Casino

Casino ★★★★★

"You can have the money and the hammer or you can walk out of here, you can't have both."

Fucking, Scorsese. No matter how many times I rewatch his films, I still always find myself drawn into them (except for The Departed, I don't think it holds up very well), and never find myself being bored, looking at the clock. Scorsese is a master of making films that just suck you in to the world presented to you and he'll keep you there. Even at three hours (nearly) long, Casino is never boring. Fuck, what was the last boring film Scorsese made, because I can't think of one.

Casino could be seen as a sort of follow-up to Scorsese's gangster masterpiece, Goodfellas, but both films are ultimately different. They are indeed based on real life incidents and inspired by real life figures in the organized crime family, but both play out differently. It's definitely safe to say that Casino is overshadowed by Goodfellas, but while I love both films, I would probaby take the former any day of the week. Why? I don't know, I really just can't put my finger on it. Probably because this is yet another stunning masterpiece, both visually and narratively speaking film from Scorsese, that this time around, he's just having a damn good time.

Casino is the story of organized crime in Las Vegas, Nevada and how their operations play out with the casino's and the people involved. The story of the rise and fall of Sam "Ace" Rothstein (Robert De Niro) and all the factors that led to his downfall, and eventually most of organized crime at the casino Ace ran. It's not a tale of excess and how it led to one's downfall. Ace had it all, the money, the power, a beautiful wife, connections up the wazoo. Despite being connected to the Mafia, Sam still had a job to uphold. It isn't until Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) and Ace's eventful wife, Ginger (Sharon Stone) come into the picture, where everything just comes crumbling down.

Nicky is sent to Vegas to keep an eye on Ace and make sure everything goes smooth and in other words "make sure nobody fucks with him". Nicky want's a slice of the action. He knows that wile Vegas is open for the Mafia to have their fingers in on the action, a ticking time bomb like Nicky just isn't welcomed. Nicky attracts so much heat that it eventually transpires over to Ace and in the end, fucks things up. Ginger, is just a hustler. She never loved him, she only cared about the money and the lifestyle she was able to get from him. Ace knew this, even if it nearly ruined his life, but he never could hate her. By the end, everyone is either dead or just severely fucked for the rest of their lives.

It's this three hour epic and it just keeps on going as if time has no boundaries. While everyone delivers great performances, especially Pesci and Stone, Casino is ultimately Robert De Niro's film. It's his story, his character, and his main narration that moves the film along steadily. Casino is classic Scorsese, and probably his flashiest. Scorsese really captures the Vegas life perfectly, and behind the doors operations by the mob, as well as the brutal violence perfectly. His choice of music is also top notch as always, and helps with the scene by enhancing the mood and moving everything along perfectly. I'd also say that this is probably his best film editing wise too, the cuts, transitions, pacing, everything.

After rewatching this and writing about it I have finally come to a conclusion. While I do love Goodfellas, I now strongly feel that Casino is the much more superior film. Remember I love both films, I just now think that Casino has a far more greater edge over Goodfellas now. Scorsese is still the shit. Always will be. Oh and the Cheater's Justice scene is probably one of my favorite scenes of all time.

"You hear a little girl, Frankie? Is that a little girl, Ace? Is that a little fuckin' girl? What happened to the fuckin' tough guy who told my friend to stick it up his fuckin' ass?"

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