One of Scorsese’s best, and most underrated.
Martin Scorsese draws on Nicholas Pileggi’s book about Las Vegas in the 1970s and ’80s as inspiration for his tale contrasting the city’s glamorous exterior with its sordid interior fueled by excess — and the mob. Against this backdrop, the story chronicles the rise and fall of a casino owner with mob connections (Robert De Niro), his friend and Mafia underboss (Joe Pesci) and an ex-prostitute with expensive taste and a driving will (Sharon Stone).
Upon a first viewing, you would think of it as a companion piece to Goodfellas, mostly cause its about the mob, and De Niro and Pesci are mobsters in both.
The thing with Scorsese and this film is that he is one of those directors that has a vision, and just goes for it whether or not people like it. The film is fast, featuring the over-the-top narration that could almost be viewed as a docudrama. It moves on so quick and fast that its so hard not to lose track of the time, because what you think has been 20 minutes into the movie, is just the first 10. The film is written in such a way, that most of it is given to characters, and getting inside the business of the mob, so you know exactly how everything is handled in this business. You feel like you’re sitting across the table from an ex-casino manager as he tells stories and random facts about how things in Vegas really were.
The problem with this film, and it was kind of a problem for me just a bit, was that the film didn’t break too much grounds. It does a little bit what Goodfellas did 5 years earlier. You have the excessive violence, realistic screenplay, look inside the mob, and even narration from its main character, that all Goodfellas has. I don’t think with this film that Scorsese brought out any new points to make about the mob cause he did already make them earlier, and that is what causes this film to get barely any recognition.
The acting in here is what makes this film, the best. De Niro plays the character we all love him as, he goes through so many emotions as this guy that we can see how realistic his character really is. Pesci is also great playing the hard-boiled little guy that we all love and know him for. The scenes with them two are just great, cause you can see the chemistry these two have, and how good they are is just one sight to see the most. Sharon Stone also give the knockout performance in this movie bringing a lot of heart, but by the end more havoc, and she goes through this whole transformation as a character, and it seems believable rather than just made for story purposes.
Consensus: Casino doesn’t break any new grounds mostly due to Goodfellas, but is still a fast-paced information mobster flick, with a terrific direction from Scorsese, and memorable performances by the trio of leads.
Proof that you don’t fuck with Robert De Niro!
Raging Bull stars Robert De Niro as Jake LaMotta, a middleweight boxer whose sadomasochistic rage, sexual jealousy, and animalistic appetite exceeded the boundaries of the prizefight ring, and destroyed his relationship with his wife and family. Also featured in the film are Joe Pesci as Joey, La Motta’s well intentioned brother and manager who tries to help Jake battle his inner demons, and Cathy Moriarty as his abused teen-aged wife.
So when it comes to boxing films, none can ever top my favorite, and probably everybody else’s, Rocky. That film is one of the timeless classics that the whole family can watch and recite for years and years to come. However, when watching this boxing classic take the family away.
Raging Bull is the best sports film of all-time, close to one of the greatest but you know me I can’t go that far yet. I mean there are so many reasons why it’s just great but I just don’t know how to put it all out.
This is a film that is way different from many other sports films. We never get a look at La Motta’s childhood, we just see him when he becomes a star, and then to where it starts to die out. This is great cause we get a sense that this guy was always like this and really was never happy.
The whole film is beautifully filmed in black-and-white, and to be truly honest it couldn’t have worked any other way. The fighting scenes are what is mostly perfect about the look, cause they are shot in such unrelenting and graphic detail that I really did fully get an idea of exactly what boxing is all about. This whole film looks so realistic that I actually felt like I was in the 40′s with La Motta at the time all this was going down.
