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Old 06-24-2008, 08:45 PM   #811
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My computer started bugging midway through my Casino review and I really don't feel like writing that shit again, so here are my notes I starting typing around the first hour:

Focused light on certain characters - awesome technique
Dual V.O. - like GoodFellas, but kept the movie rolling along
Nicky - not a retread of Tommy from Goodfellas, more complex, vindictive character
Sequence where Nicky starts knocking off high-rollers - amazing use of music/editing
P.T. directly takes "inside the safe" shot and uses it with Donnie in 'Magnolia'
"muddafuckin'" - I just love whenever Pesci says that.
"An equal amount of blueberries in each muffin" - brilliant line that helps show Sam's need to control everything
De Niro not wearing any pants in his office - oddly comical
subtitled convo btw Nicky and Ace - another nice touch, showing how fucked up their lives are becoming
Nicky saying "peekaboo" - I love Pesci
Aces High, omg - the whole idea of that cracked me up.
dissolves within action, to shorten run time? - since it was about 20-30 minutes too long anyway
camera dip when the phone convo changes between wives and husbands - nice little move
Glasses in the desert, wow. - arguably my favorite shot in the whole film, which is saying a lot
Whip It? - along with the Devo version of "Satisfaction," Scorsese really outdid himself here
Music in scene with Ginger and Lester arguing - another great use of music
Ace and Ginger in the restaurant after she gets back - awesome scene of Sam and his need to be in control again
Inside of the straw snorting coke. - brilliant shot

My problem with this film wasn't just the runtime or the pacing. The scenes all moved at a brisk pace and along with the script, helped flesh out the three main characters well enough. They just weren't relateable (sp?) characters to follow for that long? De Niro's good in this, don't get me wrong, but I didn't feel his character make the big shift you expect to see in 3 hours, you know? He wants to keep control in his life and within the casino, desperately loves Ginger, who you know will never love him back, and tries to keep Nicky in check, who threatens to bring his whole world down. That's fine, I get that, but it's a cold character. The whole film is filled with these guys. At least it doesn't glamorize the lifestyle without showing the consequences, I hate when films do the former and ignore the latter, but that sense of family or connection present in GoodFellas just isn't here. It's probably intentional, showing how life was out alone in the oasis of the desert, aka Vegas, but in any film, you have to at least care about one character enough to want to follow them all the way through and this film lacked that. Also, Sharon Stone bugged the hell out of me, but she was supposed to be the money-grubbing, conniving bitch, so she did a good job with that.

I didn't go into this with huge expectations, so I wasn't as let down by this like NSW and most others probably were, but I sure hope this is in the lower half of Scorsese's canon - which would still be better than most, anyway. As I've said above, trim about 20-30 minutes of this, make Sam a little bit more sympathetic (not too much that it'd betray the film though) and you've got a better film.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:56 PM   #812
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I agree with your thoughts on De Niro. He had a smaller part in GoodFellas and yet had a much more interesting arc. The way he tries to get Karen to go to the wholesale dress place near the end is quietly menacing. You never really know what he's up to. In Casino, he's rather bland, and it's hard to pinpoint what he was going for. Contrast this with Heat, which came out the year before, where he's using minimalism to much more specific ends. Neil Macaulay is equally controlling, but there's a hidden longing to attach himself to someone, and a pride that ultimately becomes his undoing.

I haven't seen this in ages, and now that there's a special edition DVD I really need to revisit it.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:00 PM   #813
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I agree with your thoughts on De Niro. He had a smaller part in GoodFellas and yet had a much more interesting arc. The way he tries to get Karen to go to the wholesale dress place near the end is quietly menacing. You never really know what he's up to. In Casino, he's rather bland, and it's hard to pinpoint what he was going for. Contrast this with Heat, which came out the year before, where he's using minimalism to much more specific ends. Neil Macaulay is equally controlling, but there's a hidden longing to attach himself to someone, and a pride that ultimately becomes his undoing.

I haven't seen this in ages, and now that there's a special edition DVD I really need to revisit it.
This is what I'm talking about when I say that I can't deeply review movies for shit. I agree 100% with this, makes complete sense to me and I totally get it.....but I'd never be able to string that sort of explanation together.

After seeing Goodfellas g-d knows how many times, that scene with DeNiro and Karen and the dress place unnerves me.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:15 PM   #814
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I agree with your thoughts on De Niro. He had a smaller part in GoodFellas and yet had a much more interesting arc. The way he tries to get Karen to go to the wholesale dress place near the end is quietly menacing. You never really know what he's up to. In Casino, he's rather bland, and it's hard to pinpoint what he was going for. Contrast this with Heat, which came out the year before, where he's using minimalism to much more specific ends. Neil Macaulay is equally controlling, but there's a hidden longing to attach himself to someone, and a pride that ultimately becomes his undoing.

I haven't seen this in ages, and now that there's a special edition DVD I really need to revisit it.
That's exactly what I was talking about. I love the dress store scene with Karen, too. Didn't Heat even come out within the same year?

Did you agree with me on the runtime comment, too, or do you have to revisit it to make a final assessment?
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:45 PM   #815
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That's exactly what I was talking about. I love the dress store scene with Karen, too. Didn't Heat even come out within the same year?

Did you agree with me on the runtime comment, too, or do you have to revisit it to make a final assessment?
I do need to see it again, and yes, you're right, they're both 1995.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:48 PM   #816
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How was Heat not nominated for anything at the Oscars that year?

When Christopher Nolan said that it was a huge influence on The Dark Knight, the lady friend agreed to watch it with me before that movies comes out. Pacino's acting in that movie is already an in-joke between us.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:50 PM   #817
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Heat's fucking awesome. I know I say that a lot, but, fuck you both, I'm saying it again.

Heat's fucking awesome.

Who? Who? What are you, a fucking owl?
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:52 PM   #818
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...Waingro?!
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:55 PM   #819
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"You know, for me....the action IS the juice"
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:57 PM   #820
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"I gotta hold on to my angst. I preserve it because I need it. It keeps me sharp, on the edge, where I gotta be."

Oh, Subtle Pacino is my favorite.
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:00 PM   #821
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"Oh, I see. So what I should do is, I should come home every day and say 'Hi honey. Guess what? I walked into this apartment today, where this junkie asshole had just fried his baby in a microwave, because it was crying to loud! So let me share that with you. Come on, let's share that, and in sharing that we'll somehow cathartically dispel all that heinous shit'. Right?"
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:03 PM   #822
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"Empathy was yesterday. Today, you're wasting my motherfucking time."
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:45 PM   #823
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We did this recently, but will do it again for you.

I grew up with Moore, and I like his humor better than anyone else's. So he's my favorite.

My Top 5:

1. The Spy Who Loved Me
2. From Russia With Love
3. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
4. You Only Live Twice
5. Live and Let Die

I've been trying to get ahold of a used copy of For Your Eyes Only, which could wind up taking the 4 or 5 spot after I watch it again.

Also, Lance putting TWINE in his Top 10: EPIC FAIL. "I thought Christmas only comes once a year"?!?! No. Just...no.
Well, You Only Live Twice and Live and Let Die are both painful catastrophes, so at least now I know I never have to listen to you again.
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:41 PM   #824
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Look at me. LOOK AT ME!!



Motherfucker's STILL not looking.
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:49 PM   #825
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