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Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

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Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps - 4/10/2010 5:32:40 PM   
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- 4/10/2010 5:32:41 PM   


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In the original Wall Street (1987) director Oliver Stone presented a dire warning for Wall Street brokers everywhere. It came at a time when the financial bubble was close to bursting, and a healthy dose of Oliver Stone's traditionally moral spinning plots seemed both relevant and necessary. While practically all sequels are relevant, very few can claim to be necessary, and it's in the majority that Money Never Sleeps unfortunately falls.
On paper it's a thriller as cold as cash and as calculating as the most experienced of any of Wall Street's real brokers, with Michael Douglas's Gekko as good as it gets to the definitive anti-hero of the financial age. Gekko is just as complicated and compelling as when we left him, all the way back in 1987.
It's a shame then that his vehicle this time round is a slow and derivative script with believability issues uncharacteristic of the usually well-researched Stone. In revisiting Wall Street, Stone seemingly attempts the impossible task of fully comprehending it. It leaves us with a baggy, unbalanced yet ambitious film that spikes at some occasional highs, and bottoms out at some bankrupt lows.

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Spot on! - 4/10/2010 9:29:33 PM   


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I cant argue with the review!!! Can I ask which writer reviewed this movie in particular? Can you do all the big movie reviews from now all ;)

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Shia, shia, shia - 5/10/2010 10:08:41 AM   


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Joined: 4/10/2005
Can we all now agree that LaBeouf is shite?

He has been touted as the next big thing for some years and I've waited to see a perfomance where I can agree with that statement. None has been forthcoming.

Back to watching robots punch each other for Shia I think.

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Post #: 4
Shia has yet to be in a movie.. - 5/10/2010 11:05:14 AM   


Posts: 220
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From: Cardiff
..that wasn't directed by either a hack (Bay), or a way past his best auteur (Spielberg). He is a formidable actor, who hasn't yet had a great script.

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RE: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps - 5/10/2010 7:17:12 PM   


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From: Farmville, VA
I think we should give Shia a bit of time... Like Cameron1975 said, maybe he just needs the right script... :o)

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- 6/10/2010 11:56:52 PM   


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Not good enough Stone. Not enough Gecko, not angry enough, long periods of boredom, none of the energy of the first picture. A huge opportunity missed :(

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Post #: 7
RE: - 7/10/2010 2:54:24 PM   

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From: Dublin
What can i say??
I loved the original,an iconic piece of 80s cinema.
This film misses Charlie Sheen,or a similar type of character(though he has a cameo,that's 2 and a Half Men Charlie mode!).
Shia is unconvincing,and with so much screen time,he badly affects the running of the film.His stroryline about green energy is boring.
Brolin skates the ice of his possible character depth due to poor writing.
Gecko is the only reason to see this film,and without going into possible spoilers,again the writing and the character arc,while understandable to a point,may not be satisfying to the audience.
It's not bad,and there are actually some well written scenes in here,mostly all with Gecko,and some very nteresting contemporary social commentary.
If you liked the first,then see this,just for Gecko.While it may be popular to bash Shia,he just looks mis-cast in this type of film.
3 stars,a pity.


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Money may not sleep but I did.... - 8/10/2010 8:00:14 PM   


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I have to say this is so disappointing. I actually agree with the review in many parts. Douglas doesn't feature much in the film and never has the airs of owning the film like he did in the original. I think Mulligan was miscast in this role. She's too soppy, too weepy and I still don't understand why someone who hates Wall Street so much would take up will wheeler dealer LeBoeuf, It doesn't make sense. LeBeouf is OK but he always seems to be playing a kid out of his depths. Definitely best actor in this is Eli Wallach proving that the oldies are definitely goodies.

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Post #: 9
RE: Money may not sleep but I did.... - 10/10/2010 7:09:12 PM   


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It zips along fast enough that it's rarely boring, but the relentless focus on Jake's relationship to Winnie became annoying and used up screentime that should have tackled the actual meltdown more. The twist with the money at the end was predictable, but then they forgive Gordon anyway just because he gives it back. Didn't ring true.

Watchable but a missed opportunity.

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Post #: 10
RE: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps - 12/10/2010 11:49:47 PM   


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Director: Oliver Stone
Screenwriters: Allan Loeb, Stephen Schiff
Starring: Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, Eli Wallach, Susan Sarandon, Frank Langella

As the global economy teeters on the brink of disaster, Jake Moore (LaBeouf) who is a young Wall Street trader partners with disgraced former Wall Street corporate raider Gordon Gekko (Douglas) on a two-tiered mission: To alert the financial community to the coming doom, and to find out who was responsible for the death of the young trader's mentor.

