Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-26-2010, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 133 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French/Portuguese 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese, Mandarin
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Michael Douglas, Frank Langella, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, Eli Wallach
Directed by: Oliver Stone
Music by: Craig Armstrong
Written by: Allan Loeb & Stephen Schiff
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 21, 2010

"Money talks"

Film Synopsis:

Following a lengthy prison term, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) finds himself on the outside looking in at a world he once commanded. Hoping to repair his relationship with his daughter, Winnie (Carey Mulligan), Gekko forges an alliance with her fiance, Jake (Shia LaBeouf). But Winnie and Jake learn the hard way that Gekko is still a master manipulator who will stop at nothing to reclaim his rightful place at the top of Wall Street.

My Take:

The synopsis above outlines the film's plot well enough to negate the need for a more in depth overview here. There elements to the story that I would prefer not to give away so I will just offer my thoughts. The original Wall Street film was a movie experience unlike many had seen before in terms of its portrayal of the financial world and the seemingly limitless dog eat dog nature of the network of powerful businessman that inhabit it. I think that it effectively conveyed the arrogance and complex villainy of Gordon Gekko and how the allure of him could easily take in a young impressionable guy like Bud Fox. Money never sleeps has a few things in common with the original, principle among them is that it is a cautionary tale as well as a moral one. Bud Fox is replaced with Jake Moore, an investment banker who has been around the block enough times to have a definitive understanding of the world in which he operates. His inexperience is more on a personal level which he finds can be just as devastating. Gordon Gekko is an iconic character and Michael Douglas hasn't lost any of the chops that earned him an Academy Award for his original portrayal. The screenplay provides enough depth to draw us in but becomes a bit muddled in the emphasis it places on romance and familial relationships. I would have preferred more of a challenge/face off of sorts with the old (Gekko) versus the new (Moore).

I think that Jake and Gordon would have made better adversaries than Jake and Bretton. Quite frankly I don't think that Bretton could carry Gordon's jockstrap back in the day (or in the present for that matter). This is most definitely a character driven film and within the construct of the narrative that works fine. Whereas the original felt like fresh, unexplored territory, this one seems just a bit too conventional. Much of the focus is on Jake, which is fine however I found the outcome of Gordon's reemergence and how it ultimately impacts Jake, Winnie, and the financial climate/players established to that point to be a let down. The end result is more of a feel good relationship film rather than an intellectual thriller with a revealing, unexpected and satisfying series of plot points. While that all sounds very dire in reality Wall Street: money never sleeps isn't a bad movie. On its own it features a watchable story with well developed characters and a neat/tidy ending. Being a sequel you have to compare it to the original and doing so makes it a less effective film. I applaud the cast and thought that Shia LaBeouf was really very good. Carey Mulligan and Josh Brolin were solid in support and honorable mention goes out to Frank Langella an actor that I always enjoy watching. As an aside Susan Sarandon had a very small role (Jakes mother) that I found odd. She had two superfluous scenes that were both interjected later in the story neither of which seemed to serve a legitimate purpose. Weird. In the end I think it would be fair to say that I liked Wall Street: Money never sleeps. I just don't think that it is a worthy follow up to the original film.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for brief strong language and thematic elements.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 82

  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

Video: 86

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

Wall Street: Money never sleeps comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 21 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3 Mbps.

This high definition video presentation looks solid and boasts vibrant primary colors that are warm and inviting. Fleshtones are balmy with appreciable texture and limited complexional description among the majority of the cast members. Images are well resolved and filmic in quality. Detail in close ups is revealing of subtle variations in facial features and patterns in the weave of clothing. The wide angle pans of the cityscapes/skyline have appreciable dimension and depth. The video lacks definitely resolute definition but offers varying degrees of lucidity and never appears flat or soft. Black levels and contrast strike a good balance between light and dark onscreen elements. Bright sequences and colors have plenty of pop while dark sequences exhibit quiet, dynamic blacks and distinguishable shadow detail.

