Monday, June 02, 2003


A Video Review of "Casino"

Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker

It’s got all the elements. Mob, violence, gambling, DeNiro, Pesci, what more do you need? Casino is good, real good, but it’s no The Godfather or Goodfellas.

Martin Scorsese is a brilliant director and perhaps one of the most learned film experts who ever lived. I have infinite respect for the man. This why I am so conflicted over Casino.

Casino is an interesting experiment. It is an entire story; a history of two men and the management of a mob-run casino in the 1970s; as told through the narration of the two men. It is almost exclusively narration and only a few times falls into the normal convention of filmmaking. This alone, let alone for two plus hours, is impressive enough for me.

The principals involved; Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone; all give Oscar calibur performances and even James Woods in a throwaway Christopher Walken wannabe pimp role is good. The problem for me is that even with all this going for it, Casino really isn’t that good. It’s an okay film. It has great actors, great performances and a great concept. It’s long and you never notice. I heartily recommend it but it could be so much better.

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