Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Blu-ray Review
'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps' is released on to Region B locked Blu-ray with a very good looking 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer framed in the widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio. There’s a great strength of colour to the image that results in the warm skin tones we’ve come to associate with Hollywood stars. The exteriors give us some verdant greens as in the scene near the beginning where Jake walks with his mentor in the park. Further evidence of vibrancy can be found in the motorcycle sequence involving Shia LaBoeuf and Josh Brolin amid the beautiful autumnal shades of the tree lined roads. Those reds and yellows look amazing. Blacks are impressively deep too and they add a great punchiness to the night shots. There’s a healthy amount of detail on show, particularly in the close ups where we can see skin pores and some of Michael Douglas’ wrinkles trying for a starring role of their own. Despite being a very recent movie, we are treated to a thin veneer of film grain which provides a nice feel and reminds us that it was all shot on celluloid. The image is sharp without any evidence of ringing (which should really be a thing of the past anyway). All in all, this is a very good looking transfer indeed.
'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track that is mostly preoccupied with ensuring that we hear the centre weighted dialogue clearly as, if it were to fail on this score, there would be no movie. I did struggle to make out what the ageing Eli Wallach was saying on a couple of occasions, but I’m sure the person sitting next to him in the scene had the same problem. This might make you think that it’s not a very lively presentation but it certainly has its moments such as when the music track comes alive courtesy of the main stereo pair with added depth from the subwoofer. In general, the surround activity is restricted to ambience such as the noise on the stock trading floor with phones ringing and voices chattering all around. There was one impressive surround effect that stood out from the rest when a stack of dominoes collapsed and rippled seamlessly all around my listening room. Now that’s what I call sound steering. Also in the motorcycle sequence, the bikes enter and exit frame sonically as well as visually – roaring in past your right ear and causing you to involuntarily lean over. Such moments are what surround sound is all about and they’re more effective when used sparingly. A good track that does its job and sometimes surprises.
Audio Commentary – Director Oliver Stone flies solo here and he provides us with a great deal of detail. It was nice to have a director of his calibre explain his reasons for doing things based upon what he felt the characters would be thinking and feeling in any particular scene. He doesn’t come across as an ego on legs, he tells us about it as if speaking to an equal and everything seems pretty commonplace. There’s no ‘showbiz’ in his speech. This makes it useful to those wishing to learn from someone with a lot of experience, although perhaps not as entertaining as a general audience would like.
A Conversation with Oliver Stone and the Cast (HD, 16 min.) – Here we have a fairly interesting chat led by director Stone with members of the cast including Michael Douglas, Shia Lebouf, Carrey Mulligan, and Josh Brolin. They discuss their characters as well as provide their own opinions on the financial problems faced by the world today. Relatively sane for a bunch of actors and movie makers.
Trailers (HD, 3 mins total) – A teaser trailer and a theatrical trailer are included for those who feel the need.
Money, Money, Money: The Rise and Fall of Wall Street (HD, 50 mins total) – This is actually a collection of five separate featurettes. ‘Unfinished Business’ looks at the original 1988 'Wall Street' movie. ‘Gordon Gekko Is Back’ has Michael Douglas telling us about his views on his revived character and how he portrayed him for his big return. Various critics and director Oliver Stone chip in too. ‘Lifestyles of Excess’ gives us a look at the flamboyant lifestyles lived by rich trading executives. ‘A Tour of the 'Street'’ is like a travelogue on Wall Street. Finally, ‘Trends, Schemes, and Economic Collapse’ gives us the gen, in some detail, on the financial collapse that continues to affect us all today.
Deleted and Extended Scenes (HD, 29 min.) – Just as it says on the tin, with the added benefit that director Stone provides optional commentary on all 15 deleted scenes. You don’t have to guess why they were cut, he tells you.
Fox Movie Channel Presents In Character (SD, 26 min.) – Here we have some short interviews with cast members discussing the bones of the characters they're playing and telling us what it’s like working with the director. As they probably hadn’t been paid yet, they all love him.
Live Extras – BD-Live is available here with "Live Lookup" powered by IMDB.com. There's also a BD-live short exclusive called "The Return of Bud Fox" which focusses on Charlie Sheen's cameo in the movie.
Gordon Gekko returns to the screen in ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ which sports a good looking 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer, framed in the widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Good strong colours, a sharp detailed image with just a hint of film grain provide a visual treat in this recent release. While the DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround track concentrates on giving us crisp, clear, centre weighted dialogue the surrounds come into play occasionally with some very effective steering. A detailed director’s commentary from Oliver Stone plus a brace of mini featurettes and deleted scenes flesh out the extras. This is a worthy sequel to 1987’s ‘Wall Street’ for which Michael Douglas won a Best Actor Oscar and his fans are sure to enjoy it. A fresh faced Shia LaBoeuf, a young Carey Mulligan and an experienced Frank Langella get involved in this tale of double dealing as Gekko tries to claw his way back to the top and win his estranged daughter’s affections. Watch out for Charlie Sheen in a cameo role.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £24.99
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