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The tale of Toothless the freaking adorable animated dragon comes to a close—maybe—with How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third chapter in what producers are calling a trilogy.

Yeah, that’s the same thing they said about Toy Story 3 before greenlighting Toy Story 4. If the story continues beyond this chapter, you won’t get any complaints from me; I think the dragon beat could entertainingly go on with this franchise.

Hiccup (the voice Jay Baruchel), now the chief of his Viking tribe, and his dragon buddy, Toothless, happen upon another Night Fury dragon—this one a female, and Toothless is justifiably smitten. After a first date that involves some hilarious show-off dancing, the two hit it off, and Hiccup finds himself possibly staring down a future without Toothless.

Before Toothless and his new gal pal can head off for wedded bliss in the mystical Hidden World, where dragons live happily, they must contend with the evil Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham), who wants to steal all of Toothless’ beautiful music ideas and pass them off as his own.

Oh, excuse me, that would be Abraham’s Amadeus character. No, his character in this one wants to kill all of the dragons, of course.

The movie clocks in at 104 minutes, but it feels more like 60. Director Dean DeBlois, who directed all three films, deserves credit for making the proceedings breezy and never boring. His only other directing credits are the equally enjoyable Lilo and Stitch, and a Sigur Rós documentary. Thankfully, the great Jónsi of Sigur Rós provides another terrific song for the soundtrack.

While these films have all been visually enchanting, this third chapter definitely tops itself. Scenes where the in-love Toothless and Light Fury soar into the skies and fly together are breathtaking achievements. Also, I have to point out again that the Dragon movies do a fabulous job with human hair. There can be all sorts of amazing things going on, but I sometimes find myself just admiring how Hiccup’s hair waves in the wind. So lustrous and lifelike!

The film also packs a nice emotional wallop. Toothless is like a nice combination of E.T. and your favorite dog, so he’s truly lovable. Seeing him get a nice ending (the details of which I won’t give away) might leave you crying a lot more than you thought you would at an animated movie. This one has an animated tearjerker factor that puts it alongside the likes of Toy Story 3 and Up. Speaking of E.T.: I couldn’t help but notice that a lot of the Toothless sounds owe plenty to the little Spielberg alien. He croaks and purrs just like E.T. He doesn’t touch things and make them better, though; he just kind of spits on things.

Most of the voice cast members from the previous two films return, including Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, America Ferrera and Gerard Butler. Not surprisingly, T.J. Miller doesn’t return as Tuffnut. Like Louis C.K. on The Secret Life of Pets sequel, he got his ass booted from an animated movie for bad behavior.

If this is indeed the end for Toothless and Hiccup, it’s a satisfactory conclusion. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World will keep you and your family entertained. I heard a bunch of folks yelling stuff like, “That movie made me cry!” when the credits were playing. Be prepared: You might wind up crying in front of a bunch of kids.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is playing at theaters across the valley.

Published in Reviews

Jonah Hill makes his feature-directing debut using his own script with Mid90s, the best movie ever made about skater culture—and a powerful film about familial dysfunction and the need for friendship.

Sunny Suljic (The House With a Clock in Its Walls) gives a breakout performance as Stevie, a kid living in a single-parent household with a head-case older brother, Ian (Lucas Hedges). Stevie suffers massive beatings at the hands of Ian, and causes himself further pain with self-inflicted strangulation, skin burns and pressing on the bruises Ian created. In short … the kid has some major issues.

In search of some kind of identity, Stevie grabs himself a skateboard and starts hanging around some older kids at the skate shop. They include skaters nicknamed Fuckshit (Olan Prenatt), Fourth Grade (Ryder McLaughlin) and a younger kid simply named Ruben (Gio Galicia), because he hasn’t earned his nickname yet.

Stevie practices at night trying to do flips. He isn’t a natural, but he’s persistent. After a strange anecdote in a conversation circle, he earns the nickname Sunburn, and it sticks. He eventually becomes part of the group, and finds a less-crazy big-brother figure in Ray (Na-kel Smith), the group’s best skater, and an employee at the skate shop. Their kinship becomes the heart of the movie, especially when Ray becomes his sole stable influence as others in the group introduce Stevie to drinking, drugs and sex.

