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The Fifth Annual ReelViews Academy Award Winners! 
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Post Re: The Fifth Annual ReelViews Academy Award Winners!
If not in comparison to other Scorsese features, I think it's at least pretty reasonable to compare Wolf to American Hustle. And yes, even to Pain and Gain. The latter, for me, is mostly just entertainment. I really enjoyed Michael Bay's movie and am not over-hasty to find deep meaning in it, though there is some. The more I think of it though, I think David Russell's film is definitely deep and meaningful, and not simply an improvisation routine. Bale's narration line that people con themselves into thinking they want things that they don't really want. That really rings true for me. Yet Jordan Belfort seems to REALLY want the things he gets. It's hinted at that he wants to be an asshole just for the sake of being an asshole, but as a theme it's just barely brushed on.

Hustle, Wolf, and Pain all portray pathologies in ways that feel realistic. Most of those characters can easily be found in real life. But Scorsese's world is all about temptation and desire, which I feel is simply not the sharpest way to approach this kind of material. You HAVE to make these comparisons because Wolf lacks the power of the opening images of Goodfellas, where the kid Henry stares starry-eyed at the gangsters through his window. We need that image. We need to know why Belfort does what he does. I read one article that suggest's Belfort's activities were a product of his hatred for people who refused to take him seriously. That's what I'd like to know about, but none of that is in the movie. But in Pain and Gain when Anthony Mackie sprays his boss with the hose in defiance, I understand completely. Underneath their desire to get rich and have fun is a deep, deep hate. That's what I think the Wolf characters are about as well. Their hedonism is just one way of expressing hate.


Thu May 15, 2014 9:31 am
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Post Re: The Fifth Annual ReelViews Academy Award Winners!
Commendable, but futile. You're assuming any kind of debate is sought or even valued.

You'll either get some kind of passive-aggressive sewage from Wisey, or Pete's all-knowing Caine from King Fu act.

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Thu May 15, 2014 10:14 am
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Post Re: The Fifth Annual ReelViews Academy Award Winners!
wisey wrote:
NotHughGrant wrote:
There's a comment I can't mentally shake about Scorsese becoming a second rate Spielberg at the beginning of this century.

It's not something I believe is wholly true, but it is partly true. The Departed was the closest example to a true Scorsese work in the first decade of the millennia.

And the Wolf of Wall Street is a kind of crazy (but yes, entertaining!) fratboy flick in the vague style of Scorsese.

I remember a few people saying that this was MS back on Goodfellas form etc. I think that was the initial power of WoWS. It was extreme, unapologetic and kind of demanded a level of hyperbole to match it.

I doubt many of the same people would categorize it that highly now, even given just a few months sober reflection.


Why is it more a fratboy flick than a black comedy aimed at salespeople morons, (aged between 22 and 83 specifically :P ) who won’t get it anyway? Don't worry about trying to answer that mate.


NotHughGrant wrote:

You'll either get some kind of passive-aggressive sewage from Wisey, or Pete's all-knowing Caine from King Fu act.

Tedious to the bone


Jesus Lee, I thought I was being kind of nice about this, asking you to not worry about answering it mate, purely because it doesn't have an answer that you or I can equate. I wouldn't have used the word mate if I were trying to offend you. For what it's worth, I read and take note of a lot of what you say. I recently watched Hannibal again because you said it was worth another look due to Hopkins performance. I didn't like the film and thought Julianne Moore was on a hiding to nothing, but Hopkins was brilliant, I wouldn't argue the fact.

What I'm trying to say quickly here is; I respect you and don't think you write things you don't believe just to get a reaction. I'm a smart ass on purpose at times but that's exactly the way I am in real life when I think someone is bullshitting. I think that is the sole purpose of two other people on this forum - to crap on about a point they don't even believe in to start with.

Being sensible, with no agenda, why do you think The Wolf of Wall Street should be viewed or aimed as a frat boy flick more so than a film aimed at all people who work in the sales arena in one capacity or another? I'd think it aims at a a similar audience to Wall Street and Boiler room did, but because of the hilarious, over the top way it's presented, it can stand alone as a thoroughly entertaining black comedy. I encounter salespeople on a day-to-day basis, and in the 12 years I worked in Real Estate as a Property Manager, I had conversations with salespeople that would make me cringe with how out of touch and full of themselves they were. These same people would be the morons I'm referring too and wouldn't get that Scorsese if poking fun at their very existence in nearly every scene. I think it's Scorsese’s best comedy by a country mile, unless you count New York, New York as a comedy?

