“Wall Street” still stands as one of the most popular movies of the 1980’s, with its focus on “Greed Is Good” and the fine performances from Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas. Sheen stars as Bud Fox, a young stockbroker who has dreams of being bigger and wealthier than he already is. He’s given a bridge to his dream when he makes his way into Gordon Gekko(Douglas)’s offices, as Gekko is one of the most powerful businessmen around. Everyone always thinks there’s a top – a satisfaction point, but for Gekko, there is no top floor – the elevator just keeps going.
The problem with Bud is that, in his own way, he doesn’t know when to quit, either. He does things for Gekko that are particularly legal, and although at first he seems nervous about the details, soon enough he begins to accept it all as “part of the business”. Douglas has played this role to great acclaim, but this is certainly where it all started, and where he’s ended up in recent pictures like “The Game”, where he played another version of this character.
Stuart Copeland’s score provides intensity and energy, moving the film forward. Stone certainly gives the film an energy as the pacing never seems slow nor does the film seem to drag. Although the film’s themes don’t seem to be as present today, they still exist out there in the business world.
VIDEO: It’s unfortunate that two of the most recent Oliver Stone DVD releases, “Born on the Fourth of July” and “Wall Street” do not fare well in the picture quality department. Although “Wall Street” is a bit more successful than “Born”, there are still definitely some faults with this presentation. First off, sharpness is definitely not pleasing on this anamorphic transfer. The entire film has a soft look to it and only fair detail and clarity. Some brighter scenes actually do fare decently, but much of the movie doesn’t look as good as I’d like to see it.
There are additional problems as well; pixelation appears now and then in amounts that are noticable, but not irritating. There are marks and some scratches on the print used, but thankfully these seem to be isolated in brief instances rather than a consistent presence. No shimmering, but the other problems combine to form enough of a distraction already.
Colors fare decently, looking not particularly bold but seemingly at least natural for most of the film. This is a watchable presentation, although it’s unfortunate that better image quality overall was not able to be brought out for this edition. And again, it varies. Some scenes look fairly good, and some don’t fare as well.
SOUND: The film’s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is almost completely based in the front and almost seems mono-ish a lot of the time, with the dialogue being really the only feature for much of the film, although the occasional instances of score do serve to open up the sound, if only very slightly. The dialogue seems slightly thin and the overall sound lacks fullness. Although I didn’t find it uncomfortable to listen to, it’s just an average sound presentation.
MENUS:: The main menu is nicely done, with film-themed animation and music in the backgrounds. Sub-menus are not animated, but still nicely presented.
Commentary: This is a commentary by director Oliver Stone. After listening to his commentary for “Born on the Fourth of July”, I was quite interested in hearing another discussion from the director, who proved that not only is he a very good director, but a good storyteller on the previous commentary. Although there are times here when the director stops with a pause of silence, when he is talking he does provide the complete look at the making of the movie, from how his father’s job inspired the film to what it was like working on the film and with the actors. What I like about Stone’s commentaries that I’ve listened to is all of the stories and the way he shares them with the viewer. Rather than some directors who seem like they’re just chatting to themselves, Stone seems like he’s sharing with the audience. He’s very honest and very engaging, and offers both what he likes, and maybe what he would have done differently had he been able to do it again. Rarely, if ever, does he simply talk about what’s happening on screen. He is able to provide stories and interesting facts about much of the movie and overall, I found this to be another great commentary track from Stone.
Money Never Sleeps: This is a newly created 47 minute documentary, featuring mainly interviews from Stone, Douglas and other members of the cast and crew, who provide a fascinating chat about the making of the movie and the stories behind Stone’s thoughts on “Wall Street” in general. Additional behind-the-scenes clips from the time the movie was shot give us a further look at the making of the movie. Mainly interviews, but all very interesting.
Trailers: 2 trailers for the film.
Final Thoughts: Although it’s unfortunate that the picture and sound quality aren’t quite successful, this is still a great movie and this is the only edition of the film on DVD. I’m pleased with the extra features and although I’m dissapointed with aspects of the presentation, the film is still recommended.