As Stevie’s social life takes off, his home life withers, including increasing violence from Ian and communication problems with mother, Dabney (Katherine Waterston of Alien: Covenant). Hill shows some beat-downs that are particularly brutal; you get a true sense that Ian is one strike away from killing his little brother. After suspecting her kid is taking drugs and drinking, Dabney marches Stevie into the skate shop and scolds the group … something the skaters take surprisingly well.

Hill does an expert job of showing how important skating and these new friends are to Stevie in his development. The director doesn’t shy away from the bad influences—influences present in just about every high-schooler’s life. Suljic proves to be the perfect pick for Stevie; he’s a solid young actor (he was also the best thing about Clock in Its Walls). He’s a short guy, but when he bests Ruben in a street fight, you believe he can take the bigger kid. He brings a lot of passion to the role.

Hedges, so damned good in Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri and Manchester By the Sea (for which he earned an Oscar nomination), delivers the film’s best performance as the nightmare older brother. He’s a psycho, but he has a vulnerable side that’s fighting to break out behind his pained eyes. He makes a major mark in his few, strong scenes.

It’s abundantly clear that Hill possesses solid directorial chops. A scene in which Stevie goes into his brother’s room despite death threats is both foreboding and awe-inspiring (Ian keeps a mighty clean, ultra-organized room), and this is where Hill starts effectively using an excellent, moody score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. As solid as Hill’s directorial choices are, this movie wouldn’t be what it is without its score. It’s basically a character in the film.

Mid90s employs a gritty, documentary look, and while it shows some skating stunts, the actual skateboarding scenes don’t overwhelm the movie. They act more as vital flavoring. The crux of the story here is the bond between Stevie and his posse, and the strained relationships at home.

Hill, like his buddy Bradley Cooper with A Star Is Born, has given himself a solid start in the directorial world. I’m eagerly anticipating what he chooses to do next behind the camera.

Mid90s is playing at theaters across the valley.

Published in Reviews

Maniac is yet another Netflix series that plays like a long—but really good—movie.

Jonah Hill and Emma Stone reteam (after Superbad) as two mentally exhausted individuals who volunteer for pharmaceutical experiments that involve a lot more than simply taking pills.

The premise—which allows for their characters to essentially share dreams—places them inside different fantasy scenarios involving different people. Lemurs, Long Island, shootouts, odd dancing, seances, hawks and more play into those scenarios, all directed engagingly by Cary Joji Fukunaga. The different dreams have different styles—but Fukunaga keeps it all under control.

Stone is the true shining star here, especially in a sequence that places her in a Lord of the Rings-type setting, one that her character’s true self can’t really stand. Hill plays his Owen as morose for much of the running time, which is necessary given Owen’s state, but he does get a decent amount of opportunities to go crazy when his character morphs into different people.

Justin Theroux is fantastic as a pathetic doctor, as is Sally Field as his famous mother. In fact, Field has some of the series’ best moments—no surprise, given that she is the legendary Sally Field.

If you are looking to binge, Maniac is a fine choice.

Maniac is currently streaming on Netflix.

Published in DVDs/Home Viewing

Gus Van Sant gets back into fine directing shape with Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, his best effort in years.

Joaquin Phoenix gets much of the credit; he’s terrific as real-life cartoonist John Callahan, an alcoholic who wound up in a wheelchair after a car accident with a friend (Jack Black). Van Sant jumps around with his timeline—but the film is never confusing, no matter where it goes. We see Callahan pre-accident, drinking tequila first thing in the morning. We also see him during one of the film’s framing devices, a convention at which Callahan is sharing his story. Most effectively, we see him in group-therapy sessions led by Donnie (Jonah Hill), a free-spirited, generally kind man who, nevertheless, isn’t going to give you many breaks as your sponsor. Those sessions have a documentary-like feel, and Hill is especially good (and nearly unrecognizable) in them.

Phoenix is having a great year—if you haven’t seen him in You Were Never Really Here, you must—and this might be his very best work yet. Rooney Mara, Carrie Brownstein and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth show up in brief, yet effective roles. This is one of the summer’s better films.

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot opens Friday, July 27, at theaters including the Palm Desert 10 Cinemas (72840 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-340-0033).

