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The philosophy of "Greed Is Good" that made its cinematic debut in WALL STREET is alive and well in the new millennium, living under the title BOILER ROOM ($25). This fact is so obvious that the filmmakers have included a scene in BOILER ROOM in which the characters watch WALL STREET on video, while reciting the dialogue along with the characters. BOILER ROOM stars Giovanni Ribisi as Seth Davis, a young hustler who runs a casino out of his apartment. Unfortunately for Seth, such illegal activity doesnít sit well with his father Marty (Ron Rifkin), who just happens to be a judge. One night, a friend and one his colleagues from work show up on Sethís doorstep, wanting to play a few hands of blackjack.

Recognizing that Seth is an eager go-getter, they offer him a position as a trainee at the brokerage firm where they both work. At the orientation session, one of the firmís hot-shot brokers informs Seth and the other trainees that he is a millionaire, and promises that each one of them can become a millionaire many times over, as long as they are willing to work for it. Of course, Seth sees working at the brokerage firm as an opportunity to make a whole lot of money, as well as finally earning his fatherís respect. However, Seth quickly learns that the only way one makes money is by closing a deal, which almost always requires lying to the investor on the other end of the telephone. Matters become worse, when Seth discovers the whole truth about his unscrupulous firm and the investments that he has been selling to clients. BOILER ROOM presents a powerful message about how easily people are corrupted by their own greed, as well as serving as an indictment against an entire generation looking to make their way to easy street without really working for it. The solid cast of BOILER ROOM also features Nia Long, Ben Affleck, Vin Diesel, Tom Everett Scott, Nicky Katt, Scott Caan and Jamie Kennedy.

As always, New Line Home Video has produced another picture perfect DVD. BOILER ROOM is presented in its proper 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio and the DVD has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. The image is clean, crisp and very well defined, without any appreciable blemishes on the source element. Colors tend to be vivid, in addition to offering natural looking flesh tones. There are no problems with color noise or bleeding anywhere during the presentation. Black are perfect pitch, plus the image serves up a solid level of shadow detail. First-rate dual layer authoring keeps digital compression artifacts at bay.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack boasts an excellent mix that is both subtle and aggressive. There is a lot of activity in the entire sonic environment, both in the front and behind. However instead bulldozing the listener, the sound takes a very naturalistic approach making all of the sound effects easy to isolate, but keeping them at very real volume levels. The surround channels never really call attention to themselves, but split effects are clearly evident. Dialogue is cleanly reproduced and always maintains its intelligibility. For some reason the filmmakers have chosen urban music to accompany the filmís visuals. The bass heavy music is nicely reproduced, without overwhelming other aspects of the soundtrack. An English Dolby Surround soundtrack is also encoded onto the DVD, as are English subtitles.

The interactive menus utilize a bit of animation and sound. Through the menus one has access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a number of supplements. First up is a running audio commentary featuring director Ben Younger, producer Jennifer Todd and star Giovanni Ribisi. The informative commentary seems to have been edited together, although the comments follow the on screen action. Also included on the DVD is an isolated music track in 5.1, which features commentary with the composer The Angel. An alternate ending and deleted scenes are also presented on the DVD, as is a theatrical trailer. Cast biographies and DVD-ROM features fill out the DVDís supplements.

Fans of WALL STREET will want to check out BOILER ROOM to see how little the world has changed and why people are still seduced into the "Greed Is Good" philosophy.


Boiler Room (2000)


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2000 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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