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Wall Street: Charlie Sheen's not the crazy one here

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Charlie Sheen is crazy, which I'm sure most people are well familiar with by now.  In honor of one of the greatest men of our generation (well, really the last generation, not so much mine), a couple friends and I decided to look up on Netflix just what we could stream that would refamiliarize us with this pillar of Western Civilization.  The choices were Hot Shots Part Deux or Wall Street.  This is how careers get made, people.

Wall Street is a movie that's gotten a lot of reinvigorated interest recently, as Hollywood recently exhumed Michael Douglas to make a sequel to one of the movies that was a pillar of 1980s materialism.  I haven't seen the sequel yet, although word on the street seems to be that it's passable to good.

This movie is about the source material, the real thing, bona-fide first-string movie that follows Charlie Sheen as Bud Fox, a Wall Street trader who is not doing so well, and comes upon a stock tip that he decides to parley into a contact with Gordon Gekko (Douglas) who teaches Sheen the basic principles of Wall Street.

  • Money is good.
  • No seriously, it's better than people.
  • Like, way better.

Good thing that Wall Street's not like that anymore, huh?  It sure is a good thing that Reaganomics pulled us into this trickle-down economy which has seen so much of the wealth in this country spreading out from the richest few to the poorer many.  And that our continuing to follow those principles through the last 30 years has put us in a better place.

I should get back to the film, though.  I can write another entry about the soul-crushing plutocracy in which our country is mired another time.  Oliver Stone doesn't usually bother me.  I understand that he's often somewhat reviled, and sometimes he makes me roll my eyes, but for the most part, I find his style to be pretty crisp, but several shots in this movie are clumsy and heavy-handed.  Stone uses the same lighting effect to throw his characters into darkness several times, as if the Shakespearean-style plot was not obvious enough for anybody to follow.  It's like he's saying "Look at how dark their souls are, people!"  And you can instantly tell the deportment of Charlie Sheen based on how his hair is slicked into place.  His hair is a direct analog for just how in control Sheen is right now.  Slicked back and perfect = Sheen is at the top of his game, and this scene is about him controlling the action.  A few loose strands here and there = some small amount of conflict, look for Sheen being taught the ropes or otherwise being slightly out of his element.  Wildly dissheveled = shit, you better pay attention because this scene is going to have majorly bad implications for Sheen.

I should take a moment to talk about Douglas, whom I normally don't care for, but who does a good job as Gordon Gekko in this movie.  Sure, he plays a flat Shylock character, out to screw anybody for a buck, but he does a good job at it.  He has most of the best lines in the movie, and the movie is about Douglas playing the Lucifer on Sheen's shoulder, a role which suits him.  Better than most movies, Douglas manages to get some genuine emotion into the character. 

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