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Thu May 15, 2014 11:36 am
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Post Re: The Fifth Annual ReelViews Academy Award Winners!
MGamesCook wrote:
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Right. This has been my exact point all along. I agree with everything Ken's been saying, but that's probably because I'm a Ken fanboy incapable of separating his good posts from his bad.


Good one. The half-clever snark that I just can't get enough of. Point still stands though.


If that half-clever snark contributed at all to you finally discussing the movie on its own terms, then I say, "good job me!" It was intended more as a lighthearted joke, as was my last sentence, but if you want to take either as snark, go right ahead.

Also, someone being snarky towards you? You sure that's something you should be calling people on? It's pretty much the definition of the pot calling the kettle black, dude.

NotHughGrant wrote:
I do believe you're talking shit.

But snide, obnoxious remarks are your forte. Don't direct messages at me through other people

Prick


I mean, am I wrong, though? I've asked multiple times, over the course of literally months, a very specific question to which you keep dancing around and providing vague, mostly unrelated answers. I've asked you to stop doing that, pointed out why and what you were doing, and tried to reframe the question. Your insistence on framing your answers the way you have makes me wonder why you even respond at all. You either misunderstood what I was pretty clearly explaining multiple times, or you intentionally were ignoring what I was saying. Either way, it frustrated me, so I openly mocked you. I don't think I'm being unreasonable getting frustrated by that, but clearly you do. That's fine. It doesn't make me less frustrated or think I've really done anything wrong.

For the record, I directed plenty of messages to you that were civil and considerate and were genuinely curious as to why you thought the way you did. You can write me off as unnecessarily being a dick if you'd like, but, in my eyes, all that does is prove my point that you're unwilling to consider the movie on its own terms. I tried to engage you in a discussion I found value in, and you didn't really have any interest in that. At this point I honestly don't care what you think about WOWS, or how it does or doesn't combine art and entertainment, and I see no reason to continue going back and forth.


Thu May 15, 2014 12:33 pm
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Post Re: The Fifth Annual ReelViews Academy Award Winners!
And now on to actually discussing the movie:

MGamesCook wrote:
But Scorsese's world is all about temptation and desire, which I feel is simply not the sharpest way to approach this kind of material. You HAVE to make these comparisons because Wolf lacks the power of the opening images of Goodfellas, where the kid Henry stares starry-eyed at the gangsters through his window. We need that image. We need to know why Belfort does what he does.


How is this not insisting Scorsese just remakes all his movies like Goodfellas? Or at least all his somewhat similar movies. They're two movies after two different things. We absolutely need that image...in Goodfellas. That's because the romanticizing of the mobster way of life, followed by the de-romanticizing of it throughout the latter parts of the film, mirrors the rise and fall American epic trajectory of the story, both of which are huge parts of what Scorsese is doing with the film.

In WOWS, not getting as much background info, and in fact, glossing over much of it, is just as important as it being included in Goodfellas. Jordan is an empty, hollow person who's only goal in life is to accumulate wealth. Why get into the psychology of someone who's essentially an empty cipher of a human being? Especially when he's used as a tool to explore the desire and envy prevalent in our current culture. It's more saying, "that lifestyle you envy and think you'd love to have? It looks like this guy. You probably don't want to be like this guy." Why explore the humanity in someone that the movie is characterizing as basically inhuman?


Thu May 15, 2014 12:45 pm
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Post Re: The Fifth Annual ReelViews Academy Award Winners!
I apologise to both Wisey and Pete for the post I made earlier.

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Thu May 15, 2014 4:16 pm
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Post Re: The Fifth Annual ReelViews Academy Award Winners!
PeachyPete wrote:
And now on to actually discussing the movie:

MGamesCook wrote:
But Scorsese's world is all about temptation and desire, which I feel is simply not the sharpest way to approach this kind of material. You HAVE to make these comparisons because Wolf lacks the power of the opening images of Goodfellas, where the kid Henry stares starry-eyed at the gangsters through his window. We need that image. We need to know why Belfort does what he does.


