The two films opened the Tampa Bay area (and nationally) within the past week, and whileAmerican Hustle is definitely the better movie on many levels (including being 45 minutes shorter than Wolf's exhausting three hour-length), The Wolf of Wall Street is a total guilty pleasure, especially for guys.
Let's be honest, here folks. According to anecdotal reports (and my own critiquing of the reviews of some female critics), this film divides audiences. Lots of men are going to enjoy the hell out of this celebration of debauchery, drug-taking and rampant sexuality. Women may not be so turned on by the frat party aspect that dominates most of this narrative.
And while it's definitely an exhilarating experience, Wolf comes up short at the end because the fact of the matter is is that our lead protagonist, stock trader Jordan Belfort, doesn't just abuse himself and his wife by his actions as depicted in the film, but many naive investors(okay, perhaps gullible and greedy). who he and his partners duped out of $250 million before the authorities finally shut down him and Stratton Oakmont, the firm he created.
Simply put, Jordan Belfort made his money by ripping people off. And he barely paid much of a price in the end, serving just 22 months in prison. In short, he sort of got away with it all. And while he partied his ass off and has survived to tell about it, one can't help but fear that perhaps The Wolf of Wall Street might become this generation's Scarface for the new Wall Street crowd, just like Gordon Gekko became an icon for those stock traders in the late 1980's.
Okay, on to the news, such as it is in this rather news-free zone that is the week between Christmas and New Years....
A new generic national poll says Americans are digging Republicans more than Democrats when asked generally who they would vote into Congress next November. The nightmarish rollout of Obamacare is the culprit for the Democratic downfall, but will this matter in Pinellas County's special congressional election between Alex Sink and either Kathleen Peters or David Jolly early next year?
Edward Snowden speaks on video! Well, for nearly two minutes on British TV the other day.
And if you haven't seen it yet, check out this reporter's commentary on five issues/events that took place in Florida 2013 (yes, it's one of those end of the year lists again).