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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The Fan (1996)

Director: Tony Scott

Writer: Phoef Sutton (Screenplay) Peter Abrahams (Book)

Starring: Robert De Niro, Wesley Snipes, Ellen Barkin, John Leguizamo, Benicio Del Toro, Patti D’Arbanville

 

Plot: An all star baseball player becomes the unhealthy focus of a down on his luck salesman.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Thriller

 

Story: The Fan starts as baseball MVP Bobby Rayburn (Snipes) joins to San Francisco Giants on a lucrative contract to be the highest paid player in the league. We also meet diehard baseball fan Gil Renard (De Niro) who is over the moon with the latest signing believing his team could go all the way this year but is on his last legs in his job as a salesman.

When Gil’s life starts crashing around him, he loses his job, gets a restraining order from his kid and even his beloved team isn’t performing he starts to reach into dark places. On the field, Bobby isn’t reaching to levels of expectation with Primo (Del Toro) outshining him in the games, with this we see how both men are not having the best time in their lives.

When Gil becomes obsessed with trying to help Bobby find his form, things take a dark turn with potentially deadly consequences.

 

Thoughts on The Fan

 

Characters/PerformanceGil is a true extreme diehard sports fan, he makes sport, in this case baseball the most important part of his life. He has been struggling with his job and family life which has pushed him over the edge. Bobby is the typical arrogant overpaid sports star who believes he can walk into any team and become the star attraction, when things don’t go his way, he struggles with the fan backlash when he hits a slump.

Performance wise, Robert De Niro is fantastic in this role with the final third of the film showing all of his skills on the psychotic levels. Wesley Snipes also brings the cocky sports persona from White Men Can’t Jump to the next level with his performance. The rest of the cast are all great, with always reliable performances from John Leguizamo and Benicio Del Toro.

StoryWe all know how certain fans can go to the extremes when it comes to supporting their team, we all know how the star player can sometimes find themselves getting the fans turn on them. So what happens when a fan goes too far, what happens when a star breaks his slump for his own change rather than because of the fan? Well this shows us just what could happen and in a very stylish way.

Action/SportsThe action is mostly based on the suspense of the film with the sports drama side coming from how the extreme fans can act.

SettingsSan Francisco is the most part for the setting which shows us how difficult it could be to get by, the difference between sports players and fans as well as the amount of people an average person could blend into.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most interesting twists on sports drama, seeing the extremes we could see a fan go to for a player and a team. This does start slightly slow but I do feel that helps build the characters for the final third of the film.

 

Overall: Great sports drama that has the intensity needed for the story.

Rating

 

 

Last Vegas (2013)

lastDirector: Jon Turteltaub

Writer: Dan Fogelman (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, Mary Steenburgen, Jerry Ferrara

 

Plot: Four friends take a break from their day-to-day lives to throw a bachelor party in Las Vegas for their last remaining single pal.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming Entertaining Comedy

 

Story: Last Vegas starts as we see where four former friends from Brooklyn have lived very different lives Sam (Kline) married doing water aerobics, Archie (Freeman) recently retired grandfather who isn’t trusted to look after his own grandchild, Paddy (De Niro) who has been widowed for a year now and Billy (Douglas) who is about to get married to a woman half his age.

This brings the four friends back together to Las Vegas to a bachelor party for Billy, giving the three friends a chance live it up like the young men they once were for what could be the last time.

 

Thoughts on Last Vegas

 

Characters/PerformanceThe four lead stars have their own personalities like you would imagine between friends, Billy is living his life with regret, Paddy is filled with sadness, Archie just wanting to escaping his elder life and Sam is trying to figure out where his married life is going. The mix between the four has great chemistry and you could see them all being friends.

The performances are all good from the heavyweights Douglas, De Niro, Freeman and Kline all work very well together. Everyone plays their part to work with the main cast throughout.stras

StoryFour friends coming back together for what could be their last weekend together as they can finally put away their differences. I liked this story it is easy to follow even if it does force feed us that these are old men in a young man’s world of Vegas. We do have plenty of moments which look at moments of life that could happen to anyone.

ComedyWe have good laughs from the whole cast with moments poking fun at the stars past as well as handling the elder characters in the wildly considered youthful party city.

SettingsLas Vegas is always a brilliant setting for the any film so I do enjoy each setting from the film.genre

Final ThoughtsI did enjoy this film more than I thought, it can be enjoyed by all the people watching the film.

 

Overall: Easy to watch and enjoy film.

Ratingrating

 

 

The Intern (2015)

internDirector: Nancy Meyers

Writer: Nancy Meyers (Screenplay)

Starring: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo, Andres Holm, JoJo Kushner, Andrew Rannells, Adam DeVine, Zack Pearlman

 

Plot: 70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker has discovered that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightful Drama

 

Story: The Intern starts as we meet Ben (De Niro) a retired widower who is struggling to find motivation in life even if he is getting to do all the things he never had time. When Ben discovers a flyer asking for Senior Interns he applies to work at an internet company to keep himself busy.

