Monday, November 20

As Good'fellas as it Gets

The movie "The Departed" came highly recommended, everyone from work, at poker night, and finally my cousin and movie confidant Adrian. At poker night they kept saying everyone was a Rat while Adrian, awestriken by the movie, just wanted to see it again and persuaded me to come along. I would have watched the movie on DVD eventually but that's possibly 6-8 months away. I was willing to wait nonetheless... Basically he said the movie was good, really good, good as in the 'Goodfellas' he said. How could i resist that? I suppose he used that line to bait me in and what a bait it was. I could probably easily dismiss the rather bold notion but i couldn't considering it came from a person whom i share a love for the genre. I had to find out for myself just how good it really was... Let me put it in a different movie perspective. Say your genre of choice is High School melo-drama/comedy flicks and suppose they made a movie that 'Ebert & Roeper' say is better than "The Breakfast Club". I'm sure you'll agree 'Breakfast Club' is one of the Crowned Jewels of High School flicks and if someone credible said a certain new movie is as good it would pique your interest too, wouldn't it?

For those who are not aware, the famed director Martin Scorsese did this flick. That alone is reason enough to watch the movie without benefit of previews and reviews. Movies Scorsese makes i watch out of sheer principle alone. He directed "Mean Streets" for God's sakes and not to mention the mother of all Mobster movies "Goodfellas". Like Adrian however, i wouldn't have dared compare this to the venerable Goodfellas. But i forgive him because i know he had nothing but good intentions. A white lie if you will... We'll go back to the subject of how good this movie is in a minute...

Since Adrian dared compare these two movies, let us do just that. Are the characters in Departed as colorful as the Goodfellas crew? Actually-- let us not go there. Let's see, Deniro, Liotta, Pesci, are you fucking kidding me? I declare a no contest on this one ladies and gentlemen. Instead let's see if Departed can match a classic scene from Goodfellas or at least offer something comparable. How about the "Funny how?" scene with Tommy and Henry Hill?-- Not even close...-Not-Even-Close... I suppose to compare the two would be unfair, so maybe we shouldn't compare. I suppose the better question is-- is Departed comparably good??? Most would probably say NO, a few lost souls might say YES, and i would say why compare to begin with? I guess one can't help but compare the two considering they were both directed by the same man. Some might even argue Martin was trying to do another Goodfellas, but to say such a thing is completely absurd and to compare 'Departed' to 'Goodfellas' might be a bit fastidious. Take it from Jules man "ain't the same fuckin' ballpark, it ain't the same league, it ain't even the same fuckin' sport"...

Goodfellas is a cinematic classic that will live on forever. It has movie ingredients that might never be duplicated again. The Departed on the other hand, although replete with Big Name stars, had to have that one key ingredient for it work well. Otherwise, the movie i believe would have been deemed an ordinary Mobster flick. However, let us not forget it is Mr Scorsese were talking about here, the Mobster Movie Meister himself. Martin couldn't get this wrong blindfolded, it's what he does best... So did he pull it off or did he pull it off? You Damn right he did, in fact to say he pulled it off is an understatement... Anyhow 'The Departed' had Jack Nicholson, one if not the best actor of this era... So, that said, it has the potential to become another classic. I mean how many Classic Nicholson movies are there and who's to say this one couldn't be another? A Jack Nicholson and Martin Scorsese correlation, damn how irresistibly good is that? Additionally, who's to say Jack couldn't get another Oscar nod for his performance, after all, Jack is the most nominated Actor of all time (deservingly so i might add). And that's another thing, Jack Nicholson playing an Irish Mob Boss, how genius is that? (Best director-- could this be it for Martin?) I wonder if he'd even bothered looking at the script if it wasn't Scorsese himself that handed it to him. Although I wouldn't put it past Jack if he pretended to read the script having made up his mind at hello anyway. Conceptually he probably agreed to do it before Scorsese wrote it... It was like; Hey Jack i am doing this "I'll do it Martin" lol... I mean who the heck in the movie industry wouldn't want to work with Scorsese? He directed "CASINO" man, come on!!!

The Departed is a good movie, a really good movie. It's bad ass in a Goodfellas kind of a way (there we go again with the comparison). Billy Costigan played by Leonardo DiCaprio, a conflicted deep undercover cop, was played as well as humanly possible. Leonardo fit the role convincingly as Jack did his (and believe me that is saying a lot, and believe me, Leonardo DiCaprio is as skeptical as i get...). The movie dialogues were bad ass Irish as it could get, real Irish to the core. You could even say Alec Baldwin was bad ass, how often do you say that about Alec? (although he is still a bastard for beating up Kim Basinger)... In this movie everyone was a rat, even Matt Damon who plays a cop was an informant for the Mob. Well, in the end everybody was a rat, in fact I'm surprised they didn't call it "The Rat" instead. I suppose that would make a stupid title.

The movie is a classic Scorsese touch, it's epic and great but not boring like epics potentially get, twisting and turning but unpredictable, it's murderously fun and graphic, gripping in suspense, and ultimately, a tragic mobster story like only Scorsese can... But since we are comparing, the question remains, is it as good as The Goodfellas? Quite simply NO, nothing is as good as Goodfellas. I know, somewhat disappointing for someone who might be hoping it was as Good. That said, i do know this, this movie should not be compared to Goodfellas or to any other mobster movie for that matter because this movie, although not 'Goodfellas' good, it is in its own rite 'The Departed' good. It deserves it own Good, that's how goooood it is...

"Martin Scorsese won't be winning any Oscars for The Departed. The movie's too hard, too pulpy -- too good." ~ Boston Globe

2 Comments:

At 9:53 AM, Blogger zenmasta said...

Like I said, in my standards, The Departed is in the same level as Goodfellas. As a movie confidant, I never dare use the word 'compare' especially when it comes to mob movies. To compare such movies is, well, maybe uncivilized. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe fuck yourself. What the fuck are we talking about? Happy birthday, Scarlett

 
At 11:48 AM, Blogger Marc Gabay said...

hahahah Act accordingly

 

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