Escape to the Movies: The Wolf of Wall Street

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The Wolf of Wall Street

MovieBob gives us a very lupine look at The Wolf of Wall Street.

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Wait it's Friday already? Hurray movie review!

I know what you mean, Christmas threw me off as to what day it was too.

I would love to go to magfest but due to money and the fact I live no where near it, I wonder bob if you plan to go to Youmacon 2014 next October or The midwest media expo in April?

Before I say anything else, I am going to go see this. It's Scorsese. I've been sold for a while. But the market is people pursuing self-interest. That is everything the market does. Every single purchase you make is through self-interest. Your job is because of the self-interest of people who want an opinion on a film. So saying that some stock brokers did this because they're evil isn't accurate, but because it's fun? You're on the money. People always have and always will pursue self-interest. That's not to say that stock brokers are moral vanguards, but the constant demonization of this job is getting old.

Seems like an interesting movie I might not agree with the underlying message but I'l defiantly give it a watch. Thanks for the review Bob.

i don't know or I should see this movie, if its really as funny as you say then I definitely want to watch this movie, but I'm also worried that I'm a bit too young to properly enjoy this movie(I'm 16).

I was watching this review then I got totally distracted by the fact that I used to work for the company in the banner at the 1:01 mark. Now I really want to watch the movie!

I was hoping for a 47 Ronin review. Did he do one that I missed?

I already know I'm going to see this. No question. What I'm curious about is whether or not we'll get the un-edited NC-17 cut of the film when it comes to DVD and Blu-Ray.

So about that Godzilla trailer Bob?

impocalyptic:
Before I say anything else, I am going to go see this. It's Scorsese. I've been sold for a while. But the market is people pursuing self-interest. That is everything the market does. Every single purchase you make is through self-interest. Your job is because of the self-interest of people who want an opinion on a film. So saying that some stock brokers did this because they're evil isn't accurate, but because it's fun? You're on the money. People always have and always will pursue self-interest. That's not to say that stock brokers are moral vanguards, but the constant demonization of this job is getting old.

I'm with you on that one. A lot of people do things that affect the marketplace negatively for others. Sure, this will attract the more unscrupulous types because there's more money to be had, but that's the only real different thing about that. It feels like calling gamers evil because they're knowingly purchasing products made from next to slave labor by companies like Foxconn.

So it's the sort of movie that shows just how much of a joke the people on top are... excuse me...

The Apple BOOM:

impocalyptic:
Before I say anything else, I am going to go see this. It's Scorsese. I've been sold for a while. But the market is people pursuing self-interest. That is everything the market does. Every single purchase you make is through self-interest. Your job is because of the self-interest of people who want an opinion on a film. So saying that some stock brokers did this because they're evil isn't accurate, but because it's fun? You're on the money. People always have and always will pursue self-interest. That's not to say that stock brokers are moral vanguards, but the constant demonization of this job is getting old.

I'm with you on that one. A lot of people do things that affect the marketplace negatively for others. Sure, this will attract the more unscrupulous types because there's more money to be had, but that's the only real different thing about that. It feels like calling gamers evil because they're knowingly purchasing products made from next to slave labor by companies like Foxconn.

though, Foxconn products are in everything piece of technology we own, from game consoles to TV's to phones.

I loved this movie and I daresay it's probably Scorsese's best since Casino. Didn't like The Aviator or Gangs of New York, Shutter Island was just OK, The Departed was pretty good and I'm not watching Hugo anytime soon. This though? This is up there with Goodfellas and Casino. It's that good. It's going to be that memorable. Sweeping 3-hour epics about outsiders making it back and forth within the mafia (let's face it, if the mafia is "organized crime" this is as criminal as Henry Hill's outfit) is what he does best. Loved it. No moral qualms about it whatsoever.

So the best movie of the year came out days before the year is over? seems legit.

The main thing I had heard about this so far was that its apparently really funny and I was thinking how the hell can a Martin Scorsaise film about a stockbroker be funny.

themilo504:
i don't know or I should see this movie, if its really as funny as you say then I definitely want to watch this movie, but I'm also worried that I'm a bit too young to properly enjoy this movie(I'm 16).

I just got home from seeing it and I 100% agree with Mr. Bob here; it's an absolutely brilliant movie and easily my favorite of the year.

As to your question, I am 27 (so obviously a smidge older :D) but I did not grow up with the "Sleazy Stockmarket" kind of thing like those older than I did. I understand in vague notions how the stock market works and how shitty a lot of these kinds of people were back in the day but that's it (basically, my info is all from "Wall Street" (the Douglas one that is). I don't remember any of this stuff in the news (movie takes place in the late 80's...when I was born) but I strongly recommend it.