Review This year, we have seen sequels of films that were released a decade ago, or even two. This summer came the release of Toy Story 3 (which made the franchise the best trilogy ever) and coming to the end of the year is the long-awaited sequel to the 28-year-old Tron. At the moment comes the return of Gordon Gekko, the role that got Michael Douglas the Oscar.

The original Wall Street back in 1987 was seen as the archetypal portrayal of 1980s excess, as well as its most memorable quote from Gekko: “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good”. On a personal level, it was partially seen as a father-son story, as it was about a young man (played by Charlie Sheen) desperate to succeed and eventually becomes involved with the villain of the piece, which then leads to a conflict between the young man and his blue-collared father.

Twenty-three years later, Stone returns to the stock market, in an attempt to bring back the character of Gekko, with his new quote: “Is greed good?” With the factual stock market crash that occurred recently as the basis of the story, we see these fictional characters reacting within the financial world which has become more chaotic, whilst Gekko tries to get both his groove and family life back.

When Stone started off his career, he was always making films that took their subject matter incredibly seriously and usually took over two hours to get their messages across to the audience. The original Wall Street did exactly this, and yet what Stone has done with this follow-up (as with World Trade Center) is soften the themes but without the dramatic tension.

As the first film depicted the stock market as fairly straightforward, in terms of how stockbrokers function and how money can lead to corruption, the second rambles on and awkwardly flows to what the financial world is, despite being a more complicated one. The film focuses more on Gekko’s return to society and attempting to reunite with his damaged daughter Winnie (played by Carey Mulligan) by partnering with her fiancé Jake who needs Gordon’s help.

Despite a beautifully-shot New York, nice software-like visuals and a nice handful of songs by David Byrne and Brian Eno, the direction tries to bring that 80s nostalgia to present day, but the result is fairly lame and nothing seems fresh. There are flashes that do remind you of the original (particularly a cameo from Charlie Sheen), but doesn’t succeed at going any further.

The big positive highlight towards this is the scenes that feature Michael Douglas in his repertoire as this was his Oscar-winning turn and reminds you how much of a demanding screen presence he is. Also, we see a new side to his character’s personality to give him more mpathy and yet still establishing his trademark slyness.

Whatever you might think of Shia LaBeouf (mostly negative from others), he is the only one who didn’t embarrass himself in the Transformers films and was great in Holes, which nearly everyone forgets. Although in this case, what LaBeouf plays here is an unsympathetic protagonist, whether it is the actions of the character or the choice in casting (sorry, Shia!), although does shine whenever he’s onscreen with the talented Carey Mulligan.

Despite the charismatic figure that is Mr Douglas, the sequel fails to be as edgy as the original which knew what is was doing towards its themes, in which this lacks.

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Post #: 11
RE: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps - 13/10/2010 1:25:23 AM   

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Sorry,but this was never going to be as "edgy",in a film sense and a real life sense related to that.
The sentence Gekko got in this film,would have been laughed at as absurd when the original was released.
In fact,it could still be said it would be laughed at today-it simply doesn't happen.
Gekko has only ever been guilty of being fashionable or being contemporary-not serious crimes.
Shia's character gets involved in the very type of insider trading that cremated Charlie Sheen in the original-yet nobody bats an eyelid!!
There are 2 characters in the first film and only 1 in this.
And the message is clear-Greed is good in both!!


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Post #: 12
RE: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps - 15/10/2010 7:44:47 PM   

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I saw the original on Sky recently. I'm not sure how relevant a sequel is today, but it will be good to see how they have managed to connect the two together.

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Post #: 13
Not quite on the money - 18/10/2010 10:02:12 AM   


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Joined: 6/10/2005
Wall Street was an iconic film this is just an 'okay' film. Tepid performances from most (but I liked old guy Jules' tweeting gestures and simmering power/anger) and it failed to grip like I hoped. I remember Wall Street years later, this one I will have forgotten by next Tuesday.

