“The Departed” Review

78The Departed (2006)

              ‘When I was your age they would say we can become cops, or criminals. Today, what I’m saying to you is this: when you’re facing a loaded gun, what’s the difference?’ (Frank Costello) 

Martin Scorsese’s crime thriller ‘The Departed’, winner of an Academy Award for Best Picture in 2006, is considered to be the director’s finest take on the mob theme since ‘Goodfellas’ (1990) (intermittently he also directed ‘Casino’ (1995) and ‘Gangs of New York’ (2002)). With many great actors involved in this movie, and with such a meticulously constructed script, this is no wonder. ‘The Departed’ is set in the south of Boston during the time when the police wages their war against the Irish-American criminal syndicate. The film starts off with young Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) befriending the untouchable lord of crime, Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). Years later, there emerge two cops: one – Colin Sullivan, only too ready to infiltrate the state police as an informer for Frank Costello, and another Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio), a guy who grew up in a criminal environment, who becomes a gang member working for Costello, while at the same time working as a undercover cop. When both the state police and the mob begin to suspect that there is an informer within their circle working for the other side, both Sullivan and Costigan must race against time to uncover the identity of another to save their lives.

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10 Popular Films that are actually Remakes

A number of remakes (new film adaptations) is coming soon or has already hit the screens, including “Murder on the Orient Express” (2017) and “Suspiria” (2018) (still to premiere), and “It” (2017) andFlatliners(2017) (already here). Perhaps, it is time to revisit/draw attention to some other in existence. While such remakes asThe Departed(2006), “The Fly” (1986) or “The Italian Job” (2003) are relatively well-known, some others may just not be. So, without further ado and in no particular order:

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1. Original: Ocean’s 11 (1960) = Remake: Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Ocean’s Eleven” (2001) is a popular fast-paced heist film directed by Steven Soderbergh (“Side Effects” (2013)) and starring such major names as George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Julia Roberts. In the film, Danny Ocean (Clooney) assembles his team to steal millions from three casinos in Las Vegas: The Bellagio, The Mirage and the MGM Grand. Extremely entertaining and amusing, “Ocean’s Eleven” proved to be a great film overall, largely thanks to the clever script and the star-packed cast. However, “Ocean’s Eleven” is, in fact, a remake of the movie by Lewis Milestone (“All Quiet on the Western Front” (1930)) of the same name, i.e. Ocean’s 11” (1960). Here, Frank Sinatra plays Danny Ocean, and the story now echoes the remake, save for the fact that Las Vegas here is the old one, and all the technology employed in the 2001 version is, understandably, nowhere to be seen. That also means that both films differ in a way the teams do their job and rob the casinos. It looks now that few people will prefer the 1960 version to the 2001 one. “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001) not only has a more ironical and sharper script, its secondary characters received their full spotlight, something which could not be said for the 1960 version. 

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Thriller/Crime

Dial M for Murder (1954) – 8/10 Death of a Cyclist (1955) – 7/10 A Kiss Before Dying (1956) – 7/10 Witness for the Prosecution (1957) – 9/10 Anatomy of a Murder (1959) – 8/10 Murder on the Orient Express (1974) – 7/10 Miller’s Crossing (1990) – 9/10 Frailty (2001) – 7/10 A History of Violence (2005) – 9/10 Déjà-vu (2006) – 7/10 The Departed … Continue reading Thriller/Crime

“The Infiltrator” Review

the-infiltrator-imageThe Infiltrator (2016)

The 1980s. A federal agent Robert Mazur (Bryan Cranston) works as an undercover in a notorious drug trafficking ring established by Pablo Escobar. Robert Mazur is now influential and charismatic Bob Musella who operates alongside two other undercover agents: his “fiancée” Kathy Ertz (Diane Kruger) and best friend Emir Abreu (John Leguizamo). However, in reality, Robert is also a devoted family man, raising two children with his wife Evelyn (Juliet Aubrey). This movie explores the unreal day-to-day life of an undercover agent who faces grave dangers every day, and all for the chance to secure convictions of the most notorious drug lords in the country. “The Infiltrator” is a engaging, well-acted movie that goes into some depth in its portrayal of an undercover life, and along the way, distinguishes itself from other drug trafficking/undercover cop movies by being “authentic” in its story progression and low-key when it comes to action sequences and special effects. 

