April 11th, 2007

Admit One

(no subject)

Finally got to watch THE DEPAHTED last night. I'll probably need to see it again at some point to take in the story completely, as half the viewing time was spent going "Hey, there's the courthouse, hey, there's the Fireman's Museum! Hey, was that scene shot in Lucky's? Whoa! Hey! China Pearl, right there! How'd they get cellphone reception on the Red Line? Are there any porno theaters left in Chinatown? Didn't think so. Oh, that's where I'd walk to the Metro store every day for lunch! That rooftop view of Boston? See it every day. Though not from that rooftop. Goddamn. Oh, nice attempt at a Boston accent there, Nicholson, guess the Yankees cap you wore during filming musta sucked it right out of your brain."

Nicholson? Not such a good job with the accent. Gave up after a few scenes anyway, because let's face it, his character wasn't Evil Crime Lord Frank Costello, his character was Evil Crime Lord Jack Nicholson. Martin Sheen did a passable job with his accent and Alec Baldwin, when he felt like it, could work one up as well. DiCaprio didn't do such a bad job, either. Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg, of course, get free passes here.

The best "Whoa! Hey!" moment came when this guy was thrown out of a window in an abandoned brick waterfront building, passing by a bunch of windows with Xes taped over 'em (in an homage to the original SCARFACE, an X often is featured in a scene when someone dies.) I knew precisely where that was -- you could see it from Congress Street, in the alley between the Fireman's Museum and the building what used to have the costume shop in it. In fact, the white trailer in that alley can be seen in several of the shots. When they were filming in 2005, I noticed they'd set a scene up around that area, and I noticed the Xed windows. I figured at the time they were probably filming a shootout of some sort in the building, and the taped X might protect a window that's not supposed to shatter when the squibs go off or something.

Nah, it was just there to look cool when the guy took the header out the window.

Enjoyed the story. Scorsese paced the HELL out of the film. There's very little downtime. It keeps rolling along like the double-crossing juggernaut it is because there's just so much story and so much concurrent action. Many many intercut scenes to keep Damon's story going while DiCaprio's takes a slow moment, and vice versa. And just to keep you on your toes, there's any number of moments where tension's well-crafted and broken -- the soundtrack stopping suddenly at a character's action, forceful and sudden quick shots of mundane activities such as turning a shower on, and Nicholson given free reign to do whatever the hell he felt like doing as The Big Bad Guy.

I'd hate to think The Departed was a pity Oscar win as Scorsese had become the Susan Lucci of the Academy Awards, but I had a very enjoyable time watching the gunfights and twisty turny who's-gonna-discover-whom-first informer vs informer story and spotting as many Boston locations as I could.