Wall Street [Blu-ray]
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A yuppie broker courts a corporate raider with inside information.
Michael Douglas won an Oscar for perfectly embodying the Reagan-era credo that "greed is good." As a Donald Trump-like Wall Street raider aptly named Gordon Gecko (for his reptilian ability to attack corporate targets and swallow them whole), Douglas found a role tailor-made to his skill in portraying heartless men who've sacrificed humanity to power. He's a slick, seductive role model for the young ambitious Wall Street broker played by Charlie Sheen, who falls into Gecko's sphere of influence and instantly succumbs to the allure of risky deals and generous payoffs. With such perks as a high-rise apartment and women who love men for their money, Charlie's like a worm on Gecko's hook, blind to the corporate maneuvering that puts him at odds with his own father (played by Sheen's offscreen father, Martin). With his usual lack of subtlety, writer-director Oliver Stone drew from the brokering experience of his own father to tell this Faustian tale for the "me" decade, but the movie's sledgehammer style is undeniably effective. A cautionary warning that Stone delivers on highly entertaining terms, Wall Street grabs your attention while questioning the corrupted values of a system that worships profit at the cost of one's soul. --Jeff Shannon
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Top Customer Reviews
The speech about greed and American way of life given by Douglas at the share holder's meeting is one of the best short speeches I have heared and seen on the silver screen. Michael's character is what makes this movie.
Oliver Stone directed this film right after finishing The Platoon (1986) both of which films happen to be his best works.
Don't miss the sequel, set (fictionally, and made in reality, about 15 years later, Wall Street, Money Never Sleeps[[ASIN:B004GWQTCG Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps].
The ambitious Bud Fox rises to the top under the guidance of a ruthless business man who cuts corners and cuts throats to get ahead. The materialism often documented in the 80's appears full throttle, and all characters in the film, except the token reminder of morality-Bud's Dad, are all infected with the greed. The film is an interesting portrayal of the time period, but also how a person's character can become compromise. The average person could fall prey to glitz and glamor of this "no limits" life style.
In Stone's typical stylistic manner, he executes the film and story arc of the rise and fall of Bud Fox in a well timed manner. In the end Gecko still prevails, despite of his tactics, but it is Bud who saves his father's company, albeit inadvertently being punished for the route the initially chose.
I was in my teens in the 80's, and the decade holds a certain fascination for me. The film is one of my favorites of the era, and is definitely worth seeing. It is not crushed by the same over the top humor and kitch that is present in some of the more light-hearted 80's films, but instead is a more conscious-grabbing serious character examination of the era, and the effect on character that limitless "aquisition" of materialism can cause.
The film is still relevant today, as it seems this greed is still present in our society, and has become an accepted norm and side effect of our capitalistic society. Performances are solid throughout and further/introduce careers of interesting actors, including James Spader.