The Wolf of Wall Street

SATN


Well, I don’t care what happens. I guess it’s successfully turned me into a Buddhist.
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Reported on 7th of July, 2014

(Editor’s note: You may be wondering why I would be so presumptuous that someone would be wondering why I took so long to write a piece on the forgettable Wolf of Wall Street. Well, it’s because it took me six months to draw the cartoon you see below. In my defense, I would only work on it about an hour a week, what with all that thesis and writing this nonsense I do. That means it really only took 12 hours.

12 hours? To draw that?)

The Wolf of Wall Street

7 July 2014 @ The Cineworld Brighton


$0.30 or, if one must be quotidian, and one must... 
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

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While watching The Wolf of Wall Street, I was struck by the urge to do a Boardwalk Empire cartoon. As such, I postponed publishing this until it was done, um, well, six months later. What? Drawing is hard! There were, like, eight panels. You won’t be laughing when I have my complete collection out in 2047. Also, you won’t be laughing.AllPanels

But it was not random thoughts that compelled me to make this association, for I was to discover in the end credits that Mr. Terrence Winter, show-runner of Boardwalk Empire, had indeed penned The Wolf of Wall Street, which is yet another argument for the author theory. Without my knowing, he had bored me, but had done so with his unique touch.

The Wolf of Wall Street is fine, but very long, and there’s really not much more to say about it than that. It’s diverting, but not quite diverting enough to actually watch. What’s the solution? I’ll tell you. Puyo Puyo.

I hath defeated Satan. I mean 'SATN'. Satan is copyrighted.

I hath defeated Satan. I mean ‘SATN’. Satan is copyrighted. By God.

Puyo Puyo is a puzzle game much like Tetris. I play it during certain television shows that demand just the right amount of cognitive attention – not so much that you actually want to watch, but enough that you can be check in occasionally, maybe, once an episode, actually pause the game and see what happens. The likes of Boardwalk Empire, The Mentalist, Game of Thrones, are fine, but basically radio plays without the drama. But they are not The Good Wife or 30 Rock or Archer or Arrested Development in that if you’re not giving it your all as a viewer, it’s as pointless as watching those other shows purely on their own.

I suspect the Puyo Puyo solution is not unique. In fact, there’s a Darwinian notion that as TV was competing with various media, or children screaming, or spouses screaming at you about your screaming children looking at various media, for your attention (inhale), it was the shows that could be watched in the background that won the extinction race. For the film company, this is swell, as dramas about mood and sweaters are extremely easy to write; just make ’em extra pause-y and reflective, and lo and behold, we need even more advertising! The attendant boredom requires us to turn to things like google, or other shows, or screaming children, all of which make someone more money. And, until they killed Richard, I was fine with the arrangement. But he was one sympathetic character, who died in an extraordinarily inept way, so fuck them.

They want to satirize the rich, but not so much that lose their invitations to the Hamptons.

What you don’t want to do is make a Puyo Puyo movie. It is very rude (though this has not stopped everybody) to take out your iDevice and start mountain bird warring or whatever the hell it is, but if there was a film to do it, it’s The Wolf of Wall Street. There’s a few interesting scenes, and a lot of filler. Stuff happens, to a degree, but not so much that you have to watch it, a semi-requirement if you don’t have your PSP with you. I was genuinely surprised by the controversy surrounding the film, unless making an extremely average film is controversial. To anyone but me, that is. TWoWS, for all its ‘fucks’, just kind of lies there.

One could spend months analyzing why The Wolf of Wall Street, identical to Goodfellas in every conceivable way, cannot match the excitement of the opening titles of the latter, which are just words moving across the screen. Part of it is the obvious not especially caring very much about the characters. There’s certainly something to be said about its timing, what with all the people such as the titular character crippling the world economy and then having us pay them to set it up to fall again. Gangsters, after all, just kill people, which is something that we fantasize about. In fact, you can say that it’s the opposite of the sociopathy present in our various captains of industry. Everyone thinks about killing someone, but few do it. No one really fantasizes about engaging in elaborate Ponzi schemes without even the courtesy of contempt for those from whom they steal, but the few who do, go for it all the way.

Let’s make a movie about that! Or, failing that, make a movie about people who keep making movies about that. And so with Arbitrage and The Boiler Room and this, they did. Which is fine, but without the awareness that these were the types of characters they’re dealing with. There’s a certain, no, an entirely vast, opportunity here, because of the awesome poverty of the rich, which is indicated briefly in whatever scene it was that I forgot because I saw it a few months ago, and because it was written so unmemorably. There’s always a danger (as in About Time) that the writers have already attained the kind of success that precludes any insight. They want to satirize the rich, but not so much that lose their invitations to the Hamptons.

Actually someone recently did whip out their iDevice during a film. It was the latest Transformers, and he was five. Yep. Michael Bay bored a five year old.

Actually someone recently did whip out their iDevice during a film. It was the latest Transformers, and he was five. Yep. Michael Bay bored a five year old.

Now, hold on a minute, I’m vaguely starting to remember something, digging through the notes that say unhelpful to future Scott things like ‘Well, I don’t care what happens. I guess it’s successfully turned me into a Buddhist’. Accurate, but unhelpful. Nevertheless, and somehow let’s make sure this is due to my awesome power of memory, rather than the film’s ability to be memorable, I vaguely recall something near the end where Our Anti-Hero Must Make A Choice. He’s avoiding a lengthy jail sentence by selling out his friends, and he does, and fine, but then he has to sell out his best friend, and he does something clever like write something down ‘I’m wearing a wire’ or whathaveyou. And Fed guy gets all yell-y that he broke the arrangement, and he’ll lose the deal. And then….

Nothing happens.

Damn, this piece could have been two words long. What was I thinking?

Anyway, I get that this film is about him being a dick and not only getting away with it, but actually benefitting. That’s the story, and while I don’t find it very compelling, you must write to that. There’s a movie to be made about a character who dodges consequences. Obviously Being There springs to mind, perhaps The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer or even Election. But within that movie, consequences have to exist to be gotten out of, not vaguely mentioned and then ignored. I understand that Mr. Wes Anderson makes comedies that aren’t funny, and Godzilla is a monster fight movie without monster fights. And there’s a theoretical, almost Kenneth Anger experimental desire to see a morality play without morality. But within the film, if nothing can happen, then nothing will.

And nothing did.

The Take

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Profits!
‘I would fuck that girl if she was my sister. I would let that girl give me AIDS.’ More like that.
$4.00
Saying ‘ow-y’ to your dominatrix is not below average.
$2.00
Total Profits
$6.00
Losses!
I like the subway. Many rich people do.
$1.00
Wasn’t there another movie about selling? Wasn’t it really well written, with lines you could quote right now? If you were going to write a movie about selling, wouldn’t you have at least try to do it better than that?
$1.70
That most critics don’t even know what movie I’m talking about.
$3.00
Total Losses
$5.70

$0.30

Thoughts on The Wolf of Wall Street

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  1. Beep boop says:

    Bravo!

  2. Scott Scott says:

    Thank you. But….

    How did you change your name to Beep Boop? How do you know more about this website than I do?

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