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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Home Alone (1990)

homeDirector: Chris Columbus

Writer: John Hughes (Screenplay)

Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard, Roberts Blossom, Catherine O’Hare

 

Plot: An 8-year old troublemaker must protect his home from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Family Classic

 

Story: Home Alone starts as we see the McCallister family preparing for their Christmas holiday away in Paris and with 15 family members in the house the chaos begins. We follow 8-year-old Kevin (Culkin) who gets banished to the attic after misbehaving and wishing for a new family.

During the night, there is a power cut which makes everyone oversleep and an all-out panic to get to the airport on time leading to Kevin getting forgotten and left Home Alone. Kevin doing what every child would do on their own gets the run of the house but soon finds himself having to fight off two burglars Harry (Pesci) and Marv (Stern) and he uses all the weapons from inside the house to defend his family home.

Home Alone is always going to be the family comedy classic people can enjoy of Christmas the slapstick comedy works to perfection even if it comes off slightly violent for today’s audience. The solo setting inside the house Kevin is protecting all works to show just what one boy can do to protect his own home.

The acting all works great as Macaulay Culkin will always be remembered for this role and the turns from Joe Pesci in a comedy shows the range he had along with Daniel Stern being a great sidekick character to him. The rest of the family all work well giving good performance to show the different siblings Kevin must live with.

This is always being one people will talk highly about and it is hard to say anything bad about this true classic on the genre.

 

Overall: Fantastic Festive Family Film

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