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4.0 out of 5 stars
Boiler Room
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Showing 1-10 of 46 reviews (3 star)show all reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2001
Format: DVD
I don't know, the movie was entertaining but anyone calling this the best movie of any period whatsoever is completely out of their gord. It sort of reminds me of Varsity Blues (it's probably the same director or writer or something but I really didn't care that much about either film to check) in that it takes something really cool (the stock market, instant millionaires/being a star quarterback in a major Texas High School) puts some cool action/witty dialogue together, and then strings a weak plot underneath it all (corrupt firm/corrupt coach). Add in the soundtrack and the whole dad thing and it's basically the same film with a new topic. Which I guess they basically ripped off Wall Street for.
Which isn't to say the movie wasn't fun to watch -- it was, but it wasn't that great. The two high ranking guys in the firm, that guy from "That Thing You Do" or whatever and Ben Affleck were pretty god-dang laughable. I guess I don't find a bunch of wannabe scammers who act like they're all hard to be a very impressive lot, even if they do end up with the money. I also thought the idea of being a stock broker of selling "white man's crack" to be just ridiculous. But then hey -- I thought the hook and ladder as unbeatable/unknown football play in Varsity Blues to be pretty ridiculous as well.
Not bad for a rental though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 17, 2000
Format: DVD
It's funny. Contrary to many others (including Amazon's own house reviewer), I LIKED the character moments between Giovanni Ribisi and the always excellent Ron Rifkin on display in "Boiler Room". I thought the scenes of dad and son were sensitively acted and full of honest emotion. The rest of the movie was entertaining, too, but as others have noted, so much of the story was derivative of "Wall Street" and "Glengarry Glen Ross". So, for me, the family scenes were what made this movie feel fresh to me. The DVD extras are interesting, especially the inclusion of an alternate, more downbeat ending. This is not a bad little film, though I doubt it will find its way onto many movie fans' "all-time favorites" list.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2001
Format: DVD
Not every movie about Wall St. is supposed to be a remake of "Wall St." That wouldn't make any sense. First off, this movie is based on an actual firm that operated in Long Island a couple of years back. I've got to give the film credit. I saw this one while I was a commodity broker. I was able to predict the lines that the brokers/broker trainers were about to say so they did their research. I think that it would have benefitted the film to include scenes from other "legit" firms just so one could compare and contrast to figure out just exactly were the elements of fraud because now, every individual that's cold-called will think back to this movie. I did appreciate the appearance made by Nia Long, and the interactions between the brokers and the prospective clients were so on point. Excellent. This isn't a blockbuster hit, but it's a good movie.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
This is a Gen X version of the movie "Wall Street". It is an uneven, though intriguing, debut by director Ben Younger. It is also a movie that promises much, but fails to deliver anything substantial. First off, it lures you by claiming that it stars Ben Affleck. While Ben Affleck may appear in the movie, it can hardly be said to star him. In fact, Affleck's role cannot even be said to rise to that of a supporting role, so ephemeral is it. Yet, all the trailers feature Affleck prominently, as if by promising to deliver him, it may make up for the deficiencies in the film. Nonetheless, Affleck does give a dynamic performance, however miniscule his part.
On the plus side, however, there are some other performances of note. Vin Diesel's is one. He just keeps getting better and is one of the most versatile young actors of today, having had featured roles in "Saving Private Ryan" and "Pitch Black". Also, Giovanni Ribisi turns in a very good performance, as well, though it is not believable that the beautiful Nia Long would find him to be her type.
The premise of the movie is simple. Seth Davis (Giovanni Ribisi) is a nineteen year old college drop out who runs an illegal casino out of his Kew Garden Hills, Queens, NY apartment. While he is making a tidy sum out of his illegal operation which is a mecca for bored Queens College students, Seth is a disappointment to his father (Ron Rifkin), who is a federal judge and fearful of becoming tainted through association by his son's illegal activities.
Seth, wanting to make his father proud of him, tries to go legit and gets a job at a small brokerage firm whose owners (Ben Affleck and Thom Everett Scott) make get rich quick promises. Two senior brokers with the firm, Greg (Nicki Katt), who lured him to the firm, and Chris (Vin Diesel), who tries to look out for Seth while he cuts his eyeteeth, basically play a good cop/bad cop routine through out the film. Greg's former love interest, Abbey (Nia Long), the firm's $80,000 a year receptionist, turns to Seth for romance, much to Greg's annoyance. This creates tension between Seth and Greg for which Chris runs interference.
Seth initially buys into the promises of big money and falls for the allure of mega bucks, hook, line, and sinker, becoming one of the most promising newcomers to the firm, only to discover that he has traded one illicit operation for another. It seems the firm is selling virtually worthless stock to unsuspecting individuals. When he looks to get out from under, turning to his disapproving father for help, he is rejected. His father, however, has a change of heart and reaches out to his son, only to become ensnared in his son's get rich quick debacle. You see, the firm has been the focal point of an investigation by the Feds for violation of Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations. The movie now spirals quickly to its climax.
The uneven pacing of the film, the failure of the romantic sub-plot due to lack of chemistry between Long and Ribisi, the under utilization of Thom Everett Scott, and the failure to deliver Affleck, as promised, contribute to the disappointment in the movie. Still, it could have been a contender, as it has some very promising moments. "Wall Street", however, made the same promise, the only difference being that it delivered.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2013
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
Loved this film when I first saw it in theaters, and I have the wonderful DVD, which contains several good extras--deleted scenes, actor bios, some other stuff. The DVD's picture quality is fantastic--beautiful, very sharp, new-looking-- on older, tube TVs. But only "good-to-excellent" on HD TVs.

