Monday, January 11, 2010

#395: Casino (1995)

Director: Martin Scorcese
Cast: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone & Joe Pesci

One of Las Vegas's greatest casinos, the Tangiers, is in the hands of mobsters. When the Jewish-American Sam "Ace" Rothstein is noticed for being a great handicapper, bringing in the bucks like no other, he is recruited to manage the casino. The mob bosses are skimming the profits from the casino, while Nick Santoro ensures that the money gets into the right hands and keeps the gangsters in line. While on the job, Rothstein meets his future wife, Ginger, who works as a hustler at the Tangiers. Of course, their arrangement can't last long, and the troubles that are brought to the Tangiers have a lasting impact on the city of Las Vegas.

I wish I enjoyed mafia movies. I really do. I've tried so many times. Alas, I wasn't into this one. Maybe I just don't have enough to relate to in the film - I've never been to a casino, I've never been in a physical fight, and I've never done anything remotely illegal for money. Oh, and I only say "fuck" 2.3 times per minute.

I really don't have much bad to say about the film, though. Sharon Stone was remarkable, and seeing her descent from a young, sexy, live-out-loud hustler to a drug-inducing, wrinkle-ridden ho is outstanding. Robert De Niro also is on top form here, becoming a very likable mobster who somehow maintains his morals.

But that's the thing. Yes, the acting is great... but I just don't see what else there really is. It was 150 minutes of something that I didn't really care all that much about. A big problem with this is that there isn't any humor whatsoever, which is why I liked Ocean's Eleven so much. I really hope I can get into The Godfather when it comes around... what a let-down that could be for me.

Welp, if you enjoy mob films, this might just be for you.

Fun Trivia (Stolen from IMDB):
  • The word "Fuck" is said 422 times, including in the narration - 2.4 times per minute on average. The film also holds the Guinness world record for the most swearing in a film.
  • Martin Scorsese stated before the film's release that he created the "head in the vise" scene as a sacrifice, certain the MPAA would insist it be cut. He hoped this would draw fire away from other violent scenes that would seem less so by comparison. When the MPAA made no objection to the vise scene, he left it in, albeit slightly edited.
  • As they were shooting scenes in Las Vegas set in the 1970s, the husband of an elderly woman extra was given a period-correct leisure suit to wear by the wardrobe department. However, instead of providing the woman with period clothes, they told her, much to her chagrin, that her out-of-date attire was just fine.

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