5.0 out of 5 stars STONE TRIED TO DISS CAPITALISM, GLORIFIED IT INSTEAD
In 1987 OLIVER STONE again starred Charlie Sheen, this time as Bud Fox, along with Martin Sheen and Michael Douglas, in "Wall Street". Stone, like Coppola's "Patton", tapped into a part of America he really wanted to discredit, but instead glorified. Based on the go-go stock markets of the Reagan '80s, it is loosely based on inside arbitrageurs and...
Published on June 6 2004 by Steven R. Travers
3.0 out of 5 stars 6 out of 10
Fair film. Mundane in many aspects. A lot of times, it's been a bore. Plot too narrow to make heads or tails of it. Characters come in the movie, then about all of them disappear. Seems not too absorbing. Some weak acting, especially in Daryl Hannah. Michael Douglas played very well, but Oscar for his role, I am not too sure this was worthy. Charlie Sheen was fair. This...
Published on June 18 2003 by Austin Somlo
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Movies of the 1980's,
Oliver Stone will never be known for subtlety. "Wall Street" bashes you over the head with its message- getting to the top in society requires duplicity, dishonesty, and the willingness to destroy any obstacle. However, unlike Ayn Rand, Stone vilifies rather than lauds this dubious morality. Bud Fox is a fresh faced, innocent stock broker trying to get ahead through hard work and elbow grease, as he was taught by his father. Bud soon meets powerful, charismatic corporate raider Gordon Gekko, incapable of love, remorse, or empathy. Gekko, we are told, sold NASA short 15 minutes after the Challenger exploded (impossible since the shuttle was destroyed in 1986 and the film is set in 1985!). Gekko predictably seduces Bud with his world of "perks", and Bud's star rises dramatically the farther he falls into corruption.
Throughout the film, Bud serves as a sounding board for the rival values of Gekko and his father. The speech most cited by critics and fans is the immortal "Greed is Good" monologue. While this speech, standing alone, is a vigorous defense of capitalism and selfishness, it is important to note that Gekko is using it at a shareholders' meeting against a lousy, entrenched, and greedy management!
Inevitably, Bud is forced to decide whether to follow his father's philosophy or Gekko's, and to pay the price for his misdeeds. A slight complaint with the ending- the fate of Gekko is hinted at rather than displayed. Gordon Gekko has become something of a hero for young, wanna-be big shots, who are attracted to the glamour of his lifestyle and his "up your's, I got mine!" attitude much as Bud was. Perhaps seeing Gekko get his comeuppance could have made an impression.
Overall, Wall Street is a tight, well done character drama populated with iconic characters delivering iconic dialogue that acts as an indictment of a decade. The movie and its message will stay with you long after viewing it.
As for the DVD, the sound, although in 5.1, is relegated almost exclusively to the center channel. One does not hear the sounds of Manhattan from all directions as Bud navigates the concrete jungle. The video quality appears grainy in some areas. This is a great movie worthy of better treatment on DVD.
5.0 out of 5 stars STONE TRIED TO DISS CAPITALISM, GLORIFIED IT INSTEAD,
In 1987 OLIVER STONE again starred Charlie Sheen, this time as Bud Fox, along with Martin Sheen and Michael Douglas, in "Wall Street". Stone, like Coppola's "Patton", tapped into a part of America he really wanted to discredit, but instead glorified. Based on the go-go stock markets of the Reagan '80s, it is loosely based on inside arbitrageurs and junk bond kings like Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken. Fox/Sheen is an idealistic, ambitious young stockbroker, his father is his conscience, and Douglas as Gordon Gekko is pure tantalizing temptation. Fox must violate SEC laws and get inside information in order to do business with the "big elephant" Gekko. Gekko's star fades when a big deal-gone-bad has personal ramifications, and Fox turns a dime on him. The film is supposed to show that America is a greedy place that "produces nothing" in a "zero sum game" in which the rich only make money on the backs of the poor. Gekko's (Stone's) statements about economics are pure, unadulterated economic lies shown to be lies simply by...observing factual things. Where Stone may have had second thoughts was the reaction the film got. As the years went by, he and others were approached countless times by Young Republicans and Wall Street execs who told him the depiction of the exciting world of finance led them into that very career, which they thanked him for! Stone had hoped to create an egalitarian class. Instead, he created a decade full of Gordon Gekkos. They in turn fueled the dot-com boom. It was not unlike the Democrats who hoped to expose Oliver North and the Republicans in the Iran-Contra "scandal," only to discover that millions thought Ollie and his White House pals were doing God's work in fighting Communism.
