When was the last time you saw a three-hour movie that didn't once make you check your watch? When was the last time you saw a three-hour movie that didn't sag with its own self-importance? When was the last time you saw a three-hour movie that featured Jonah Hill masturbating at a pool party? Unless you have recently watched Martin Scorsese's The Wolf Of Wall Street, the answer is probably, hopefully, 'never'. In a time where the phrase 'awards season' has come to mean a deluge of desperately worthy, transparent, over-long Oscar-grabs, Scorsese is only interested in the best of excess – for a cautionary tale of a corrosive lifestyle, The Wolf Of Wall Street is surprisingly, shamelessly and consistently entertaining from beginning to end.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese! The 80s and bankers! Kanye and trailers! The Wolf Of Wall Streetteaser is a combination of many fine things. But above all else, it is absolutely cram-packed with giffable Leo moments. I present to you the Leo DiCaprio Wolf Of Wall Street Gif Wall. Don't let history forget this moment.
If you could attend any party hosted by a Hollywood director, you'd want it to be Baz Luhrmann's, wouldn't you? I reckon he just beats out J.J. Abrams' cosplay event in the fun stakes, and you'd certainly want to avoid the intimate get-together round Lars Von Trier's house (*shudder*). Luhrmann clearly knows how to pull out all the stops - as evidenced in the ridiculously extravagant Gatsby gatherings here. The problem with this film, however, is that once we've seen one magnificently ostentatious evening, everything after fails to live up to the spectacle. Luhrmann basically invites us to the world's greatest party, but it's one that slowly sours over the course of the following two hours. At least James Cameron's uncompromising pool party would be consistent.
I've seen Django Unchained twice now. After the second viewing, I looked back through the notes I'd made after the first, and realised that most of them were now useless. As with a lot of Quentin Tarantino's work, it takes more than one watch to fully form an opinion, but in this case I'd changed my mind almost entirely. I read back through them, crossing out complaints regarding its lengthy, meandering scenes and its jarring refusal to end at its obvious conclusion. But I understand these things better now for what they are: exercises in character development that make this one of its author's richest and most engaging works.
One of the cardinal sins of film journalism is that you must never call a film 'boring' – professionalism dictates that there must be a more accurate way of singling out the movie's flaws; a more apt way of summing up why it disappoints. A dull script, perhaps, or flat performances. But no. There is no better way to summarise the ways in which Clint Eastwood's Hoover biopic fails: J. Edgar is just fucking boring. It just is. It looks boring, it sounds boring, it feels boring, it IS boring.
I'm lucky enough to have awards screeners sent to my doorstep - or, more accurately, my letterbox - and sometimes the films haven't even been released in the UK yet. Look Mum, I've finally made it! Here are my first, unofficial opinions on Clint Eastwood's Hoover biopic, J. Edgar.