Funny enough, the only thing that makes me hesitate slightly is all the sexy time but I'm sure you've seen much worse on the internet, right? ;)

Cool beans to know you're heading to Magfest. Shame that I'm too broke to go out.

Hope you have a great time and get to meet other online reviewers at the show. =)

Great review and thrilled to hear Bob will be at MAGfest! Looking forward to hopefully getting to meet and greet the man himself!

impocalyptic:
Before I say anything else, I am going to go see this. It's Scorsese. I've been sold for a while. But the market is people pursuing self-interest. That is everything the market does. Every single purchase you make is through self-interest. Your job is because of the self-interest of people who want an opinion on a film. So saying that some stock brokers did this because they're evil isn't accurate, but because it's fun? You're on the money. People always have and always will pursue self-interest. That's not to say that stock brokers are moral vanguards, but the constant demonization of this job is getting old.

A comment on this: most people would agree that pursuing your own fun when that results in misery for others is "evil". So, Bob is saying that what the people in the movie do is "evil" because they're conning investors out of their savings to continue with their extravagant lifestyle.

Now, that's not to say stock brokers are all evil or anything. Ideally, stock brokers work to identify promising companies and provide them with the capital they need to succeed. It's just that a lot of high-profile Wall Street figures seem to gravitate toward trading options that bear more resemblance to gambling than to providing good companies with capital.

Self-interest isn't inherently evil. Self-interest at the expense of others is evil. Financial markets aren't inherently evil; matching spare capital with legitimate capital uses is a very (very) useful function. It's when they're making their money by gaming the system and/or deceiving people that it becomes evil.

Man, I knew there was something I should have done besides cleaning my apartment. Now I gotta catch a weekend show.

Bob, I was laughing all the way through your review, because dammit, this movie looks FUN. It had midget tossing! And that "MESSAGE" screenshot, I believe you'll use it again soon.

Johnny Novgorod:
I loved this movie and I daresay it's probably Scorsese's best since Casino. Didn't like The Aviator or Gangs of New York, Shutter Island was just OK, The Departed was pretty good and I'm not watching Hugo anytime soon. This though? This is up there with Goodfellas and Casino. It's that good. It's going to be that memorable. Sweeping 3-hour epics about outsiders making it back and forth within the mafia (let's face it, if the mafia is "organized crime" this is as criminal as Henry Hill's outfit) is what he does best. Loved it. No moral qualms about it whatsoever.

I was thinking that too, but I would have to rate Goodfellas and Casino a tad higher, which is funny because they all follow the familiar rise-and-fall arc. It's just a matter of tone when you come down to it. The Scorcese mob movies always had the gravitas because of the sudden and graphic violence, you always see the cost of those guys actions.

Wolf keeps it light and fun(as much as one could keep it light and fun with drugs and hookers), it shows these guys to be considerable fuck-ups who got extremely lucky and are expected to be hedonistic and stupid once they get rich. You never see the effect on the victims, or they're victims, for that matter, so it doesn't hold the same weight as the mafia movies.

But that's fine, because it doesn't need it. Like Bob said, it's a damn good comedy, probably best of the year.

So any Scorcese fans out there? How would this rank among his films?

"Scorcese's first attempt at full blown comedy"? What about "King of Comedy" and "After Hours"?

This seems like a very interesting movie.
I might actually see this :D
...someday.........

Trading stocks is not illegal, nor is trading options or securities. Whether it should is up for debate, however currently it is not. Now i havent seen the film so i cant comment on whether what they do is illegal or not, but from what little information i bothered to look up it didnt look like it so far. Though do prove me wrong if thats the case.

Tohron:

A comment on this: most people would agree that pursuing your own fun when that results in misery for others is "evil". So, Bob is saying that what the people in the movie do is "evil" because they're conning investors out of their savings to continue with their extravagant lifestyle.

Now, that's not to say stock brokers are all evil or anything. Ideally, stock brokers work to identify promising companies and provide them with the capital they need to succeed. It's just that a lot of high-profile Wall Street figures seem to gravitate toward trading options that bear more resemblance to gambling than to providing good companies with capital.

Then, all life is evil.
Also no, stock brokers trade stocks to get money. What you are defining are called investors and they are not stock brokers (most of the time anyway).
Stock trading IS gambling. Except it is gambling that is ideally based on knowledge while practically based on rumours.

Pyrian:
Self-interest isn't inherently evil. Self-interest at the expense of others is evil. Financial markets aren't inherently evil; matching spare capital with legitimate capital uses is a very (very) useful function. It's when they're making their money by gaming the system and/or deceiving people that it becomes evil.