When Ben gets the role as the Intern he gets to work under the owner and founder of online fashion site Jules Ostin (Hathaway). Finding Jules very cold Ben continues to keep himself positive and learns odd jobs around the office becoming popular around the office.

Ben watches and learns about Jules as he sees how she is struggling to keep her company together and find time for family time with her husband Matt (Holm) and daughter Paige (Kushner). The longer the two spend time together Jules learns that Ben could help her with her problems.

The Intern shows just how important respecting all the generation within the work environment can be important with their own experiences be it elder members of the office helping with the getting respect while the young understand all the tech talk. This story shows how strong business woman can be vulnerable and elder business man can find enjoyment from helping the next generation succeed.

De Niro is brilliant in this role where he plays the role so calmly and effortless, Hathaway also gives us a great performance and when it comes to the supporting cast they get most of the laughs without Adam Devine going too over the top with his comedy either.

 

Overall: Brilliant comedy drama that hits all the marks with brilliant performances and story.

Ratingcaard

 

Cop Land (1997)

coplandDirector: James Mangold

Writer: James Mangold (Screenplay)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Peter Berg, Janeane Garofalo, Robert Patrick, Michael Rapaport, Annabella Sciorra, Noah Emmerich

 

Plot: The sheriff of a suburban New Jersey community populated by New York City policemen slowly discovers the town is a front for mob connections and corruption.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Crime Thriller

 

Story: Cop Land starts as we see Jersey Sherriff Freddy Heflin (Stallone) with his own drinking problems but outside the main force. We move to meet hero cop Murray Babitch (Rapaport) find himself involved in a shooting of two unarmed men causing tensions to rise within the force. His uncle Ray (Keitel) loyal partner Jack (Patrick) try to cover up the crime while Moe (De Niro) is investigating what really happened.

Freddy finds his town the location where all of the cops from New York hang out, making the sheriff of Cop Land, the web of lies is tangling under his nose and Moe turns to him for answers that will open the doors to the truth about what Ray is really up to.

Cop Land is a crime thriller that really does keep you guessing from start to finish with twist around nearly every corner. We watch as just as we think we know one answer they go and change the questions. The idea that the cops are both the good and bad guys really helps this film make an impact as we have to look at the very people that are meant to protect us being the ones we can’t trust. I would like to point that if you do miss scenes you will miss where the story is going which is concerning because seeing Stallone makes you think this will just be an action film but this is a lot more serious than any of the action films. This has a much better story than I was expecting and really is one of those underrated crime thrillers.

 

Actor Review

 

Sylvester Stallone: Freddy is the deaf in on eye Sheriff of a small Jersey town where all the cops live and hang out conducting the business they can’t within their own derestriction. When the latest corruption in the force happens in New York the cops find themselves in Frank’s town where he must watch over seeing what is really happened but figuring out who is honest is the hardest task he faces. Sylvester is good in this leading role in a film you wouldn’t be used to seeing him in.freeddy

Harvey Keitel: Ray is a top cop who has a reputation of covering up police crimes, when the latest one happens he has to protect his nephew from the pointing fingers by faking his death but who is really in his pocket and how far will he come to cover himself. Harvey plays the character you would expect to see him play and that is because he is good in this shady cop.

Ray Liotta: Gary is an undercover cop that spends his time around the small Jersey town when not working, he has lost a partner in a previous case with Ray covering something up. The tension rise between the two with this latest one as Gary wants his chance for revenge. Ray is good in this supporting role that you never really know which side of the fence he is on.

Robert De Niro: Moe is investigating the case on the bridge, he knows not everything is what is seems and turns to Freddy for help as he can’t touch any of the officers in Jersey. He just wants the truth to come out and to rid the streets of the corrupt cops. Robert shows that he can be a supporting character even with his reputation and does a good job in this role.

Support Cast: Cop Land has a huge supporting cast that all help the story unfold with us wondering which side of the battle they are on.

Director Review: James MangoldJames gives us a great thriller that really keeps us guessing from start to finish.

 

Crime: Cop Land puts us into the middle of a crime story where the criminals are the cops themselves.

Thriller: Cop Land does keep us guessing to where the story will be going from start to finish.

Settings: Cop Land use the small town for the setting which is filled with cops showing how full of tension throughout.
Special Effects
: Cop Land does use good effects when needed but doesn’t rely on them.

Suggestion: Cop Land is one for all crime thriller fans to enjoy. (Crime Thriller Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Story keeping us guessing.

Worst Part: Slightly too much going on.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

Tagline: No One Is Above The Law

 

Overall: Tense thriller that really does keep you guessing

Ratingcard