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Monday, March 26, 2007

DVD Watch: The Departed

The Departed is easily Scorsese's best film in year. It's a whole paradigm shift away from Gangs of New York in virtually every good possible sense. The film intertwines the roles of two cops - one undercover in the Boston Irish mob and another working for the mob from within the police. The script makes great work out of its material - keeping a sense of suspense and tension with nearly every scene. Occasionally difficult to follow - but not overly complex - The Departed is a joyride of a crime epic.

I'm curious about Internal Affairs, the 2002 Hong Kong film from which the movie was based - but less so than I thought I would. And I certainly wait a few weeks - because once you get to the conclusion of the film ... you'll need some time to wind down. The pacing of the movie starts out almost slow and deliberate and slowly picks along the way. It never quite enters a frenzy, but certainly a fast clip.

Not being a huge DiCaprio fan, I've like him in both movies I saw this weekend. Nicholson is also especially good - bringing out that slow and subtle kind of creepy that he's honed so well. Sure, these guys pass for Irish about as well as any other German or Italian ... but you can't complain about the performance in general.

Both of the weekend movies, and especially this one, made me actually appreciate the Oscars a little bit more. These are just plain old good films - made with expert skill and care - but also plain old good entertainment. Especially this one. Highly recommend.

Fun Facts! The character Frank Costello was largely based on James "Whitey" Bulger, a real life Irish-American mobster in Boston; Whitey was believed to have been seen coming out of a theater showing the film in San Diego in November 2006.[3][4] Matt Damon's character is based on John Connolly, the FBI agent who tipped off Bulger for years, allowing him to evade arrest. In real life, Bulger went into hiding and is still presumed to be at large; Connolly is currently imprisoned for his role in Bulger's criminal activities. Costigan's undercover role as a former State trooper who joins the Irish mob parallels the story of Richard Marinick, a former State trooper who later joined Whitey Bulger's crime syndicate. Costigan also lives in Somerville, where Bulger's Winter Hill Gang began. (Wikipedia)

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