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April 11th, 2007

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08:42 am
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.

(10 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:April 11th, 2007 06:10 pm (UTC)
I've never seen Scarface, so I always associated X's in windows with The X-Files.

Also, I thought the worst Boston accent had to be that woman. Ugh.
[User Picture]
Date:April 11th, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I wasn't too impressed with the police psychiatrist all around. She reminded me of a younger, blonder Illeana Douglas (who is a decent actress) so I totally forgot her character name and kept mentally referring to her as "Not-Illeana-Douglas."

Though I'll never hear "Comfortably Numb" the same way again. *cough*

[User Picture]
Date:April 15th, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC)
a younger, blonder Illeana Douglas (who is a decent actress)

...who scorsese dated for a while. never accuse the guy of not having a "type".
[User Picture]
Date:April 15th, 2007 09:38 pm (UTC)
Heck, it also explains Lorraine Bracco in GOODFELLAS. Well, no, that's mean. I think she does an excellent job in that film, but she's definitely That Type now that I think about it.
[User Picture]
Date:April 11th, 2007 07:12 pm (UTC)
I associate X's in windows with hurricane protection. Everyone did this around here when Hurricane Gloria approached. Taping the window this way was supposed to reduce the likelihood of it breaking.
[User Picture]
Date:April 11th, 2007 08:16 pm (UTC)
My favorite thing about The Departed? Muicroprocessuhs.
Date:April 11th, 2007 11:26 pm (UTC)
I've seen it twice now and have really enjoyed it both times. I was completely into the story the first time and didn't get too distracted by the "hey, that's Boston, I remember that town" reactions of my own. I might have been more distracted by that stuff if I hadn't just made my first visit in five years. The second time, I focused a bit more on the shots that Scorsese composed and the acting. I wouldn't say that it's one of his two or three best movies, but I like it better than anything he's done since Goodfellas.
[User Picture]
Date:April 11th, 2007 11:45 pm (UTC)
Okay, maybe it was just me. Not only did I notice all the places, but I noticed the swearing. There was something just *wonderful* about Leo being called a C**T in the first 15 minutes of the movie. Or maybe it's just that when left to my own devices my own language would make a sailor blush....maybe it really is just me.
[User Picture]
Date:April 12th, 2007 02:36 am (UTC)
I agree, it was a very great movie. I love Jack Nicholson. I especially like how many of his scenes were unscripted and he just did his thing. A great director realizes his talent and lets them do what they do best. When Nicholson was at that table and tried to pull out the gun but dropped it under the table... I didn't even realize that was all unscripted and actually accidental until I read up on it at IMDB.
[User Picture]
Date:April 13th, 2007 01:00 am (UTC)
The best "Whoa! Hey!" moment came when this guy was thrown out of a window...

I'm glad you phrased it that way. To me that was one of the more shocking events in the movie and I wouldn't want it to be spoiled for anyone else!

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