Casino (1995)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writer: Nicholas Pileggi, Martin Scorsese (Screenplay) Nicholas Pileggi (Book)

Starring: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, James Woods, Don Rickles, Alan King, Kevin Pollak

 

Plot: Greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia underboss and a casino owner, for a trophy wife over a gambling empire.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Long Crime Drama

 

Story: Casino starts as we see the rise of mobsters Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein (De Niro) and Nicky Santoro (Pesci) two friends that get involved in the casino industry, Ace is the calm face of the operation keeping the casino in order with the money going to the people it needs to, Nicky does the dirty work beating down the people who go against the casino.

As Ace runs the casino smoothly along with his new wife Ginger (Stone), he keeps the casino clean making more money than he would with other the books work. Nicky continues to do the dirty work as he wants to make as much money as possible from the casinos but his methods brings in the attention of the authorities, getting himself banned from every casino in Vegas.

Over the time the two clash over business as Nicky style flashes the spotlight on Ace, leading to the two friends becoming strained and broken.

 

Thoughts on Casino

 

Characters/PerformanceAce is sent to Vegas to run the books through a casino for the mob, he keeps the business going well but when his friend Nicky interrupts the business, Ace finds himself needing to defend himself through the trial. Nicky is the hot head that joins the casino industry to keep an eye on Ace’s back but soon he finds himself trying to take over Vegas by force which leads to the problems between the two.

Performance wise, De Niro and Pesci both give great performance in what is easily their strengths the crime world, the rest of the cast do great jobs through the whole film.

StoryThe story does balance both the stories of Ace and Nicky but you can’t help but feel this is very long, the film is nearly 3 hours long and is a giant flashback because we see Ace killed in the opening scene. This is a crime story you feel we have seen before and it was nice to see the balance between the violent and the calm reasons for running the businesses.

CrimeWatching how the crime world is run from the calm front and the violent front does come off interesting in places but is slightly rinse repeat.

SettingsVegas always makes for a wonderful setting for a crime story because we all know the vices within the city through the 70s and 80s.

Final ThoughtsThis is too long for the story being told, yes the performances are good but it in the end the drawn out story feels forced throughout.

 

Overall: Long crime drama.

Rating

 

 

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Halloween Kingathon – Cat’s Eye (1985)

Banner-1logoDirector: Lewis Teague

Writer: Stephen King (Screenplay)

Starring: Drew Barrymore, James Woods, Alan King, Kenneth McMillan, Robert Hays, Candy Clark, James Naughton

Plot: A stray cat is the linking element of three tales of suspense and horror.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Suspenseful Trilogy of Terror

Story: Cat’s Eye starts with a cat running from a rabies infested dog Cujo going past a car called Christine before escaping and hearing a girl Amanda (Barrymore) crying for help, before getting caught and locked away.

Time to meet Dick Morrison (Woods) who is trying his hardest to quit smoking and he heads to the a clinic with different methods with Dr Vinny Donatti (King). The methods of quitting smoking involve Dick getting watched every minute of every day and if he should smoke one of his loved one will pay with ever increasing methods, he has four strikes or he is out.

With that story finished our cat ends up in Atlanta where it runs into gamblers Cressner (McMillan) who is dealing with his cheating wife’s new boyfriend Johnny Norris (Hays). Cressner gives Johnny a one time bet, walk around the ledge of his building and he can take his wife, money and freedom but otherwise he will end up dying trying or be framed for a crime.

The final tale of terror is about a family Sally Ann (Clark) husband Hugh (Naughton) and daughter Amanda (Barrymore) who the cat comes to but Amanda is being traumatised by a troll like creature while the cat just wants to protect her.

Cat’s Eye brings us three perfectly balanced tales of terror that keep you on edge from start to finish of all of them. Each chapter has a slight twist on what it used to focus on, with one being paranoia based, one all suspense and the final one almost a creature features. I like how each story takes advantage of its about 30 minute run time to get the most out of ideas and loved how the cat ends up walking into each story too. If you love a trilogy of horror films this will work for you. (7/10)

Actor Review

Drew Barrymore: Amanda is the young girl from the final chapter of the story who is having bad dreams but wants to adopt the cat after it comes to her family’s home. She is also the girl calling the cat on its adventures. Drew does a good job in this role even if the cat and troll seem to be the main characters. (7/10)

James Woods: Dick Morrison is a business man who has a smoking problem, he wants to give up and turns to Dr Donatti who promises he will quit smoking even if he has to go to extreme measures. When the paranoia of being watched takes over will he be able to quit, that is the question. James does a good job in this role showing he can play this style of role perfectly. (7/10)

Alan King: Dr Vinny Donatti is the doctor running the clinic whose extreme methods push Dick to the edge of paranoia but he knows he can get the results required. Alan does a good job in this role filling it with terror throughout. (7/10)

Kenneth McMillan: Cressner is the gambler who will gamble on absolutely anything, but this time he wants to teach his wife’s lover a lesson while he tortures him into going around his building. Kenneth makes for a good villainous character. (7/10)

Robert Hays: Johnny Norris is the victim of Cressner’s games who has to walk around the ledge of the building for his freedom. Robert has a good terror filled performance here. (7/10)

Support Cast: Cat’s Eye doesn’t really have too many supporting character but each one helps the main character in the story enough.

Director Review: Lewis Teague Lewis does a good job balancing the three stories and gives us different types of horror in each one. (7/10)

Horror: Cat’s Eye gives us three different styles of horror and each one ends up getting pulled to the limits. (8/10)

Thriller: Cat’s Eye will keep you on the edge of your seat through each different story. (8/10)

Settings: Cat’s Eye uses different settings for each story which works to help the horror happen. (8/10)
Special Effects: Cat’s Eye has good effects for the most part but has a couple that don’t always look as good now. (7/10)

Suggestion: Cat’s Eye is one for all the horror trilogy fans will enjoy because you can easily skip on if you don’t like to sound of it. (Horror Trilogy Fans Watch)

Best Part: Middle Story.

Worst Part: I would like to have seen more from the first story.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Creepshow

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $9 Million

Budget: $7 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

Tagline:  Through the eye of the cat, a twisted tail of macabre suspense from the author of CARRIE, The SHINING and THE DEAD ZONE.

Overall: Good series of horror films from a horror master.

Rating 70