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The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street
(directed by Martin Scorsese, 2013)

They've made a movie like this movie already. You've probably heard me talk about it. It's called Caligula.

Maybe you even read my Caligula movie commentary.

Now, the Wolf of Wall Street was no murderer, I guess, but both he and Caligula were obsessed with power, obsessed with being wicked, and obsessed with sex. Both of these movies (Caligula came out in 1979 and starred Malcolm McDowell) feature a gratuitous, obscene amount of wild sex and nudity. Caligula showed worse, but that was only in the X rated version. An X rated version of The Wolf of Wall Street would probably surpass all that was shown in Caligula! I can't believe The Wolf of Wall Street -- this movie I just watched -- was only R rated. They got away with it, I think, because it's a Martin Scorsese/Leonardo DiCaprio picture. Anything else and I believe the movie would have been NC-17.

While there may have been no murders in The Wolf of Wall Street (although a gay butler almost gets murdered), Wolf makes up for a lack of Caligula's violence by featuring LOTS and LOTS of drugs being ingested. There is even a major character, portrayed by Jonah Hill, who has MARRIED HIS FIRST COUSIN, and feels no shame about it.

Caligula took place in Ancient Rome, centuries and centuries ago, and The Wolf of Wall Street took place in the late '80s through the 1990's, but not much has changed. The beast known as the human being -- in particular the male beast -- is still obsessed with himself, still longing for fame and fortune and still needing and craving sex at every moment. He still likes to hold power over everyone else and now we know that he also likes to mess with his brain by taking drugs and altering his reality and his perceptions. Man is corrupt, deviant, depraved, sinful, lustful, and addicted to tyranny. Even the people who try to stop someone like The Wolf of Wall Street is probably in it for themselves. To hunt is to kill; to kill is to take pleasure for some reason.

Leonardo DiCaprio returns to the screen as Jordan Belfort, AKA The Wolf of Wall Street, a stockbroker who wound up making millions and millions and millions by being corrupt and ripping off people. Jordan Belfort is a real, living person and the movie is based on his 2007 memoir. Leonardo DiCaprio is obviously addicted to playing rich and powerful people -- lately I've seen him in this, The Great Gatsby, Django Unchained and J. Edgar. In every one of these movies (am I forgetting anything else?) he played a rich and powerful figure. He loves this, I'm sure. If there's ever a movie about Leonardo DiCaprio -- a biographical work -- I'm sure he'd play himself.

This movie -- The Wolf of Wall Street -- is three hours long. I want to say it definitely feels like it is, but maybe that's not entirely true. I will say, though, that I couldn't finish the movie in just one sitting, but after about the first hour and a half, it's much more tolerable. Some people have said the beginning is better but then it starts to drag. I felt the opposite. And I really, really liked the "lemmons" scene, which I saw Miss Vicky and The Gunslinger45 talk about, but I didn't find it hysterically funny. I wasn't laughing, but I was enjoying the slow motion scene with Leonardo DiCaprio all tangled up in the phone cord. That whole thing, starting from when they got the pills to Leo's arrest at the end of the night, is probably the best part of the movie.

The rest, though, seems to rely too much on sex and shock value. It seemed like every time you turned around, they threw in naked bodies humping away or something. All of this, to me, felt rather gimmicky. If Lady Gaga could wear a movie as a costume, it would be The Wolf of Wall Street. Both of them are flashy, loud, "controversial", obscene and attention seeking. You could make a drinking game out of how many times The Wolf of Wall Street showed someone having sex and wind up at the Betty Ford Center before the end credits.

I do take somewhat of an issue with the movie glorifying the evils of this kind of corruption. I just read an article that said the job search for stockbrokers has skyrocketed since this movie came out and I am not surprised -- this movie says to everybody that you can be rich if you just take advantage of people. It's true, and this movie makes it all the more appetizing. I felt angry by this movie at first, which is why I kind of had a hard time with the first hour of it. I mean, this movie is about a bunch of bastards who f**ked over people and got a glorious lifestyle out of it. People can love this movie all they want, but if you had been screwed over by Jordan Belfort and his crew, you'd probably want to take a gun to his forehead, along with the rest of his cronies.

As a movie, I found The Wolf of Wall Street entertaining and exciting and a breath of fresh air in some ways. I was ready to totally write off Martin Scorsese, but I ended up liking this movie and I recently gave The Departed another chance and I liked it, too. Movies like this one call to our primitive, bestial side. This is not a "feel good" movie, but maybe you'll relax and bask in the insanity of human nature, which is truth. Anybody could have wound up being Jordan Belfort. Hell -- being him would probably be a lot better than however you're living right now. Just imagine being him and having experienced all that he did. Imagine you never had your life and you had his life. It's a lot more to experience. It's a lot more thrills and wild rides. You may never live a life like the lives of these people, but you can watch the movie and dream that you do. And who knows? Maybe one day the dream will come true.

On a side note, I thoroughly enjoyed the short performance from Matthew McConaughey. I still prefer Dallas Buyers Club over this movie, though. However, despite how cool American Hustle might be, The Wolf of Wall Street absolutely trumps it for me.

Oh, and I liked the fact that Family Matters, the TV show from the '90s, found its way into this movie.

Matthew McConaughey, though -- his performance as Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club was not as large and in charge as Leonardo DiCaprio's performance here in Wolf, but had Matthew been in this movie longer than just the 10-15 minutes he did, he would have OWNED this movie, okay? Leonardo DiCaprio is not the kind of man Matthew McConaughey is. I can't even totally buy DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort. It was a big performance, but McConaughey upstaged him in that one scene he did in the film. DiCaprio knows how to scream, but McConaughey knows how to act. I love them both, though.

7 out of 10.