Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though much of the film looked fine, the transfer didn’t quite live up to my expectations for Blu-ray.
Sharpness appeared fine for the most part, but exceptions occurred. At times, wider shots could be a bit tentative, and the same was sometimes true for interiors. Nonetheless, the image maintained good definition and clarity much of the time. No issues connected to jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and edge enhancement seemed to be absent. Source flaws also remained absent.
Color reproduction looked fine. Much of the flick used a bluish tint, though street scenes tended toward more of an amber glow. These tones were never great, but they appeared reasonably positive. Blacks came across as deep and tight, and shadows offered perfectly acceptable delineation. I thought the image was generally good, but the softness left it as a “B-“.
In terms of audio, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack fit the flick well. The soundfield tended toward ambience, though the scenarios allowed it to pop to life at times. In particular, subway scenes or street environments contributed fairly good material; they weren’t dazzling, but they opened up the room in a satisfying way.
The flick also used dramatic effects to add pizzazz to the financial wheeling-dealing, and those elements created a bit of excitement. Music added good stereo presence as well. Nothing about the soundfield stunned me, but it brought some zing to the flick.
Audio quality remained positive. Speech was consistently concise and distinctive, without roughness or other problems. Music appeared lively and full, and effects presented good punch. Those elements showed nice range and clarity. All of this added up to a solid “B” soundtrack.
We get a pretty good array of extras here. These launch with an audio commentary from director Oliver Stone. He provides a running, screen-specific look at working at Fox and budgetary issues, shooting in New York and other
locations/sets, research/influences and updating the original film, cast and performances, story and character topics, visual/stylistic choices, editing and music, and a few related areas.
Stone tends to be a good commentator, and that trend continues here. Sure, we get stuck with more dead air than I’d like, but Stone still uses his time in a productive manner. He proves to be outspoken and informative here.
For more from the director, we go to the 15-minute, 49-second A Conversation with Oliver Stone and the Cast. In addition to Stone, we hear from actors Shia LaBeouf, Michael Douglas, Carey Mulligan and Josh Brolin. All of them sit together to discuss influences and inspirations, thoughts about the status of Wall Street and finance, comparisons between the original movie and the sequel. Mostly this means Stone lectures about greed and whatnot. It’s not a bad piece, but it’s too general and lacks much bite.
Next comes a five–part documentary called Money, Money, Money: The Rise and Fall of Wall Street. All together, it fills a total of 50 minutes, 29 seconds and features notes from Stone, Mulligan, Brolin, LaBeouf, Douglas, film critic Owen Gleiberman, film critic/documentarian Godfrey Cheshire, producer Eric Kopeloff, executive producer Celia Costas, TV host Wendy Williams, production designer Kristi Zea, Official Filthy Rich Handbook author Christopher Tennant, writers Allan Loeb and Stephen Schiff, costume designer Ellen Mirojnick, The Wall Street Experience’s Tom Comerford, Andrew Luan and James E. Mosiej, Soleil Securities CIO Vincent Farrell, Kynikos Associates president/founder James Chanos, and Skybridge Capital managing partner Anthony Scaramucci.and actor Frank Langella.
Across the five parts, we cover reflections on the original film and working out a sequel, thoughts about Wall Street now vs. 1987 and other reflections on the 80s, character/story issues, costume and production design, Wall Street history, and aspects of the financial market. Aspects of the first few episodes tend to be fluffy, as they often seem to exist just to glorify the movies.
However, the programs improve as they proceed. I like the comparisons between the two films’ visuals, and the facts about Wall Street and finance are good. These help make the featurettes worthwhile.
15 Deleted/Extended Scenes run a total of 29 minutes, 31 seconds. With so many, I won’t list them individually. Extensions rule the day, as most of the clips simply add minor elements to existing segments. None of these seem memorable.
As for the new scenes, those are also pretty forgettable. We see more of the “inside baseball” financial material and some minor character bits. I do like a cameo from Donald Trump, especially since it mocks the iconic hairstyles worn by the Donald and Gekko. Otherwise, the extra footage is mediocre.
We can watch these with or without commentary from Stone. He shows up less frequently than I’d like – some big patches of dead air occur, especially during the extended nightclub scene – but when Stone speaks, he delivers useful content. As usual, he’s frank about his work; rather than tell us all the sequences are great and he hated to cut them, he admits that some just didn’t work. Stone provides a lot of solid info here.
Next we find five Fox Movie Channel Presents ‘In Character With…’ featurettes. These focus on Michael Douglas (5:35), Shia LaBeouf (4:21), Carey Mulligan (5:04), Josh Brolin (5:52) and Frank Langella (5:20). Across them, we get remarks from Douglas, Mulligan, Brolin, Langella, and LaBeouf. They chat about their roles and performances. Some decent material emerges – the Brolin and Mulligan segments are actually quite good - but mostly these clips exist as generic promotion.
A few ads open the disc. We get clips for Solitary Man, Unstoppable, Love and Other Drugs and the FX Channel. We also find two trailers for Sleeps and Sneak Peeks for The A-Team, Cyrus, Never Let Me Go and “What’s Hot on TV on DVD”.
Finally, the set includes a digital copy of Sleeps. It allows you to transfer the movie to an iWhatever or computer or the like. Yahoo!
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps feels more like a desperate attempt to resurrect Oliver Stone’s moribund career than a narrative anyone needs to see. The director rehashes old glories in a disjointed, aimless manner that leaves the film as a consistent dud. The Blu-ray provides generally good picture and audio along with a reasonably nice selection of supplements. Sleeps fails to achieve any success and comes across like a sad shadow of the original movie.