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top picks

Lifestyles of the rich and repellent in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’

Mary Cybulski/Paramount Pictures via AP

Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese, and friends seem to spend quite a bit of time in protest-too-much mode when they talk about “The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013). No, they contend, they’re not celebrating DiCaprio’s character, real-life stock market swindler and high-living hedonist Jordan Belfort. In the Blu-ray’s lone, 17-minute supplement, “judgment” is a buzzword. “The challenge is to show that [culture] honestly, without tipping the scales into judgment,” says Scorsese. “The movie doesn’t make a judgment . . . it just presents the information,” says writer Terence Winter (“Boardwalk Empire”). And this from Jon Favreau, who cameos as Belfort’s attorney: “Just as Marty doesn’t judge the characters in any given moment, the actors can’t, either.” Frame it as they will, this still feels like a lot of artistic fascination to lavish on the lifestyles of the rich and repellent. (Oops, did we just judge them out loud?) DiCaprio, who’d long championed the project, likens its dark satire to “GoodFellas.” But part of what made Scorsese’s mob portrait so compelling was how crazily foreign all that “funny how?” volatility seemed. “Wolf” is tethered to our world; the chump on the other end of Belfort’s investment cold call could be you. Not as much fun, somehow, no matter how energetically captured. At least DiCaprio’s fellow Oscar nominee Jonah Hill (best supporting veneers?) voices some qualms. “To play this person, you have to justify that you’re OK with yourself doing these things,” Hill says. “And then you get home and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, what did I do?’ ” (Paramount, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99)

COMEDY/DRAMA

DELIVERY MAN (2013)

Vince Vaughn plays a lovable goof-off who finds out that he’s fathered 533 kids through anonymous fertility-clinic donations, and that a bunch of them are pushing to learn his identity. The role is a comfortable enough fit for Vaughn, but you do have to wonder what motivated filmmaker Ken Scott, who also gave us a French-Canadian version of the story just a year ago. (Remember “Starbuck”?) With Cobie Smulders and Chris Pratt. Extras: featurette; Vaughn improv and bloopers. (DreamWorks, $29.99; Blu-ray, $32.99)

CLASSICS

THE BEST OF BOGART COLLECTION (1941-51)

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“The Maltese Falcon,” “Casablanca,” “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” and “The African Queen” are bundled in a four-disc Blu-ray set. Any of the four would merit a deluxe standalone reissue, of course — and “Casablanca” has received this treatment on a couple of occasions. But there’s something to be said for getting Bogey’s greatest hits in one semi-economical package. Extras: film historian commentary on all but “African Queen”; production documentaries; “Bacall on Bogart” segment. (Warner, $49.99)

Tom Russo can be reached at trusso2222@gmail.com.
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