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Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

A movie directed by Oliver Stone

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4 Stars: "It's not about the money, it's about the game"

  • Oct 13, 2010
in 1985 top dog investor, arbitrageur Gordon Geckko(Michael Douglas) was indicted on charges of security fraud and insider trading tricked by his somewhat protege, Bud Fox(Charlie Sheen who makes a cameo appearance). Geckko subsequently sent to prison where he served out an eight-year sentence. On October 22, 2001 a much older and wiser Gordon Geckko is released from prison into a world he use to own and that now has forgotten that he even exists. Seven years later, the financial system is in grave peril stocks are plummeting, banks need national government bails outs just to stay afloat. The whole nation is in a dire state of panic. Massive investment firms are crumbling (AIG 2008 liquidity crisis, which is the basis for this films main plot line). "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" is a daring, bold, and highly charged melodrama that takes what we know and turns it on its heels.

Oliver Stone's "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" is one of those rare non-consecutive sequels that works. In fact, it is one of the very few non-consecutive sequels ever been made; "Money Never Sleeps" picks up the story of "Wall Street.” A full generation later Geckko been sent up state for security fraud and insider trading, Bud Fox became the hero but might have also gone to jail the details of his situation are never fully revealed. This sequel takes place in 2008 at the very height of the financial crisis after the collapse of the housing bubble, which peaked in the U.S. in 2006, causing the values of securities tied to real estate pricing to plummet thereafter, damaging financial institutions globally. "Money Never Sleeps" is as entertaining as any sequel can be and that is a godsend due to this films premise about big money may not appeal to action hardened fans or moviegoers who like a film that are as dumb as a stone or has enough action to blow the roof off a theater. Which in films is never a good thing? "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" is a quintessential movie for our times it deals with themes that hit home like the fallout of AIG (in the film Keller, Zabel), security fraud, embezzlement and insider. This film knows where it headed and it knows that most people will not understand a single word of the corporate jargon I certainly did not. This film however, does not bog down its audiences with numerous boardroom scenes or scenes of corporate mumbo jumbo it is a straightforward story of power, corruption and most of all greed, a story about the men and women who work to gain money and keep this Nations economy afloat at the same time. This is not a film for mainstream moviegoers this is a film for moviegoers who know quality entertainment when they see it and do not go for the big budget, loud and absurd action films. "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" is one of the year’s best and most engaging pictures a film with ideas, ideals, and intelligence This is the film for the moment, the film for the decade the film for the century.

Stone's films usually spark extreme controversy over the subject matter of some of his films most notably are “Platoon"(1986). “Platoon" sparked controversy over the use of actually battles that took place during the height of the Vietnam War some of the battles of which my father fought in. Until this day he can never watch this film without puking, "JFK"(1991) his film based on the many theories surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy this film fell under massive controversy many powerful people tried to have this film banned from movie theaters. However, the film still ran in theaters because by banning the film they would be violating Stone's freedom of speech, which stated in the first amendment. "JFK" went on to become a sleeper and critically acclaimed hit to date one of Oliver Stone's best films. “Natural Born Killers"(1994) is still today considered one of the most controversial films ever made due to its theme showcasing  how the media glorifies serial killers and criminals of all kinds. Also from almost the very moment of its release, the film been accused of encouraging and inspiring numerous murderers in North America "World Trade Center"(2006), "W.” (2008). Stone has been known to never  back down from what he is trying to say through his films whether it be that war for the wrong reasons is a terrible thing(Platoon, Salvador). Sometimes our own Government lies to cover up the mistakes it has made or the major crimes they have committed (JFK), or how the media makes criminals into superstars (Natural Born Killers). Stone always sets out to make a bold statement even if that statement sometimes gets lost in his over eagerness. "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" is one of Stone's more grounded films. It has no bold or outlandish political statement to make it instead tells a story about people, people that you normally would not even care about puts them at the center of an engrossing, absorbing film experiences that cannot ignored. “Wall Street: Money never sleeps" is as intelligent as it is ferocious in its wheeling and dealing of money and power. This is the kind of film that people who love money  and love making money will enjoy or, this is the kind of film that certain moviegoers will just love for its craftsmanship, its timely story and its terrific cast this film proves to be one of the years most impressive and dynamic films.

