Scorsese's Best Since Goodfellas
I've always liked Martin Scorsese's movies, he has done several types of movies and has shown that he definitely knows how to make good movies. When you see his name stamped on a movie, you know you're going to get quality work. And he's shown his versatility in directing unrelated films like Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, After Hours, The Last Waltz, Taxi Driver, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Color Of Money, Raging Bull, The Aviator, the list goes on. But what Martin is known best for are his gangster movies. From Mean Streets to Goodfellas, Casino, Gangs of New York, and now The Departed, he shows he knows how to make gangster movies. My personal favorite from Martin is Goodfellas (I've seen it a dozen times, and I think it's right up there with The Godfather for best gangster/mob movie of all time), but as good as Goodfellas is, The Departed gives it a run for its money. The thing I like about Martin Scorsese the best is he has a vision. He knows what works for him, and he stays with what he knows. And if he decides to go a different way, he definitely does his homework. He knows cinematography as well and knows what will look great on the big screen, and it looks just as great in the living room after you pop the movie in.
The Departed is an excellent movie with an excellent cast. Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, and Alec Baldwin all put forth performances so real that you believe that they are the characters. DiCaprio, Damon, and Nicholson steal the show with their great performances in great roles; but it's Wahlberg, Sheen, and Baldwin who complete the movie with their excellent supporting roles. Sometimes you see an excellent cast fall flat on their face (Ocean's Twelve), but Scorsese doesn't let any egos get in the way. He does an excellent job of keeping everyone within their own character, and the result is outstanding.
The Departed is similar to the movie Donnie Brasco with Al Pacino and Johnny Depp, but it's way more complicated. Complicated in a good way. It takes a while for everything to play out (it runs in at two and half hours), but it all comes together, and I'm glad Martin didn't skip out on the storytelling by making the movie shorter. I honestly don't know what could've been cut out. It's about a mole who gets inside the mob while reporting to police officers in order to bring down mob boss Frank Costello (Nicholson). Only problem is that he has a cop that's supposed to be on his side who's reporting back to Frank, so Frank keeps eluding the heat. Meanwhile, each side is trying to figure out who the mole is on the other side. There are all kinds of twists and turns which make this movie truly original and great, and it keeps you guessing all the way up to the climactic end.
It's nice to see that Martin finally got his Oscar nod. I cannot think of anyone in Hollywood who has done so much for the movie industry, and yet kept getting snubbed year after year. He finally got what was coming to him, just like the guys who get whacked in his movies, but in a good way. Goodfellas is still my favorite Scorsese movie (favorite movie period), but The Departed is right up there. I was actually kind of surprised to see that he won the Oscar for Departed; not because of the quality of the movie, but because of past snubbings. I thought maybe Scorsese's movies were too violent for the Academy. They finally got it right. Thank you.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
They are all but one The Departed
Do people really live like this? It's Boston, which is a long way from where I live. But it reminds me of the spy-counter spy movies from the past that we went to see in the 1960s and 1970s--only bloodier. It is also so complicated that it reminds me of "The Big Sleep."
In the movie, we have an Irish Mafia leader (Jack Nicholson) with a spy in the police (Matt Damon). But we also have an undercover police captain (Martin Sheen and his assistant Mark Wahlberg) with a spy in the Mafia (Leonardo DiCaprio). The cat and mouse game is the root of the story. Who will outsmart the other and figure out who is the spy for the other side? And additionally, who is the cat and who is the mouse? The use of two or three cell phones by each character makes this a movie that could not have been made before now.
Unknowingly, the two spies have the same girlfriend played by police-
psychiatrist, Vera Farmiga, who is pregnant at the end of the movie. An unresolved issue is who is the father, which to me would have made the movie much more satisfying if we had known. There would have been a victory of sorts for one of the characters.
On the downside, the movie contains constant cursing in language that would tremendously offend conservative, church-going people. Additionally, there is a tremendous amount of bloodshed--especially gunshots straight through the brain spattering blood all over the place. There is also other violence--people being pushed off of buildings, glasses smashed into faces, broken hands smashed again, and lots of karate type moves.
You have to have a certain tolerance of lots of action and be willing to accept lots of coincidences and being in the right place at the right time to like this kind of movie. I for one prefer a simpler story that is true entertainment--but not slapstick comedy.
This movie, however, was cleverly done. Jack Nicholson plays the part that he plays so well--grody, sexual, fearless, tragic, and always on the edge of being caught by the police. Also great is Mark Wahlberg, who for once plays a good guy but only in a roundabout way. (He is really a curser. It almost makes you laugh if it weren't so vulgar.)
Martin Scorsese finally won his Best Director Oscar for this movie. I assume that he deserved it, but really I think that it was one of those Oscars given because he had lost so many times in the past.
Finally, this movie is for those of us who still thrive on lots of violence, action, and a story full of coincidences and being in the right place at the right time.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
The movie is a cat-and-mouse game where it is never too clear who is the cat and who is the mouse; nor is it clear with which character we are supposed to identify. It has borrowed heavy from the Hong Kong movie Infernal Affairs. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a young man from a gangster family, joins the police, and goes undercover to infiltrate Boston's mob. There is Jack Nicholson, who upstages everybody in the picture. Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon do their best to match Nicholson,but its no contest. In supporting roles,
Mark Wahlberg , Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Alec Baldwin, and Vera Farmiga.
Its intelligent and has enough twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Irish Mob back on the Big Screen - Full Screen DVD
The Departed brings the Irish Mob back on the big screen in this latest film by Martin Scorsese. This is the story of 2 Police Officers, one who is a mole for the cops in the Irish Mob and the other is a mole in the police department for the mob. Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) is the head of the Irish Mob Family who raises a boy like his own son, and sends him to the police academy to become a cop. Officer Collin Sullivan (Matt Damon) helps out his adopted father by passing on police information to him. Officer Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) infiltrates Costello's crew and passes on information to his superiors (Mark Wahlberg and Martin Sheen). This is called Martin Scorsese's best film since Goodfellas, but I would have to say that Goodfellas was better. There is alot of good action, and there is a good twist at the end. Overall it is a real good film. Definitely one to see for any gangster movie fan. Get the Full Screen Edition DVD on eBay today and check it out for yourself !!
12 of 14 people found this review helpful.
To take down South Boston's Irish Mafia, the police send in one of
their own to infiltrate the underworld, not realizing the syndicate
has done likewise in this Oscar winning crime thriller. While an
undercover cop (Leonardo CiCaprio) curries favor with the mob kingpin
(Jack Nicholson), a career criminal (Matt Damon) rises through the
police ranks. Both sides soon discover there is a mole among them-
but can not identify them. Plenty of action, guns and casulties
here as you soon learn 'The Departed' are the people that lose their
lives with the fighting between the two sides. Director Martin
Scorsese has done many hit movies (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The
Aviator, Kundun, etc) and this is certainly one of the top ones
that will be added to the list. Great movie for a nights entertainment
especially if you enjoy crime thrillers, drama or action movies. Movie
was awarded Oscars for BEST PICTURE and BEST DIRECTOR in 2006.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.