Then all self-interest i evil because all self-interest comes at an expense of others.
matching spare capital with legitimate capital uses is not what a stock broker does. That has nothing to do with stock brokers as shown in the film.
Trading stocks is ALL decieving people. For every profit sale you make there has to be a sucker that buys for that cost. you sell to real people, not some omniuos NPC. it is a zero-sum thing.

tippy2k2:

themilo504:
i don't know or I should see this movie, if its really as funny as you say then I definitely want to watch this movie, but I'm also worried that I'm a bit too young to properly enjoy this movie(I'm 16).

I just got home from seeing it and I 100% agree with Mr. Bob here; it's an absolutely brilliant movie and easily my favorite of the year.

As to your question, I am 27 (so obviously a smidge older :D) but I did not grow up with the "Sleazy Stockmarket" kind of thing like those older than I did. I understand in vague notions how the stock market works and how shitty a lot of these kinds of people were back in the day but that's it (basically, my info is all from "Wall Street" (the Douglas one that is). I don't remember any of this stuff in the news (movie takes place in the late 80's...when I was born) but I strongly recommend it.

Funny enough, the only thing that makes me hesitate slightly is all the sexy time but I'm sure you've seen much worse on the internet, right? ;)

considering how the movie is rated 16 I think I've seen worse in video games.

Huh, I thought this was just going to be one of those bad Christmas releases they try to sucker bored Jewish families into seeing.

Strazdas:

Tohron:

A comment on this: most people would agree that pursuing your own fun when that results in misery for others is "evil". So, Bob is saying that what the people in the movie do is "evil" because they're conning investors out of their savings to continue with their extravagant lifestyle.

Then, all life is evil.

Wait, what? All life involves either pursuing fun that results in the misery of others, or conning investors out of their money to indulge in an extravagant lifestyle?

You'll need a citation for that one. there are plenty of people whose beliefs, philosophies or lifestyles don't even involve fun or extravagance, let alone cause misery or misleading investors. Think of Buddhist monks, for example.

In any case, how do non-sentient life forms such as plants have "fun" or extravagance?

Strazdas:

Then all self-interest i evil because all self-interest comes at an expense of others.

Again, you'll need to elaborate on this. Simply stating it does not make it true. Many interests are mutually beneficial.

Say I am hungry. So, I take a seed from a plant, and grow another plant from that seed. Now, I can not only feed myself, but perhaps another human, too. And the plant benefits from being reproduced and surviving as a species. Where is the expense to others?

Or let's take sex for example; sex is in my self-interest, because it gives me pleasure. Now, I find another consenting person, with whom having sex would also give them pleasure. Where's the expense to others?

Your theory is so simple to disprove, I don't think you've given any thought at all to it.

"...his [Martin Scorsese's] first successful attempt at a full blown comedy..." Dude, didn't you ever see After Hours? Seriously one of the most gut busting comedies to ever come from the 80s.

Aardvaarkman:

Wait, what? All life involves either pursuing fun that results in the misery of others, or conning investors out of their money to indulge in an extravagant lifestyle?

You'll need a citation for that one. there are plenty of people whose beliefs, philosophies or lifestyles don't even involve fun or extravagance, let alone cause misery or misleading investors. Think of Buddhist monks, for example.

In any case, how do non-sentient life forms such as plants have "fun" or extravagance?

Strazdas:

Then all self-interest i evil because all self-interest comes at an expense of others.

Again, you'll need to elaborate on this. Simply stating it does not make it true. Many interests are mutually beneficial.

Say I am hungry. So, I take a seed from a plant, and grow another plant from that seed. Now, I can not only feed myself, but perhaps another human, too. And the plant benefits from being reproduced and surviving as a species. Where is the expense to others?

Or let's take sex for example; sex is in my self-interest, because it gives me pleasure. Now, I find another consenting person, with whom having sex would also give them pleasure. Where's the expense to others?

Your theory is so simple to disprove, I don't think you've given any thought at all to it.

I didnt elaborate yesterday since i was typing that way past the time i should have been asleep, so my bad.
All life exists for self-interest. From preservation to personal satisfaction we all seek personal gain. that gain can be dofferent, from material (shown in the movie) to psychological (feeling good about yourself), however everything we gain is a loss of somone else. With material gain it is very easy. If i take this car it means you cannot take it, hence you loose the potent of this car while i gain it. With psychological side of things it is harder to imagine. If i do something that results in me being praised, that means i get praised for it and you cannot be praised for it because the praise goes to me. This applies to personal feelings with "selfless" interests as well, but is much ahrder to notice on the surface, hence we invented the world "selfless".
Hence, all our self interest results in self gain (ideally anyway, we fail sometimes), which means it creates a loss for others. Since all life exists for self interest, then all life follows this. If you claim that self interest at expense of others is evil, then logically all life is evil.

