‘The Wolf of Wall Street’
This time last year a hot debate brewed over “The Wolf of Wall Street”: Was it a satire about hyper-greed and mega-hedonism? Or was it glamorizing guys who screwed over the little guy while laying tracks for the financial apocalypse to come? Think pieces duked it out, some citing the fact that broker bros were hooting and hollering as Leonardo Di Caprio’s beaming, tireless broker screwed over oblivious clients and did unprintable acts involving crack pipes and hooker’s naughty bits. (This was the second scene; don’t watch it with your nice parents.)
Now those tussles can awaken anew, as the whole thing — all three hours of hilariously repetitive debauchery — now lives online. Hopefully one can better spot the subtle ways director Martin Scorsese and writer Terrence Winter mock our antiheroes, starting with how, even when they’re busted, the worst they get is playing tennis in a country club prison. Scorsese won’t even give these douchebags his beloved The Rolling Stones — they get Billy Joel. The best joke of all is that he doesn’t give them the relative dignity afforded the psychopathic murderers of “Goodfellas.”
‘Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers’
Now that’s a great movie title. The Criterion Collection just released a must-have box for the late Les Blank, one of the rare documentarians who focused on the great things in life instead of the bad. Case in point: his 1980 doc about garlic is simply about how great garlic is, and as such is one of the most happy-making movies ever made — after a couple other Blank docs, that is.
‘The One I Love’
Few films go as off the rails as this tiny high concept drama about marrieds (Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass) whose couple’s therapy weekend retreat takes a turn for the sci-fi. But it’s first two-thirds are a deep cutting look at the difficulty of longterm relationships after the thrill of the new is gone.