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January 4th, 2014

Movie Review - The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street



Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Jean Dujardin, Joanna Lumley, Christin Milioti, and tons more.


Directed by: Martin Scorsese Screenplay by: Terence Winter Based on the Book by: Jordan Belfort Cinematography by: Rodrigo Prieto


Premise: Follow Jordan Belfort as he enters the world of stock trading. His triumphs, his discoveries, his loss. As well as the fickleness and obsurdity that is life. (Rated R)


Review:


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: DiCaprio was outstanding as Jordan Belfort. He delivers both the highs and the lows of Belfort's life as well as his impassioned charisma. Jonah Hill, as Belfort's crazy partner Donnie, couldn't have been a better foil for the insane antics perpetrated by the two partners. Everyone in the cast fit perfectly and looked to have the same insane intensity as the rest.


2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: Yes, though this is a film about the stock market and fraud, there were definitely some special effects in play at several spots. There's one at the very beginning of the film which involves a helicopter. Several others follow later towards the end of the film. The waves, the ship, and the plane - you'll know the spot when you get there.


3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: The film is 180 minutes long (three hours) - and while it slows down a little towards the end, you definitely won't notice the time flying by for at least two of those hours. The R rating is on the extreme range, so be warned. This is definitely not for younger viewers or a date movie. Lots of graphic scenes as well as profanity and drug use, so the rating should be taken seriously.


The story starts at the height of Jordan's rise, then takes you back to the start before proceeding forward. Jordan narrates off and on during the story, which added a lot of flavor to the tale. And surprisingly, there was an overflowing amount of comedy. There's one scene where Jordan suffers a delayed reaction from a drug that will have you in tears.


This is a story about ambition, of what we all want out of life, and how sometimes even if we get what we thought we wanted, it really isn't. The absurdity in so many of the scenes will have you shaking your head, but you won't doubt they probably happened very close to how they're portrayed.


The film plays a very subtle dichotomy between Jordan and Agent Dehnam. There's a very poignant scene right before the end which is easy to miss - yet it spoke volumes when you think about what the agent has accomplished by the end of the film, yet where we find him at that particular moment.


4) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: Since Jordan narrates during different parts of the movie, the cinematography got a little fun in places. At others it was used in sweeping arcs, as boastful of what they were showing as the man speaking about them. During several points, the shots morphed as locations or people grew or changed, yet at the same time remained the same. The chosen locations for the different scenes throughout gave the film a lot of flavor.


Conclusion: The Wolf of Wall Street is a wild ride taking us to the edge of insanity. The R rating should be taken seriously for extreme amounts of nudity, profanity, and drug use. Much to our surprise, however, the film was quite funny and even hilarious in places.


Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic
www.gloriaoliver.com

Novels


JEWEL OF THE GODS

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The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!


Excerpt:
"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."





INNER DEMONS

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It took everything from her, except revenge!


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The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."



THE PRICE OF MERCY

(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Excerpt:

Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.




CROSS-EYED DRAGON TROUBLES
(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”

Excerpt:

“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.



WILLING SACRIFICE
(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”

Excerpt:

Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”



IN THE SERVICE OF SAMURAI
(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”

Excerpt:

Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.



VASSAL OF EL
(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”

Excerpt:

Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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