Film director Martin Scorsese Reviews news and Blog.

Martin Scorsese Films

Problem With Today’s Movies

Posted by on Jan 4, 2014

I think the overriding problem today… …is that Hollywood films are more about filling release dates than waiting until you have a truly solid film and then releasing it. Over and over again we hear how studios already have a release date for films like “X3” before they’ve even hired a director, so it can be no surprise that the final product is compromised. Granted, a film like “X3” is at its best entertainment, certainly NOT art, but there is good entertainment, and purely commercial, “there must be SOME audience for this so let’s make a movie” type shit like “Biker Boyz.” But it is true… that article echoes many of the same sentiments that the “Easy Riders Raging Bulls” book said about how the 60s-70s “New Hollywood” produced more gritty, personal movies like “Bonnie And Clyde” and “Five Easy Pieces,” created by the “film school” generation of people like Scorsese, Coppola, etc., while Hollywood was still churning out bloated musicals. Ironically, 2 of the most successful members of that generation–Lucas and Spielberg–would make the sort of personal movies they’d been...

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Scenes In Scorsese Films

Scorsese’s Mean Streets Scene

Posted by on Apr 7, 2011

In Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets There is a scene in Mean Streets where the camera catches DeNiro’s character coming into a bar and then shifts slightly down and to the left before following him over to the right. There was a film studies professor who taught a course on symbolism in film and used this as a discussion point to ask students what it was supposed to mean – Was it symbolizing that the character had chosen a path of destruction that would lead him spiraling downward? Did it imply that it was at this point where the character actively decided to choose such a path? – eventually the professor was able to get Scorsese to speak to his class. What did the scene symbolize? Scorsese wanted to get the scene all in one take and there was an exposed beam in the ceiling they had to shoot around. That’s...

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Movie Reviews

Scorsese’s The Departed Vs Classic Films

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016

Scorsese Overdue For Oscar When you are referring to good gangster films, you’re talking about films like “The Public Enemy,” the original “Scarface,” “White Heat,” “The Asphalt Jungle,” “The Killers,” it doesn’t have to stand out because those are among the greatest American films ever produced. And those films are far more watchable today than many of the so-called “socially relevant” films of their respective eras. Genre films are what the American film industry does best not only was Scorsese overdue for an Oscar, so was this acknowledgement of the entire genre. What puts “The Departed” in a class with those great films are Scorsese’s use of the letter “X” as a marker throughout the film, how he incorporated the colors red and blue–the colors usually associated with the lights atop police cars–to great effect in every scene (and how the Jack Nicholson character usually wore purple–a mixture of red and blue–as a hint to his true identity), and how he subtly saluted Carol Reed’s classic “The Third Man” and even the original Hong Kong film. Martin Scorsese Amazon.com: The Departed...

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Scorsese Questions

Raging Bull – Goodfellas Looking Into Camera

Posted by on Apr 8, 2011

Can anyone think of another Serious  film where the characters talk straight into the camera? This is done in many films. Two Examples, when deniro gets the crap beaten out of him in raging bull, we see robinson looking straight towards camera, then cut to deniro against the ropes looking straight towards camera. the shots are not meant to ‘connect’ with the audience, but rather ‘connect’ the 2 characters in that moment. or, it is meant to ‘connect’ the audience with the characters because we see from their vantage point, hence, POV. no 4th wall has been broken. actually, scorsese does break this wall at the end of goodfellas when Ray liotta is on the stand talking, then turns to the camera and addresses the camera. there is a difference between the raging bull example and the goodfellas example. And in the final  shot Of Goodfellas Scorsese has Pesci emulating the last shot of The Great Train Robbery (1903) – except the Liotta is probably imagining that Pesci is shooting at him (whereas the Great Train Robbery guy is shooting at the...

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Recent Posts

Scorsese’s The Departed Vs Classic Films

Scorsese’s The Departed Vs Classic Films

Feb 4, 2016

Scorsese Overdue For Oscar When you are referring to good gangster films, you’re talking about films like “The Public Enemy,” the original “Scarface,” “White Heat,” “The Asphalt Jungle,” “The Killers,” it doesn’t have to stand out because those are among the greatest American films ever produced. And those films are far more watchable today than many of the so-called “socially relevant” films of their respective eras. Genre films are what the American film industry does best not only was Scorsese overdue for an Oscar, so was this acknowledgement of the entire genre. What puts “The Departed” in a class with those great films are Scorsese’s use of the letter “X” as a marker throughout the film, how he incorporated the colors red and blue–the colors usually associated with the lights atop police cars–to great effect in every scene (and how the Jack Nicholson character usually wore purple–a mixture of red and blue–as a hint to his true identity), and how he subtly saluted Carol Reed’s classic “The Third Man” and even the original Hong Kong film. Martin Scorsese Amazon.com: The Departed (Single-Disc Widescreen Edition ... Amazon.com: The Departed (Single-Disc Widescreen Edition): Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga ... The Departed - Movie Trailers - iTunes The Departed is set in South Boston, where the state police force is waging war on organized crime. Young undercover cop Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is ... The Departed Movie Review & Film Summary (2007) | Roger Ebert The story is inspired by "Infernal Affairs" (2002) by Alan Mak and Andrew Lau, the most successful Hong Kong film of recent years. Indeed, having just re-read my 2004 ... The Departed Reviews - Metacritic The Departed movie reviews & Metacritic score: This gritty crime drama from director Martin Scorsese takes us into the lives of two cops: Colin Sullivan...

