Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Quick Movie Reviews: The Departed

Reviving the "Quick Movie Reviews" format on this blog again, here are a few thoughts about Scorcese's "The Departed."

1. It's outstanding to see Scorcese doing another gang-land movie. At this point, he can do whatever he wants, and while movies like "Gangs of New York" and "The Aviator" were fine, I'll always have a soft spot for his treatment of gang movies, be it small scale ("Mean Streets," "Taxi Driver,") or massive ("Goodfellas"). There isn't a single compelling reason why anybody should miss this movie.

2. Much has been and will be made of the performances by DiCaprio, Damon, and (especially, and rightfully so) Nicholson. Yet to me, the scenes with Mark Wahlberg (yes, Mark Wahlberg) were some of the best and most electric. Of all the fine performances in the movie, his will be overlooked, but shouldn't be.

3. Overall, one of the best ensemble casts out there in a long time. Scorcese has been moving toward this for awhile, but he has ssemingly everybody in this film (in addition to the aforementioned actors, we also get Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, Anthony Anderson, and Ray Winstone in major roles), and he gets the most out of everybody. This in no way feels like a superstar-cast-that-can't-work-together, but rather as a tight, perfect film where everybody sees the common vision.

4. I can't explain why (well, maybe I can, but this is a short movie review, and I don't have the room), but I always walk out of Scorcese's movies feeling pretty uncomfortable with his treatment of women and minorities, and hopefully I'm not the only one. Still, what a great director...