Battle of the ridiculous: ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ vs. ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’

June 18, 2013

On Monday, like heaven releasing manna down to the Earth, the Internet dropped into our unworthy laps two extraordinary videos – dare we say, bite-size cinematic masterpieces – that we have only begun to appreciate and can’t even attempt to fully comprehend.

These two diamonds mined from the black coal that is the Internet abyss: “The Wolf of Wall Street” trailer and Jay-Z’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail” teaser.

In case you haven’t heard, “The Wolf of Wall Street.” due out Nov. 15, is a Martin Scorsese film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey. It’s based on the true story of Jordan Belfort who, while working in finance/Gordon Gekko-ing the law in the ’90s managed to rake in nearly $1 million a week.

This trailer, soundtracked by Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead,” gifts us, among other things, a pop-and-locking Leo, a tiny monkey on roller skates and a McConaughey saying “it’s a wahzee, it’s a woozy, it’s a woooo, fairy dust!” (Sidebar: Is it totally possible that Matthew McConaughey is secretly the greatest actor of his generation?) Leo is throwing crisp hundred dollar bills off the side of a yacht and into a trash can; he’s throwing orange juice (or maybe a mimosa?) into the bushes; he’s throwing a lobster below deck of the aforementioned yacht; he’s throwing a little person at a target decorated with dollar signs, he’s throwing his fists up in the air! Leo is doing a LOT of throwing, is what we’re trying to say. And we’re into it.

Jay-Z, that most humble speaker of understatements, is releasing a new album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” on the Fourth of July. His announcement, which originally aired during Game 5 of the NBA finals as a kind of Samsung commercial, is, on its face, not nearly as bananas as the “Wolf” trailer. But listen closely and you will hear Jay ask the big questions, like, “How do you navigate your way through this whole thing… and remain yourself?” He says the Internet is the WILD WEST, which means there are no rules. “We need to write the new rules.” Jay-Z is also literally turning humans into verbs. That is NEXT LEVEL, people.

So the question becomes, which is more ridiculous: “The Wolf of Wall Street” or “Magna Carta Holy Grail”? Let the games begin!

Round One: Biggest life ambition

“Wolf of Wall Street” kicks off with our second-favorite line from a trailer this year. (No. 1, always and forever, is Emma Watson as fictional Alexis Neiers in “The Bling Ring” trailer: “I could want to run a country one day, for all I know.”) Leo laments that he only made $49 million this year, “just shy of $1 million a week.” Dream big, evil Leo! In “Magna Carta,” Jay-Z fulfills someone else’s dream of being turned into a verb. Apparently that’s something people fantasize about? Well, OK, sure.

Winner: We love grammar just as much as the next journalist, but we’d rather earn a cool $1 million a week than earn verb status, even from Hov. This one goes to “Wolf of Wall Street.”

Round Two: Facial hair that makes you say “huh?”

 


On the one hand, there’s the downward cast, dark black mustache in “Wolf,” a nice contrast to the rest of the clean-shaven cast. This, combined with the goatee streak, allows one to fully grasp the ’90s porn industry vibe we believe they’re going for here. On the other hand, there is Rick Rubin’s beard.

Winner: Rick Rubin’s beard, “Magna Carta”

Round Three: Best sighting of someone with whom we are obsessed

This is a nail-biter, kids. “Magna Carta” gives us Pharrell, who is featured on not just one but both of our favorite songs of this summer (for those of you who have been traveling the Earth with noise-cancelling headphones for the past month and a half, we’re talking about “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky“). His presence portends well for the quality of Jay-Z’s upcoming release and, also, we just really like staring at his face. Not to be outdone, “Wolf” features Kyle Chandler, who we pretty much only refer to as Coach Taylor, he of beloved “Friday Night Lights” fame. From the look of the chaos in Leo’s office, we get the feeling that everyone in a suit & tie in that place could use a gruff but fatherly talking-to from our favorite TV dad. Clear eyes, full hearts — well, you know the rest.

Winner: Coach Taylor! Take us to Philadelphia with you, please, or at least to “(Wolf of) Wall Street.”

Round Four: Most likely to inspire a shout-out from Stefon on “Saturday Night Live”

 

In the grand tradition of gone-but-not-forgotten Weekend Update City Correspondent Stefon, the winner of this category must be a natural fit for the end of the sentence: “It’s that thing where…” So we’ve got the “Magna Carta” contender: “It’s that thing where Rick Rubin is almost asleep on your couch and looks like a vaguely homeless Santa Claus” vs. the “Wolf” entry: “It’s that thing where you swing a dwarf at a dart board that’s covered with dollar signs in the middle of your office.”

Winner: Um, no contest. “Wolf of Wall Street.”

Round Five: Thing we are most likely to start quoting in our daily lives

“We don’t have any rules, everybody is trying to figure it out. That’s why the Internet is like the Wild West. The Wild Wild West. We need to write the new rules.” – Jay-Z

“mhmm (fist pumps against chest) mhmm mhmmm (fist pumps against chest) mhmm mhmm.” - McConaughey

Winner: This is hard to type because we’re so busy going (fist bumps against chest) mhmm mhmm The Wolf of Wall Street.

We crown as our Ridiculousness Champion – in a landslide! – THE WOLF OF WALL STREET.

But we love you, Hov. Hope to sit next to you on the subway someday!

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Ron Charles | June 18, 2013