah, that's it! Yessirree. If it's not on time, he tastes the lash!"
"Well, no, that movie just made you feel as though you had been beaten. Come to think of it, this conversation is starting to have a similar effect. Look, I agree that Wall Street is a good movie. But Fox released a twentieth anniversary disc just a few years ago. Can this disc drive that one out of the marketplace? That set had a solid transfer, with a commentary track from Stone, deleted scenes, and a great making-of featurette. What does this disc have? Where's the value-added?"
"Well, uh, the first disc has the same transfer and commentary track. It's the same disc, actually. But the great stuff is on the second disc. First of all, there's the Wall Street Fact Exchange, a full-length trivia track. You'll find out all sorts of cool stuff. For instance, about 125,000 people a day ride the Staten Island Ferry."
"OK, so I've got the movie on Disc One, and I also have a Pop-Up Video version of the movie on Disc Two? Seems like a poor utilization of space, if you ask me. What about the deleted scenes? Are they still there?"
"No, but there is 'Fox Legacy with Tom Rothman'."
"Who the hell is Tom Rothman?"
"He's one of the bigwigs at Fox. He's responsible for classics such as Alien vs. Predator and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and he was instrumental in getting Brett Ratner to direct X-Men: The Last Stand. Hey, are you OK?"
"Sorry. Some memories linger like rotting fish."
"Rothman's no slouch; his years in the business have given him great insight into the film."
"'Villains are often more interesting than heroes.'"
"Vic, where did you get your film brokerage degree?"
"The Boll Institute. Why do you ask?"
"I suddenly understand why you were so bullish on The Adventures of Pluto Nash."
"Rothman also has some great things to say about the sequel. You've heard of that, haven't you? Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps?"
"Yeah, I've heard of it. In fact, I couldn't help but notice that this disc's street date is suspiciously close to the sequel's release date."
"Oh, that's just a coincidence, but I'm looking forward to Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, let me tell you."
"OK. Well, what about the making-of featurette? My colleague Judge Asperschlager said it was first rate. Surely it's still there?"
"Um, not so much. But they have a great interview with the cast of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps."
"Y'know, Vic, I think I'm gonna have to pass on this one."
"Your loss. Hey, how about a special edition of I Know Who Killed Me? It's value is going to take off once Lindsey Lohan gets her life on track."
"Sorry, can't wait that long." click
Money may never sleep, but whoever put this "Special Edition" together sure as hell did. Great movie, lousy package. Not only should you not upgrade, but if you don't already own the film and are interested, you're probably better off hunting down the Twentieth Anniversary Edition instead.
Review content copyright © 2010 Jim Thomas; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 4.0 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (French)
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (Spanish)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 125 Minutes
Release Year: 1987
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Trivia Track
* Wikipedia: Wall Street