Starring Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, James Woods, Don Rickles, Alan King, Kevin Pollak
Written By: Nicholas Pileggi
Directed By: Martin Scorsese
Buy on Amazon.com link
Goodfellas in Vegas perhaps? Scorsese just loves the mafia movies! I only saw Casino once before, I thought the movie was great, but just a tad too long. But the movie has some great acting and scenes.
Casino is directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Nicolas Pileggi. The film is about brilliant gambler, Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein (Robert De Niro) getting the chance to run a Las Vegas Casino in the 70’s, with a lil’ bit of help from the mob, including his psycho mafia friend Nicky Santaro (Joe Pesci). Everything is all peachy in the beginning, until Nicky keeps coming out to Vegas; doing business out there and bringing heat onto Sam & his casino. Then he meets a coked up card hustler Ginger (Sharon Stone), who’s pretty hot but just a load of trouble. Sam foolishly marries her, she steals from him and screws her ex boyfriend/pimp behind his back. While that is happening, Nicky is just getting into more and more problems with drugs and violence and Sam is trying to get a legit gaming license. Which between those two, is making things very difficult. Eventually, the shit hits the fan and all the major characters lose everything they once had.
Casino is a great movie about old time Vegas and it’s a story that’s very intriguing. I love mafia movies, and especially when it involves Las Vegas. The film is based off of true stories & events and it’s scary what went down back then. Maybe that’s why this movie is more intriguing, if it was just some fictional story, it wouldn’t be as intriguing. But Vegas is definitely different now, as De Niro puts it in the movies, it’s like Disney Land owned by big corporations. I like the movie the most in the first hour when you got to see how things were done in Vegas, and just gave you history about the city, casinos and the characters involved. Seeing how they dealt with card sharks and cheaters was great. That’s why I like the show Vegas so much, but they do things just a little bit differently now than they did back then. Then the next two hours gets sporadically good for me, because things are just crazy! If I was Sam, I would have gotten Ginger whacked or left her ass years before she started getting really bad. Plus seeing Joe Pesci make out with Sharon Stone wasn’t the most pleasant thing to see. It’s not really fun seeing someone’s life go down the crapper but it is interesting to say the least.
The acting, the direction, the story are all strong points in the movie but I just felt it was too damn long. They could have easily knocked down an hour of the movie and it still would have been strong. I’m not sure entirely sure what to cut out but something should have. Probably if Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone or Joe Pesci were in this movie, I don’t think it would have been as good. They were great in the film and Pesci was just a lunatic! He had some funny ass lines & situations though, like trying to hit the downed plane on the golf course. Sharon Stone pulls off the crazy druggie really well…too well. De Niro is always good in these type of roles. I don’t think this is Scorsese’s best movie but it’s really entertaining and a good character drama.
The extras are pretty decent. There’s several featurettes that range from 5-15 minutes each and are broken up into different sections. There’s one on the script and the book, one about the cast, the look and style of the film, and stuff after filming like editing, music and other stuff. I liked the NBC report about Vegas and the Mob and the reporter talked about the true stories about Vegas and the mafia making the city into something special. The current mayor was interviewed and he was a defense attorney for many of the mobsters in Vegas. He says they were good guys; yeah, someone doesn’t like like he’s in cahoots. There’s a few other things on here for fans of the movies to check out as well.
Overall, Casino is a great movie with excellent acting, an interesting story but like i’ve said before, it was just too long. I would have liked to see more stuff in the casino, and dealing with scammers and card sharks but I guess that wouldn’t make an interesting mob story.
Casino: The Story – Behind-the-scenes exploration of the script, the book and how director Martin Scorsese collaborated with writer Nicholas Pileggi
Casino: The Cast and Characters – Discover who the real people are behind the characters and how the filmmakers cast them
Casino: The Look – Nothing captures the essence of the world of gambling like the decor of casinos
Casino: After the Filming – Once the scenes are shot, it’s time to edit, add music and prepare for the theatrical release Vegas and the Mob
True Crime Authors: Casino with Nicholas Pileggi
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
SPANISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen 2.35:1 Color (Anamorphic)
English, Spanish, French
Favorite Scenes: The first hour is really good, and the hits at the end of the movie were cool…well not for the people that were getting killed.
Running Time: 179 minutes