Now lets go to your examples. You plant a seed and reproduce the plan, then eat it. You gain self interet of eating, while others loose the chance to do the same with this seed/plant. if you did not eat, others may have eaten, however by eating you have deprived them from eating that which you ate. The plant reproduced, however the space you planted a seed could have also reproduced other things, other plants. that means that by reproducing this plant (with your help) has deprived other plants from the change of reproduction. For a single plant - the depravation is insignificant, and the gain is insignifican, but it all stacks up eventually.

There is plenty expense of others with sex. From the simple mechanics if you are having sex with somone you deprive the change of having sex with you from others at that time to the usage of bed that could be used for other means instead, to the psychological satisfaction of "Having sex" while others loose that (the opponent may have had sex with another, and you may have had sex with another, however you didnt.

Alternate values are basic economics of life, and it is not very "pretty". I however do not think it is "evil". Self-interest is self interest, and may it benefit our race[1] more than others.

[1] by race i mean humans

Strazdas:

Hence, all our self interest results in self gain (ideally anyway, we fail sometimes), which means it creates a loss for others.

Except that it doesn't always. Say I decide to not get blind drunk and start a fight with people on the street. I benefit, because I avoid getting into a fight on the street, others benefit from not being fought with - nobody loses.

So, it is not the case that all self-interest results in another's loss.

Strazdas:
Since all life exists for self interest, then all life follows this. If you claim that self interest at expense of others is evil, then logically all life is evil.

But I don't think anybody is claiming that except for you. I think the poster you were responding to was talking about this kind of callous, criminal self-interest at the expense of others, not all forms of self-interest. You dilute the meaning of both "evil" and "self-interest" with this false equivalency.

Also, it's nice to see that you've discovered the meaning of life. How have you proven that all life exists because of self-interest? It's entirely possible that life exists just, y'know, because. Because of a freak chemical reaction. because a meteor collided with a planet. I don't think anybody has discovered exactly why life came into being, which is why we have inventions such as "God." It's a rather circular argument - that life exists because it wants to exist - and also disregards phenomena like suicide and nihilism.

The plant reproduced, however the space you planted a seed could have also reproduced other things, other plants. that means that by reproducing this plant (with your help) has deprived other plants from the change of reproduction. For a single plant - the depravation is insignificant, and the gain is insignifican, but it all stacks up eventually.

But what if you are in a barren area, where there is no other chance of the plant reproducing or the ground not being used for anything else, if it wasn't for your intervention?

There is plenty expense of others with sex. From the simple mechanics if you are having sex with somone you deprive the change of having sex with you from others at that time to the usage of bed that could be used for other means instead

But again, what if the other person was never going to have sex with anyone else? And what if you are the only people around that time, or stranded on a desert island? Your idea of these costs are becoming extremely hypothetical and trivial.

The fact is that there are situations in which self-interest does not cause a loss to others. The losses you are citing here are losses of a hypothetical "potential" thing which the other people never had in the first place. Not actual losses.

Hardly comparable to the deliberate destruction of people's assets, in order to live a life of excess. In fact, one could argue that it is not in these characters' interest to indulge in this excess - because in the long-term, excess has a way of catching up with you. We're talking about people who are destructive to society here - and they ultimately destroy themselves too.

Edited to add:

Here's the comment you were responding to:

Tohron:
A comment on this: most people would agree that pursuing your own fun when that results in misery for others is "evil". So, Bob is saying that what the people in the movie do is "evil" because they're conning investors out of their savings to continue with their extravagant lifestyle.

The poster clearly wasn't saying that all self-interest is evil. S/he was referring to a specific expression of one's self interest, where one's fun (or greed, I would say) directly results in another's misery.

I'm not sure why you translated that into all forms of self-interest in general.

You've also translated "misery" into any kind of potential loss of opportunity - as if the hypothetical chance of not having sex at a particular time with a particular person is misery.

themilo504:
considering how the movie is rated 16 I think I've seen worse in video games.

16? Either you're getting stuck with an edited version or the review system in your country doesn't mind a lot of sex and drugs (which could very well be the case; you don't have a country listed on your profile).

