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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Wall Street - Money Never Sleeps [Blu-ray]

 

(Oliver Stone, 2010)

 

   

   

   

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Edward R. Pressman Film

Video: 20th Century Fox

 

Disc:

Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:12:58.428

Disc Size: 43,534,316,406 bytes

Feature Size: 27,807,375,360 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.10 Mbps

Chapters: 28

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: December 21st, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3427 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3427 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English, Chinese (traditional and simplified), French, Portuguese, Spanish  none

 

Extras:

• Commentary by Director Oliver Stone
A Conversation with Oliver Stone and the Cast (15:49)
Blu-ray exclusive Money, Money, Money: The Rise and Fall of Wall Street - 5-Part Look at the real Wall Street and the challenges and changes that have impacted our economic climate over the last two decades (50:29)
• 15 Deleted and extended scenes with optional commentary (29:31)
Fox Movie Channel Presents: In Character With - Michael Douglas (5:35), Shia LaBeouf (4:22), Cary Mulligan (5:05), Josh Brolin (5:52) and Frank Langella (5:21)
Digital Copy

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Gordon Gekko, fresh from prison, re-emerges into a much harsher financial world than the one he left. He now has to... play catch-up and redefine himself in a different era. He has to become relevant again. But a young, idealistic investment banker learns the hard way that Gekko is still a major manipulator and if there's one place where you can redefine yourself, one place where your relevance is a deal away, it's Wall Street.

 

 

The Film:

Ambitious young investment banker Jacob Moore (Shia LaBeouf) discovers that greed is still the name of the game when he forges a fragile alliance with onetime Wall Street hotshot Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) shortly after Gekko is released from prison. Having served eight years for securities fraud, money laundering, and racketeering, Gekko emerges from prison to find that his daughter, Winnie (Carey Mulligan), prefers to remain estranged, and that his former Wall Street cohorts are still raking in the cash. Flash-forward to 2008, and Winnie is dating a proprietary trader named Jake Moore (LaBeouf), who expresses a passion for green energy while working for his mentor Louis Zabel (Frank Langella), of Keller Zabel Investments. Despite heading up one of the most prominent investment firms in the country, Louis Zabel is forced to personally fight for the future of Keller Zabel before the Federal Reserve after the company's stock takes a hit due to persistent rumors that it's being dragged down by debt.

Denied a bailout from the government, Keller Zabel soon falls victim to a hostile takeover lead by powerful investment bank partner Bretton James (Josh Brolin), of Churchill Schwartz. His job on the line and his mentor out of the picture, Jake discovers that Gordon Gekko is out promoting his new book "Is Greed Good?" and decides to attend a lecture being given by the author at Fordham University. According to Gekko, greed is now sanctioned by the government, and the U.S. economy is on the verge of collapse as a direct result of leveraged debt and wild conjecture. When Jake goes behind Winnie's back to try and repair her relationship with her father, Gekko reveals his compelling theories on the likely reasons for Zabel's downfall. Later, as Jake begins plotting to avenge his mentor, Gekko starts to reveal his true colors.

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps has a dark, thick, heavy appearance that is supported well by Fox's Blu-ray.  This is somewhat dissimilar to the visual style of first films and veers away from more pristine, glossy, images. Colors aren't a big factor in the presentation. Contrast exhibits healthy black levels on the dual-layered transfer with a modest bitrate for the 2 1/4 hour film. Detail rises when necessary but the camera is rarely static - the film has a good pace of activity. Par-excellent cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto's camera work is constantly impressive throughout. This Blu-ray won't be a demo for your system and is fairly tame visually-speaking but as a representation of the theatrical intent - it seems authentic to Stone's intent. This Blu-ray gave me a competent and enjoyable viewing of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio is supplied through a strong DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at 3427 kbps. Like the first film, it is dialogue-heavy, and has mostly subtle separations with background effects setting mood and location. There is original music by Craig Armstrong which sounded fairly occasionally supportive but often unnoticeable as the visuals carried the film experience. When infrequent depth and range are required - the lossless track responds adeptly. There are some foreign-language DUBs and subtitle options and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked disc although will be available in 2011 in Europe and other parts of the world.

 

Extras :

Supplements include a commentary by director Oliver Stone - who is always such a pleasure to listen to. He imparts the details informatively and keeps the content interesting enough to continue listening. There is a very interesting, if too short, "Conversation with Oliver Stone and the Cast" for about 15-minutes using split screens and the participants seem to be relaxed and enjoying themselves. The, more in-depth, 5-part look at the real Wall Street and the challenges and changes that have impacted our economic climate over the last two decades entitled Money, Money, Money: The Rise and Fall of Wall Street is a blu-ray exclusive documentary and runs for over 50-minutes. Those keen on the economic details of the film and discussion of current woes may find this educational. There are also a 1/2 hour's worth of 15 deleted and extended scenes also with an optional commentaries - plus snippet 'In Character' interviews from Fox Movie Channel with Michael Douglas (5:35), Shia LaBeouf (4:22), Cary Mulligan (5:05), Josh Brolin (5:52) and Frank Langella (5:21). Lastly included is a second disc Digital Copy for use with portable devices. Solid extras and great to see Stone continue to involve himself in the digital consumer product.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I thoroughly enjoyed this - Douglas's character carries the film so well - just as he did in the first feature. The original Wall Street had a huge following because of the timely content, solid performances and being so well-written but in some ways this may actually be a better film. Infusing the recent climate of economic turmoil adds a thought-provoking element to the overall appeal. It was a pleasure watching the film... evolve. Many may recall that Stone's father was a stockbroker and while the original film may have served as a strong warning (Gekko's apocryphal epitaph "Greed is Good") this is leans more to acceptance than preaching. It's easy to get happy with the contagious attitude of making money - how about the responsibilities around losing it? The Blu-ray does a solid job of presenting the film and extras are extensive and very worthwhile. We give a recommendation - there is a lot of value here. 

Gary Tooze

December 15th, 2010

   

   

   

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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