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Directors

Armstrong, Gillian  Little Women (1994) Oscar and Lucinda (1996) Aronofsky, Darren Black Swan (2010) Mother! (2017) Aster, Ari  Hereditary (2018) Midsommar (2019) Burton, Tim  Batman Returns (1992) Sleepy Hollow (1999) Dark Shadows (2012) Campion, Jane  The Portrait of a Lady (1996) The Power of the Dog (2021) Cronenberg, David  Dead Ringers (1988) A History of Violence (2005) Eastern Promises (2007) A Dangerous Method (2011) Dolan, Xavier  … Continue reading Directors

“The Conjuring 2” Review

049cd3e2b4b989172f01b7a0c119927aThe Conjuring 2 (2016)

<<This review may contain implicit spoilers>>

13 November 1974: The killing by Ronald DeFeo Jr. of his family in Amityvile, New York. This is one of the most known investigative cases of Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), a famous couple of paranormal investigators. However, this time the event takes place three years after, in 1977, in the London Borough of Enfield, UK. There, a working-class family is plagued by the mysterious happenings in their house: tappings, strange voices, broken toys, flying objects…and, young Janet Hodgson (11) (Madison Wolfe), unwittingly becoming the “focus” of their home’s evil spirit. Basing the film on a true story and being supported by a very talented cast, director James Wan once again shows that he is the director to be reckoned with when it comes to the modern film industry’s take on the traditional horror genre.

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The Academy Awards 2014

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Best Picture

Winner: 12 Years a Slave

Other nominees: American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, The Wolf of Wall Street

Well, there are hardly any surprises here, with virtually every film commentator predicting ‘12 Years a Slave’’s win. It is easy to see why there was hardly any competition at all in this category, too. With the greatest of respects to other nominated films, ‘12 Years a Slave’ just stands out in terms of its artistic merit and, most importantly, the impact it produces. I don’t mind if ‘Gravity’ sweeps every award out there, as long as the Best Picture goes to its most deserved contender. Arguably, ’12 Years a Slave’ is the only film in the category to which you can comfortably assign the word ‘masterpiece’. It is a great achievement for everyone involved in the production of this film, especially for its director, Steve McQueen.

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“The Conjuring” Review

the-conjuring-posterThe Conjuring (2013)

The Conjuring’ is a new film by James Wan, the director known for ‘Saw’ (2004) and ‘Insidious(2010). The film, initially titled ‘The Warren Files’, is based on a real story of Ed and Lorraine Warren, a couple who investigated paranormal activities back in 1970s and 80s. The investigators in the film are played by Patrick Wilson (‘Hard Candy’ (2005), ‘Insidious’) and Vera Farmiga (‘Up in the Air’ (2009), ‘The Departed(2006)). The story takes place in the 1970s and details the haunting of the Perron family’s home in Rhode Island. The family, a couple and their five daughters, moves into a farm house in Harrisville and soon experiences strange happenings in their house. When the family calls in investigators to help them, they realise that their greatest fears are only beginning to transpire into their day-to-day reality.

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Film Archive

A Anatomy of a Murder (1959) Age of Innocence, The (1993) Antichrist (2009) All Good Things (2010) Anonymous (2011) Antiviral (2012) Arbitrage (2012) Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2013) Autopsy of Jane Doe, The (2016) Abacus: Small Enough to Jail (2017) B Black Narcissus (1947) Brothers Lu (1953) Birds, The (1963) Blade Runner (1982) Bounty, The (1984) Betty Blue (1986) Batman Returns (1992) Black Swan (2010) … Continue reading Film Archive