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With the 3. Whilst Goodfellas is an unequivocal Scorsese classic - infinitely quotable, marvellously memorable, and energetically brutal - just five years later their reunion for this Vegas crime epic would be arguably even more stunning, refining the raw ingredients that were brought to bear in the mob story and turning in a spectacular study of the Vegas mob-ruled heyday, working as a surprisingly effective companion-piece to Warren Beatty's underrated Bugsy which charted the tragic birth of Vegas , and effectively charting the subsequent rise and fall of what was, for a few years, one of the biggest licensed criminal enterprises on the planet.
It could be argued that saw Scorsese at the absolute top of his game. Sure, he might have had bigger budgets and better Box Office success later and, yes, both Raging Bull and - notably - the underrated The Last Temptation of Christ wielded more of that raw energy and passion that defined his earlier works, but Casino was the last classic era Scorsese production, and displayed a culmination of everything he had learned and refined along the way.
In some ways it could be regarded as a more polished Goodfellas , but it's so much more than just that. The story here was both bigger and more personal, pitching us a trio of fabulous lead characters perfectly brought to life by an equally at-the-top-of-his-game De Niro in his last of a whopping eight collaborations with Scorsese , a dangerously volatile Pesci his psycho Nicky could easily wipe the floor with his Goodfellas' Tommy, John Wick -style, with nothing more than a pen , and an Oscar-nominated Sharon Stone impressive work considering she was - and in some ways still is - riding in the shadow of 's Basic Instinct , and some of the finest cinematography, editing, scoring and sheer direction seen in Scorese's entire filmography.
And thus, arguably, in the history of cinema. Casino was the last classic era Scorsese production, and displayed a culmination of everything he had learned and refined along the way.
Casino comes to UK Ultra HD Blu-ray courtesy of Universal, marrying up to their likely identical US release, and delivering a largely stunning full-fat native 4K video presentation, which somehow balances the director's softer classically glamorous style with superb underlying detail and an HDR-enhanced eye-popping Vegas landscape.
The disc presents a x p resolution image utilising the film's original theatrical aspect ratio of widescreen 2. This excellent native 4K presentation will have you not merely retiring the old SDR Blu-ray but putting it out of its misery.
Casino also earns a superb upgrade in the audio department, with a 3D object-based high definition immersive audio track in the flavour of DTS:X which fabulously refines the original mix for a more engulfing experience that, as with the video, will hit your right from the opening title sequence.
Casino also earns a superb upgrade in the audio department. With superb native 4K video and immersive audio, the only disappointment comes in the same meagre extras package as before, still residing on the accompanying Blu-ray.
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Alternate Versions. Rate This. A tale of greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia enforcer and a casino executive, compete against each other over a gambling empire, and over a fast living and fast loving socialite.
Director: Martin Scorsese. Available on Amazon. Added to Watchlist. From metacritic. High School Icons, Then and Now. Everything Coming to Hulu in June Our Favorite '90s Movie Soundtracks.
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You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. Top Rated Movies Nominated for 1 Oscar. Each is slick, fast-paced, powered by a period soundtrack of classic tunes and filled with enough bravura camera moves for ten other movies.
Yet I remain in the minority of viewers who actually prefer 'Casino' over its more acclaimed cinematic soul brother.
Perhaps it's because, unlike 'GoodFellas,' which focused solely on the rise and fall of Henry Hill, here the spiritual corruption is spread equally between Ace and Nicky.
And Stone, in a career high as Ginger, proves that she's an even better actress when her legs are crossed.
Ginger is the powderkeg that ignites a partnership already on the brink of exploding, which for my taste makes 'Casino' a lot more fun and narratively twisty and melodramatic in its excesses than any previous Scorsese flick.
How can you not love a movie that features a point-of-view shot through a cocaine straw? And the only thing more fun than watching one mobster in 'GoodFellas' get his is watching two screw each other over for a hooker and a percentage point.
It's also nice to see Scorsese spicing up his usual boys club with Stone, who again so "sizzles" up the screen that for once the back-of-the-box proclamation isn't mere hyperbole.
Unfortunately, I still have some problems with Scorsese's penchant for onscreen violence. I know, I know, I sound like Michael Medved. Even 'Casino's now-infamous "vice torture" scene notwithstanding, all the bloodletting felt gratuitous long ago.
Rather than gingerly applied a la ''The Godfather' to add the proper Grand Guignol-meets-Italian Opera bravura, or -- as Scorsese himself did so effectively in ' Taxi Driver ' confining it to a single scene of orgiastic release as a legitimate storytelling device, in 'Casino' there seems to be an almost gleeful preoccupation with brutality that I find juvenile an indulgence that also mars 'GoodFellas' and 'Gangs of New York'.
And as great a pair as De Niro and Pesci make onscreen what ever happened to the latter's career, anyway? We know Pesci's Nicky is as fragile as he is psychopathic, and I understood how his self-possession led to his violent outbursts -- I just didn't need to see every one of them.
But even discounting the moments of 'Casino' that I couldn't watch because I was cowering behind my fingertips, I enjoyed the hell out of the rest of it.
It looks great. The film got a nice restoration for standard-def DVD back in , that master serves as the basis for the high-def version. The image looks glittery and glamorous, thanks both to the high-resolution and Robert Richardson's sterling cinematography.
Blacks and strong contrast give the picture real snap, crackle and pop -- I loved watching Scorsese's camera march through the casino floor like that little kid on his big wheel in Kubrick's ' The Shining.
And yes, during that "the muffin has too many blueberries" scene, you can count each one. Colors are excellent, with rich hues solid and free of noise.
Fleshtones are also spot-on, with Sharon Stone never looking more orange and lovely. Sure, I could complain -- some scenes are a bit overly-contrasted with bloomy whites, and shadow delineation can suffer ever-so-slightly due to crushed blacks.
But this is minor stuff -- in terms of picture quality, 'Casino' hits the jackpot on Blu-ray. Because he's considered such a visual stylist, it's often overlooked how expertly Martin Scorsese also assembles the soundtracks to his films.
More than just the composer he selects or the "songtracks" he creates, the way Scorsese combines and balances the various sonic elements is truly craftsman-like.
Though it may not be overpowering like a big action flick, 'Casino' is so finely-attuned it is worth considering as demo material for those who appreciate subtlety over bombast in their home theater soundtracks.
The upgrade is a fair one.