Wallstreet Money Never Sleeps – Let It Sleep And See Solitary Man Instead

Growing up with the motto of Gordon Gekko “greed is good,” it is a big disappointment that the sequel to WallstreetWallstreet:  Money Never Sleeps is a murky mess.

The plot diverges on several points and never comes together. It can’t decide what kind of movie it wants to be – a revenge melodrama, a lesson on how bad Wall Street really is in its evil financial practices, or even on some levels…get ready…here it comes…a romance. Who knew?  Oliver Stone and a romance? Miracles happen. It’s almost as if the writers have a strong opinion of the story they want to tell, but then director Oliver Stone changes it so drastically that even the camera shots are disjointed and choppy.

Michael Douglas doesn’t get as near as much screen time as he deserves, having to share it with the upcoming Shia LaBouef who plays a hotshot trader Jake who conveniently falls in love with Gekko’s daughter, Carey Mulligan. Carey Mulligan spends most of her time sulking, which is such a waste (Netflix An Education – her Oscar nominated performance is…well…so much better than this).

LaBouef tries to play a tough cookie, but still comes off as a squeaky kid. Maybe in a few years when he sheds some of his boyish looks he’ll be able to play a believable man. Even now, I can’t help but see him as the kid in EVENS STEVENS and the movie Holes.

Yeah, Wallstreet: Money Never Sleeps deserves to do just that – sleep and be forgotten. Instead, Netflix Douglas’ stunner Solitary Man. This little movie showcases Douglas at his finest since Wonder Boys. And it actually has a story you can follow and believe in.

Solitary Man – A Great Little Movie on DVD

In this midst of the abysmal summer movie selection, I resorted to my good ‘ol pal Netfilix for something to watch and I came across Solitary Man with Michael Douglas. This is a great little film and excellent companion to the terribly underrated Douglas movie Wonder Boys. Written and codirected by Brian Koppelman, the film is quiet but extremely moving – primarily because of the performance of Michael Douglas.

Douglas plays, Ben Kalmen, a player, a dog, an old dog – a really unlikable guy, but played with such finesse that you find yourself actually routing for him. The movie is great storytelling. It shows conflict that could be construed as “a story that’s already been told over and over again.” Not the case with this film. It takes you somewhere. You are moved. You keep watching and hoping that Ben Kalmen makes it on his journey to redemption and forgiveness.

The crappy release date of this movie makes it difficult to be a contender for this year’s award season. But Douglas’ performance should not be overlooked. It’s a stunner and resonates even more with the news of Douglas’ cancer diagnosis. Hopefully its release on DVD will remind the industry of this great leading man performance. Fingers crossed!