The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for September 24th, 2010

Friday Feature: “Wall Street”

with 2 comments

Who’d have figured, 23 years ago, that Oliver Stone’s ripped-from-the-headlines drama Wall Street would have garnered enough cultural currency to warrant a sequel in 2010? Certainly not the writer-director, who went from strength to strength in and around Hollywood before finally committing to his first sequel. Probably not Michael Douglas, whose corporate raider Gordon Gekko became one of the most captivating villains of 1980s film (and later, bizarrely enough, one of the most misguided role models of the business world). And absolutely none of those real-life movers and shakers of the market who became the unwitting inspirations for the film – people like Ivan Boesky, Michael Milken and Carl Icahn, who personified Wall Street during the latter half of the decade (and in Boesky and Milken’s cases, went to jail for schemes very similar to what’s seen in the film).

But sure enough, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps opens today, and it’s obviously a thing of cultural commentators to revisit the film. Having recently viewed the film, it’s a shock how patently unlikeable the main characters are. Douglas’ Gordon Gekko – speaker of that immortal quote “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good” – and Charlie Sheen as the stockbroker who attempts to follow in his ruthless footsteps are cold, unfeeling, aloof of consequences and petulant when their problems catch up with them. And perhaps that’s the point. But turns by Hal Holbrook as a veteran broker and Martin Sheen as our protagonist’s father (a masterstroke of casting, naturally) do not make a full moral compass to rely on, and – particularly in an economy with a terrible streak of unemployment caused by unfettered financial greed – it’s hard not to want to throw something at the television while watching.

Something that isn’t completely infuriating, though, is the music. While much of the film is peppered by source music – Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” opens the film, and a couple Stan Getz tunes are heard here and there – two sources are integral to the musical palate which surrounds the film. More on them after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

September 24, 2010 at 11:15