The multi-channel lossless audio won't test the limits of your surround sound system but it capably delivered the elements present in this soundtrack. Dialogue was tonally rich with excellent room penetration and defining clarity. Dynamics were punchy and bass response was appropriate and provided extension of the main channels that predominantly came in support of the music score. The front channels handled the bulk of the audio and presented a wide two dimensional soundstage with the surrounds supplying ambience detail that added depth. I thought the mix mated very well with the source material and sounded great.

Bonus Features:

  • Audio commentary by director Oliver Stone

  • (HD) A conversation with Oliver Stone and the cast of Wall Street: Money never sleeps

  • (HD) Money, money, money: The rise & fall of Wall Street (5 featurettes)

    1. Unfinished business: Oliver Stone and cast revisiting Wall Street - 7 minutes
    2. Gordon Gekko is back - 9 ,inutes
    3. Lifestyle of excess - 8 minutes
    4. A tour of The Street - 13 minutes
    5. Trends, schemes, and economic collapse: A guide to understanding Wall Street - 11 minutes

  • (HD) 15 deleted/extended scenes with optional director commentary

  • Fox Movie Channel Presents: In character with:

    1. Michael Douglas
    2. Shia LaBeouf
    3. Carey Mulligan
    4. Josh Brolin
    5. Frank Langella

  • (HD) Theatrical/Teaser trailers

  • BD-Live with Live Lookup

  • Digital Copy Bonus Disc

Final Thoughts:

Wall Street: Money never sleeps is a watchable drama that is probably made a little bit better by Oliver Stone's apt direction and the strong performances from its wonderful cast. Unfortunately it doesn't live up to the original film and suffers from an uninspired and diluted plot that leaves it feeling rather conventional by comparison. It debuts on Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox featuring excellent high definition video quality, clear lossless sound and a decent assortment of bonus supplements that offer insightful information from the cast/crew as well as a comparative look back at the original Wall Street film. If you're a fan this is worth picking up otherwise drop it in your rental queue and take it for a spin.


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS50 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen
Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Samsung BD-C7900 Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Better Cables, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-26-2010, 01:21 PM
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Very uneven film but the soundtrack was exceptional, loved the Byrne Eno songs.

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post #3 of 8 Old 12-27-2010, 01:53 PM
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Thanks Ralph
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-29-2010, 11:47 PM
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The original film was one of my favorite Michael Douglas movies. When I heard that Shia Lebeouf was in this one, I threw up a little in my mouth. Seriously, I just don't really understand that fascination with this kid. He's a decent enough actor, but just seems like he doesn't have much range, which is often needed when you're being directed by Oliver Stone. Ralph's rating of this film gives me a little more hope than I had before, though...really looking forward to checking this out one, even though I won't have expectations of it being in the same league as the first film.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-03-2011, 08:42 AM
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Agree with Ralphs take on this one. This was a decent movie but i find myself returning to the original one because of it's "Wall Street" elements. The main characters did a pretty good job but the story/premise itself seems like it missed something.

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post #6 of 8 Old 01-04-2011, 12:15 PM
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Stupid and insulting. SPOILER BELOW

The final scene where Michael Douglas brings the whole family together after:
1. he stole and deceived his estranged daughter out of $100M and
2. Just 5 minutes before she told Shia LaBouef that his deception (to her) is reminiscent of his father (who she has hated for years) and that there relationship is essentially unrepeatable.

So, Michael Douglas says he's sorry and he wants to see his grandson and it repairs all relationships??? Not!

Also, his liberal, minimalist wife a $500K diamond??? His is Gekko Jr! Again, she rejected that as well.

Goodbye to a great audio and video genius and writer... JOHN GANNON. I enjoyed your friendship, wit and a nice long run we took around Indianapolis at CEDIA years back... and for buying my Runco 980 Ultra years back... you saved my ass! Rest in peace.
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-04-2011, 06:24 PM
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Every time he spoke, you could hear the raspy sound in his voice which was probably d/t his tumor. Distracted me thoughout the entire movie.
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-21-2011, 11:22 AM
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Who was Lou Zabel supposed to be? Was his company supposed to be Lehman Brothers? Also, was Churchill Schwartz supposed to represent some actual bank like Goldman Sachs?
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