Casino by Martin Scorsese
There's something about watching a Martin Scorsese film that is just magical. along with Robert De Niro, Scorsese has directed a few films, including Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and the King of Comedy, along with a few others.
In Martin's 1995 instant-classic Casino, an ensemble cast gives a stellar performances and sum up what it was like to be part of the Las Vegas culture when the mob still had influence. Written and directed by Martin Scorsese, Casino stars Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, James Woods, and Don Rickles.
Somewhat based on a true story, Casino is the story of Sam Rothstein (De Niro), who is one of the best bookmakers from the old days, hand-picked and brought in to Vegas by the mob bosses. He is charged with running the Tangiers Casino. Sam is essentially forced to be a miracle worker.
He has to deal with the gaming commission breathing down his neck, and cheating players trying rob him blind, all while trying skim money off the top for the bosses. Sam meets a classic character in Ginger (Stone), who he instantly falls in love with. And as a present from the bosses back home, Sam gets to deal with Nicky Santoro (Pesci), a problem solver wise-guy who lives for chaos.
During the course of the film, tensions run high with Sam and Nicky. things start to go bad when Ginger's drug problem is brought to the forefront of the movie after Sam repeatedly catches her under the influence of drugs. Ginger goes to Nicky to vent, but it ultimately becomes something more.
The movie goes on for a bit with Sam and Ginger fighting in the midst of the yo-yo relationship. when Ginger asks Sam to loan her a large sum of money, Sam gets suspicious and follows her to a diner where he sees her reconnecting with her old pimp/boyfriend played by James Woods. after confronting him, Ginger and Sam split, Sam and Nicky fall out, and people start to end up dead all over the place. It's what we've come to expect with Scorsese and his mob films.
Scorsese directs this film with his same charismatic style, which creates a surreal film, full of grittiness and attitude. when Nicky, who is basically picking up where he left off in Goodfellas, gets going with his violent nature, the film really picks up and grabs your attention instantly.
The film will leave you glued to the screen for most of it. It does carry on for over 3 hours, so if you're not following the story carefully, you'll lose track and most likely become uninterested. Some complaints of the film are that it is too long and there isn't enough action. People who say that probably don't grasp everything Scorsese is trying to touch on. He did a marvelous job of summing up the entire 1970s in mob-run Las Vegas with 3 hours of film. Casino is a classic film that will never go out of style.