It’s not surprising that The Departed is Scorsese’s biggest opening film to date because it’s probably his most mainstream and commercial film to date, but oddly, this isn’t a bad thing. The Departed is extremely entertaining and engaging film; as soon as I heard the opening cords of the Scorsese soundtrack staple: “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones, I knew that Scorsese was going for the fences. Thankfully this wasn’t the Scorsese who thought he could turn a period piece remake of Walter Hill’s the Warriors into Oscar bait or the Scorsese that did a decent job directing cinematographer Robert Richardson’s demo reel. This is a Scorsese just wanting to make good movie. The majors, you know DiCaprio, Damon, Nicholson are all good, but what makes the film work and I think Michael Mann should take note of this for his next grand crime epic, is the supporting cast surrounding the three leads.
While I was watching The Departed, I started to think about Michael Mann’s mess of a film known as Miami Vice and how much better it would’ve been Mann did what Scorsese did. While The Departed is a fairly dramatic film filled with some rather tense moments, it’s rather funny. The film’s scene-stealers are Mark Wahlberg and Alec Baldwin. Sure their character help move the story forward, but for the most part, their performances interject some great one liners and sight gags, then get out of the film. It breaks a bit of the monotony of the story; with a run length of two and half hours, the audience is going to need not only time to breath, but a good laugh or two. Alec Baldwin’s performance as Ellerby, is well one of the finest sweaty American characters since Steve Carell’s Michael Scott on “The Office”. Mann could have used of that humor and brevity to make up the endless parade of shit dialogue by actors with horrible southern accents.
The Departed, if such a thing exists, plays almost like a collection of Scorsese’s greatest film techniques. He’s using all of his tricks; he’s pumping a lot of Rolling Stones; some sly editing techniques, although no great stedicam sequence. Not to mention, this was the first time I watched a Scorsese film where the audience actually talked back to the screen. I won’t say where in the film, but one woman said a single line back to the screen about 6 or 7 times in a row.
Yet the one thing that intrigued the most about The Departed was Scorsese’s decision to feature Miike’s masterful Audition in the back of a scene. I can’t understand why that film would be featured in the film, let alone, I can’t understand how the characters aren’t glued to their TV watching that film unfold. Granted, it appeared they were at thirty minute mark in Audition, but its about to getting interesting. Is Scorsese giving a sly nod to Asian cinema by featuring that film or is making a connection between The Departed and Audition or is he just a fan of Miike? It bothers me.
So, in conclusion, watch The Departed and rent Audition. Don’t read the box or look up any details about it. Just find it at the store and blindly walk yourself to the cash register, pay for it and somehow manage to not read anything about it before you watch it. Well, the same goes for both films. Just watch them and support quality filmmaking.
In spite of all the hot water, the Pope has currently got himself caught up in, I bet you dollars to donuts that the dude could probably get behind the whole barely legal girls from the Valley wearing nun habits. It’s an interesting image for the Catholic Church and probably one that Bunuel did in a film that I have yet to discover on DVD. Shorty shorts and habits, I guess, are cooler than a polar bear’s toenails and my new favorite show, “The Nine”. .
Related: learn how to dress up like a nun here.
Semi related: if it’s not “The Nine”, then it’s bullshit.
And so it begins, the countdown to when the Yankees will get rid of A Fraud. Rodriguez’s career with the Yankees reminds me a bit of the most recent Cam’ron album, “Killa Season.” I was driving around the other day and on the radio, some DJ had taken the a cappella of T.I.’s “I’m Talking to You,” and put it over the beat for “Wet Wipes”. I remember when I first heard “Wet Wipes,” and all the hope that I had “Killa Season” would be a classic album. How could you go wrong with a street single produced by the Alchemist, the rest of the album should be amazing? Then that day came when the album leaked on line and everybody or at least all of the rap nerds were bummed. “Killa Season” had its moments, but it was a mess and if the album went to the post season, it’d be strike out as often as A Rod did. So I can understand the frustration and angst of a Yankee fan, A Rod was supposed to be this god that’d take the team back to the promise land. Granted the dude can kill it in the regular season, but A Rod is the Karl Malone of baseball. Malone was never meant to win a tile and the same goes for A Rod. Unless, the Yankees want to trade him to the Angels, then yes, the dude is bound for a ring. He needs to play for the Angels because there’s absolutely no media pressure on the Angels, even from the Orange County press. Living in the shadows of the Dodgers will do wonders for his confidence and psyche. It’s cool if the Angels have to give up Ervin ‘Santana’s Town’ Santana for him.
The obligatory mention of the new Jay-Z single: It’s okay, but I’d rather listen to an album of Justin Blaze instrumentals instead. Just a thought, but don’t you think the new Rapture album would’ve been a lot more interesting if Just Blaze produced it? He’s using a lot of live instrumentation, so the next logical step would be for him to produce at least a record with some rock band. No Velvet Revolver bullshit either.
Okay, so a week ago it seemed like I was confused by the rise in popularity of cupcakes as the choice dessert of celebrities and rich people. I did some research and discovered that one of the ‘it’ cupcake spots called Sprinkles had a location in the orange curtain. So I cruised down there, paid an arm and leg for six cupcakes and learned that their cupcakes are amazing. Even a couple of days old, they still taste good; like a Bordeaux bar from See’s.
Don’t forget Plan 9 From Outer Space this Friday on TCM Underground. Probably more laughs than a Dane Cook stand up routine.
And finally, I really have nothing to say, but it just felt weird that there wasn't a photo of a babe in a majority of this update. So, shout outs to Diora Baird and her red hair; she doesn’t look like that much Catherine Deneuve anymore, but more like a hotter version of Bryce Dallas Howard. Just in general, a shout out to big boobs.
I’m like Showtime as a network. It’s the home of “Weeds,” and quite often, they show movies letterboxed. They try, real hard to stand out of those large gigantic shadows cast by the rival premium network HBO, but I don’t understand the show, “The Underground”. Since when was a parody of “Pimp My Ride” that’s about two years too late considered to be edgy and crazy sketch comedy? Then again, I always fail to realize that a member of the cast is/was featured on “Wild ‘N’ Out.” Showtime needs to step it up quite a bit or at least, look for funnier comedians. A show with Damon Wayans uncensored, maybe in 1994 would’ve been outta hand, but you know, it’s just about 10 years too late.