One of the main reasons why this film is so great is because of De Niro. Obviously, La Motta is a real person, but De Niro takes this real person and turns into what I may say one of the best characters ever captured on film. His performance is so wonderful that at the end I totally forgot that this was De Niro, and felt like I was just watching La Motta himself. His temper is short and there are plenty of scenes where he just loses it, and you, the viewer, are even scared just watching this man. But one of the better reasons why he is so great, is cause the character himself is so unsympathetic. Now this is what I love to see in movies that is played real well here. Here we have a guy who just doesn’t give a shit about what he does: he cheats on his wife plenty of times, beats the crap out of anyone he wants to, basically just doesn’t care what other people have to say about him cause he knows they will get destroyed by him, and at the end of the day he will say “FUCK YOU!”. This is the kind of character that I want to see in any film, De Niro plays this character with such anger and aggression, that I’m not just scared of this man, but I also have to just say he is one of the greatest tragic hero’s in any film still to this day. Also, the supporting cast with Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty who do their very best jobs just to at least handle this crazy S.O.B.
But surely this film wouldn’t even be amazing without one of the greatest, Martin Scorsese. You can just tell with every single scene he is just swinging for the bleachers and is trying so hard to make this film as effective as still is today. He shows us the little spaces in between the high points, but mostly its a film about a life and the end of it, and what is left to say. I was just right away destroyed by the film even as it started, with those beautiful and glorious opening credits, don’t tell me that doesn’t just deserve a 10/10 itself. Honestly, I will never watch another Scorsese film without thinking of this and to be truly honest, nothing that he does in the future will ever, and I mean ever come close to this beautiful piece of work.
Consensus: Without a doubt one of Scorsese’s best films of all-time, that shows a life that is filled with violence and anger, that is often too hard to watch. De Niro plays his greatest role ever as La Motta the unsympathetic hero, and puts so much depth into this performance, that I really felt like I knew who this man truly was.
Do not watch this movie on an empty stomach. I assure you, you will be very hungry.
Drama of a half-Irish, half-Sicilian Brooklyn boy initiated into a neighborhood mob in his youth, and the struggles he encounters with the gang through the next 25 years.
I first saw this movie about 2 years ago and didn’t think much about it, until now I have just been amazed by this film.
This is surely one of the great films from the gangster film genre. Director Matin Scorsese fully shows this unromantic view on the gangsters lifestyle. He shows what the gangsters do is steal, kill, and don’t associate with many others outside of the circle, which in all shows how these character interact with one-another. The best thing about Scorsese is that he takes these theatrics looks and make moral stands. What Scorsese is mostly showing and telling that these people are scum, and this is so crushing in a beautiful and artful way.
The little things in this film are great as well. Such as the ending parts where Liotta’s character soon becomes high on drugs and its filmed in a completely different way and style than earlier before. More great things about this film is also the scenes where its just that single camera shot and you follow all around a party that these mob characters have and you meet all the people and you look at all the colorful personality’s but you soon realize their all the same. The narration from Liotta is great and I like how it shows how he is sort of an outsider and it shows his insight on the world that he lives in with these gangsters. Another cool feature is how through this film we see how they evolve over the years and how different they look.
The best part of this film are the performances by all. To be truly honest there isn’t one single bad performance in this film. Joe Pesci totally steals the show with his energetic and lovable personality, but shows that the easiest things can tick him off. The most under looked performance is from Lorraine Braco who plays the wife of Liotta who is very important and shows how even wives who stay at home and spend the money from the husbands are still effected of the mob life as well. Probably one of the first mob movies with a female being a part of the mafia and is not just a supporting act.
This movie did cause a couple of problems for me. I wish there was more of De Niro’s character cause he proved he can act but he wasn’t such a big name character in this movie and I would’ve liked to see more of him. Also, Paul Sorvino’s character should’ve been shown more and shown in a way that would’ve been more effective way and show his relationship with Liotta and the rest but we only get little snippets of him and it would been more effective to show him. Also though this movie through and through is great it still does not have a very effective ending at all. I think in a film like this with so many twist and turns that a better ending would’ve showed up in this movie but it didn’t.
Everything about this movie is just fantastic:acting, music, dialouge, camera work, and especially the directing. Though with a little bit of character involvement errors and a not so fantastic ending, I still believe this movie is a great American classic for all to see.