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4K Ultra HD Review: The Wolf of Wall Street (SteelBook Edition)

December 22, 2021

By John Corrado

Martin Scorsese was in his early seventies when he released The Wolf of Wall Street in 2013, and this fact continues to amaze me. It’s a film so full of energy and excess that you could think it was made by a filmmaker half that age, but it’s equally fitting that it was made by an old master showing off his skills as one of the greatest to ever do it.

Paramount has now given The Wolf of Wall Street an upgrade with a new 4K Ultra HD release. This is the first time the film is available in 4K, with the studio putting out both a regular edition and a sleek SteelBook set (which is the version I was sent for review) that includes a regular Blu-ray as well.

The 4K Ultra HD disc boasts a new film transfer that was supervised by Scorsese. The 2160p resolution allows for great clarity on skin tones and fabrics, showing off Rodrigo Prieto’s bright and vibrant cinematography quite nicely. The film, which was shot on a mix of 35mm film and digital, looks very good with some noticeable upgrades over the Blu-ray.

The film itself charts the rise and fall of stockbroker Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), as he becomes consumed by sex, drugs and money, and it’s a prime example of depiction not equalling endorsement. No, Scorsese doesn’t go for heavy-handed moralizing, but his film doesn’t exactly glorify the hedonism and depravity of Belfort’s life either, serving as a scathing satire of corporate greed. DiCaprio’s positively electric, Oscar-nominated performance is matched by a supporting cast that includes one of Jonah Hill’s finest turns as Belfort’s business partner Donnie Azoff, with Margot Robbie leaving her mark in a very memorable breakout role.

The film finds Scorsese taking the stylistic touches that worked so well in Goodfellas and Casino and doing a victory lap, with the freeze frames, fourth-wall breaking moments, and memorable uses of voiceover all tied together brilliantly by Thelma Schoonmaker’s editing. And, for those who erroneously think that the filmmaker only makes mob movies, consider that he made Wolf in the wake of the family movie Hugo, and followed it up with the religious drama Silence.

The SteelBook boasts a very fitting gold-tinted colour scheme, with a stylized blue and gold illustration of DiCaprio on the front, lines of hundred dollar bills on the back, and a tinted version of the iconic image of DiCaprio’s Belfort screaming into the microphone at a pool party on the inside. I still vividly remember seeing the film in theatres (on New Year’s Eve, no less) when it came out, and just under a decade later it has earned its place as a stone cold modern classic. It’s an extremely entertaining film, and one of the fastest three hours of all time. This release does it justice.

Bonus Features (4K Ultra HD):

The 4K disc includes three featurettes, with the first one (The Wolf Pack), which was the sole bonus feature on the initial Blu-ray release, included on this Blu-ray disc as well. A code for a digital copy is also included in the package.

The Wolf Pack (17 minutes, 1 second)

Running Wild (11 minutes, 21 seconds)

The Wolf of Wall Street Round Table (10 minutes, 58 seconds)

The Wolf of Wall Street is a Paramount Home Entertainment release. It’s 179 minutes and rated 18A.

Street Date: December 14th, 2021

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