How is this not insisting Scorsese just remakes all his movies like Goodfellas? Or at least all his somewhat similar movies. They're two movies after two different things. We absolutely need that image...in Goodfellas. That's because the romanticizing of the mobster way of life, followed by the de-romanticizing of it throughout the latter parts of the film, mirrors the rise and fall American epic trajectory of the story, both of which are huge parts of what Scorsese is doing with the film.

In WOWS, not getting as much background info, and in fact, glossing over much of it, is just as important as it being included in Goodfellas. Jordan is an empty, hollow person who's only goal in life is to accumulate wealth. Why get into the psychology of someone who's essentially an empty cipher of a human being? Especially when he's used as a tool to explore the desire and envy prevalent in our current culture. It's more saying, "that lifestyle you envy and think you'd love to have? It looks like this guy. You probably don't want to be like this guy." Why explore the humanity in someone that the movie is characterizing as basically inhuman?


Because its really not inhuman and there actually is something at the core of Belfort's pathology. He hates and he covets. If your interpretation of the film is correct, then I don't really appreciate an assumption that the audience envies Belfort's lifestyle. Sure, some do, but not a majority. And not even frat guys, necessarily. Many frats stick to beer, not hard drugs. And hookers to them are something to be ashamed of, not proud. It makes me wonder who Scorsese thinks he's talking to.

I'd say Belfort is no cipher. With Leo playing him, he really can't be. There's a complex pathology behind him that begs to be explored.


Thu May 15, 2014 9:03 pm
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Post Re: The Fifth Annual ReelViews Academy Award Winners!
MGamesCook wrote:
Because its really not inhuman and there actually is something at the core of Belfort's pathology.


In the real world, in a real human being, sure. That's what the movie is after, though. The movie uses him as already mentioned, and, as such, I don't think it's necessary to explore whatever pathology lead Belfort to be the way he is. I'm not sure that matters given what the movie is trying to say.

MGamesCook wrote:
He hates and he covets. If your interpretation of the film is correct, then I don't really appreciate an assumption that the audience envies Belfort's lifestyle. Sure, some do, but not a majority. And not even frat guys, necessarily. Many frats stick to beer, not hard drugs. And hookers to them are something to be ashamed of, not proud. It makes me wonder who Scorsese thinks he's talking to.


Come now. An artist can make an observation or point about society at large without having to specifically announce who it is or isn't directed towards, no?

I don't really get the frat comparison at all, either. I mean, I guess it's because the term "frat guy" has become shorthand for someone vaguely like Belfort, but the movie certainly isn't specifically about the frat mentality the term is referring to, and it certainly isn't concerned with frats in any direct way. I'm not sure why anyone in a frat would take offense to the movie, since it isn't directly about them and doesn't really have anything to do with them.

It's about people and society in general, not individuals. If you aren't of the opinion that American soceity in general is materialistic and fairly shallow, that's fine, but I'd argue you're pretty out of touch if that's the case. For me, the most interesting thing the movie does is never outright condemning Belfort's actions, but letting them mostly speak for themselves. It's that lack of outward condemnation that I believe is the crux of why some hate the movie. It causes offense to some, confusion for others, and still others to believe the movie isn't really after much but showing debauchery. I love the choice to frame the movie that way, as it's something that actually gets people talking and thinking, rather than just consuming and moving on.

MGamesCook wrote:
There's a complex pathology behind him that begs to be explored.


But the movie doesn't do that and isn't particularly interested in doing that. Why does it have to do that?


Fri May 16, 2014 10:02 am
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Post Re: The Fifth Annual ReelViews Academy Award Winners!
Quote:
It's about people and society in general, not individuals. If you aren't of the opinion that American soceity in general is materialistic and fairly shallow, that's fine, but I'd argue you're pretty out of touch if that's the case.


I'd argue you're insanely out of touch if you really believe the movie is about that. Materialistic/shallow = hookers/quaaludes? Come now yourself.

Quote:
But the movie doesn't do that and isn't particularly interested in doing that. Why does it have to do that?


