4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
90 dollars worth of movies for less than 30!,
This review is from: Essential Directors - Martin Scorsese (The Departed / The Aviator / GoodFellas) (DVD)
Obviously, a sensational package for longtime Scorsese fans or casual fans who like "a good movie". You've got a Classic, "Goodfellas"; a near-Classic, "Aviator", and a wanna-be Classic, "The Departed", ironically, the one to finally win an Oscar for the Director.
Nothing in Life is perfect and even "Goodfellas" had an overproduced soundtrack - I guess MTV was in full swing - not that the music was interpolated poorly. "Aviator", mostly about Howard Hughes' life in flying, was too long, had an over-studied (but effective) "Kate Hepburn" and a slightly obscure treatment of "Jane Russell"; plus some of the script anachronisms were almost funny; also, DiCaprio seems to age about six years out of 20: 1927 to 1947.
I found the opening scene, involving a "Germophobic" Mother, somewhat confusing. By the end of the movie, we understand that Howard Hughes, was probably a victim of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, which current research says is congenital, not something conditioned. Gotta ruminate on that for a while: were the movie-makers saying that it ran in the family or that his quest for purification was based upon a childhood memory?
Problems abound with "The Departed" (unofficial alternate title: "The Mean Streets Of Boston"), as no-one is as they seem. That, in itself, shouldn't *be* a problem, but here it gets out of hand. Nicholson is the conflicted "Boss"; Sheen is the conflicted "Sergeant"; DiCaprio is the undercover guy; Damon is the corrupt climber who takes over for Sheen, who watches DiCaprio. DiCaprio and Damon look like first Cousins - curious casting.
Nicholson looks more like Attila The Hun than the expected underworld sophisticate. His mistress is a radical feminist - believable? No.
Forgot to mention that DiCaprio's "Shrink", Vera Farmiga, can be cajoled into writing prescriptions, convinced that sleeping with a patient is appropriate, and that moving in with Damon is fitting.
I think Scorsese got a little lazy on this one: he must have watched "Goodfellas" with DiCaprio one too many times and possibly over-sold the idea of copying Ray Liotta. A great imitation, though. Boy, did I miss Paul Sorvino!
Special Features on "Goodfellas" is especially exciting, as it features a running commentary with the Director, the Cionematographer, DeNiro, Sorvino, Bracco, Liotta, the "real" Henry Hill and the "real" Prosecutor, Ed McDonald (who played himself in the film!), plus a combination of the real and movie Hills! At times, Henry Hill's narration will have you spellbound, as he "relives" events. By the way, I was unaware that so many scenes were "close to home".
Overall, this DVD set is a gem. Good for the movie buff *and* his/her billfold.