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Friday, January 24, 2014

Report Card---"The Wolf Of Wall Street"

Martin Scorcese:
Mean Streets

These are movies that are unmatched in their artistry.
Scorcese is a national treasure.
He is the best we have.
So how did he come up with a piece of shit like "The Wolf of Wall Street"?
"The Wolf of Wall Street" is a movie about excess, made excessively.
It's nearest comp is ""American Hustle".
It shares the same theme:  The Big Con.
But it is flabby.  It is vulgar.
It spends most of it's time depicting the spoils of the successful con.
Drugs, women, more drugs, alcohol, more women, and more drugs.
After about fifteen minutes, we get it.
Far more than fifteen minutes is spent on it.
Did I say flabby? vulgar?  Let me add "bloated".
"American Hustle" tells a great linear story.
"The Wolf of Wall Street" doodles and dribbles.

On to the scoring: 

Is it interesting?

Only occasionally.  Less so as it goes forth.

Compelling even?


Is it controversial?

I keep asking how it got nominated for Best Picture.

Is it a story worth telling?

We've heard it before.  Better.

Is it good storytelling?

It makes a major left turn from the point.

Is it well written?

Loud is no replacement for Literate.  But there are snatches of good dialogue.

Is it well cast? Well played?, Well shot?

Everyone and everything is over the top.

Is it too long? Too short?

A good hour could be cut out and wouldn't be missed.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

I'm sure stuff like this has happened.  I didn't care about anybody.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

Predictable, no surprises.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Mostly about my disappointment in Scorcese.

Is it funny?

It tries----and mostly fails.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

They would have to pay for me and for my popcorn.

Is it impressive ?


Overall grade: D-.

I'm simply astounded.

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. "American Hustle tells a great linear story."

    Mark, the version I saw was anything but great, and anything but linear. It was actually a bloated, meandering, barely coherent mess -- chock full of big big Acting with a capital "A." The performers certainly looked like THEY were having fun. I just wish I could say the same.

  2. Obviously, I disagree with you. Do you usually agree with me? If not, I suggest you have someone else guide you through your movie choices.
    This stuff is all subjective anyway.

  3. "If not, I suggest you have someone else guide you through your movie choices."

    Oh, Jesus, Mark, my comment probably wasn't very clear (and if it wasn't, I apologize). You aren't "guiding me through my movie choices," Mark. You never were. The only movie-watching "guidance" I look for online is of the consensus variety when I am on the fence about a particular title (thanks, Rotten Tomatoes!) I read critics for their insight, observations, prose style, etc. Pauline Kael, for example, is one critic whose opinions I seldom agreed with, but whose critiques were invariably trenchant, interesting, pointed, and lots of fun. I feel the same way about Anthony Lane. The guy's just a pleasure to read.

    Likewise, you Mark, are a dude with a blog whose work I have long admired, and on that blog you post movie reviews, some of which I agree with, and then there are...the rest. And we strongly disagree about AMERICAN HUSTLE. But if it means anything (and I know, I know -- it probably doesn't) most critics and filmgoers seem to agree with you, and HUSTLE right now is the odds-on favorite to win Best Picture.

  4. No reason to defend me on the basis of consensus. The consensus loved "The Wolf of Wall Street" too.

  5. Yep. Excellent point, Mark. Something like seventy-percent of movie critics loved THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, and *ninety*-something percent of them opened their legs for AMERICAN HUSTLE.


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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."