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David Poland

By David Poland

Trailer: The Wolf of Wall Street

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24 Responses to “Trailer: The Wolf of Wall Street”

  1. MarkVH says:

    “As far back as I can remember…I always wanted to be a Wall Street banker.”

    This looks incredible.

  2. Sam says:

    I don’t understand this. It kind of looks terrible, actually, but it’s Scorsese, so you can’t just dismiss it. Scorsese movies are typically tough sells, but the thing about this is that it sells really well as a kind of stupid comedy of vices. That can’t surely be all that it is.

    What I mean is, you expect a Scorsese movie to be thick on character. But Leo crumpling up hundreds and throwing them away feels more like narrative shorthand than authentic character development. McConaughey, meanwhile, is hamming it up, and the bimbos and booze look more like wish fulfillment fantasy than the social commentary on indulgences that you’d expect Scorsese to make.

    So is this trailer just misleading, or is Scorsese branching out into less philosophically rigorous material? Probably the former, but it’s noteworthy that Scorsese movies aren’t as instantly recognizable as they used to be. You don’t have to squint to recognize Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas as products of the same hand. But Shutter Island? Hugo? Not a criticism — I adored those movies — but I don’t know what the continuous thread in his work is anymore.

    And for sure I have no idea what this movie is all about.

  3. Smith says:

    Looks great, but it looks more The Departed – kinda glib, slick, very entertaining, but more of a cartoon, and an all-caps “SCORSESE!” movie for the cheap seats – than Goodfellas, from this very early glimpse. And that’s fine – I love The Departed, but I feel like Scorsese can do this type of movie in his sleep now. Have appreciated his branching out into different genres and styles over his last couple films. But whatever, I’m splitting hairs. It’s 99% likely that I’ll love the hell out of his movie come November.

    Also – COACH!

  4. christian says:


  5. hcat says:

    Sure a trailer will sell the sizzle, but I hope there is more to the film than this.

    Looks like Scarface for WASPS.

  6. Smith says:

    Sam, hcat – there are enough shots of sweaty, paranoid looking Leo as the trailer goes on to suggest that this is heavily selling the “rise” portion of a Goodfellas style rise and fall narrative.

  7. chris says:

    You’re expecting “authentic character” development from a two-minute trailer?

  8. hcat says:

    Wasn’t expecting the entire arc in the two minutes, just what they choose to include seems to celebrate the giddy excess before the fall. Honestly we can play this movie in our heads right, there wont be many suprises, just joys of performance, dialogue and how Scorsese films the narrative.

    Just that they sold the ‘bling’ so heavily he’s more Scrooge McDuck than Wolf.

    And yes, just a quick first trailer, and that was some quick first thoughts.

  9. Sam says:

    Yeah, of course I don’t expect or even want character development from a trailer. A trailer is just supposed to give you a sense of the film’s content. This trailer suggests that the content is wafer-thin and fetishized. By virtue of Scorsese’s body of work, I’m assuming that’s not the case for now.

  10. YancySkancy says:

    I guess it’s human nature, but I can never get used to people trying to read a trailer like it’s tea leaves. That said, it seems fairly straightforward to me. As Smith says, it’s mostly setting up the rise with hints of the fall toward the end. I kinda like that it doesn’t get too spoilery, even if that may only be because the film goes to predictable places.

  11. Captain Celluloid says:

    Thejury remains out on this one.

    Hate to say it, Marty, but it looks over-lit and over-cooked . . . .

    Yes; you can’t dismiss Scorsese . . . . hoping it’s good.

  12. hcat says:

    You might be reading too much into our reading too much into. These are simple impressions based on the trailer, judging the trailer alone, not automatically calling the film a masterpiece or POS.

    As you cannot get used to people commenting on a trailer, I cannot get used to people bemoaning that it is done. David posts a trailer, there’s a comment section, seems like a natural thing to do.

  13. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Look, Scorsese is a great, no arguments there, but I’ve never felt he was infallible. I think part of the veneration he’s accorded by many (especially male) film fans is down to a certain macho safety. Praising tough, hard r-rated gangster epics makes us look more grown-up and in tune with the grittier realities of the world than to praise a historical or genre piece (which is maybe why Age of Innocence, truly his latter day masterpiece, never quite gets the recognition it deserves). I often think Scorsese can slip up in his storytelling choices. Gangs of New York is a mess, notwithstanding the rumours of creative interference. The Departed has some truly dumb coincidences which culminate in Matt Damon’s character having to carelessly leave an incriminating envelope around in order for the last act to function. Hugo needed a lighter touch, I felt. Aviator is oddly dull, and I would much rather have seen the Michael Mann version of that story. Cape Fear and Shutter Island both start strongly and get progressively more ridiculous. So yes, I’m not disputing Scorsese’ s rightful place in Moviemakings Hall Of Fame, just saying any new outing from him should no longer get an automatic pass just because of who’s behind the camera.

  14. Double D says:

    Always down for Marty’s next. But yeah, he’s far from a perfect track record.

    The smell test I use is would you want to see this movie if you had no idea who directed it? For me – not sure. It looks big and ridiculous, but…not sure. The excess of Wall Street is a pretty familiar tale.

  15. chris says:

    True, hcat. But when people are using phrases such as “The jury remains out on this one”… Um, yeah. I’d like the think the jury was out until we’ve seen the movie. Or it’s at least finished.

  16. hcat says:

    I think what the Captian was referring to was the jury still being out for his enthusiasm to see the final product, not on the final product itself.

    Isn’t that all that a trailer is intended for, to create anticipation? And our responses are simply if the trailer moved the needle or not, nothing about the actual film.

  17. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Where is the “based on a true story” sell?
    And shouldn’t he have got Michael Shannon to play Belfort?

  18. Soxfan111111 says:

    My god let’s hope this is the kind of nasty, down and dirty masterpiece of subversion that he used to pump out almost annually, and that he’s taken a break from trying to make the ponderous prestige pictures that have dominated his resume since Age of Innocence. Please let this be that movie.

  19. The Pope says:

    Leave it to Marty to make a proper movie about Jay Gatsby. Only this time, there’s no romantic notions of recapturing the past, no CGI fairytale castles with polo players on the lawn and best of all, there’s no green light at the end of some dock. Instead, there’s a helluva lotta money to be had, a helluva lotta girls to be bad and… is that Matthew McConaughey trippin’ out at the next table?

    Trailers are broadstokes. Remember the one for GoodFellas?

    Never for one second could anyone have ever guessed how good the movie was from the trailer. If you claim that you knew it’s only because you now know how good the movie is.

  20. berg says:

    that sidebar with the conversation with Orson Welles … he claims that Carole Lombard’s plane was shot down by the bad guys

  21. David Poland says:

    Looks to be of the After Hours, King of Comedy camp to me.

    I’m very happy with that.

  22. tbunny says:

    I’m getting tired of the Alexa look. There is a flatness and sameness to the Alexa. Maybe it’s inevitable but I find the flight from 35mm kind of sad, especially for someone like Scorsese. I’m not against digital but I still think there is something in film that doesn’t show up in digital, even when Deakins is doing it.

  23. Sanjay & Craig says:


    Except for some aerial shots, TWOWS was shot on 35mm film.

  24. PcChongor says:


    Think you have that backwards. Most of the film was on the Alexa with some 35mm plate shots (source: Hawk anamorphics aren’t typically used on 35mm film cameras).

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

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