Monday, October 25, 2010

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Twenty three years since the first 'Wall Street' film, director Oliver Stone and Two Time Academy Award Winner Michael Douglas are back. 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps' stars Michael Douglas as the infamous greedy broker, Gordon Gekko and Shia LaBeouf as young stock broker, Jake Moore. It takes place back in 2008, 7 years after Gekko is released from jail. Times are rough and the economy is starting to dwindle, Moore's mentor and father figure, Louis Zabel (Frank Langella) and his company start to falter and is about to be bought out. After news breaks that the company is going under and Zabel dies unexpectedly Jake is adamant to find out who was the cause for the company and the company owner's death.

'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps' is a sequel to the first Oliver Stone film, 'Wall Street' starring Douglas and Charlie Sheen. I have only seen half of the first film and what I saw I loved, but since I didn't see the whole thing I can't honestly say if it's better than the sequel or not. I think I enjoyed the sequel because it's modern, up to date with actors I know and like. But, the first one has that nice made in the 80s feel that come on everyone loves. It's vintage and nostalgic to watch films from that decade because it automatically brings you to think about how happy and great the 80s and the 80s films were. Both storylines were great and interesting, but both were hard to follow for me because I don’t fully understand the stock market. The acting was great in both films as well, so like I said I can’t decide which was better.

But, anyways back to the film. 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps' was great. I really enjoyed it for the acting. I think the acting above all was excellent. Michael Douglas was made to play Gordon Gekko, obviously since he won an Oscar for that role back in 1988. But, Shia LaBeouf was the one that made this film for me. He was incredible. He has so much potential and charisma that right now in his career he can go anywhere. He is a hardworking actor that can be both funny and dramatic. Sure, you're probably saying anyone can be funny and dramatic. But Shia can be both and be incredible at both. He has great comedic timing and such sad eyes that when he cries you don't feel like you're watching an actor cry over something serious, you're watching a real person cry over something horrible going on in his life. In 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps' you get to witness the more serious side of LaBeouf and it's something that shouldn't be passed up.

Josh Brolin and Susan Sarandon also star in the sequel. Brolin is the character that everyone loves to hate. He's an arrogant, money hungry jerk who will do anything to make more money. Sarandon is Jake's mom who is a real estate agent who only bothers Jake when she is out of money. Her character was interesting but she had this horrible accent that I couldn't focus on anything other than her poor attempt of a NY accent. If she would've dropped the accent or perfected it, I think her character would've been more intriguing.

Academy Award Nominee Carey Mulligan portrayed Winnie Gekko, Jake's girlfriend/fiancé' and Gordon's estranged daughter. Mulligan was good at times, but I thought she could've been better. For an Oscar Nominee I was expecting more. She was good but I think anyone could've played the role of Winnie; she didn't really bring much to the table and was quite dull.

Winnie (Mulligan) loves Jake and when they decide to get married, Jake wants to patch things up with Gordon and Winnie. But, first he tries to befriend him and get his help in order to find out about Zabel and his company. I enjoyed the pairing of LaBeouf and Douglas and their relationship didn't seem fake. Unlike the relationship between father/daughter pair Douglas and Mulligan seemed forced. I thought it was hard to believe they had a horrible relationship when her character seemed quite forgiving, trusting and not malicious in anyway. Basically the complete opposite of Douglas's character. I get that her father wasn't really there for her and she resented him for it, but I didn't believe it. I didn't believe or care for that matter. Maybe it's the actor side of me that's talking but I think it could've been more believable or at least more entertaining.

I loved this film and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the first film, (Charlie Sheen makes a nice cameo ; ^]) also anyone who can understand the wall street stock broker talk, anyone who enjoys good acting, a decent story and Oliver Stone.

If you have seen 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps' share your thoughts!

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