Wall Street- BRD
(Oliver Stone, 1987)
Review by Leonard Norwitz
Theatrical: 20th Century Fox
DVD: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Resolution: 1080p / AVC 16 MBPS
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (incorrectly marked 2.35:1 on the back)
Length: 126 minutes
English DTS HD Lossless Master Audio 5.1
English, Spanish, French, Chinese & Korean
• Audio Commentary & Introduction by Oliver Stone
• Documentary: Greed is Good
• Documentary: Money Never Sleeps: The Making of Wall Street
• Deleted Scenes
Disc: BD-50 dual-layer
Standard Blu-ray case with slipcover.
Release Date: February 5th, 2008
Wall Street ~ Comment
DVD Beaver compared two SD DVD Region 1 presentations from 2000 and 2007 HERE. Gary preferred the later one largely because of its more natural skin tones. He concluded, "Entertainment value is still fairly strong and the new Anniversary DVD is the one to own until it reaches Hi-def." Does the Blu-ray present Oliver Stone's unsubtle poem to corporate greed in an edition we can take home to mother? Read on.
Wall Street ~ The Score Card
The Movie : 6
Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen), a stockbroker for a small firm, is impatient to have the portion of the Big Apple he feels is coming to him. He has been making calls every day for the past two months to the office of Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas in his Academy Award winning performance), universally acknowledged as "the big elephant" – the account to land. While advised that there are no easy ways to success by both the older statesman in the firm (Hal Holbrook) and by his father (Martin Sheen) who works as a mechanic for a small airline company – on the verge of collapse, as Bud comes to see it. Bud gets his chance when he learns from his father about a favorable court ruling concerning his company that he can take to Gekko to make the kind of killing for which he is notorious. Gekko begins to groom Bud as his eyes and ears to obtain information any way he can so as to place Gekko in the advantage. Of course, Bud understands that he is violating all sorts of securities laws to say nothing of his father's principles of loyalty that Bud both envies and finds repugnant. Add to the mix the allure of Darryl Hannah as the prize, and Bud is properly seduced into the yuppie world of the corporate raider and all its pleasures.
Image : 6 (6~6.5/8)
The score in parentheses represents: first, a value for the image in absolute terms on a ten point scale; and, second, how that image compares to what I believe is the current best we can expect in the theatre. The score of 6.5 indicates a relative level of excellence compared to other Blu-ray DVDs.
Maybe we were expecting something better considering SD editions of this movie or, for the very same reason, maybe not. But that wait is over. I'm guessing that the Blu-ray conclusively points to the source material as the culprit, which I think we knew all along. I've tried to zero in with captures of the same moment as compared in Gary's SD review. Even accounting for differences in methodology it is apparent that the BRD is somewhat better – but, alas, it is just as clear that it represents one of the poorer images on Blu-ray to date. It is unbearably soft, more than a little noisy, weak contrast and has very little shadow detail.
As we approach Hi-Def's courtship of the consumer, we should begin to expect this result more often, not because of any carelessness in respect to transfer, but because the source may not provide results worthy of the medium. While Wall Street may be a particularly bad example of a weak image to start with, my feeling is that this ought not deter either the studio or the consumer from moving into this territory. There are a great many untapped films out there that ought to receive the best possible presentation in our home theatre, especially those in black & white, the great majority of which should blow Wall Street out of the water.
Audio & Music : 7 & 8
Not an effects soundtrack requiring the latest and most exquisite technology: nonetheless, the music and dialogue is clear enough.
Operations : 6
The scene selection from the main menu (before the feature film begins) has the advantage of showing several thumbnails at once, but it is very difficult to tell which scene you are selecting. Once into the movie, all is simple as pie, with little attempt at hi-def cleverness.
Extras : 6
The Blu-ray duplicates the same extra features that we saw in the 2-disc SD Anniversary Edition. They remain in 480i, not that they cried out all that much for a bump to Hi-Def.
Oliver Stone may have been prescient about corporate greed, and while it plays at least as well today as twenty years ago, his screenplay is simplistic. The BRD, while an improvement over the SD, doesn't have the source credentials to support a purchase, except for fans or unless you don't already have the 2007 SD release.
January 26th, 2007
Enter the Dragon