Published in Reviews

Director Todd Phillips, a man responsible for slob comedies like The Hangover and Old School, takes a more serious, satirical route with War Dogs. The results are mixed—but ultimately entertaining.

The film is based on an article in Rolling Stone that described real-life gun-runners and the way they bilked the government and screwed each other over. It plays out as a sort of Wolf of Wall Street with weapons and Albania instead of stocks and the financial district.

Contributing to the Wolf vibe is Jonah Hill as Efraim Diveroli, a diabolical, narcissistic weapons dealer who puts profit before morality and friendship. Even though Hill throws in an annoying laugh, the core of his performance is funny—and brutal when it needs to be. He continues to show he’s far more than a giggle-getter: He’s a real-deal actor.

Miles Teller plays his partner, David Packouz, a massage therapist who can’t keep his career in line and needs to straighten things out fast, especially because he has a kid on the way with his wife, Iz (Ana de Armas, far less scary here than she was while she tortured Keanu Reeves in Knock Knock).

The story focuses on a big deal the two try to broker involving millions of ammunition rounds in an Albanian warehouse. The U.S. government under Dick Cheney and George W. Bush basically put arms-trading deals out to anybody who dared to bid on them—and these guys dove in. They run into all kinds of trouble, some of it predictable. It’s startling that much of this actually happened; the film shows how utterly stupid and simplistic the whole system was. The predictably and willingness of these dopes to chase a profit at all costs led to a lot of carelessness.

Phillips, like Adam McKay before him with The Big Short, makes a strong and convincing transition into dramatic satire. Yes, the film has laughs, but by most standards, this is a drama, like a film that Martin Scorsese would try to tackle. Mind you, Phillips is no Scorsese, but he has made a good-looking movie containing strong, realistic performances. While he goes down some familiar story paths, he does so in a way that’s stylistically strong.

The film is at its best during a sequence in which Efraim and David must drive a small shipment of guns through the Triangle of Death and into the heart of Iraq. It’s during this stretch when the movie is funny, thrilling and even a little scary. The parts before and after are often riveting and engaging in other ways, but they aren’t as fast-paced or entertaining. This great sequence raises the level of the film a notch, even if it makes the rest of it look slightly inferior.

Hill put on a lot of weight for the role—so much so that it could make his fans a little anxious. He’s seesawing with his weight like two kids on the playground after three bowls of Apple Jacks chased with five cups of pure-cane sugar and a gallon of Coke. (I saw him on a recent interview show, and he’s looking much healthier again. Still, his adherence to the Robert De Niro/Christian Bale School of Body Acting must be taxing his ticker.)

Teller bounces back impressively after last year’s awful Fantastic Four. He’s also been tied into the abysmal Divergent franchise in these last few years. He’s been in some crap, but anybody denouncing this guy needs to look no further than Whiplash, The Spectacular Now and this film for examples of his talent.

War Dogs isn’t a great movie, but given how awful this summer has been, it’s actually one of the season’s better movies.

War Dogs is playing at theaters across the valley.

Published in Reviews

There’s been too much “more of the same” at theaters this summer. Flat big-budget blockbusters and sequels without an ounce of creativity or originality keep being churned out of the Hollywood industrial complex, delivering an astounding amount of expensive, vapid horse shit.

Sausage Party, the animated hellcat from writer-producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, is the first big studio film in a long time that is screaming with originality. It’s a profanity-laden, blasphemous middle finger to the movie-making establishment that thinks it’s OK to turn out sequels and comic-book movies that suck—because the studios know people will shell out for them anyway. Sausage Party couldn’t be more fun, and it’s a film like nothing you’ve seen before.

In a sunny supermarket, a bunch of vegetables, hot dogs and buns wake up and sing a happy song, convinced that today will be the day they are chosen by humans to enter the Great Beyond—the world on the other side of those automatic sliding doors.

Frank (the voice of Rogen), an optimistic hot dog with teeth like Seth Rogen, longs for the moment he can leave his packaging and “fill” his sweetheart, a bun named Brenda (Kristen Wiig). That moment seems to be imminent when they are selected and placed in a cart—but things quickly go awry: Frank and Brenda are left behind on the supermarket floor, while their friends soon find out that things in the Great Beyond are far from great.

