Wall Street Blu-ray Review
PictureWall Street's not going to light any fires on this BluRay release. It comes to us at 1.85:1 using the MPEG-4/AVC codec at 1080p and its source was the same re-master of the 20th anniversary edition. Still it looks flat, colours are somewhat muted and grain permeates the entire presentation.
It's a little difficult really to say how better this could have been improved though, certainly a further remastering could have reduced the grain somewhat adding a little depth to the image but the colour palette and filming style you're essentially stuck with. Extra detail is apparent in crowded scenes such as the trading flow of the stock exchange of Bud's workplace but neither really jump off the screen at you.
Contrast is weak with dark scenes never really becoming deep and inky whilst brighter outdoor scenes also lack true definition; look to the park scene near the end as good example of this.
The print itself is good with no real blemishes, lines or drop outs and colours although somewhat muted stay within their borders so the transfer as a whole is fair; it's the source material really which lets this down a little.
This US release is the same in every way to the previously reviewed UK version; the same codec is in use with what seems to be the same sample rate. The same grain is apparent throughout, the feature exhibits the same overall softness. I have yet again included actual screen shots from the disc, but different ones from the images posted earlier. These images show again the grain and softness mentioned.
SoundWall Street offers a limited DTS-HD English track, but really it's a waste of disc space. Much like the video there's not much that can be done here, it's somewhat lifeless and certainly very much frontal based. In reality there's no call for excessive surround or LFE usage, the film itself just doesn't demand it.
The fontal array though comes across well with vocals firmly rooted in the centre and the score addition a little depth to the stage, left and right. Vocals are always crisp, important in a dialogue driven film such as this.
Tonal range again is limited with neither highs nor lows getting too much of a look in; the medium range is Wall Street's staple and as such it works well enough. The track does its job well enough for what it is but it'll be way down the list of demo material.
The English track is identical to the US release, however where the US disc offered Italian and Spanish audio tracks the Italian track is replaced with a French audio stream for this region A variety. Otherwise it's business as usual and no difference between the two systems.
ExtrasUsually from Fox we've been accustomed to expect little in the way of extras, but here they have ported over the set from the earlier editions of the film.
- Commentary with Oliver Stone.
This is an odd one to some degree, Stone starts off well enough relating his experiences with his father and how he played the market but toward the end he lapses a little offering no real information of any note. At times you think that he never had enough material on his own film to complete a full commentary which is odd for a man of his stature. It's still worth a listen if you're a Stone fan though.
- Introduction by Oliver Stone. - 0:01:03
Stone saying he loves this movie, and hopes you enjoy it too. The usual stuff from a very short introduction.
- Greed is Good. - 0:56:37
A documentary detailing the interaction of the actors and Stone. There's plenty of snippets from the actors themselves with Douglas looking more and more like his late father. Both Sheens come across well, and Stone himself comes across as a amiable guy who had personal interest in this film. Also we get to see some real life Wall Street traders who look upon the film and acknowledge that they wanted to be like Gordon Gekko, I think somehow they have missed the point.
- The Making of Wall Street. - 0:47:38
This shows behind the scene footage and is a typical if not extended making of featurette. The earlier Greed is Good documentary is really the better of the two of these with a lot of information repeated here.
- Deleted Scenes. - 0:22:39
A selection of deleted or extended scenes which can be viewed with or without Stone commentary. Most are fall by the wayside fodder as would be expected and some scenes are shown multiple times before Stone gets the take he wants.
Trailers for Cast Away, The Devil Wears Prada, Kingdom of Heaven and Phone Booth.
The commentary, even though at times is sparse is well worth a listen and the Greed is Good documentary is excellent even from a point of view of trying to understand why some real life traders want to emulate Gekko even though they know his moral code is somewhat dubious. A lasting legacy of the eighties then.
The extras are again a welcome addition and it's good to see no real differences between the US and UK release. There is a different set of trailers but that's really neither here nor there.
VerdictWall Street is a continuation of Stone's love/hate relationship with corporate America and a worthy addition to his arsenal. He brings out excellent performances from an erstwhile cast, most of whom deserve some credit here. It's Douglas though, rightly so, that should take centre stage; his confident detailed performance of a man bent on power and greed shot him from the mundane to the a-list.
It has been said that it's about a detailed look as your going to get on the goings on of the stock market trading arena and this works well enough if you know anything about this 'industry' or not. It's filmed with great pace and produces a rounded storyline with characters which have a sense of purpose and whom all have reasons for their actions, no matter how shallow those reasons might be.
As a disc set the video is lacking somewhat and the audio might leave some people a little cold wondering what these new fangled HD audio codecs are all about. It's better than it has been before there's no doubt about it. From a purchasing point of view this set is no different to the UK version so you're buying choice is going to either be dictated by region coding, price or an amalgamation of the two. Wall Street, and this disc release is still an excellent film and one I can recommend to anyone.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £24.79
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- Commentary with Oliver Stone.