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Seth Davis (Giovanni Ribisi) drops out of college and runs an illegal
gambling den for college students at home. His judge father (Ron
Rifkin) is extremely disappointed and he can't get his approval. A
friend Greg Weinstein brings him to an outsider brokerage firm. Jim
Young (Ben Affleck) pushes the recruits. Chris Varick (Vin Diesel) and
the violent Richie O'Flaherty (Scott Caan) are top brokers. The owner
Michael Brantley (Tom Everett Scott) is running a scam. Seth starts
dating secretary Abbie Halpert (Nia Long) which angers her ex Greg. One
of his client Harry Reynard is destroyed by his stock. After his father
tries to help, he is pulled in to help the FBI.
This doesn't have the style of Scorsese. It does have some great energetic up-and-coming young stars. I got a real kick out of Ben Affleck doing his Alec Baldwin impersonation from 'Glengarry Glen Ross'. Ribisi is his usual jittery goodness. His hard sell to Harry is difficult to watch. The movie gets by with its high energy audacity which oddly is how the brokerage firm does its business.
Greed is good said Gordon Gekko, in Wall Street, the standard by which to measure other films dealing with the esoteric world of finance in New York. Boiler Room is based on a true story of a guy, Seth Davis, a nineteen year old, who ran an underground gambling operation in Queens. His father is a judge, and he worries about his son being arrested. He joins a supposedly legitimate brokerage firm, JT Marlin, and becomes very successful at making money. Of course, nothing is as it seems, as the FBI and SEC investigate the shady and illegal practices of the firm, wherein they pump up the value of phony stocks, using cold calls to find customers looking to make a quick buck. In the end, it all falls apart, and Seth decides to save himself from prison by working undercover for the law. Giovanni Ribisi is good as Seth, and Nia Long provides eye candy as his girlfriend. A 7/10.
"There is no question whether or not you'll become a millionaire here.
The only question is how many times over."
Quite frankly, I expected this to be absolute crap. I'm not much of a fan any of the cast, I'm not familiar with the director, and the premise sounded like a bad television movie. But Boiler Room turned out to be a fairly entertaining Gen-X spin on flashy, corrupt stockbrokers.
The main character Seth (Giovanni Ribisi) is a smart guy, but college isn't really for him. He drops out to run a successful illegal casino from his apartment. But when an old friend offers him an opportunity to work for a lesser known, maverick trading company, Seth jumps at the chance to make a lot of money legitimately, and possibly repair his strained relationship with his father, as a result. But, while Seth's natural talent for selling makes him a rising star at the firm, he slowly finds out that his new employer may not be quite so legitimate, after all.
The story is pretty ridiculous, and it's portrayal of stock trading is more entertaining than realistic. But hey, it's a movie, not a documentary. The supposed party-lives of the hotshot young brokers are a little over the top (shooting dice, really?), and the relationship between Seth and Abby (Nia Long) is undercooked and seems to not have much significance within the plot, but his interactions with his stern, disapproving father (Ron Rifkin) are much more resonant.
Boiler Room name-checks Glengarry Glen Ross and Wall Street, but it's not quite up to the challenge of being a more recent version of those movies. It is a decent rise-and-fall kind of flick, though, and when it plays fast and loose with its subject matter, it all sort of works.
Information value of this film is priceless.
If you are employment which working for money whole day, you live consumption live, money is "nothing" for you (but you working whole life to get it), this is film for you.
Watch this movie and take it as trip to the world which looking for only one thing, your money! They know you, they are good in human psychology, so they will claim it, if you will not be prepared for "show" :).
No, this isn't fiction, it's reality!
Don't be dupe, be informed and prepared :) for action.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Boiler Room tells the dramatic story of a young college dropout who
runs a successful casino from his home, but is looking for bigger and
better things. Giovanni Ribisi plays the main character who joins a
major stock brokerage firm, promising great success and rewards to its
employees. The problem, the leaders, all seemingly under 35, are so
arrogant and conceited that they engage in some of the most immoral and
unethical business practices imaginable. When Ribisi sees how a client
he handled gets swindled into losing his life savings, he does
investigations of his own, and in the end, the FBI raids the company.