So, I bought the Blu Ray for my HD TV. As the title of my review states, it has a beautiful, sharp, brand-new-looking picture on my HD TV, and great sound, too. But, NO menu, NO extras, NOTHING besides the movie. It is also 19 seconds shorter than the film on the DVD, but this Blu-Ray version's lost 19 seconds is ONLY the deleted, 19-second graphic screen before the beginning of the movie that tells viewers that this is purely fictitious, the characters are not real people, etc. The actual filmed movie is 100% intact. The Blu Ray is made in Canada, and the artwork and description on the back of the case are about 90% American style, 10% not.

The verdict: definitely buy the DVD for an older tube TV, but for HD, you may want both the DVD and the Blu Ray. The Blu Ray's picture looks brighter and sharper on my new 55" HD TV, but I like the extras--available only on the DVD.

In Amazon's product description for this Blu Ray, it says: "Special Features: Interactive Menus/Chapter Search, Alternate Endings, Theatrical Trailer, Interactive Film Trivia, Filmography, Deleted Scenes, Original Screenplay." --
-- BUT I repeat, that is ALL wrong; there are NO extras on the Blu Ray, AND IT TELLS YOU SO WHEN YOU PUT IT IN THE BR PLAYER AND A MESSAGE APPEARS ONSCREEN SAYING THAT THERE IS NO MENU!
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Format: DVD
Giovanni Ribisi shows what a versatile and talented young actor he is. Usually relegated to supporting, psycho types of roles, Ribisi does something few actors can effectively do: he gives a brilliant performance in a role he is miscast in. Ribisi plays Seth vitally well, but in no way does he truly fit the character. As many reviewers have noted, would sexy Nia Long single him out of all those hunks to have a fling with? Maybe she got tired of the good looks and empty brains and wanted a brain? But even Seth is pretty stupid in how he fails to see the truth behind this assortment of hucksters. Vin Diesel is revealing in his role, probably the only one he hasn't shown off his body in; Tom Everett Scott is wasted as the company's malevolent owner; Long looks pretty but she seems vacuous and unreal; Ben Affleck gives one of his best performances in his small but impressive role; Scott Caan and Jamie Kennedy don't get to do much but strut; and Taylor Nichols as Harry is marvelous. Ron Rifkin does well as Seth's father, but his performance is undermined by a poorly written script, changing him from the father from Hell into an understanding patriarch. His explanation of what happened when Seth had his bicycle accident borders on camp because it doesn't make any sense. But Ribisi tries hard and does well as always. I hated the score; it did nothing but interfere and punctuate the fact that the best scores are ones written for the movie and provide INSTRUMENTAL accompaniment that forwards the plot, not hinders it. Overly rated, BOILER ROOM also fails to provide closure; we know Seth has "won," but we don't get to see the fruits of his work. Trying too hard to be "artsy" BOILER ROOM offers little suspense or little compensation for the two hours spent watching it. The 3 stars are mainly for the performance of Ribisi and its original theme.
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on February 10, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Giovanni Ribisi may be an underrated actor, and his work in this drama proves that. This movie may reside in the contrasts of the 1987 hit "Wall Street" for many people, but I think it's better than that. First-time director Ben Younger does a great job with a distinguished cast and a sometimes slow plot.
Seth Davis (Ribisi) is one of the people you have to love. He's rebelious, he's a dreamer, and he's smart. By running an illegal casino out of his apartment, he's able to obtain a living, and a good one at that. And when an old friend drops in on him to offer him a job he can't refuse, the story takes shape. The job he is offered is to become a stock broker. He'd have to start training for it, but eventually somewhere down the line he'd become rich. All this information is given to him by the owner, or 'motivator', played by none other than Ben Affleck. About 1.5 of the 3 stars given to this movie are because of Affleck's speech towards the beginning of this movie. I love it. The way he explains the job and the job's benefits using curse words and Lexus-payment analogies could make anyone want to become a stock broker. I probably rewind the part twice each time I watch the movie. But maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, the entire movie is great; not just that part. And aside from the appearance of Ben Affleck, the movie gives us more actors galore. "XXX" star Vin Diesel co-stars as Chris Varick, who sort of takes Seth under his wing and shows him some well-deserved respect. Also, there's funnyman Jamie Kennedy, Scott Caan (who teamed up with Ribisi in "Gone In 60 Seconds" of the same year), and Nia Long.
Once you get past Affleck's infamous speech and the stellar cast of stars, there's actually a good movie. The plot is well-developed and the ending is really fitting. I'm not going to say much about the ending but I will say it's similar to that of "Wall Street"; maybe slightly better. In conclusion, Giovanni Ribisi proves he can handle a starring role. And he doesn't need the perfect story to make it work. If you liked "Wall Street" or if you like Ben Affleck, you will view this movie as a wonderful piece of film. I'm sure you'll love it. And even if you didn't like "Wall Street" or you hate Affleck, still watch this movie for Ribisi's performance alone. It's one of the best of 2000.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2006
Format: DVD
Director: Ben Younger

