“You stop telling lies about me, and I’ll stop telling the truth about you.” It’s a chilling line, really. Delivered by the deceptive and all-powerful Gordon Gekko during “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” Douglas has a way of becoming Gekko so consummately that the authenticity of his quotes transcends any sort of film barrier. It’s a rare movie moment that you truly lose yourself in somebody’s performance, perhaps it’s the timing of the movie. Although it’s a deeply flawed production, filled with the usual Oliver Stone amateurish film-school sequences, it’s moments of brilliance outweigh occasional stupidity making it a good and entertaining couple hours. But more interesting than the actual film is the concept of it.
The original “Wall Street” seemed to foreshadow the financial collapse, embodying our imminent greed in Gekko’s crooked grin, so when a sequel was announced, people went crazy. It was released in 2010, at the height of a historic economic crisis that changed the way everyday Americans think and act, but for me, all of the financial jargon and statements about our country’s state and government fall to the side, and what’s left is Douglas’ resonating performance. You find out at the end of the movie that Gekko’s quote is all part of an elaborate scheme to steal money, once again feeding his insatiable greed. However what makes it so impactful, so damn consuming, is that there is loads of truth in it., that’s what makes Gekko so enigmatic. He’s evil, vanity and deceit epitomized, but he’s also prophetic, anticipating truths about society and people that they don’t even realize in themselves. The movie ends on a happy note, but whichever way you look at the themes and motifs, there is one underlying truth, don’t trust Gordon Gekko.
I remember watching Josh Beckett in the 2007 playoffs and thinking how lucky the Red Sox were to have him. He was automatic in the most non-automatic way possible. He saved their season in the ALCS against the Indians, who had the Sox up against the ropes until an eight inning one run performance from Beckett swung momentum. Beckett wasn’t just winning every game; he was doing it with style and authority, Boston fans loved it. His attitude got us what we wanted, and that’s all that mattered.
Things have changed, I can’t think of a more insulting press conference than Beckett’s last one, he just doesn’t get it. Boston is 12-19. Beckett is 2-4 with a 5.97 ERA. He was seen a day after he missed a start because of a torn lat golfing with Clay Buchholz. It’s another in a string of behavioral incidents for Beckett, who was the center of the chicken and beer incident (Ludacris’ shout-out). After yesterday’s game, when questioned about the golfing expedition, Beckett actually pulled the last straw. “We get 18 days off a year…I think we deserve a little time to ourselves,” said Beckett. Are you kidding me? How pompous, entitled, and stupid can you be? You don’t get 18 days off a year because you play once every five games. The amount of days you get off is actually a lot, now that you want to bring attention to it, and you get paid $15 million dollars to play a game, and you’re not even playing it well. He’s become an unraveled, Kenny Powers type, who has won his two rings and is content goading Boston into rioting on his front lawn. Watching Beckett’s self-serving press conference reminded me of watching Gekko, both sets of eyes compelling and visionary, yet filled with only concern for themselves. I went to sleep with one conclusion, don’t trust Josh Beckett!