Boiler Room does suffer a bit, not for lack of suspense. These things, shockingly could happen, but we do have some very conceited, arrogant punks as main characters who are growing up too fast, vulgar, cruel, and even disrespectful to their own employees without any sense of right and wrong. Credibility is strained, and Seth (Giovanni's character) should have realized that these bastards were up to no good right from his first day at the firm. Many questions are left unanswered as to how people with such a prick attitude got their positions in the first place. I was bothered by the characters of Michael the firm's leader, and his main brokerage trainer Greg. These two do not represent any positive leadership. I would hope that teens and young adults watching this film understand the way that these pricks conducted business was reprehensible.
The main problem with Boiler Room is that there is such a disdain for the heads of the firm, with their deception and brain-washing business practices, that the anger you feel with them picking fights, and basically being a$$holes to most everyone around them, detracts from the suspense of the movie. When Seth tries to make amends by trying to get back the money that his client lost in the end, it's a little too late to care. Additionally, the rap music did not coincide well with the dialog or scenes in which it was used.
However, you will hate overly pushy salespeople and telemarketers after watching this film! The phone dialogs are decent, quick, and sharp. Unfortunately, there is still a cruel edge on the other characters, except Ribisi, which seems to make Boiler Room not quite as good as it could have been.
Look, this movie is no Taxi Driver or Apocalypse Now, but it's a pretty
damn good movie, in my humble opinion. I don't know if it's cause I'm a
Jewish kid from New York who's trying to be a third grade teacher, and
doesn't think I can handle the attractive yet empty notion of making
hundreds of thousands of dollars selling stock, but I loved this movie.
Giovanni Ribisi, who I think is a solid actor, does a great job.
Somehow, it took me years to finally see this flick, but running the
risk of being repetitive, I liked it.
Fast paced, good actors, intriguing plot. Simply put, this movie works. You won't cry, you'll laugh a bit, but you'll be happy you rented it or stayed up to watch it on HBO. It reminds me of Rounders, just in the sense of following a strong willed 20 something white kid with determination and a little bit of soul. I'm rambling at this point, but I just wanted to put in a recommendation to watch this movie if you haven't already. Two hours of your life that you may have been spent doing something more admirable, but not being much more entertained.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Lets go back to the kamikaze capitalism of the go-go 1980s when money
was willed into existence and everybody was getting rich trading
valueless watered stock. Enter Seth Davis (Giovanni Ribisi), college
dropout making change running a 24/7 poker game out of his flat. Some
friends from a telemarketing brokerage drop by and tells him he can
make 10 times as much with little effort. How? become a stock broker.
Giovanni Ribisi renders a credible performance as Seth Davis sharpie at card tricks but neophyte in the brokerage racket.
Seth attends the initial seminar where he's told they're not really interested in brokers but really making salesmen out of them. Their offices are an unpartitioned sea of desks and telephone hook ups, but all personnel must dress the look of success. Seth cold calls around until he passes the licensing test and can make so many sales for his supervisor.
There are moment to pause for fun in the high pressured sales world. When the lads of JT Marlin get together, they watch their favorite cult film WALL STREET.
Seth has his suspicions but is told by friend Chris Varick (Vin Diesel)there are some questions you really don't ask. Never one to take appearances for granted Seth investigates one of the companies the firm is extolling only to find a shuttered plant.
What should Seth do? See the movie.
Vin Diesel plays the part of Chris Varick, extremely well, right down to the working class NYC accent, attitudes, and mannerisms. Though from NYC Vin Diesel's family was orientated more the effete artsy class. It was quite an accomplishment to step into a working class mode without playing down to it.
It's a compelling story about a time of incredible madness. JT Marlin & Co is a close ringer for a company that existed in that time which arced off its assonance with the moniker of the nation's leading securities firm JP Morgan. the film ends with hand irons and prison buses. Regretfully in real life it was less the long arm of the law than the invisible hand of the market place that brought these watered stock schemes down.
The stock market crash in 1987 flooded out the boiler rooms. The following decade's dot - com scams were slightly different.
I do not say it is the best film the theatre has produced; I do say that it is the only film that treats with contemporary problems in a serious light.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I got a phone call at work a while ago and the guy on the other end of
the line started telling me about a company that was just about to see
its share price soar. If I got in on the ground floor, I could expect
to see my investment at least double in the next year, he informed me.
