Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Video review: "The Wolf of Wall Street"

“No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough,” wrote Roger Ebert. I don’t entirely agree – I’ve seen plenty of worthy films that could’ve been improved with a nip and a tuck. Case in point: “The Wolf of Wall Street,” at 180 minutes, is occasionally self-indulgent and sprawling.

But it’s still a terrific film, one of the best of 2013. My guess is that people who were put off from seeing it in theaters due to its three-hour run time will cozy up to the latest handsome collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, their fifth together, now that it’s out on video.

DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a slick young stock broker who founds an investment firm dedicated to partying hard and snorting up commission fees from clients on questionable deals. Along with a handful of sycophantic collaborators, including a giddy Jonah Hill as his wingman, they set about to take Wall Street by storm.

This they do – but attracting the attentions of certain lawmen in the process. Jordan & Co. spend as much time hiding their antics from the public eye as they do chasing the almighty dollar.

“Wolf” careens all over the place between comedy and drama, cautionary tale and generous helpings of sex ‘n’ drugs. Much as Scorsese has often been accused of idolizing the gangsters so often featured in his movies, there’s no denying this film gleefully dives into a pool of debauchery.

It may be kind of a mess, and would probably be better if it were 15 or 20 minutes shorter, but it’s still one terrific cinematic ride.

Video features are a big disappointment. If you buy the DVD version, you get absolutely nothing – not even a theatrical trailer.

Spring for the Blu-ray combo pack and you add only “The Wolf Pack” – a series of interviews with Scorsese, cast and crew about making the film.




  1. The Wolf of Wall Street is spectacular. Three hours of extremely well developed characters with Leo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill leading the way.

  2. A wild and hilarious black comedy.