'Wall Street - 20th Anniversary Edition'
(Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Daryl Hannah, et al / 2-Disc DVD / R / (1987) 2007 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: In this riveting, behind-the-scenes look at big business in the 1980's, an ambitious young broker (Charlie Sheen) is lured into the illegal, lucrative world of corporate espionage when he is seduced by the power, status and financial wizardry of Wall Street legend Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas). But he soon discovers that the pursuit of overnight riches comes at a price that's too high to pay.
DVD Verdict: When Oliver Stone made Wall Street, he was riding high from the commercial and critical success of Platoon (Special Edition). His father, Lou Stone, had been a stockbroker on Wall Street in New York City and this film was a son's way of paying tribute to his father. Almost twenty years later, it has become one of the quintessential snapshots of the financial scene in the United States and epitomizes the essence of capitalism, greed and materialism that was so prevalent in the 1980s.
Michael Douglas owns the role of Gekko and by extension dominates the movie with his larger than life character. He gets most of the film's best dialogue and delivers it with such conviction. There is a scene between Bud and Gekko in a limousine where he tells the younger man how the financial world works, how it operates and lays it all out, pushing Bud hard to go into business with him. It is one of the strongest scenes in the movie because you really believe what Gekko is saying and how Bud could be seduced by his words.
The culmination of Douglas' performance is his much lauded, often quoted, "Greed is good" speech that his character gives to a shareholders' meeting of Teldar Paper, a company he is planning to take over. He concludes by saying, "Greed is right; greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms, greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge -- has marked the upward surge of mankind and greed, you mark my words -- will save not only Teldar Paper but that other malfunctioning corporation called the U.S.A." This is one of the best delivered monologues ever put to film as Douglas goes from charming to downright threatening and back again, succinctly summing up the essence of '80 capitalism and greed.
The original DVD did not have many extras but the quality of what was included was excellent. They have all been carried over to this new release (minus the trailers) but do the new extras really merit a double dip?
There is an audio commentary by co-writer and director Oliver Stone. Stone talks about Michael Douglas' early struggles with the huge amount of dialogue he had to deliver and how he dealt with it. The filmmaker is candid with his shortcomings and those of others (i.e. Daryl Hannah, Charlie Sheen, etc.). As always, Stone delivers the goods, offering all kinds of fascinating insights into the making of the film.
The second disc features a new introduction by Oliver Stone that is brief and really should have been put on the first disc. Another new extra is "Greed is Good," an hour-long retrospective documentary with Hal Hoolbrook, John C. McGinley, Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas amongst others returning to offer their impressions of the financial world depicted in the movie. This substantial doc examines the appeal of Gekko and why he inspired people in the business world.
Also new to this edition is over 20 minutes of deleted scenes with optional commentary by Stone. There is a nice little scene with Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller as one of Bud's clients. Also included is an earlier scene where Bud and Darian (Hannah) meet in a bar but Stone cut it because the Hamptons scene at Gekko's house was stronger. The filmmaker puts all of these scenes into context and why there were cut.
Finally, carried over from the original edition is "Money Never Sleeps: The Making of Wall Street," a top-notch, 47-minute making of documentary. There is very little overlap with the "Greed is Good" documentary.
If you're a fan of this film and already own the previous edition, the new extras definitely warrant a double dip. They are quite substantial in nature and shed more light on this excellent film. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
All New Commentary by Director Oliver Stone
Introduction by Oliver Stone
Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by Director Oliver Stone
"Greed Is Good" Featurette
"Money Never Sleeps - The Making of Wall Street" Featurette