On top of being super-profane, Sausage Party is incredibly violent, with various food things and condiments suffering unthinkable, heinous fates. (What happens to heads of lettuce and baby carrots is particularly nightmarish.) Rogen and Goldberg have found themselves a little loophole: The main characters aren’t humans or animals, allowing for nonstop carnage within the confines of an R rating.

That loophole also allows for a food orgy that would be too much for your average porno, yet there it is—a bunch of characters openly fornicating in just about every way possible on a big screen playing next door to Finding Dory.

If you’re a parent out there who takes kids to the movies simply based on the poster, you are in for the shock of your life. However, the first word in this movie is actually “shit,” so you should know early on that the wrong entertainment has been chosen for the day.  (Unless, of course, you and your kids are truly twisted, in which case … have at it!)

Other exquisite touches include a main villain that is a total douche … and by total douche, I mean he’s actually a douche, voiced by Nick Kroll. He’s also a leaky douche, so his thing is to suck replenishing juices out of his prey—sometimes in a way that is most provocative.

James Franco is on hand as the voice of a druggie experimenting with bath salts, while Edward Norton voices Sammy Bagel Jr., a bagel who plays a pivotal, perverted part in that food orgy. Rogen/Goldberg mainstays like Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, David Krumholtz and Danny McBride all have roles, and they all contribute to make this the most outrageously insane Hollywood comedy since, well, their own This Is the End (2013).

What makes Sausage Party a cut above your average stoner-movie-full-of-food-items-screwing-and-being-murdered is that it also takes some smart swipes at organized religion and politics. Yes, this movie makes you think—a lot more than you would expect from a movie that features a taco going down on a hotdog bun.

I heard Rogen on The Howard Stern Show saying he thinks Sausage Party could be a franchise ripe for sequels. Just how he thinks he can top this madness is beyond comprehension … but I will certainly be in line to find out when he tries.

Sausage Party is playing at theaters across the valley.

Published in Reviews

I totally lost it thanks to a laughing fit during 22 Jump Street. There’s a pivotal scene in this always-funny sequel that had me laughing to the point where tears were coming out of my eyes, and I couldn’t breathe.

I noticed that a lot of folks around me were having the same problem.

I won’t tell you about the scene; you’ll know what I’m talking about when it happens. I will tell you that this sequel is as good as the film that birthed the franchise.

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, an unlikely duo if there ever was one, basically repeat the same steps of the very funny 21 Jump Street, and they do it in a way that keeps things fresh—while recycling the same plot. This film acknowledges what it is—a run-of-the mill sequel—for its entire running time. It’s a self-mocking technique that works well thanks to its stars and the deft comic direction of returning directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. (Lord and Miller are on a roll; they also directed this year’s The Lego Movie.)

This one picks up where the first film left off, with Captain Dickson (Ice Cube, in serious comic overdrive) giving Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) an undercover assignment at a college, where they will do exactly what they did in the first movie: Infiltrate the drug-dealers, and find the supplier.

Once they show up in college and put their stylin’ beanbag chair in their dorm room, Schmidt and Jenko set about making friends and looking for the new drug of choice, called WHYPHY. Of course, the two ingest the drug at one point, which leads to a hilarious trip in which Schmidt ends up in some sort of hell where Creed plays on the loudspeakers, while Jenko has a more pleasant time involving rainbow colors and getting tickled.

Schmidt continues to be the only one who gets lucky in the Jump Street universe, this time scoring with Maya (Amber Stevens), who, much to his surprise, happens to be related to somebody prominent in his life. Jenko definitely has a better time in college than he did in high school, hitting it big with Zook (Wyatt Russell, son of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell), the football team’s quarterback. Jenko becomes a star athlete while Schmidt has girl problems and eventually finds himself ostracized.

Some of the film’s best gags occur while Ice Cube is on the screen; there’s also a great bit involving Maya’s roommate, Mercedes (Jillian Bell), and her hilariously deadpan observations after having to endure sex noises all night. Twins the Lucas Brothers (that’s how they’re credited) play Keith and Kenny Yang, Schmidt and Jenko’s odd neighbors across the dormitory hall, who share thoughts and are responsible for Schmidt and Jenko’s surprise WHYPHY trip.