Res ipsa loquiter.
AUTHOR OF "BARRY BONDS: BASEBALL'S SUPERMAN"
4.0 out of 5 stars Greed, for lack of a better word...is good,
The above is part of the long speech that actor Michael Douglas gives as Wall Street power-player Gordon Gekko. Contrary to Amazon's reviewer, this role was NOT tailor-made for Douglas, who in fact came out of a long string of TV-and-movie roles as the somewhat light and romantic type. He initially struggled in the role that would ultimately win him the Oscar.
Charlie Sheen plays Bud Fox, an aspiring power-player wannbee, who eventually gets to work for Gekko. Ultimately it leads to the take-over and subsequent downfall of the company that Bud's father, played by Martin Sheen, works for. It all comes crashing down around Bud, but he is determined to take Gekko down with him. Does he succeed? Financially, yes, but legally or morally, it is ambiguous.
Other notables include Darryl Hannah, Terence Stamp, Hal Holbrook, John C. McGinley, and James Spader.
As in all Stone films, there is a lot of power and depth. The DVD has a good "making of" documentary, and Oliver Stone's commentary about the film and his own father's real life occupation as a Wall Street broker.
2.0 out of 5 stars Are We Waching the Same Movie?,
When people think of "Wall Street" they think about the classic line "Greed, for lack of better word... is good," and they remember a pretty good movie. I'm here to tell you that it wasn't. Instead of making am movie about the exciting and dramatic Wall Street world in the 80's, Oliver Stone shamelessly makes a flat movie about a criminal.
The only reason why I give this movie two stars it contains some of the great "all time" movie lines including:
"Money's only something you need in case you don't die tomorrow."
"You're walking around blind without a cane, pal. A fool and his money are lucky enough to get together in the first place."
But as a whole, I find the movie to be a cheap attack on capitalism. The truth of the matter is that the real life stories of M&A and corporate takeovers were exciting enough. Stone had no reason to louse up a good concept with a convoluted plot about that includes every financial headline of the 1980's (insider trading, offshore banking, junk bonds, and corporate takeovers). If you are interested an exciting and engaging account of Wall Street in the 80's, read Michael Lewis classic LIAR'S POKER.
4.0 out of 5 stars A great film for Yuppie wannabees.,
By A Customer
I saw this film back in college, late 80's early 90's, when I was more young and impressionable. I was a business major setting my sights on the world of Corporate America. (such arrogance!!!) I was gonna wear $1000 suits and having lunch with the CEO in these plush executive boardrooms and making a million. I was highley impressed by Gekkos speech about greed. We used to recite it in our business classes. We would listen with bated breath to our professors about financial reports and 10K's. What naivete.
Then the market crashed, 1987. And subsequently the early 90's recession. I learned that my college degree wasn't even worth the paper it was printed on. My business schooling couldn't even get me a cup of coffee. I recently watched the film again. Everytime I hear that Talking Heads song I'm reminded of this film. The movie looks a bit dated (the power ties and mousse hair). It is just too 80's-ish. To imagine I wanted to be like that, yuck. If you really want to see what corporate america is really like, watch Roger & Me by Michael Moore.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Picture by Michael Douglas,
If you have not seen this movie buy the DVD. Just a great movie/DVD.
One of the top 5 (best) films ever made. In my opinion it is the best career performance by Michael Douglas with a number of powerful scenes as the multi-millionaire business investor ' Gordon Gekko. Gekko is a dynamic wall street financier working inside and outside the law. He turns the head of Charlie Sheen who is exceptionally good - being convincing, likeable and sympathetic as a young and up and coming stock broker. He is being 'mentored' by Gekko. The movie is very well supported by Charlie's father Martin Sheen, playing his father in the movie - as an aircraft mechanic that tries to keep his son grounded to reality. Also featured are Daryl Hannah - Charlie's (Bud Fox) on screen romance, along with Hal Holbrook and Terence Stamp in the trading rooms. Just a fascinating movie about Wall Street in the go go 1980's and the insider trading scandals.
Every collection should include this exceptional work.
5 stars but deserves about 8.
4.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE MOST FASCINATING MOVIES ABOUT THE MONEY.,
In "Wall Street" everything moves around the money. The main motivation of Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) and Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) is getting as much money as they can, no limits, no boundaries. Director Oliver Stone managed to capture on-screen the '80s decade perfectly.