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Wall Street: Money should stay asleep and not be made! - 21/10/2010 5:15:52 PM   
BubbaGump Shrimps

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From: Cambridge
I was sold as soon as I saw the trailer with the massive 80s mobile phone, but this film turned out to be totally unbalanced. 1st mistake: casting Shia LeBOFF! Big Mistake. He looks too young & unconvincing to be a major Wall St player. 2nd mistake: Not enough Michael Douglas as Gekko. This is his movie & probably one of his most memorable characters ever. C'mon, he did win the Oscar for the 1st Gordon Gekko! But here, Ollie Stone leaves Gekko standing in the background for most of the movie.
This was dissapointing as the 1st film rocked. You can tell Oliver Stone has chilled out over the last 10 years. His Documentaries of the last decade(Persona non Grata, Looking for Fidel, Comandante) have been outstanding, but his movies havnt. His last decent cinematic outing was Any Given Sunday, and that was back in 1999. It seems that Wall St: MNS is just Oliver trying to recapture his glory days of the 1980s, but in the wrong direction. This turned out to be optimistic(yes, the war in Iraq is very Optimistic!) whereas the 1st film was cutthroat. OS has definetly chilled!!!

Where is the old Oliver Stone?? The Oliver Stone who made Salvador, Platoon,Wall St, Talk Radio, 4th of July, JFK, NBK, Nixon, U Turn & Any Given Sunday???? Thats the Oliver Stone I remember. Always Challenging.

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- 3/11/2010 9:20:05 AM   


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RE: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps - 9/11/2010 10:46:16 PM   


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From: Haddington
Pretty much agree with what everyone else has been saying while the original was edgy and was one of the iconic pictures of the 80's this is merely average.
While the original satirised yuppies and the decadence of its time, this film, seems to be enthrall to it with smug chummy cameo's from Stone and assorted hedgefund manager.
But removing the comparisons to the original it is still not exactly a great pic. The main complaint seems to be not enough Gekko and I can only agree. The film lights up when Douglas is on screen and is not the same when he is not. It certainly seems like a strange decision to make him such a backseat character.
But, for all, it's uneveness it has the odd moment (mostly from Douglas) and I felt Frank Langella and Eli Wallach made good (if brief) cameos.


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RE: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps - 10/11/2010 1:50:48 PM   


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It could have been a better movie. Gekko should have remained the antihero and not found "redemption."

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RE: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps - 17/11/2010 10:46:19 AM   


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I have watched this movie few days back with my friends & I really enjoyed this movie. I must say if somebody have not watched this movie yet, must watch it soon..You will surely like it..!!!

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Passable But Slow - 6/2/2011 9:38:58 AM   
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Wall Street Money Never Sleeps is a slow moving film that can be confusing in places and boring at times. Though it does have a bittersweet ending and some good pefomances from Shia Labeouf, Michael Douglas and Josh Brolin, it's not enough for me to say I enjoyed it. Look out for two cameos: Oliver Stone and Charlie Sheen.

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Passable But Slow - 6/2/2011 9:38:59 AM   
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Wall Street Money Never Sleeps is a slow moving film that can be confusing in places and boring at times. Though it does have a bittersweet ending and some good pefomances from Shia Labeouf, Michael Douglas and Josh Brolin, it's not enough for me to say I enjoyed it. Look out for two cameos: Oliver Stone and Charlie Sheen.

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RE: Passable But Slow - 6/2/2011 9:34:10 PM   
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Just seen this, and approached this with a very open mind. The original, whilst a good movie, was in my humble opinion no classic. This belated sequel, however, I (whisper it) enjoyed much more. Okay, I would have liked a few more scenes with Michael Douglas, but the story was gripping, and it featured a standout performance from Carey Mulligan. Wasn't quite sure if it should have ended five minutes earlier for 'SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!' a harsher ending. This is Gordon Gekko after all, not a teddy bear...

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RE: Passable But Slow - 20/11/2011 10:01:24 AM   

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I liked it - very poignant and thought provoking in this current 'We are the 99%' climate.

Shia was fine in the role - nowhere near as annoying as he has been in the Transformers sequels. The man is a competent actor, he just needs to dial in down a notch and I thought he did very well in this - especially in his final face off against Josh Brolin.