As for cameos, Rob Riggle makes a triumphant return as Mr. Walters, who lost a very important piece of his anatomy in the first movie, and Dave Franco is back as Eric the drug dealer, who’s living a life of pure hell as Mr. Walters’ cell-block husband. Stick around for all of the credits for a final joke involving those two, as well as a short cameo by Richard Grieco as Booker, a vet of the 21 Jump Street TV show. Nothing beats Johnny Depp’s cameo in the first movie, but Riggle and Franco’s cameo come close.

Some of the film’s biggest laughs occur during the credits, during which Schmidt and Jenko keep getting assigned to new schools (magic school, dancing school, etc.), with accompanying fake movie posters.

It seems as if the post-credit future-premise jokes exhaust all ideas for new installments. Please don’t let this be true. I want more Schmidt and Jenko movies.

22 Jump Street is playing at theaters across the valley.

Published in Reviews

This was my pick for the best picture of 2013, and Leonardo DiCaprio should’ve won an Oscar for playing likable scumbag Jordan Belfort. In fact, DiCaprio should have at least three Oscars on his mantle by now, but, alas, he has none.

Martin Scorsese’s latest explodes like a mortar full of deranged bliss. DiCaprio plays slimeball stockbroker and convicted felon Belfort, a real-life jackass who made millions selling penny stocks at a Long Island, N.Y., brokerage.

The movie, based on Belfort’s own autobiography, takes people doing bad, bad things to such an extreme level that the film doesn’t just stand as one of the best of 2013; it’s one of the best and most deranged comedies ever.

As Ray Liotta did in Goodfellas, DiCaprio talks to the camera on occasion, often during highly elaborate tracking shots that have become a Scorsese mainstay. It’s in these moments, and during Belfort’s drug fueled “Rouse the Troops” fire-breathing speeches, where DiCaprio does his most exhilarating acting to date.

Jonah Hill, in an Oscar-nominated role, knocks it out of the park as Belfort’s partner in crime. When the two ingest an abundance of Quaaludes, the sequence that follows stands as one of the best Scorsese has ever put to film. That’s saying a lot.

The best film of 2013 scored no Oscars, but it did net DiCaprio a Golden Globe for Best Performance in a Comedy. Yeah, the Golden Globes are totally strange when it comes to how they categorize things.

Special Features: The only supplement is a weak behind-the-scenes featurette. No Scorsese commentary. No deleted scenes. Boo!

Published in DVDs/Home Viewing

The Lego Movie is a most welcome surprise. Fast-paced, frequently hilarious and visually fun, this is the sort of movie we’ve come to expect from Pixar—one that appeals to both kids and adults on many levels.

However, this isn’t a Pixar film; instead, it’s a product of the formidable but inconsistent Warner Bros. animation wing.

Sure, it’s a big commercial for Lego toys, but the product placement is more of a sly wink than a hammer over the head. I’m more offended by, say, frequently placed Subway sandwiches in an Adam Sandler movie than the constant presence of Legos in this one. Lego has developed its own universe over the years, especially with its video games, so I never felt like I was watching a commercial.

Instead, we get a movie that hurls jokes at breakneck speed, to go along with its super-kinetic visuals. The voice talent is a who’s-who of subversive humor, including Will Ferrell, Chris Pratt, Will Forte, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Jonah Hill and Charlie Day. It also has Morgan Freeman as a God-like character—and he is given some of the movie’s greatest lines. It’s co-written and directed by Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, the guys who did Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and the decidedly non-kid-friendly 21 Jump Street.

The plot follows Emmet (Pratt), a “generic” builder who goes about his homogenized life, building structures under strict deadlines and listening to the same song (Tegan and Sara’s terrific “Everything Is Awesome”) every minute of the day, while following the rules of the omnipotent President Business (Ferrell). President Business demands conformity in a decidedly socialistic way—but he keeps everybody at bay by promising Taco Tuesdays.

Things change instantly when Emmet meets Wyldstyle (Banks), who reveals to Emmet that there’s the possibility for real life beyond the walls of his pre-programmed world. (There are echoes of The Matrix and Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.) Emmet joins forces with Wyldstyle and her extremely cool boyfriend, Batman (Arnett), to take down the establishment and restore freewill.

