#139: Casino (1995)

When and how did I watch this?

March 6th and 7th, 2016, on Amazon Instant Video.

Had I seen this film already?

In pieces, yes.

What did I know about the movie before watching it?

It’s a huge Scorsese film featuring his pet actor of the time, Robert DeNiro.  I remembered a lot of profanity and violence when I first knew of it at around 15 years old, and much of it didn’t make sense to me at the time. I often mixed up this one and Goodfellas, which I also saw in pieces.

What do I know about it now?

It’s difficult to tell a huge story like this in three hours, yet Scorsese manages to do so without making the film seem to drag on. The mob association with running big Vegas casinos is somewhat familiar, if not fabled, to most: the hitmen, the huge exchanges of cash, drug movement, loyalty and betrayal.  What Casino does is make the whole thing very real to the viewer. No one is above the law; everyone is human, walking a fine line between looking like a superstar to the public and getting their head bashed in by a hot-headed little Italian dude. I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly the story moved along, and the lack of cliches and hiccups in the flow. Stone and Pesci are brilliant.

What are some themes in the film?

Pride, greed, violence, jealousy, family, money

Did this affect me personally?

Writing this over two months after watching the film, I still remember Ginger’s huge meltdown outside the house. The film as a whole is unforgettable and rekindles gratefulness for not being wedged in a position like Sam’s.

Why is this ranked #139?

It’s possible that people mix it up with Goodfellas (“You talkin’ to me?”), which features a similar cast. I would imagine that the majority of people respect Scorsese and his ability to tell a story.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She ended up watching most of this one despite numerous violent scenes and constant f bombs..

Would I watch it again?

I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it again.  It’s pretty heavy stuff.

Would I recommend it to a friend?

I think everyone who respects legendary cinema should see this one.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

Yes, without question.

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