Casino (1995)

Directed by Martin Scorsese
Written by Martin Scorses and Nicholas Pileggi based on his book
(number 379)

I knew nothing about this movie going in. I had no idea what to expect… except for it’s a Scorsese movie and it seems to be really long. Well, both of these things are true.

Two alternating smart ass male voiceovers was a bit much for my sick, slightly fevery brain to keep straight. There’s so much talky talk, so much suited guys being cool, so much neon and Vegas lovingly filmed. It’s the seedy underbelly sort of movie I’m sure Scorsese has made before about different-ish characters. Before and since. Ultimately none of it is moving me, and the random sudden gory violence was pretty shocking.

In terms of cinematography, the desert scenes in particular are very striking. From other movies I find the Nevada desert very familiar looking, and the harshness of the light is obvious when it’s filmed.

The star power in this movie cannot be denied. You got Robert de Niro, Sharon Stone, James Woods and Joe Pesci, but I honestly just… don’t really enjoy this kind of story. I’m always on the side of the FBI taking down the crooked people.

Great soundtrack, this movie. I really dug the soundtrack. House of the Rising Sun, Nights in White Satin, Love is the Drug, Go Your Own Way, I’m pretty tempted to track this down on CD.

Does it make me love the people? I have a bit of a soft spot for Ginger, who’s abused by all the men in her life and can’t stop herself going back for more and feeling incredibly deeply about everything. Ace is slick but I don’t really feel for him, and Nicky is terrifying.

Bechdel test: I don’t think so. Ginger seems to be the only named woman, and there’s a whole sequence of fat shaming show girls, so… yeah this isn’t a movie about women. I’m getting depressed about how often I’m typing those words.

Best line:

Ace Rothstein: The town will never be the same. After the Tangiers, the big corporations took it all over. Today it looks like Disneyland. And while the kids play cardboard pirates, Mommy and Daddy drop the house payments and Junior’s college money on the poker slots. In the old days, dealers knew your name, what you drank, what you played. Today, it’s like checkin’ into an airport. And if you order room service, you’re lucky if you get it by Thursday. Today, it’s all gone. You get a whale show up with four million in a suitcase, and some twenty-five-year-old hotel school kid is gonna want his Social Security Number. After the Teamsters got knocked out of the box, the corporations tore down practically every one of the old casinos. And where did the money come from to rebuild the pyramids? Junk bonds. But in the end, I wound up right back where I started. I could still pick winners, and I could still make money for all kinds of people back home. And why mess up a good thing?

State of Mind: Meeeeehhhh. It’s pretty, it’s well acted, and I dun care.

Watched movie count


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