I confess to being totally blindsided by the ending, which warmed my heart in a way that is on par with the wonderful endings of Pixar’s Up and Toy Story. It is, without giving anything away, brilliant, ingenious and wholly satisfying. It also manages to tie the whole movie together in a way that is beautifully mindboggling.

There are terrific cameos along the way, including members of the Star Wars universe, other heroes from the Justice League, Gandalf and others. Liam Neeson is killer funny as Bad Cop/Good Cop—and even his father, Pa Cop, who is constantly breaking and kicking things. (He’s this movie’s Darth Vader.)

The film relishes random humor. At one point, a cowboy in a saloon asks quite earnestly, “Are zeppelins a good investment?” (I laughed out loud to an extent that was a little embarrassing.) Arnett’s Batman is arguably on par with those played by Christian Bale and Michael Keaton. Stick around for the credits, and Arnett’s Batman theme, “Untitled Self Portrait,” which repeatedly touches upon Batman’s dead parents and penchant for dark things.

The Lego Movie is a bit exhausting at times, but the constant stream of activity is super-intelligent. It’s a cliché, but I’ll say it: “Fun for the whole family!” Sorry to be so cookie-cutter here, but it’s the truth. 

The Lego Movie is playing at theaters across the valley.

Published in Reviews

Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street is an explosive film—like a mortar full of deranged bliss.

Leonardo DiCaprio, in 2013’s best performance, plays slimeball stockbroker and convicted felon Jordan Belfort, a real-life scumbag who made millions selling penny stocks at a Long Island, New York, brokerage. The movie, based on Belfort’s autobiography, takes people doing bad, bad things to an unparalleled extreme.

The film begins with a rosy-cheeked Belfort starting work at a big Manhattan brokerage firm, where a brash, cocaine-addicted broker (played by Matthew McConaughey, capping off an incredible year) is his mentor. Belfort is ready to take the world by storm in the late ’80s, but 1987’s Black Monday strikes, destroying his new employer and putting him out of work.

He winds up in a Long Island boiler room schilling penny stocks for 50 percent commission. No problem: The boy can sell, and people are writing checks.

Belfort, with the assistance of new friend Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill, bedazzled with impossibly white caps on his teeth), opens a shiny new brokerage that has a first-class appearance—even though he’s still just slinging penny stocks. This time, he’s slinging them at people with big money, under the guise that the stocks are going to explode into major-market players. They probably won’t—but rich people like and trust Belfort, so they throw money at him.

Where there’s money, there are decadent shenanigans—and this is where Scorsese takes the movie to crazed extremes. Midget-tossing, hookers, half-naked marching bands and goldfish-eating are the orders of the day—with all of these activities enhanced by massive drug and alcohol consumption.

As Ray Liotta did in Goodfellas, DiCaprio talks to the camera on occasion, often during highly elaborate tracking shots (which have become a Scorsese mainstay). It’s in these moments, and during Belfort’s drug-fueled speeches to his crew, when DiCaprio does his most-exhilarating acting to date. He is a formidable competitor for a Best Actor Oscar. He’s certainly my pick.

It’s not just DiCaprio’s verbal pyrotechnics that amaze; in this film, he proves he’s a physical actor with phenomenal talent. In a scene in which Belfort and Azoff consume 15-year-old Quaaludes with a delayed trigger, DiCaprio rivals the likes of Steve Martin and Charlie Chaplin in his physical comedy. What he does with a Ferrari door and his leg must be seen to be believed. I couldn’t believe it was DiCaprio, and figured they must have put his face on a stunt man’s body via CGI. Nope, it’s him.

Hill continues to prove that he has good dramatic chops, and Kyle Chandler provides the films moral core (if it actually has one) as an FBI agent looking to take Belfort down. Margot Robbie is especially impressive as Belfort’s alternately commanding and befuddled wife.

Does The Wolf of Wall Street lack emotional warmth? Yes—and that’s precisely the point of this movie. Scorsese and DiCaprio are showing us the travesties of an emotionally void, tragically selfish group of people living life through a chemically enhanced haze. These people are terrible—comically terrible—and Scorsese holds nothing back in portraying them as such.

The Wolf of Wall Street shows Scorsese is in no way ready to slow down just yet. It’s not only good … it’s Goodfellas good.

The Wolf of Wall Street is playing at theaters across the valley.

Published in Reviews

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