Posted in Wednesday Warriors

Jordan Belfort

A lot of folks are not going to like today’s Wednesday Warriors feature. If anything, a lot of folks are going to hate it. To be honest, I wouldn’t be writing this if I hadn’t seen something in Jordan Belfort, the main character in Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street, that merited a closer look.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort
Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort

I’m going to cut to the chase and talk about the elephant in the room. It’s there, it’s sitting on the couch, and no one wants to say a word about the thing but someone needs to say something about it. It is my opinion that the character Jordan Belfort portrayed in the film by Leonardo DiCaprio is a misogynistic narcissist. The Stratton Oakmont founder thinks of no one else but himself and hates anyone who would dare get in the way of his success. As documented in the film, when Steve Madden tries to double-cross Belfort, Belfort retaliates by dumping Madden’s stock for pennies.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort
Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort

Not a flattering intro, but there’s more to dislike about this character. In the 180 minutes this film runs, I lost count of how many Quaaludes Belfort pops to keep him primed and juiced for his deal-making sessions. He goes so far as to descend into a ‘lude induced bender. Fortunately, the only victim to the incident is his very expensive sports car. In his own words:

“On a daily basis I consume enough drugs to sedate Manhattan, Long Island, and Queens for a month. I take Quaaludes 10-15 times a day for my ‘back pain’, Adderall to stay focused, Xanax to take the edge off, pot to mellow me out, cocaine to wake me back up again, and morphine… Well, because it’s awesome.”

It doesn’t stop there. Belfort’s exploits with women places him in the same league as the Roman emperor Caligula. As depicted in the film, he uses and abuses women for his own pleasure, leaving them for others.

To top it off, he preys on the greed and fear of others to sell them shares of worthless companies in one of the biggest pump-and-dump scams in U.S. history. He doesn’t fear justice. He doesn’t fear death. Moreover, he certainly makes Wall Street‘s Gordon Gekko proud.

Why then would I even consider placing a spotlight on Jordan Belfort?

Because of this one scene in the film featuring him and his best friend Donnie Azoff:

Jordan Belfort: You want a beer, pal?
Donnie Azoff: What are you drinkin’?
Jordan Belfort: I got this non-alcoholic stuff…
Donnie Azoff: What’s that?
Jordan Belfort: It’s like a non-alcoholic beer. It’s got no… no alcohol.
Donnie Azoff: It’s a beer?
Jordan Belfort: Yeah, with no alcohol.
Donnie Azoff: But, you drink enough and… you drink a lot and it’ll get you messed up?
Jordan Belfort: No, there’s no alcohol. That’s the point.
Donnie Azoff: I’m not a scientist; I don’t know what you’re talking about. I can get you beer if you want beer.
Jordan Belfort: I know, but I don’t drink, remember? I don’t drink anymore?
Donnie Azoff: What, you wanna go inside and blow some lines of baking powder, baking soda? Can’t imagine ever not enjoying getting messed up. I love it.
Jordan Belfort: Yeah…
Donnie Azoff: How’s being sober?
Jordan Belfort: It sucks.
Donnie Azoff: Boring, right?
Jordan Belfort: So boring. I’m gonna kill myself.

Watching the scene through once, I didn’t catch the nuances. Only after watching the film again, did they become clearer. Here’s a guy who was living at the top of his game, doing drugs, sleeping with a treasure trove of women, had access to enormous amounts of cash that he could fill several Olympic-sized pools with, but after getting caught he was really trying to overcome the temptations that put him into this mess in the first place. The line, “I know, but I don’t drink, remember? I don’t drink anymore?” hints on an element of remorse for all he had done in the past. He is trying his best to stay sober and focused. And like the majority of those fighting addiction, he confesses he can’t stand the withdrawal and much rather kill himself instead.

He’s trying, and that’s what I took away from the film The Wolf of Wall Street. If a guy like Jordan Belfort can put in the effort to overcome his greatest urges, what’s to say anyone else can’t do the same?

On that note, I have one more thing to say: “Sell me this pen.”


Have you seen The Wolf of Wall Street? What do you think of Jordan Belfort?

Posted in Freedom Friday

Friday Tradition

Weekends are for movies. Friday nights are for science fiction or retro. I’m not sure what I’m watching tonight, but whatever it is, I’m sure it will be perfect. Last weekend I watched The King of Comedy with Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis, a Martin Scorsese film about an obsessed comic who goes too far with wanting to be on TV. Not science fiction, the 80’s movie was nothing short of clean fun.

Space war
Space war

The other day I watched Mars Attacks! with pretty much everyone who was anyone in Hollywood in 1996 starring in the flick. This proved to be another hilarious romp, but this time it was science fiction.

I’m not sure when this tradition started. All I remember is how Friday nights became The X-Files night and once the show had moved to Sundays, I had a massive void to fill. Incidentally, one of the first movies I watched for a Friday night was Mars Attacks! and it became a type of template for what I wanted out of the evening.

All the Men in Black movies became a Friday night staple at my home, too. They deliver on fun with a twist of science fiction. The wonderful thing I like most about the movies is their consistent 50’s theme while set in the 90’s and 2000’s. For instance, the flying saucers, which everyone knows is nothing more than a throwback to the old sci-fi flicks that hit the drive-ins in small towns across America during the cold war, make a valiant appearance.

Flying saucer
Flying saucer

Part of my Friday night viewing pleasure is retro viewing. I’m talking about watching one of those 80’s action flicks with plenty of cheesy lines, and a thousand explosions that would cause serious sonic damage to the structural integrity of my house’s foundation. We’re talking Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger damage here. I’m a sucker for those movies. Anything but the movie Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot will work here. If it’s Predator, I’ve seen it a gazillion times. If it’s any of the Rambo movies, I’ve seen them another gazillion times. Nothing quite beats a muscleman hero with a smart-alecky attitude to get my testosterone pumping full throttle. These movies never cease to entertain me on a Friday night.

Lastly, I do hold a special place for those one-offs where no other night will do to watch the movie other than a Friday night. I’m talking about real bad movies. The kind of movie that would embarrass your mother if she were watching it with you. The kind of movie that would cause someone to have the desire to walk across a busy freeway. The kind of movie that would make someone wish a train would derail and crash into the house to bring them sweet relief. Can I get away with one more bad movie joke? The kind of movie that would cause you to say, “drop your gun, I’m Superman,” knowing full well the robber will shoot to prove you wrong. Somehow, these movies make for a fun start to great weekend.

I hope you enjoyed this Freedom Friday post. What a treat to go back to the days when habit became tradition and I now have something to look forward to every week.


What do you watch during movie night? If you have more than one movie night, what kind of themes do you have?