2013 marked the final year of Core Room 5 Film Club, and this movie, sadly, was the main cause. Up to that point, we had spent the better part of five years writing and corresponding about movies. It all started when John was my boss and we did a DVD exchange.
Basically, we would bring in a weekly dvd for the other guy to watch and review. I found out early on that John was a hard man to please, at least as far as "conventional" wisdom is concerned. I like this about John. I also like that he approached film from a moral perch, even when I couldn't understand his hangups. Through the years we (the club) battled through some friendly debates, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I learned a lot from these dust ups.
The Wolf of Wall Street brought everything to a screeching halt, and I'm convinced it was for the best. I understand the detractor's objections, though I find the notion that Scorsese and company condoning the debauchery and greed, lazy and hypersensitive.
I first saw it in theaters, just months before my life would forever change with the birth of my son Dean. I sat beside my pregnant companion watching this pack of reprobates cheat, defile, and betray in a cyclical chain of worsening shenanigans. It's a comedy full of laughs that ought to give anyone pause. But laughing is subjective, as is enjoyment of such things. One man's masterpiece can be another's pile of steaming garbage.
Still, I think the actions on display speak for themselves and the final image is a prescient chilling reminder of how easily we let a wolf like Jordan/Trump/etc lead us to our doom.
Note: I also saw this with Jeff, who shares my enthusiasm. Also, this was supposed to be my previous pick but I held off out of respect for John. Also, my wife loves this movie.