 Michael Douglas is one of cinema's most powerful and commanding actors and in Oliver Stone's "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" he proves that just because he is old he should never be put out to pasture. Douglas performance in this film is much like his performance in the 1987 original however, there one big difference, this time around, Gordon Geckko is no longer the villain he is the anti-hero. To watch Douglas slip into a 25 year old role is like slipping on an old pair of shoes you know there is a 50-50 chance that they still might fit or that they might not  with this role Douglas fits perfectly. He doesn't aim to make Geckko some kind of sorrowful man looking for redemption. After committing major crime and paying the price for it, no, Douglas plays Geckko as if he is a man who still wants to be on top like someone who still wants to win no matter what to be the man who has everything. The real question that you are asking yourself through out this film is that can a man whose motto is "Greed is good" really change? If you have seen the 1987 film than your answer might be clear but if you think that everyone deserves a second chance than your answer might not be so clear nevertheless, Douglas delivers a fine Oscar worthy performance in one of the best films of the year. I will admit that I am not a huge fan of the rising super star Shia LeBeouf, in fact  I find him quite annoying in his comedic roles and particularly in the Transformers franchise. Now don't get me wrong LeBeouf has done some fine work in the past like Andrew Davis' "Holes"(2003). Dito Montiel's autobiographical film "A Guide to Recognizing your Saints"(2005) and then he has done some not so fine work like in  "Constantine"(2005) when he played the slightly annoying Chaz Kramer, or "Transformers"(2007) with his hyperactive over acting that nearly killed the film, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"(2009) or as I like to call it "Transformers: Revenge of the Idiots",  LeBeouf takes overacting to a whole new level in Michael Bay's moneymaking train wreck of a sequel. in "Money Never Sleeps" LeBeouf delivers what could possible be the finest performance of his young career, LeBeouf plays Jacob "Jake" Moore a brilliant  and highly ambitious  young stock broker who teams up with Geckko to get revenge on the man who brought down his mentors company. LeBeouf performance in this film is just astounding after years of having my doubts I can finally say this, Shia LeBeouf has finally won my respect. LeBeouf's performance is one of the key elements that keep “Money Never Sleeps" from collapsing into a pile of corporate jargon and stylish set pieces Douglas and LeBeouf hold the film together Douglas is the powerhouse who lights up the screen LeBeouf is the generator who keeps things going when the power goes out. Grant it he may not be able to power the entire film but he gives it his all and comes out shinning bright LeBeouf may seem out of league and far from his comfort zone, you would never know it by watching him onscreen. He may fall flat, he may lag a little and at some points he may be less than convincing but LeBeouf pulls off a role that   is clearly meant for a more experienced actor,  he pulls it off with flying colors  and proves he has what it takes to play with the big dogs. The rest of the cast including Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, Susan Sarandon, Frank Langella and Eli Wallach(God Bless him) turn in phenomenal supporting performances in one of Stone's best films in years.

Most will avoid this film that most people will avoid due to its themes of big money, corporate politics, corruption, and power. This will film that will attract hoards of moviegoers. No sorry those crowds are reserved for the fans of the horrid Transformers franchise (I hate it!) and the unbearable Twilight films. The most recent one was a bore but not as big a bore as the insufferable "New Moon"(2009). "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" is the kind of film that is about something, it is about the hardships of our economy and it shows that it tough times anyone will do anything to get ahead no matter what the cost. This is the film for our generation just as the original was the film for its generation. "Money Never Sleeps" is a powerful and thought provoking film that takes the stories that we know and gives us an inside look into a world that seldom few would like to see. Because when it comes down to it, and I know a few of you will agree, that sometimes in rare instances "Greed is good.”
4 Stars:

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October 30, 2010
Excellent review once more, and while "Natural Born Killers" was very good I wish they would have made it the way QT had written it.
October 30, 2010
Thank you very much.
October 17, 2010
nice review and I have featured it. I think I'll skip this movie for now.
February 15, 2011
Thank you very much, and you should really give this film a look it is far better than it is made out to be.
More Wall Street: Money Never Sleep... reviews
review by . September 29, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
It's all a game... Surviving Wall Street
Turn back the clock some 21 years ago, you have the Black Monday in 1987. Fast forward to some 21 years later, there was the Financial Crisis of the Century. I was told long time ago, event or "life cycle" occur in the 7-year cycle.       1987+21 = 2008!   I should have seen that coming. On hindsight, everything is so clear and predictable.   On hindsight, that is...      The movie Wall Street was shot in 1987. The current …
review by . September 25, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
OS /\ ~ 2.34% MD /\ ~ 5.87% SL \/ ~ 9.25%
"Greed is Legal" says the reptilian and aptly named Gordon Gecko in a lecture while promoting a new book he has written now out of prison for fraud and insider trading.  He's older, wiser, cagier and he might have let the world slip by a little in the new post 9/11 world but he's fully prepared to wring whatever big bucks out of it that he still can while the stock market is on the verge of collapse in this sequel to the original Wall Street film.      …
review by . September 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Wall Street: Stone Doesn't Speak
WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS   Written by Allan Loeb and Steven Schiff   Directed by Oliver Stone   Starring Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan, Josh Brolin and Michael Douglas      Gordon Gekko: A fisherman always sees another fisherman coming.      Oliver Stone is reputed to be a controversial film director but that isn’t entirely fair.  To be controversial, one must make statements that rock the status quo and potentially …
review by . October 01, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   Back when I was a wee lad living on the mean streets of Lacey, Washington, I had the good fortune to win tickets to an advance screening of Wall Street. I took my mom and we drove up to Seattle where I saw a movie I didn’t much understand, but did really like. It left an impression on me so great that even now, all these years later and having seen the movie only once, certain parts of it stay with me, such as the iconic “greed” speech.   If you’d asked …
review by . March 15, 2011
Wall Street may be the place where money never sleeps, but the film may put you to sleep.  They say it's a financial thriller, but a thrill it was not.  Maybe I just don't understand anything about the stock market.  Maybe it's just the subject matter that didn't really peak an interest for me, but even after a quick refresher of the 1987 film (which I practically fell asleep watching) I felt that the 2010 story left me with a lack luster feeling just like the original.  …
Quick Tip by . February 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
How does one do a full review on a movie that proved so predictable that even when I sat down to see it with no expectations, I could predict exactly what was going to be laid out for me as soon as Gordon Gekko walked out of prison.      Oliver Stone crafts a family drama wrapped around today's financial world. It uses the recent bank and real estate collapse as its backdrop to establish a connection to its viewer. The characters are staples of other movies that carry these …
Quick Tip by . September 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Years later follow up find Gordon Gecko out of prison and starting over with only a little and crossing paths with another broker who's involved with his estranged daughter. Not bad but not fantastic either.
Quick Tip by . October 04, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
We live in times where the Nations economy is  in a very fragile state, stocks are plumping, people everywhere are loosing there jobs, loosing there homes and everything they have ever known. Oliver Stone's first ever sequel, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" picks up 23 years after the first film, "Wall Street"(1987). "Money Never Sleeps" is a brilliant , well paced and ingeniously crafted social economic drama takes what we uses to know about the system …
Quick Tip by . September 29, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Gekko: "Greed is good... now, it seems it is legal!" Yeah, the world simply never learns. There will be Gordon everywhere in every generation & every other country if you start looking for them. However, to see them as real as a the role of a father rather than a mentor, well, that's refreshing! Do not expect to see greed here as you would in the original Wall Street movie & you'll enjoy this movie more than you'd expect ;-) If you'd like a movie about greed, watch …
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C.R. Lopez ()
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Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a 2010 American drama film directed by Oliver Stone. It is a sequel to the 1987 film Wall Street, and the first sequel Stone has done to any of his films. Michael Douglas reprises his Academy Award-winning role of Gordon Gekko and Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, and Frank Langella also star in the film.

Set in New York City, the film takes place 23 years after the original, revolving around the 2008 financial crisis. The film's plot mainly centers around the reformed Gekko acting as more of an antihero rather than a villain and follows his attempts to help Wall Street before its soon-to-be stock market crash as well as trying to repair his relationship with his daughter Winnie with the help of Jacob, Winnie's fiance. In return, Gekko helps Jacob get revenge on the man he blames for his mentor's death.

The film's story and screenplay were written by Bryan Burrough, Allan Loeb and Stephen Schiff. The film was produced by Stone, Douglas, Edward R. Pressman, co-produced by Eric Kopeloff and executive produced by Alessandro Camen, Celia D. Costas, and Alex Young. On September 9, 2009, the film began principal photography in New York and finished filming on November 30, 2009. Despite originally having a tentative February 2010 release date, and a release date of April 23, the film was released theatrically on September 24, 2010 in United States.


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    Director: Oliver Stone
    Genre: Action, Drama
    Release Date: September 24, 2010
    MPAA Rating: PG-13
    Screen Writer: Stephen Schiff, Allan Loeb
    Runtime: 2hrs 7min
    Studio: Edward R. Pressman Film
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