Because that's what gives a story like this richness. That should be the entire point of the movie, so I'll say yet AGAIN that you're determined to defend the movie at all costs because...frankly, I can't guess why. Nothing in what you say suggests that you're all that passionate about the film anyway. Belfort himself is twisted, but not shallow. He has a goddamned pathology. There is material to be explored there. So Scorsese's solution is to make the character a worse, shallower, more boring person than he actually is? Yeah, I think that makes a bad movie. Call it a novel idea, but I want a fucking character to latch onto when I watch a 3 hour chronicle that's supposed to be dramatic. Particularly a bio-pic about a real person. Such an absurd notion, I know. A three-dimensional character in a drama? Who the fuck ever thought of that?

Maybe it would be okay except you haven't been able to point out any concrete way in which this film comments on real life materialism. Hookers and drugs are what's wrong with society today? Bull-fucking-shit. Many of the shallowest people are scared shitless of touching either one of those things.

I'll admit I really don't favor the bio-pic genre in general. Actually, I think Lincoln sucked as much as Wolf, and Catch Me if You Can...entertaining but did Spielberg really do justice to that material? Anyway, that's a digression. Bottom line is, to be honest, film direction is in many ways a shallow thing. Anyone who's been on a real set knows it; it's a surface art. This is why, personally, I tend to prefer genres which are themselves surface (action/sci fi/fantasy) because they feel more honest and real as movies. Scorsese has plenty of style to indulge, but almost none of it appears in Wolf. I could demonstrate, for a fact, that the camera and its zoom function move less in Wolf of Wall Street than in any other movie he's ever made. How far can you push the "different artistic goals" argument? You could use that argument to justify every movie ever made being good. But from what I can see, Scorsese was bored to death on this movie regardless of whatever the goals were.

Lincoln and Wolf would be the equivalent of watching a 3 hour Superman movie in which Superman stands around in his cape, but never flies or does anything at all. I want to see a director harness his entire arsenal of talent and energy. And if his goal is to do just the opposite, well, fuck that goal.


Fri May 16, 2014 10:18 am
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Post Re: The Fifth Annual ReelViews Academy Award Winners!
MGamesCook wrote:
I'd argue you're insanely out of touch if you really believe the movie is about that. Materialistic/shallow = hookers/quaaludes? Come now yourself.


That's a gross oversimplification of what I said, and I didn't equate either of those things.

The movie is about society's obsession with that lifestyle, how runaway capitalism allows the shittiest of us to prosper and shit on whoever they want to get ahead, and how we're all at least a little complicit in that based on what society values. You don't see that, and that's fine. I do and I've explained numerous times on this forum why and given pretty specific examples of how. You don't get what the movie is after. I'm not saying that to insult you, just saying that the movie doesn't click with you for whatever reason. It does for me. I find value in it as an artist's expression of his frustrations with the way our culture operates.

MGamesCook wrote:
Because that's what gives a story like this richness. That should be the entire point of the movie, so I'll say yet AGAIN that you're determined to defend the movie at all costs because...frankly, I can't guess why. Nothing in what you say suggests that you're all that passionate about the film anyway.


I stopped reading after this. You're incapable of analyzing the movie as a movie, and your tone is just plain shitty. I do find it hilarious that you fault me for defending the movie at all costs when you're the guy who posts about the same five movies (if it's that many) every chance he gets, this being one of them. Go ahead, make another post on how much Avengers sucked. Everyone is waiting with baited breath to hear your thoughts on that again! Tell us again how awesome Resident Evil or Man of Steel is. Your 284 posts on each movie don't produce anything resembling diminishing returns.

I'm going to back to ignoring you and thinking very little of your opinions now. You keep on doing the Lord's work and drive a few more members of this forum away with your shitty demeanor. The place is on life support as is. Maybe you can finish it off for good. Congrats!


Fri May 16, 2014 11:25 am
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Post Re: The Fifth Annual ReelViews Academy Award Winners!
PeachyPete wrote:
You keep on doing the Lord's work and drive a few more members of this forum away with your shitty demeanor. The place is on life support as is. Maybe you can finish it off for good. Congrats!


No Petey...you're confusing MGames with Vexer as the killer of these forums.


Fri May 16, 2014 4:06 pm
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Post Re: The Fifth Annual ReelViews Academy Award Winners!
Really, guys? Another thread devolving into personal attacks? Debating WoWS is fine; it's relevant to the original topic, and really far too few films generate passion like this one has, but just read the last page or two and it's a no-brainer that I gotta put the brakes on this one.

I don't care who started it. It's never a good idea to further it.

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Fri May 16, 2014 4:37 pm
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