‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’ 4K UHD Blu-Ray Review – Martin Scorsese Crafts A Wild Tale Of Excess That Is A Must-Watch

‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ tells the story of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), a man with aspirations of the wealth and easy life of the Wall Street stockbroker. He quickly learns the ropes under the guidance of Wall Street veteran Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey), an executive who is a reflection of everything Jordan wants. He’s rich, confident, and knows the system. Mark advises cocaine, hookers, and masturbation as the keys to Wall Street success, advice Jordan takes to heart. Just as he’s coming into his own, the stock market tanks, his firm closes its doors, and he’s left without a job. His ambition to work the system leads him to a small, out-of-the-way firm that deals in penny stocks and pays a hefty 50% commission. He dazzles his co-workers and continues to expand his knowledge base. He sets out to start his own company: Stratton Oakmont. He’s joined by his ambitious neighbor Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) and the business grows quickly, operating under the goal of selling wealthy clients blue chip stocks, gaining their confidence with good returns, and pushing the lower priced and higher commissioned penny stocks afterwards. As his success increases, Jordan’s life becomes a blur of women, sex, booze, and drugs, both in the office and behind closed doors. He woos and weds the sexy Naomi (Margot Robbie) and feels unstoppable, even as FBI agent Patrick Denham (Kyle Chandler) methodically investigates Jordan and his firm.

For thoughts on The Wolf Of Wall Street, please see my colleague Tia Fabi’s previous op-ed here

 

Video Quality

The Wolf Of Wall Street debuts on 4K UHD Blu-Ray with a 2160p/Dolby Vision transfer sourced from a new film transfer supervised by director Martin Scorsese. The new transfer is not a night and day difference, but it offers a solid uptick in quality over the previous Blu-Ray. Skin tones appear more natural with small improvement in crisp detail apparent on faces such as pores. The pops of color throughout in the production design and costumes appear with greater intensity than ever before thanks to the Dolby Vision presentation. The increased range of the color spectrum helps bring more nuance to the visual palette of the film. Notable sequences like the sun-soaked parties look incredible and quite vivid here. The transfer reveals an increase in the depth of field in the varied locations that we visit on this journey. In the wake of the various scenes of debauchery, you can more clearly make out textures within the trash and similar such elements. 

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The biggest improvements are in fine detail and well-defined textures. The black levels are incredibly deep and inky as they give way to great detail. The highlights in the film are more defined with whites more pure and balanced with no instances of blooming to be found. There does not appear any noise reduction or black crush that we detected at any point. If you have not had any complaints with the Blu-Ray up until this point, you may not find the upgrade to 4K an extremely necessary leap, but those with a great affection for the feature or who do not own it yet should consider this the essential version of this film. 

Audio Quality

This 4K UHD Blu-Ray release boasts a DTS-HD 5.1 lossless track recycled from the previous Blu-Ray that packs one hell of a punch. This disc perfectly brings the story to life with a depth and clarity of sound that is staggering. As you move throughout this fast-paced world, the sounds of the environment flow out of your side and rear speakers. Each sound is precisely placed with perfect spatial awareness. The track engages all of the channels with panning effects and sounds of raucous moments that really makes you feel like you are in the thick of the action. Every kinetic sequence features some impeccable sound design that comes through flawlessly. The implementation of environmental effects such as crowd chatter and ringing phones come through in a natural way. There is a substantial amount of activity in the low-end when the scenes call for it. Dialogue comes through clearly without getting muddied by the score or any sound effects. The impeccable music utilized in the film comes through with a pleasing fidelity. Paramount knocked it out of the park with this track, so those with a good surround sound setup should have a blast with this one.

Special Features

  • The Wolf Pack: A 17-minute featurette in which the cast and creative team discuss the truth that Scorsese brings to this story and the care that went into bringing it to life, the traits of the real life character and how they were realized on screen, the thin line between love and hate you are supposed to have for the character, the energy of the production, the improvisation throughout the film and much more. 
  • Running Wild: An 11-minute piece which takes a look at the journey to getting this film on screen, the great collaboration between Scorsese and DiCaprio, the creative freedom needed to make this story work, the process of adapting the book, what made this film special through Scorsese’s eyes, the pivotal scenes that needed to be executed and more. 
  • The Wolf Of Wall Street Round Table: An 11-minute conversation between DiCaprio, Scorsese, writer Terence Winter, and Jonah Hill in which they discuss their collaboration on set, finding the film in the editing room, the expansion of the material through improvisation, the process of pulling off certain scenes, wrangling the party scenes and more. 
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Final Thoughts

The Wolf Of Wall Street is one of the defining Martin Scorsese films of the last decade. There have been arguments that the depiction glorifies the lifestyle, but the excess of the film mirrors the excess of the characters in a way that blatantly makes them feel empty. The performances are tremendous at every level, but if we are being honest this should have been the role that landed DiCaprio his first Academy Award. Paramount Home Entertainment has released a new 4K UHD Blu-Ray featuring a magnificent A/V presentation and a couple of brief supplemental features. If you are a fan of the film, it is worth owning this one in the best presentation possible. Highly Recommended 

The Wolf Of Wall Street is currently available to purchase on 4K UHD Blu-Ray and Digital. 

Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the 4K UHD Blu-Ray.

Disclaimer: Paramount Home Entertainment has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.

 

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