"Wall Street" is a very good movie thanks to the script, the direction, the dialogues, and above all the performances of the lead actors Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen and Martin Sheen, all of them gave an outstanding performance, specially Michael Douglas in the role that got him an Academy Award.
As usual, Oliver Stone created a very personal movie, he co-wrote the screenplay and dedicated the story to his father, a former stockholder. But Stone didn't exclude the audience because the movie presents the fascinating and complex world in Wall Street, and also the movie shows very human feelings such as the ambition, the greed, the envy, the revenge and the personal integrity.
The DVD doesn't include a lot of extra material, but the features that does include are quite good: an audio commentary by Oliver Stone, very valuable, of course, theatrical trailers and a very interesting "Making Of Wall Street" documentary, with interviews and commentaries by the cast and the production crew of the movie. "Wall Street" is a very interesting and entertaining movie, very recommendable.
5.0 out of 5 stars Oliver Stone's best film,
Bud Fox ( Charlie Sheen)is a young broker who is intelligent, ambitious, and hard working. He has many ideas on how to make it big. The only problem is that he is stuck in a job that consists of cold calling investors over the phone. Wanting something more, he seeks out the highly successful financial wiz Gordon Gecko ( Michael Douglas). Gecko sees a younger version of himself with Bud, and takes him under his wing. However, the road to success, is not always paved with honesty. Bud is immediately lured by Gordon, into the world of corporate epsionage and insider trading. Bud starts to make more money than he ever dreamed was possible. But he soon learns that the pursuit of overnight riches comes at a price that is too high to pay.
Wall Street takes us into the world of the stock market and insider trading. It is definately Oliver Stone's best film, and one of the best that I have ever seen overall. No matter how many times you see this movie, it never gets boring, or seems any less amazing. Michael Douglas offers one of the most memorable lines of all time with "Greed is good". This is the driving force for the film. This perhaps, is the film's best feature because the story is so authentic. Stone manages to fully capture all of the glory that Wall Street can bring, and the misery that it can cause.
Of course, you need talented actors to make it convincing. Michael Douglas gives the best role of his career as Gordon Gecko. In fact, he won an Academy Award for Best Actor for the role. It is that good. Gordon is a man that is ruled by greed, and is completely ruthless. That is why Charlie Sheen's portrayal of Bud Fox plays so well off of Douglas. Sheen is young, ambitious, and also extremely naive. He is the puppet, and Gecko is the puppeteer. Martin Sheen delivers an extremely solid role as Bud's father Carl. I loved the fact that Martin Sheen got the role, because only a real father could bring such a realistic portrayal of love. There are other great actors as well in this film, and they include Hal Halbrook, John C McGinley, Daryl Hannah, and Terrance Stamp.
Wall Street is a classic story dealing with ambition, greed, and betrayal. The story is extremely authentic, all of the acting is superb, and the suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat. The DVD extras are nice too. The making of documentary is great, and so is the commentary from Oliver Stone.
5.0 out of 5 stars "Now let me show you my charts." (cue lightning)---ICONIC!,
Let me start with a little Wall Street habit called Full Disclosure: Oliver Stone's stunning, iconic "Wall Street" is an amazingly hard movie for me to review, in part because it was, for me, one of those rare watershed events that shaped my futue and changed---even charted---my career. One of Oliver Stone's best movies, it was intended as a morality play in which Stone's mouthpiece, played by Martin Sheen as a stoic airline mechanic who has seen it all, condemned the helter-skelter rampant greed of the corporate raiders, Wall Street insider tycoons, and high-flying investment bankers of the 1980's, the much maligned "Decade of Greed".
But let's stop for moment, and consider: how many of you who've seen the film wanted to *be* Gordon Gecko, "Wall Street"'s cigar chomping, greenmailing uber-dealmaker, who ratcheted up Ivan Boesky's "Greed is OK" into what became the motto of deal-makers the world over: "Greed is Good. Greed Works."
I sure did. Born during the hippy Summer of Love and a proverbial child of the eighties, I saw "Wall Street" and knew, immediately, what I wanted to become. I sliced off my mohawk, grew my hair, and slicked it back, and dedicated my life to mastering high finance and the art of the deal. And I wasn't the only one, to judge by fellow MBA alums and investment banking colleagues; even a sequence in "Boiler Room" shows a new generation of deal-seeking young Turks watching "Wall Street" on a plasma TV, regaling each other with their word-perfect recitation of Gecko's lines.
