Film director Martin Scorsese Reviews news and Blog.

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....

Scorsese’s Shutter Island Review

Scorsese’s Shutter Island Review

Apr 2, 2011

Just saw Shutter Island It was entertaining all the way around. It kept me guessing till the end, terrific acting by Leo, great setting and creep factor. It’s got a lot of typical Scorsese feel too it i.e. very (maybe overly) dramatic music to some scenes, lots of extreme overhead lighting and harsh lighting spattered through out, rich close-ups of the main male leads also a grittiness factor worked in well to some scenes. The movie was visually gorgeous and the acting is stylized in a way that only makes sense once you understand Scorsese’s intent and the editing/pacing is unique but never in a way that seems coherent. It also has atypical Scorsese things to it too which I like, such as the setting, subject matter and supporting cast. It’s nice to see that he can show he understands other things than mobsters, gangs, seedy sexual sides, etc. The only other movie in his repertoire that echoed in Shutter Island was a Cape Fear-ish vibe. Which is a good vibe cuz that movie was great! So after hours of slow pacing we are left with a pretty damn good ending; a twist which explains why the beginning of the movie was so off. You talk about all the scenes and characters, reevaluating their performances and  Scorsese knows what he is doing! I wouldn’t own Shutter Island on DVD but it *is* pretty entertaining to see...