As I watch more movies I find it semi-necessary to write my thoughts down, lest I forget how a movie affected me and lest those effects vanish. As such, I'll keep my reviews organized in this thread.

Popcorn ratings will serve as a summation of my thoughts and not as a replacement to the review's text; the experience I have watching a, say, 4/5 comedy film will be much different than that of a 4/5 drama. None of these reviews will be very spoiler heavy and will instead serve as a guide to a would-be viewer.

All the boring preliminary junk aside, let's get to the reviews:


The Wolf of Wall Street

Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort in this very excessive examination of excess. It is based on his autobiography of the same name and follows the triumphs and tribulations he faced as a successful yet shady stockbroker.

Even though this movie dives into very dark and disturbing places, it remains pretty funny. The humor is very well spread out, and never feels like it takes the place of any dramatic moments. Instead, it serves to highlight that contrast between the highs and the lows of being rich, and is used in juxtaposition with the more serious stuff in order to highlight these rapids shifts in mood.

One of the best and worst things here is how exaggerated everything is. It works during scenes of parties and riches, but ends up making scenes that should be more downplayed feel the same as what's before it. I completely understand the intent here, but there are only a few pieces in here that feel tense because of it.

It's hard to illustrate my point properly without comparing it to Goodfellas, just because these movies are pretty similar. They are both fast paced and very eventful, and are both aiming to highlight lifestyles your average viewer won't be familiar with. Where I think The Wolf of Wall Street falls short of Goodfellas is in balance. Anyone who is remotely interested in the creation of any narrative art has probably heard of the rollercoaster metaphor for things like tension, and I think it perfectly describes my main issue with this movie. In something like Goodfellas there is a lot of downtime, a lot of places where the rollercoaster starts to slow and climb the hill. It makes the viewer anticipate the drops, and it makes it so much more rewarding when **** starts to get crazy. The Wolf of Wall Street, on the other hand, is always going down, and as such that vital anticipation is lost. This is accentuated by the nearly 3-hour long runtime, meaning that although the film is still fun it lacks vital elements that could push it to be greater.

Overall, The Wolf of Wall Street is still a good movie, and will hold your attention to the end, but it doesn't do much more.