movies

  • 20 Feb 2014 at 1:23 PM

Martin Scorsese Goes Too Far

Back in December, a movie called the Wolf of Wall Street was released on the big screen. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? It was based on a book by the same name, penned by a man named Jordan Belfort while he was doing time for ripping off thousands of people via his boiler room operation, Stratton Oakmont. And while Belfort himself has offered glowing reviews of the film and the lengths Leonardo DiCaprio went to really capture his hooker-banging, Quaalude-snort essence, one man is not as pleased.

Andrew Greene is suing Paramount Pictures and others associated with the film, arguing that he…was unfairly depicted as morally bankrupt by actor P.J. Byrne. “The motion picture contains various scenes wherein Mr. Greene’s character is portrayed as a criminal, drug user, degenerate and/or devoid of any morality or ethics,” the suit states. “The motion picture’s scenes concerning Mr. Greene were false, defamatory, and fundamentally injurious to Mr. Greene’s professional reputation, both as an attorney and as an investment banker/venture capitalist, as well as his personal reputation.” Greene’s lawyer, Aaron Goldsmith, said Greene was actually one of the few responsible workers at the now-infamous stock firm for which he and Belfort worked. “Andrew Greene worked diligently to create an environment of regulatory compliance and oversight at Stratton Oakmont,” said Goldsmith, who is handling Greene’s case with lawyer Stephanie Ovadia. “He was the driving force behind the implementation of several such procedures.”

Whether these procedures were successful or not is beside the point. Also beside the point are Greene’s complaints about being a degenerate. If Scorsese wanted to portray him as such for entertainment value, fine. That’s his prerogative as a filmmaker and really, what can be said about a man’s professional reputation that has not already been said by having the title “Chief Compliance Officer” and “Stratton Oakmont” on his resumé? But when Martin Scorsese made the decision to make a mockery of Greene’s toupée, in not one but several scenes, he went too far. Much too far. Read more »

Several weeks back, Michael Douglas appeared in a public service announcement shot by the FBI, in which he tells people that while they may have been taken by his character in Wall Street, that it’s important to remember that that was just a movie and in real life, insider trading is wrong and everyone must be vigilant to report any wrongdoing they observe on the job, especially after the shit we went through in ’08. Next up among actors who think roles they portrayed on the big screen contributed to the financial crisis is Richard Gere. Glamorizing being a corporate raider who made enough money to buy a hooker is his personal cross to bear. Read more »

At least one person- the casting director on her latest movie- seems to think so. (Bonus follow-up: without knowing their strategies, who would you feel more comfortable putting your money with- fake hedge fund manager SJP or fake horse-breeder-turned-hedge-fund-manager Arnold Schwarzenegger?)

  • 17 May 2011 at 2:28 PM

DB At The Movies: Too Big To Fail

If you’ve been keeping up with your HBO original programming schedule, you know that Too Big To Fail, the movie based on Andrew Ross Sorkin’s 2009 book, airs next Monday evening. Last night was the premiere at the Museum of Modern Art and while the trailers looked promising, in order to make sure none of you wasted any of your precious time or DVR space in the event it wasn’t worth it, I attended to see how things turned out and report back. Warren Buffett did the same, though was initially met with some opposition at the door, in an encounter that went like this:

Door girls: Do you have your ticket?
Buffett: Uh…no…
Door girls: You need your tickets.
Buffett: Oh, uh…we were invited..
[One of Buffett’s dates]: This is Warren Buffett.
[The group is seated]

Other people in attendance who did have their tickets, included but were not limited to: George Soros (with a entourage of lady friends), Meredith Whitney in a white pinstriped suit, Becky Quick, Rodgin Cohen, Regis Philbin, Michael Douglas and all the actors from the flick (William Hurt, Paul Giamatti, Billy Crudup, James Woods, Bill Pullman, Evan Handler, Tony Shalhoub, Matthew Modine, Ed Asner), though not all the real life people they portray (Jamie Dimon was getting ready for today’s JPM shareholder meeting in Ohio, Fuld was probably busy plotting his comeback).

The movie condenses Sorkin’s 539 page book into about 90 minutes and traces the slightly tense moments that were 2008 just after Bear Stearns was bought to the day Paulson locked the top bank CEO’s in a room and and forced them to accept his capital injections. William Hurt does a pretty badass Hank– who gets the most screen time by far– having spent a few days fishing with him in preparation for the role (during which one would hope HP described what it was like threatening to send Ken Lewis home in a body bag if he backed out of the Merrill Lynch deal). I liked it, you probably will too.** Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Read more »

  • 11 May 2011 at 12:10 PM

Casting The Raj Rajaratnam Movie

Earlier this morning, Raj Rajaratnam was found guilty on 9 counts on insider trading and 5 counts of conspiracy. He is probably not in the best of moods right now, as he may be going away to a place that doesn’t give you extra mayo on the side of your tuna sandwich, for nearly 20 years. But there is some good news, which is that someone will most likely make a movie about this whole thing. To give producers a jump start, we will start the casting process now. Read more »

We’ll soon find out because a movie involving all that and more (depression, Mexico, murder) is actually being produced. Read more »

Give you two guesses but you’ll only need one. Read more »