Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Casino

Yeah, I know. This was supposed to be Mafia March, right? Better late than never.

"A Half-a one-a these! A HAAAALF!"
Casino, 1995, directed by Martin Scorcese.
Written by Nicholas Pileggi.
starring: Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Sharon Stone.

"Greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two mobsters." (imdb).

Jeez, that was a pretty lackluster description! If you can believe it, this was the first thing of Marty's I saw, and back then, I thought it was amazing. I still think it's worth watching, but knowing what I know now, I can safely say it's hardly the best of his films. This time I found it kind of over-long, bloated, and drowning in pop music. And Sharon Stone was decent, I guess, (nominated for Best Actress Oscar for this) but this time around I just kept envisioning KATE GOSSELIN the whole time, especially with that chopped 80s mop . . . thanks, reality TV. It was kind of sickening.

Also, there wasn't much *fun* in this film, it was pretty much all fights and not-nice people. What Goodfellas or The Sopranos (on deck tonight and tomorrow) did well, this film tanked at---and that's getting us to like the crew. Sam Rothstein (DeNiro) was good at his job and I kind of liked his constant pointing, arm gestures, and smoking, and clearly I'd still hit that a million times, but other than that he was kind of stuffy. Ginger (Stone) had a great wardrobe but was just not likable, at all. So that basically leaves Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) and Lester Diamond (JAMES WOODS!). Yes, I just said that James Woods was one of the best things about this film; he's a douche, but a well-done douche, and good for a few laughs at least. I think the best way to describe this film is a good (albeit long) introduction to Scorcese. If you like this, you'll *love* his other stuff. The clip below uses what I thought was the best song of the film, and slow-motions the in-the-end-they-all-get-whacked bit. And just to be clear, the cornfield scene shown is the G-rated version, compared to the actual film experience, length, sound of bats, etc. So if you do choose to see it, be aware. And don't let kids see this, either.

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