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Good Acting, Well directed but so slow its unbelievable. - 28/1/2012 3:58:44 PM   


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I probably should have watched the first movie before I watched this because both Gordon Gekko's back story and charlie sheens cameo made no sense to me.
My dad is a big fan of films like this and he urged me to watch this, we probably should have rented this rather than buying it on DVD.
I was expecting a hard hitting drama but I was treated to a boring formulaic sloppy drama which caused me to fall asleep briefly towards the end, apparently the first one's better, I've had the first one on DVD for atleast a year but I still haven't watched it yet.
The story is far from simple and to me, I felt that Allen Loeb and Stephen Schiff the writers were trying to confuse me.
I had high hopes from the trailer yet these hopes were crushed within the first hour.
Gordon Gekko is fresh out of prison- (I dont know why) and apparently back in the 70's/80's he was a wallstreet god up until Charlie Sheen did something.
So Gordon (Michael Douglas on top form) heads back to the city and writers a book which sells out, his estranged daughter Winnie meanwhile is running a small news website and her boyfriend Jacab Moore (Shia Labeouf) is intent on re-unting her with her dad, shame that dad is a scheming bastard. His new book- 'Is Greed Good?' - (I dont understand if this is a quote from the original or if this is just some black magic the writers have used to piss me off)- but anyway Jacob attends a gathering in a big hall where Gordon is promoting his new book-I quite enjoyed gordon's speech- 'Were all drinking the kool-aid'- funny shit.
Jacobs boss or associate whatever-Frank Langella has recently commited suicide when he has been driven to suicide knowing of both the impending financial crisis and his own loss of money and his job- the suicide scene is quite dark by the way. Jacob enlists Gordon in helping him take revenge on the utter bastard that drove Langella to suicide this guy being Josh Brolin who does little other than smirk and destroy a painting and make me laugh at him when he tries to be serious.
Apparently a third film is in the works- which is a real fucking shame- nobody I know has watched this film other than my dad- I didn't understand very much of the film and why did Charlie Sheen show up? Is he winning?
Carey Mulligan up until 2011's drive has pissed me off, she seems like a needy neurotic over-bearing bitch in this film, who smashes the TV remote just because her boyfriend is watching the news-which happens to feature a story about Gordon.
Carey Mulligans good at crying- I think she was crying because the films so bad-or maybe its because she is upstaged by both Michael Douglas and Shia Labeouf, the latter of whom nearly sinks this ship which is in desperate need of rescue, mainly because the plots silly and nonsensical and Shia's over bearing sense of morality in the film makes it a real god damn shame that Gordon-a good villain by the way- has to lose.
Every once in a while a villain shows up who turns the tables on the goodie and walks of into the sunset, Michael Douglas only does one of these things when he robs an account which rightfully belongs to Shia- a conclusive moral reconciliation and stepping up gives this film a slightly up beat yet unbelievable ending which makes the possibility of a third film just seem silly because that means Gordon would have to become a bastard again.
A waste of time but the good acting and Stones colourful directing made up for Carey Mulligans usual shite and a confusing storyline which made me fall asleep.
8/10-barely- Michael Douglas is good, theres a few un-intentional laughs-take a bow Josh Brolin- and the speedy directing dont really make up for the over all lack of style and originality and the over all bland and dull feel fans of the original and new comers alike will suffer at the hands of this boring shite-ok movie though.

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RE: Good Acting, Well directed but so slow its unbeliev... - 22/3/2012 4:26:04 PM   
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The Empire review makes some good points about Gekko being sidelined however it's tough to see how they could have worked him instantly into a position of power straight out of prison. He eventually rises again but the film does suffer a bit as Josh Brolin while good is not great as the main financial shark - the shadow of Douglas's performance in Wall Street looms very large. The old guy is great though - really a bit creepy and the couple of moments he gets a few lines do stand out.

Shia LaBeouf is one of those actors that can really be labelled 'vanilla' - he's not bad, he's not great he's just straight down the middle average. Not a good choice for the role and blown out of the water by any comparisons to Bud Fox.

Carey Mulligan suprisingly enough I thought was quite disappointing - her character seemed to be blubbing her way through the entire movie and just came across annoyingly weepy. You can respect the fact that she's so good at displaying emotion but it's definitely overdone.

The scenes with the bankers holding the US government to ransom were pretty good - it's probably how things transpired "bail us out or the whole system goes under".

I found the whole 'starting of rumours' as a way of doing battle a bit lame though in comparison with Gekko's asset stripping destruction of business in the original. I mean as Bretton James points out it was the debt that shafted Louis Zabel's company, and I thought it was also an unsatisfying way to bring Brolin's character down.

Bud Fox's cameo was a bit crap as well 'does Blue Horseshoe still love Annacott Steel?' - I thought Charlie Sheen actually looked a bit fried.

In conclusion it's a decent sequel, not a patch on the original but has to be seen if your a fan of the 80s classic.

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