Thursday, June 13, 2013

#tbt Casino review

Joe Pesci is not to be trusted.
Happy Throwback Thursday! Today I'll be reviewing the 1995 Martin Scorsese mobster film, Casino. The movie is about Sam "Ace" Rothstein, a smart casino manager with ties to the mafia, and the troubles he had in his life and the things that happened to him while he was on top of the business. Casino has been majorly overshadowed by Scorsese's better and more well-known, GoodFellas. Yet, Casino deserves a bit more fame than it received. Martin Scorsese's direction here is terrific as always. Using his famous signature continuous shots and his beautiful way with camera work really makes this movie even better then it already is. There is one particular shot of the inside of a flashing camera that he also used in The Aviator. He uses that particularly awesome shot here just as well and uses it to show feeling in the film. Robert De Niro returns for another great performance in a Scorsese movie. He plays Rothstein and does it well. Although, not his best performance, he doesn't disappoint. The film is narrated alternately by Robert De Niro's character and Joe Pesci's character, Nicky Santoro. The alternate character narration is a technique used also in GoodFellas, Scorsese  uses it well here. Joe Pesci's acting here is fine, but he's pretty much playing the same character he plays in every movie but angrier. His character is just a more violent and more evil version of Tommy DeVito in GoodFellas. He plays his part okay, but it's really nothing special. The one truly superb acting job here is Sharon Stone (who got an Oscar nod for her role in Casino). She is a troubled and cocaine addicted prostitute, whom Rothstein falls in love with and marries. Her portrayal of vulnerability, restlessness, and anger is really award worthy. Casino fells like less of a true mobster film, and more like a drama about friends and family with bits of mafia-esque and violent elements thrown in. And that mobster/family drama mixture works so damn well. It gets off to a slow start, and I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy Casino. Yet, I really did enjoy it. Scorsese actually wrote Casino, which is unusual for him. Martin Scorsese usually just directs his films and leaves the writing to others, here he does it all. Although Scorsese always does an ass-kicking job directing, he does a just as good job writing. He's written some of his best films like Mean Streets and GoodFellas. His writing in Casino is truly fantastic. He's able to turn a regular true story about a mobster, and create a rich story with really in depth characters. I honestly think Martin Scorsese should start writing more of his movies (or just keep teaming up with Paul Schrader, am I right?) Anyway, Casino is a highly underrated Scorsese classic that will go down as one of his best. Please, watch this film! Happy Viewing! Remember, you can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at!

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