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Wall Street [Filmmakers Signature Series] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), English Dolby Digital 4.0, French & Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
  • Subtitles: English, Chinese, French, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: R
  • Run Time: 126 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Blu-ray Release Date: March 6, 2012
  • List Price: $39.99

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4.5/5]

Oliver Stone’s Wall Street will forever be the ultimate portrait of the Reagan-era avarice that gave birth to the very people for whom the film’s own protagonist Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) mouthed the now infamous creed, “greed is good.” Ironically, Stone’s film, an admonishment to that greed more than an ode to it, would be released shortly before the October ’87 stock market crash.

The story follows working class stockbroker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) who does all he can to weasel his way into the world of the man he idolizes, corporate raider, or, what we might today call “vulture capitalist” Gordon Gekko. Bud, who is taken under the wing of the unscrupulous Gekko, sacrifices his moral center to power, greed, and the almighty dollar, listening closely to the philosophies of his mentor Gekko and abandoning the teachings of  his father (Sheen’s real dad Martin plays the role). But when Gekko’s dealings finally cross the line into a personal level, Fox realizes how far from his moral center he has strayed and begins devising a plan to bring Gekko down.

Stone departs from his usual filmmaking style for Wall Street, forgoing stylized visuals and melodrama for a more straightforward and gritty feel that works well with this sort of drama. The lingo of the Wall Street insiders is handled with subtly and nuance making it easy to understand, while the overall feel of the film is akin to a straight crime drama or thriller. The bigger-than-life Gekko is nicely tempered by real working class stiff Carl Fox (Martin Sheen). The two play against each other like an angel and devil on Bud’s opposite shoulders.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Grain haters need not apply here – this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement of Wall Street can be downright gritty at times, even a bit overwhelming with grain, but it always seems film-like and I can’t say I notice any issues like edge enhancement or compression problems. The shadow details are strong, even if black levels occasionally look slightly greyish.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack is surprisingly atmospheric, capturing all the sounds of New York City and surrounding you in them, like the subways and street traffic or the chatter of the trading floor or dinner parties. It is well balanced and has clear dialogue. A Dolby 4.0 track is also included for a more authentic experience. It is has more upfront dialogue and the surround effects are not discrete, but they are still rather effective.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

There are a few standard definition features on here exploring the era, the making of the film, and offering a look at some deleted scenes in addition to a commentary from the director himself.

The supplements:

  • Commentary by Oliver Stone
  • Greed is Good (1.33:1; SD; 00:56:36) – The documentary takes a look at the Reagan-era Wall Street bubble with comments from real Wall St. brokers.
  • Deleted Scenes (1.78:1; SD; 00:22:38)
  • Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Director Oliver Stone (1.78:1; SD; 00:22:38)
  • Money Never Sleeps – The Making of Wall Street (1.33:1; SD; 00:47:38)
  • Fox Movie Channel Presents Fox Legacy with Tim Rothman (1.33:1; SD; 00:12:20)
  • Booklet: 28-page booklet contains actor and filmmaker bios and an in-depth discussion of the film.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

A superbly done drama about greed and loss of scruples, Wall Street is a classic that is sadly still pertinent today. It looks and sounds good and is without a doubt one, if not the, best of Stone’s career.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Wall Street [Filmmakers Signature Series] on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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Purchase Wall Street [Filmmakers Signature Series] on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Wall Street

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]


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