TOMORROW: MORE ON ‘ELECTIONGATE’ (& ONLY THE PLANET HAS IT) …PLANET MOVIE REVIEW: WALL STREET ‘WOLF’ IS A TURKEY IN FILM’S CLOTHING … plus … A NEW YEAR’S GREETINGS FROM US TO YOU!
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI Arts and Entertainment
ADD 1 THURSDAY JAN. 2, 2014 — Be sure to tune in tomorrow for the next thrilling adventure on THE PLANET. Tomorrow, we talk weather and share new information on “Electiongate,” somewhat of The Other Side. Only here, exclusively on THE PLANET. Your only news and commentary source that’s not afraid to tell it like it is and tell it like “They” don’t want you to know!
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RATING SYSTEM: ***** = Sell your firstborn if you have to, but see this film … **** = Excellence exemplified … *** = Not bad, and it has its moments … ** = Waste of time and money … * = Choose waterboarding before you see this mess.
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET = PLANET GIVES IT TWO STARS, **
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, DEC. 31, 2013) — If you’ve seen Oliver Stone‘s Wall Street and James Foley‘s adaptation of David Mamet‘s Tony-winner play Glengarry Glen Ross, you needn’t bother with Martin Scorcese‘s latest film, The Wolf of Wall Street. Come to think of it, if you’ve seen James Cameron’s Titanic, you needed not go to Wolf, since you’ve already seen how Leo DeCaprio acts when his ocean-going vessel takes on water. Yes, Leo finds himself all wet in one of many scenes in Wolf of Wall Street that could easily have bet short on the cutting room floor and come out a winner.
Here’s the synopsis from Yahoo! Movies:
This is the true story of the outlandish rise and non-stop pleasure-hunting descent of Jordan Belfort, the New York stockbroker who, along with his merry band of brokers, makes a gargantuan fortune by defrauding investors out of millions. Belfort transforms from a righteous young Wall Street newcomer to a thoroughly corrupted stock-pumper and IPO cowboy. Having quickly amassed an absurd fortune, Jordan pumps it back into an endless array of aphrodisiacs: women, Quaaludes, coke, cars, his supermodel wife and a legendary life of aspiration and acquisition without limits. But even as Belfort’s company, Stratton Oakmont, soars sky-high into extremes of hedonistic gratification, the SEC and the FBI are zeroing in on his empire of excess.
Financial corruption? Check. Over-the-top materialistic excess? Check. Sex? Check. Dart midgets? Check. Drug use and abuse? Check? Gratuitous sex? Check. Lame attempts at comedy? Check. A one-dimensional script that goes on forever and ever? Check. Gratuitous sex? Check. Obligatory special-effects ridiculousness? Check. Rabbit-nibbled Cliches? Check. Jonah Hill delivering a now-boring “Jonah Hill”? Check. Gratuitous sex? Check.
This movie has it all, and, unfortunately, way too much more. Scorcese tells in three hours what could have been easily done in half that time. In fact, everything we need to know and learn about ruthless Wall Street broker Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio) in this greed-and-coke opus we learn in the first hour of the film. Scorcese could have tacked on the ending of the film at that point. He would have walked away with a much better film.
Nothing exceeds like excess, and Scorcese loses all sense of limits in Wolf. The director talks fast and knows a lot of words, but in this case, the one word he forgot to utter was “Cut!” One best depicts superfluity and glut with moderation and restraint, in the same way that the best horror films scare you because of what they don’t show. Don’t tell that to Scorcese, who, in a filmic sense, loses his directional compass as surely as Beflort loses his moral one.
Folks, don’t waste your money. And under no circumstances, don’t waste three hours of your life on this garbage.
THANKS FOR 2013, AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL
Finally, THE PLANET wishes you all a happy, safe, and healthy transition from 2013 into 2014. The passing year gave us its share of heartbreak, but, too, we savor many great moments of happiness, fun, and love.
We dedicate this final column of 2013 to our readers, who make this daily offering for the public good a task that we shoulder with enthusiasm and enjoyment.
Happy New Year to you and yours!
Our next column will be presented on Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, as we take a few days of R&R.
“Because it’s ‘Amateur Night.'” — Toots Shor, on why he didn’t drink on New Year’s Eve.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.