Casino

Simultaneously quite watchable and passionless, Martin Scorsese’s three-hour dissection of power in Las Vegas (1995), set principally in the 70s, sometimes comes across like an anthology of his previous collaborations with Robert De Niroabove all GoodFellas, though here the characters are high rollers to begin with. By far the most interesting star performance is by Sharon Stone as a classy hooker destroyed by her marriage to a bookie (De Niro, in the least interesting star performance) selected by the midwest mob to run four casinos. There’s an interesting expositional side to the film, with De Niro and Joe Pesci’s characters both serving as interactive narrators, but the film never becomes very involving as drama, and the appropriation of Georges Delerue’s theme from Godard’s Contempt is the tackiest hommage since the use of Singin’ in the Rain in A Clockwork Orange. With James Woods, Don Rickles, Alan King, Kevin Pollak, and L.Q. Jones. (JR)

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