I told the guy that I'd seen "Boiler Room" and put the phone down
before he had a chance to reply.
So there you go, you CAN learn something from watching movies, kids. "Boiler Room" is a youthful homage to more "Worthy" films like "Wall Street" and "Glengarry Glen Ross", both of which it references. It's all too easy to believe that there are young brokers and salesmen out there who think of Gordon Gecko and Mr Blake as heroes to emulate.
The movie is also a reminder that there are a lot of unpleasant and unscrupulous operators in the business world. It's well written, well acted by a fine cast and it made me care about the central character and his moral dilemma.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Boiler Room" is one of those few movies that is able to keep your
interest throughout the whole two hours. When I first watched it, I
wasn't expecting too much. However, I was so impressed with the witty
dialog, the flashy characters and the sky's-the-limit premise, that I
could not turn it off and I've since watched it many times over again.
It starts out with Seth Davis (Giovanni Ribisi) who is a recent college dropout. He is able to make a good living running a 24-7 poker game from his apartment. However, he is the midst of a moral crisis. On one hand, he wants to make a lot of money, which he is able to do through his poker parlor. But on the other hand, he wants to satisfy his hard-to-please father who is a judge and does not approve of his illegal venture. He soon runs into a childhood friend who turns him on to a job which will seemingly allow him to do both.
Seth starts working at the stock-selling firm JT Marlin which is miles away from Wall Street, both literally and figuratively. While there, he is surrounded by several aggressive, type-A personalities who are "f***ing millionaires" but have little in the way of discipline or morals. The movie does a great job in illustrating the kind of lifestyle that they lead. They live in huge mansions, are seen driving fancy cars, go out to classy bars and expensive restaurants, etc, etc.
His co-workers are wonderfully played by Ben Affleck, Vin Diesel, Nick Katt, and Thomas Everett Scott. Affleck has a relatively small role as the head recruiter who gives clever and motivational speeches to the trainees. His main purpose in the film is for comic relief, which he seems to have a knack for. Diesel, not usually know for his acting, gives a solid performance as fast-talking Chris Varick, who is the master at closing out clients over the phone. Katt plays Greg, a broker who takes Seth under his wing but soon becomes jealous of Seth and his quick rise to the top. It was a little bit disappointing that his character did not play as prominent of a role in the ending. I was expecting some kind of climax to the tension that was building up between him and Seth. However, the build-up seemed to be wasted in the end. Scott has a disappointingly small role as the two-faced head of the firm, Michael Brantley. He could have been a really interesting character in the movie but unfortunately very little time was devoted to him.
As Seth gets settled in to the firm and becomes very good at his job, he begins to question how the firm is able to legally pay out the large sums of money to its brokers. He soon finds out that everything is not all that it is cracked up to be. He goes from an innocent pawn with dreams of being a millionaire to a conscientious sympathizer who feels bad about the damage that he unknowingly has done. Toward the end, you begin to notice a change in both his demeanor and appearance. Ribisi, in one of his first starring roles, does a magnificent job in portraying Seth through his metamorphosis.
The biggest flaw in this movie is the romance between Seth and Abbie (Nia Long). I felt the movie could have better without it as it only really slowed down an otherwise fast-paced and entertaining movie. Its only purpose is to create tension between Seth and Greg (which never gets resolved) and to set Seth up for the ultimate betrayal (which could have been done by other means).
By the end, you (and Seth) begin to ask the question of "What if". Although the ending is a little bit disappointing, you definitely feel that sitting through the movie was two hours very well spent. The snappy dialog and colorful characters alone make it well worth-watching.
This was a very interesting film that had some comedy and some drama and starred Giovanni Ribisi,(Seth Davis),"The Big White",'05, who plays a young man who decides to quit college which upsets his father, who is a Judge in the court system of NYC. Seth decides to go into the brokerage business with very little experience in the world of finance and becomes deeply involved with his new career. This stock firm operates very differently and sort of bends the Wall Street way of doing things, so to speak. Seth meets up with Nia Long,(Abbie Halpert),"Are You There Yet?",'05 and becomes very deeply involved with Abbie, at one point in their conversation together, Seth tells Abbie, "How About some Sweet Chocolate Love?". This is a very entertaining film and has an ending you will not be able to figure out until the very ending. Enjoy.
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