Casino Martin Scorsese

Casino Martin Scorsese
If Martin Scorsese's two best films of the 1990s were brothers, GoodFellas would be the affable, outgoing brother, the one who'll greet you with a hug, a laugh, a drink and an evening of hilarious — and slightly dangerous — stories; Casino would be the quiet brother, more of a mystery, difficult to know, with an edge that makes some nervous. Indeed, Casino, Scorsese's 1995 "spiritual sequel" to 1990's gangster epic, has always been misunderstood and less liked than the inviting, accessible narrative of its sibling. Casino reveals its secrets slowly, introducing its world of corrupt 1970s Las Vegas for almost an hour before delving into the life of its protagonist Sam "Ace" Rothstein (Robert DeNiro) and his conflicts with gangsters from "back home," including nihilistic Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) and Sam's moll girlfriend Ginger (Sharon Stone). Even then, the film keeps its cards close to the chest — while GoodFellas' Henry Hill wanted to be liked, Rothstein and Santoro want to be left alone. That makes Casino a film that's less accessible but more fascinating in the final analysis, and another look through this Tenth Anniversary Edition two-sided DVD is well worth it. As always, Scorsese gives his all for DVD treatments (he's too much of a film geek not to), and Casino gets the VIP treatment from pre-viz (the script was written before Nicolas Pileggi completed the book on which it's based), to the look and style of the picture. Sharon Stone in particular is worth another look; this is the best work of her career. In the final analysis, Casino will always be talked about in relation to its film kin but deserves to stand alone as another facet in Scorsese's exploration of criminal culture. Plus: deleted scenes, "Vegas and the Mob," more. (Universal)


(Instinct)