There's a LOT of sex in this. Like...a lot a lot. As one character eloquently put it in the film "girls today are hairless from the eyebrows down" and the film demonstrates this...multiple multiple times :D

(Note: I'm not saying you should skip it or anything. I'm sure you've seen much much worse. I'm just very surprised that this film could get anything other than a R or your countries equivalent unless it's been edited).

Aardvaarkman:

Strazdas:

Hence, all our self interest results in self gain (ideally anyway, we fail sometimes), which means it creates a loss for others.

Except that it doesn't always. Say I decide to not get blind drunk and start a fight with people on the street. I benefit, because I avoid getting into a fight on the street, others benefit from not being fought with - nobody loses.

So, it is not the case that all self-interest results in another's loss.

You do not get drunk, you do not buy drinks, the bartender looses money, the drink maker looses money, the workers working at the plant looses money, they loose money they cant buy stuff, ect. There is always a loss, but like i said it isnt always obviuos.

But I don't think anybody is claiming that except for you.

Tohron and Pyrian - the people i responded to, did.

I think the poster you were responding to was talking about this kind of callous, criminal self-interest at the expense of others, not all forms of self-interest. You dilute the meaning of both "evil" and "self-interest" with this false equivalency.

He said "at the expense of others". Not all expense of others are criminal, for example me wasting your time with this post is not criminal. I claimed that all forms of self interest are at the expense of others. I was using HIS definition of EVIL to prove the point of calling such self interest evil wrong. However clearly you read it literary.

Also, it's nice to see that you've discovered the meaning of life. How have you proven that all life exists because of self-interest? It's entirely possible that life exists just, y'know, because. Because of a freak chemical reaction. because a meteor collided with a planet. I don't think anybody has discovered exactly why life came into being, which is why we have inventions such as "God." It's a rather circular argument - that life exists because it wants to exist - and also disregards phenomena like suicide and nihilism.

I did not said all life exists because of self-interest. I said all lfie exists for self-interest. You should not claim me deluding words when you are putting words in my mouth.
Both suicide and nihilism is created by self interest. The reasons warry from case to case obviously (people dont suicide for same reason), however all our actions are out of self interest, conciuos and not. We have created inventions such as god because we lack knowledge, for we are not all knowing beings. However knowledge is beign accumulated all the time, which is good for us.

But what if you are in a barren area, where there is no other chance of the plant reproducing or the ground not being used for anything else, if it wasn't for your intervention?

There is always a choice, just because a plant cant simply grow on its own does not mean there is no alternative to planting one. If you didnt plant the seed the ground may have retained its minerals which in turn may have became a thing people use in thousands of years, but you did not knew it, so you acted out of self interest and planted a seed and you deprived the future inhabitants simply out of ignorance. that is not evil, yet the two posters i mentioned calls it so.

But again, what if the other person was never going to have sex with anyone else?

And what if pigs could fly? We can throw whatifs all day long which proves nothing really. If the person was never going to have sex with anyone else does not mean you dont deprive somone by having sex with him. Sure you may not have the most direct effect which i explained, but there are plenty of others from obviuos ones like children to more hidden ones like moodswings.

The fact is that there are situations in which self-interest does not cause a loss to others. The losses you are citing here are losses of a hypothetical "potential" thing which the other people never had in the first place. Not actual losses.

Correction: there are situation in which we do not know the losses caused by self-interest.

Hardly comparable to the deliberate destruction of people's assets, in order to live a life of excess. In fact, one could argue that it is not in these characters' interest to indulge in this excess - because in the long-term, excess has a way of catching up with you. We're talking about people who are destructive to society here - and they ultimately destroy themselves too.

I agree. However they werent saying evil is deliberate destruction of peoples assets. They said "at the expense of others".

The poster clearly wasn't saying that all self-interest is evil. S/he was referring to a specific expression of one's self interest, where one's fun (or greed, I would say) directly results in another's misery.

Can you please point out in that quote where word "directly" is used, for i cannot find it.

You've also translated "misery" into any kind of potential loss of opportunity - as if the hypothetical chance of not having sex at a particular time with a particular person is misery.

It is to some people. Misery is defined as " Mental or emotional unhappiness or distress"

tippy2k2:
16? Either you're getting stuck with an edited version or the review system in your country doesn't mind a lot of sex and drugs (which could very well be the case; you don't have a country listed on your profile).

There's a LOT of sex in this. Like...a lot a lot. As one character eloquently put it in the film "girls today are hairless from the eyebrows down" and the film demonstrates this...multiple multiple times :D

(Note: I'm not saying you should skip it or anything. I'm sure you've seen much much worse. I'm just very surprised that this film could get anything other than a R or your countries equivalent unless it's been edited).

Not all countries are so obsessed with naked human body as US.

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