Cast: Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Nia Long, Nicky Katt, Scott Caan, Ron Rifkin, Jamie Kennedy, Taylor Nichols, Bill Sage, Tom Everett Scott, Ben Affleck.

Running Time: 118 minutes

Rated R for strong language and some drug content.

Despite being a college drop out, Seth Davis (Giovanni Ribisi) gets a job as a broker for a small investment firm JT Marlin. With promises of his first million within three years, Seth gets into the high tension and fast paced world of the boiler room, the salesroom floor where he begins as a trainee. He gradually grows within the organization and starts seeing the beautiful receptionist Abbie (Nia Long) despite the fact that she used to be with his new boss. Everything seems to be going his way; however the deeper he goes, Seth begins to suspect that it can't all be as good as it looks and is unlikely to be as legal as he had been told it was. It might be the fact that the film actually name checks "Glengary Glen Ross" and "Wall Street", but at times this feels that, like its characters, that it has watched these films too many times and has simply added a touch of "Goodfellas" to it to produce "Boiler Room"; however, this is actually a bit unfair because the film has just about enough of its own to stand out as rather an enjoyable and interesting look at the ethics of certain sections of the business world. The narrative is strong enough to keep things moving forward despite the weaknesses asYounger does well to recreate the testosterone-fuelled world where money is the only thing that matters and it tends to be this energy that drives the film where subplots on relationships struggle.

The cast are a great help, featuring generally good performances despite the odd weak bit. Ribisi is the heart of the film and, although he doesn't totally convince in his narration he is a good lead, taking well to his character. Diesel usually strikes fear deep into hearts with his assumed hunky machismo, but here he is actually pretty good as is the sensitive Katt. Long is a good actress and great looking but this is not the best role she has had; she delivers it the best she can but the story uses her as a device at best, Caan is decent, and Rifkin has a simple task to deliver. The only bum note was Ben Affleck, whose dialogue comes off as a copy of better films was obviously done much better by Alec Baldwin in "Glengary Glen Ross". Overall, there are certainly better films, but this has the energy to appeal to a younger audience that will likely enjoy it.
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on August 1, 2000
Format: DVD
Boiler Room makes no attempt to deny the fact that it is borrowing liberally from Oliver Stones Wall St. In fact, the main characters watch the movie & quote Gordon Gecko like he's a modern day prophet! But where you had star power & experienced direction with Wall St, with Boiler Room you have less of both. But they make up for this, in spades, with frenetic performances, a pounding soundtrack, and unabashed greed! The plot is so simple that you can see the twists coming from as far away as you can see the loops and dips in a roller-coaster. But like the roller-coaster, the viewer is in for a heck of a fun ride! Ribisi is very competent as the brokerage employee who discovers he has morals. Affleck is over the top as the companys pitchman & Von Disel is wonderful as the take no prisoners closer! Ron Rifkin doesn't stray far from his usual weasely persona as Ribisi's dad ( just look at his character in this movie & that of LA Confidential-the same!). And in the end, when he tries to break character, his performance almost becomes forced & unbelievable. This movie is, from beginning to end, a Guilty Pleasure; all fast paced action, little plot, forseeable twists & turns- the very essence of a film destined to become a favorite of the TBS station program "Movies for Men who Like Movies!"
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2005
Format: DVD
I am not sure why Ben Affleck has so many haters. He is not bad at all in a small part of the recruiter-smoothie-I'm-a-Millionaire. His presentation was about right and I know because for 16 years I worked in a number of firms, very aggressive penny stock firms. The most successful salesman, the OM's, or even the owners of the firm were able to produce the exact effect with words. They could sell paint off the wall. The fact that the public was buying only reinforces the idea that greed and naiveté go hand-in-hand.

Now the script painted this firm as an out of control, SEC rule breaking, machine, but in truth, penny stock firms that are around a while actually work well within the rules of trade. If a salesman guaranteed profit, the jerk would be out on the street in a hurry and the firm closed. No, the penny stock operators are way more subtle than that, though the portrayal of macho-salesmen is somewhat correct. Booze, drugs, and prostitutes are part of that scene. The boys spend dough on fancy cars just to impress each other. When they have sex, they have sex in groups with strippers.

I think Ribisi did a great acting job and his daddy trouble rang true. He did it for the old man indirectly.
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