Title: The Wolf of Wall Street
Format: 4k Ultra HD Blu-ray
Release Date: Dec. 14, 2021
Price: (List: $25.99) Buy on Amazon
Paramount will release a 4K Blu-ray edition of The Wolf of Wall Street on December 14, 2021. As far as we know, this is the only way to watch the movie in 4K (although a digital upgrade often happens concurrently with a physical upgrade), and this one-disk edition with digital copy features Dolby Vision and HDR10 High Dynamic Range. There is also a Limited Edition SteelBook version (see packaging photo below) with the same specs and bonus material as the standard “plastic” edition.
With a total of five Oscar nominations, The Wolf of Wall Street certainly received its due accolades. Martin Scorsese was nominated for Best Achievement in Directing and the film was nominated for Best Motion Picture.
Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays the lead role of Jordan Belfort, was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role. Jonah Hill, cast as Belfort’s business partner Donnie Azoff, was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.
It was also a breakout role for Margot Robbie, who for many is best known for her performances as Harley Quinn in the Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey movies.
“Those are rookie numbers in this racket!”
The Wolf of Wall Street is based on Jordan Belfort’s memoir about the company he founded, Stratton Oakmont, and its eventual downfall. For his part, Belfort served time in jail for securities fraud and money laundering, but not before giving up some of the company’s key players to the FBI. The movie is an indulgent, debaucherous depiction of greed in the stock industry.
Martin Scorsese is said to have approved a new film transfer for this 4k disc presentation. The 4k video image for the most part played at bitrates between 40 to low-60Mbps. At times the bitrate dropped into the teens and other times jumped into the high eighties and low nineties. There are variable aspect ratios in the movie, mostly 2.39:1 but sometimes in the more square 1.85:1 format.
The Dolby Vision/HDR10 component of The Wolf of Wall Street certainly added something to the video quality. In previous HD renders you definitely don’t get such a wide range of contrast or depth in the shadow areas. Take for example the image of Belfort standing with his first wife Leah outside of Trump Tower. There is a dominant gold color that can be hard to replicate on screen and shadow areas behind the glass windows that easily jam up in HD quality. HDR can fill in those shadows with more color value because of the gain in bit depth. Plus, with 4x the resolution of 1080×1920 (HD), 2160×3840 (UHD) opens up the image for more detail.
The other place you see the advantage to HDR is in the high office buildings where the sky can blow out when viewed on inferior screens and from inferior media. You can see more detail in the skylines and on the trading floors. And, how about the infamous scene where Belfort’s second wife Naomi is teasing him in their daughter’s bedroom? The magenta dress she is wearing gains some boost with HDR as well as their daughter’s toys strewn about the floor (previous renders look less saturated and a bit more flat).
The audio is offered in DTS-HD Master Audio in 5.1 channels, with subtitles in English SDH and French.
There are some great surround sound effects happening in this movie especially on the trading floor where there is just an insane amount of commotion. Similarly, an almost intimate audio moment happens in the penny stock office that Jordan Belfont visits at 19 minutes when he’s looking for a job. You can hear things right behind you and to the left and right as if you were sitting in the chair next to him. Later, in the scene at 2:46 when Belfort is wearing a wire as he talks to Danny Porush there is a very distinctive surround effect where those outside the glass-walled office can be heard through multiple channels.
The soundtrack to The Wolf of Wall Street includes both originally scored music as well as existing tracks that were licensed for the film. In total, over 60 songs were used including hits like Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song) by Billy Joel and “Mrs. Robinson” performed by The Lemonheads.
There is some excellent audio mixing in this movie especially considering all the dialogue that happens throughout. It’s definitely a movie worth listening to at higher volume to hear all the details. A good pair of headphones (if you need to keep the volume down) also provides a good spatial experience.
Previously released bonus material on the 4K Blu-ray disc includes featurettes The Wolfpack, Running Wild, and The Wolf of Wall Street round table, all of which provide some good insight into the inspiration and making of the film.