Casino ★★★★½

Martin Scorsese: Ranked

I don't know anymore if my love for gangster/mob films is because I grew up on Scorsese, or I love Scorsese because I love gangster films.

I think its the combination of them both.
Casino is often regarded as too similar to "GoodFellas" , which is the equivalent of saying Star Wars is too similar to The Hidden Fortress.

I love GoodFellas. It is a masterpiece that has Scorsese at top form written all over it.
But I fail to see why Casino has to suffer because it was made a few years after GoodFellas.

While sharing same director, writers, actors and themes, the films could not be more different.

GoodFellas deals with the rise and fall from youth of a gangster, while Casino deals more with Las Vegas, its' greed and the lives of mobsters in the golden era of Vegas.

Its true Casino is like any other Scorsese film about crime. His music choice, his shots, and basically just his love for crime films.
But I fail to see why that is a bad thing.

Every crime film Scorsese makes feels so different, and is about different parts of crime that they each feel similar, but vastly different.
Mean Streets was about catholic guilt and reponsibility, GoodFellas was the classic rise and fall tale of a mobster, and Casino is about Las Vegas (and now Wolf of Wall Street is about greed).

While the film is narrated and is about De-Niro and Pesci, and deals largly with them, the film above all is about Las Vegas. The ending could not be more obvious.

All the mobsters, all the casino managers are just temporary. It is the city that will always stay, no matter what happens.
The city might change, but that will be because of the people inside it, not the city itself.

While I do have to say the only thing keeping this film from being as good as the top Scorsese films (which it is so close to) is the good but a little over-long beginning.
While it is interesting to see how Casinos works, and the mobsters part in it, using only voice-overs for half an hour was a little tedious.
I love Scorsese's voice-overs. It works the best in Taxi Driver, but GoodFellas and Wolf of Wall Street also use it in perfect sense.
Its just that so much goes on, without anything really happening at the same time did make this a little tedious.

Yet, Casino is a three hour film that passes so fast. Its Scorsese's energy and terrific direction that make this film so enjoyable.

The film is beautiful. Not in a colorful kind of way, but the way only Vegas can be beautiful. With all the fakeness of it, all the rich and money.
De-Niro's suits especially. I want to have them when I grow up.

Casino also shows Scorsese's talent for adding black comedy to his films.
Not in After Hours/King of Comedy way, but more GoodFellas kind of black humor.
Pesci swearing, De-Niro juggling on live T.V, and amusing voice-overs add to the amusing humor this film has.

What else can be said. Casino is another addition to Scorsese's filmography that is full of genius films.

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