Newest Review: ... the back rooms. It also gives us a good overview of the mob's ownership, why they can't be in Vegas themselves and how the money gets to th... more
Moments of Greatness but 45 minutes too long
Member Name: huggy2009
Advantages: Some great imagery
Disadvantages: Too long
For me this is an underrated film which should always be sold combined with Goodfellas as an example of a period of Scorcese's work in which he was at his very best.
This film is again written by Nicola Pileggi and reunited Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in lead roles.
The film is set in Nevada in the 1970's and focuses on the lives of gangsters living in Las Vegas. Based partially on true events, De Niro plays Sam "Ace" Rothstein a casino manager who has moved up the game from being a bookie, he falls in love with Ginger (Sharon Stone), he allows his heart to rule his head and finds trouble with Ginger and her pimp/ex, Lester (James Woods), just when his life couldn't get any more confusing his mate Nicky (Pesci) arrives and things get seriously troublesome.
The film looks at the mobs control of the gambling scene on the sunset strip and as with all Scorcese films is beautifully shot, he really captures the seedy romance of this man made gambling metropolis, we see the highs and lows, winners and losers and learn about the control the mob once had of this tortured city.
The film is basically a story about a logical, brilliant man who ignores every rule he created in gambling in falling for the wrong woman and the collapse of his life which was on the verge of greatness.
De Niro is excellent in the lead role and also as Narrator while Pesci again plays a psycho, which works to a lesser level than it did in Goodfellas, for me Stone is actually pretty good amongst such an esteemed cast, she really does play the Femme Fatale really well and you can see why De Niro allows himself to be confused so easily by her, Woods as always hams it up and seems to really relish screen time with De Niro.
Overall this film is not a patch on Goodfellas, it is beautifully shot and some scenes are wonderful, but at 3 hours its around 45 minutes too long and some of the actors are a bit too stereotyped for my liking. The score is awesome fitting the era and the area perfectly and the place looks perfect, unfortunately the story lets it down, to make it a 3 out of 5 film, it works when watched alongside Goodfellas but it really does pale in comparison to this alltime classic.
Robert De Niro ... Sam 'Ace' Rothstein
Sharon Stone ... Ginger McKenna
Joe Pesci ... Nicky Santoro
James Woods ... Lester Diamond
Frank Vincent ... Frank Marino
Pasquale Cajano ... Remo Gaggi
Kevin Pollak ... Phillip Green
Don Rickles ... Billy Sherbert
Vinny Vella ... Artie Piscano
Alan King ... Andy Stone
L.Q. Jones ... Pat Webb
Dick Smothers ... Senator
Joseph Rigano ... Vincent Borelli
John Bloom ... Don Ward
Melissa Prophet ... Jennifer Santoro
The DVD is available for £3.68 on Amazon.
Summary: Moments of Greatness but 45 minutes too long