"Wall Street", then, should be served up piping hot to the innocent with a dollop of caution: as one reviewer noted, what Stone had intended as a bloody criticism of greed gone rampant quickly became a full-bodied recruiting video for the investment banking industry. And what a recruiting video it is: Stone perfected his quick cuts and 'wall of information' with "Wall Street", proving his mastery of the new MTV-era of rich, lush, rapidly moving images and an editing style that wouldn't have been out of place in a music video.
Stone is like that. As a director, he has an uncanny ability to glamorize that which he most wants to criticize, just as he did with the alluringly violent Mickey and Mallory Knox in "Natural Born Killers."
And "Wall Street" is one of those rare reversals where life imitates art: throughout top-tier MBA programs and modern investment banks, the image of the stalking, cigar-smoking, summer-home in the Hamptons, limo-insulated, braces-sporting deal maker has become the ideal, sometimes getting the better of real Wall Street mavericks who let romance cloud their common sense and appeared on the covers of Fortune and Forbes---only to be shot down by their envious employers.
The plot is nothing new: a Horatio Alger story in which hungry young stockbroker (played perfectly by Charlie Sheen) Bud Fox tires of spending his days in a cheap Queens apartment chasing small retail investors, and sets his sights on the 'elephant': the maverick corporate raider Gordon Gecko (played by Michael Douglas in the role of his career).
Fox, for once, has an opening beyond Gecko's favorite box of cigars: he knows his father's airline, Blue Star, is worth more than the market thinks it is because of impending deregulation in the airlines; Gecko takes the bait, and brings Fox, quickly, into the high-octane world of deal-making and insider information---as Gecko's spy.
The acting is uniformly good: apart from Sheen and Douglas, you have the inimitable Sean Young as Gecko's social-climbing wife, Darryl Hannah puckish as fashion designer Darien, pre-"The Limey" Terence Stamp hard as nails as a British corporate raider and Gecko's nemesis, and a troop of veteran character actors: Hal Holbrook as Fox's brokerage house mentor, James Spader as a naive M&A attorney, and the immortal James Karen as Fox's fickle boss.
From the opening riffs of Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon" to the closing image of a trading grid imposed over the lower Manhattan skyline, Stone's editing and direction is fast-paced, frenetic, and exotic: the viewer, like Fox, is pulled into the upper reaches of a world where anything is possible and money is the common denominator. There are some subtle touches, like Gecko's beach house, festooned with atrocious artwork kept only as an investment---and as a barometer of the notoriously fickle and fast moving Market itself.
And for those "Wall Street"-heads who have seen the movie a thousand times (I must be getting close), there are some nifty glitches the editors never caught: when Gecko makes his pitch for a 'friendly' takeover of Blue Star, watch his feet carefully.
Often imitated, never surpassed, "Wall Street" is a stylish, intoxicating, stunning embodiment of an era when anybody could carve his way to the very top of American society by ruthless ambition and sheer determination; it was true when it was made, and it is possibly even more true today.
So strap on your braces, slick back your hair, light up an Esplendido and fire up the DVD player---money never sleeps, pal.
3.0 out of 5 stars 6 out of 10,
This review is from: Wall Street (VHS Tape)
Fair film. Mundane in many aspects. A lot of times, it's been a bore. Plot too narrow to make heads or tails of it. Characters come in the movie, then about all of them disappear. Seems not too absorbing. Some weak acting, especially in Daryl Hannah. Michael Douglas played very well, but Oscar for his role, I am not too sure this was worthy. Charlie Sheen was fair. This is a typical Oliver Stone film, few flaws that determine the value of the film. His works never show the qualities of being a masterpiece. His concepts are great, but he fails, artistically, to capture the essence of the spirit. That is why Platoon, Wall Street, Born on the Fourth of July, The Doors, Natural Born Killers, and so on always fall short because he does not do as what Elia Kazan, Martin Scorsese, Roman Polanski, and Steven Soderberg have done, which is to bring the concept into light and be creative with trying to make the audience feeling delightfully drawn into the film. Take John G. Avildsen's films, Rocky and Lean on Me, you could feel the inspiration permeating through your body while he shows the simple concept, overcome the odds and win. Oliver Stone simply can't do it. I have seen it many times every time he produces a film. He simply fails to create a masterpiece.
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Wall Street [2-Disc 20th Anniversary Edition - Widescreen] (Bilingual) by Michael Douglas (DVD - 2007)