Problem With Today’s Movies

Problem With Today’s Movies

Jan 4, 2014

I think the overriding problem today… …is that Hollywood films are more about filling release dates than waiting until you have a truly solid film and then releasing it. Over and over again we hear how studios already have a release date for films like “X3” before they’ve even hired a director, so it can be no surprise that the final product is compromised. Granted, a film like “X3” is at its best entertainment, certainly NOT art, but there is good entertainment, and purely commercial, “there must be SOME audience for this so let’s make a movie” type shit like “Biker Boyz.” But it is true… that article echoes many of the same sentiments that the “Easy Riders Raging Bulls” book said about how the 60s-70s “New Hollywood” produced more gritty, personal movies like “Bonnie And Clyde” and “Five Easy Pieces,” created by the “film school” generation of people like Scorsese, Coppola, etc., while Hollywood was still churning out bloated musicals. Ironically, 2 of the most successful members of that generation–Lucas and Spielberg–would make the sort of personal movies they’d been hoping to see, inspired by space opera serials and adventures that had inspired them as kids by recreating those cliffhangers and “Buck Rogers” films as stuff like “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones.” When the studios realized how much MORE money those movies could make than the “Taxi Drivers” and “Chinatowns,” when they became obsessed with finding the next franchise, the next toy line, it all changed for the worse. There seems to be very little risk taken by the studios these days, because the studio execs in charge would much rather recreate former successes (by recreating successful TV shows, video games, past movies, and sequels to MILDLY successful movies like “Underworld” or “Big Momma’s House,” no matter HOW forgettable the original was), than they would try to produce something unique that risks failing, and jeopardizing their jobs. Or at least, that’s my...

Scorsese’s Taxi Driver Quick Take

Scorsese’s Taxi Driver Quick Take

Apr 8, 2011

Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver One of my favorite movies. But I found it more a portrait of an individual suffering alienation as he is unable to connect with anyone else. Effectively isolated from the people who surround him, he descends into violent insanity but is ultimately redeemed when he turns his attention away from the political candidate and instead targets the pimp. Really, every character in the film is alienated from society in different ways. We have a city of people who do not connect with or relate to the people they’re physically close to. It’s interesting how the difference between Bickel’s ending up a hero instead of a villainous assassin was a matter of chance–the secret service agent who noticed him and chased him off. Had Bickel’s original plan gone off as intended, he’d have finished off the film either dead or imprisoned, but in either case he’d have been a bad guy and not a...

Raging Bull – Goodfellas Looking Into Camera

Raging Bull – Goodfellas Looking Into Camera

Apr 8, 2011

Can anyone think of another Serious  film where the characters talk straight into the camera? This is done in many films. Two Examples, when deniro gets the crap beaten out of him in raging bull, we see robinson looking straight towards camera, then cut to deniro against the ropes looking straight towards camera. the shots are not meant to ‘connect’ with the audience, but rather ‘connect’ the 2 characters in that moment. or, it is meant to ‘connect’ the audience with the characters because we see from their vantage point, hence, POV. no 4th wall has been broken. actually, scorsese does break this wall at the end of goodfellas when Ray liotta is on the stand talking, then turns to the camera and addresses the camera. there is a difference between the raging bull example and the goodfellas example. And in the final  shot Of Goodfellas Scorsese has Pesci emulating the last shot of The Great Train Robbery (1903) – except the Liotta is probably imagining that Pesci is shooting at him (whereas the Great Train Robbery guy is shooting at the...

Casino Underrated Scorsese Gem

Casino Underrated Scorsese Gem

Apr 7, 2011

Casino: underrated, unappreciated gem Yeah that’s right, I said it. Scorsese Fans already know this of course. Every time I see casino on tv I say to myself “ok I will just watch a few minutes” then it’s 2 1/2 hours later and I cant stop watching. I’ve seen it many times before, including a few times in the theater when it was first released (back in ’95) and I remember the chattering classes sniffing that they liked it better when it was called “Goodfellas”. I felt they were wrong then and nearly 15 years later I can definitively state that they are still wrong. Sure, Pesci plays basically the same character (though he’s higher up the food chain in Casino) but other than that they are two entirely different films of the same genre. Keep in mind Casino and Goodfellas are both based on real people and events. The storylines and subject matter are completely different. Plus it’s one of those films that gets better every time you see it. Such attention to detail in every shot. And one thing I noticed this time around – the soundtrack (always a strong point of Scorsese films) is almost continuous throughout the film. There was one scene where the background music changed mid-scene and it was done flawlessly. Sharon Stone shines and Scorsese is a genius getting that kind of performance out of her. The fighting scene between De Niro and Stone where he drags her and throws her out of the house is brilliant, realistic to the last detail. De Niro’s acting is also under appreciated. When I hear the animals “House Of The Rising Sun” start to play and the end sequence begin I always get chills. Some of the transitions with the music in the film are amazing. Like when he first lays eyes on Sharon Stone in the casino and they quickly switch to that 50’s music and zoom in on DeNiro, pure brilliance. Scorsese did that kind of thing since his early days — remember in the beginning of Mean Streets when DeNiro makes his entrance into the bar and meets Keitel with Jumpin Jack Flash dubbed over…gotta love it....