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Found 5 results

  1. SPOILERS THROUGHOUT Do Not Read Unless You've Seen The Film Rather than analyze this great and tragic movie, I will simply summarize the plot for those who need a reliable study guide. Please feel free to discuss any and all aspects, and I will chime in with as much depth as you'd like. On Amazon (not HD) 0:00-2:52 Credits, boxing by himself in ring, B&W 2:52-4:05 1964, NY City, Jake LaMotta (Middleweight World Champion 1949-1951, Robert de Niro, Best Actor winner), smartly dressed, improvising bad poetry (comedy routine) 4:05-7:42 1941, de Niro vs. Jimmy Reeves (Light Heavyweight World Champion 1939-1940, Floyd Anderson), LaMotta undefeated but behind on points, KOs Reeves at bell in 10th, but Ohio rules say Reeves wins on points (saved by the bell). Melée ensues. 7:42-8:26 1941, The Bronx, Joey LaMotta (brother, Joe Pesci, Best Supporting Actor winner) talks with mafia connection Salvy Batts (Frank Vincent) 8:26-9:45 Jake argues with his wife Irma LaMotta (Lori Anne Flax) about an overdone steak, and overturns a table 9:45-10:17 Joey and Sal (Salvy Batts) continue their heated discussion while strolling 10:17- 15:02 Jake, Irma, and Joey argue, Irma leaves, Jake asks Joey to hit him in the face multiple times which he eventually does to no avail (to prove (to himself) he can take a hit) 15:02-17:18 Jake and Joey (his sparring partner) spar in a gym, Sal and two friends walk in, Jake gets furious at the mafia being there and starts beating up Joey badly, the mafia is impressed and leaves, telling Jake "˜not to hurt himself.' 17:18- 20:35 Jake and Joey are at a public pool, the three mafia men are there talking with Vickie Bowman, to eventually become Vickie Lamotta (Cathy Moriarty, Best Supporting Actress nominee), a 15-year-old neighborhood girl, Joey insists she's a nice girl, he went out with her twice, but nothing happened even though he tried, Jake becomes enamored with her from afar. 20:35-21:30 Jake and Joey get dressed to the nines for a night on the town, to Irma's loud and profane protests 21:30-24:05 Jake and Joey walk into a jazz club, nominally a church dance, but quite jazz-bar-like and raucous, then leave shortly after arriving 24:05-31:25 The Courtship Scene, Jake and Joey drive to the swimming pool to see Vickie, Jake asks Vickie for a ride, takes her to play miniature golf, then takes her back to his father's apartment, a romance developing in subtle, nuanced tones 31:25-33:20 1943 in Detroit, Jake fights Sugar Ray Robinson, (World Welterweight Champion 1946-1951, 5-time World Middleweight Champion 1951-1960, Johnny Barnes) Jake pummels Robinson, and is awarded the fight on a decision, Robinson was now 40-1 and would end his career 5-1 against Jake 33:20-38:07 At Jake's father's apartment, Jake and Vickie were seconds away from lovemaking, although the viewer was sure it would happen, Jake then gets up and pours ice water on his privates, saying "I gotta fight Robinson" 38:07-39:40 1943 in Detroit, a new fight between Jake and Robinson, this time Robinson wins convincingly on decision 39:40-41:15 Post-fight tension and reflection in Jake's locker room 41:15- 43:50 1944-1947 - Montage of scenes (shocking the viewer by being the first color sequences in the film), including fights against Fritzie Zivic, José Basora, George Kochan, Jimmy Edgar, Bob Satterfield, Tommy Bell, Jake's wedding to Vickie, Joey's wedding to Lenora LaMotta (Theresa Soldana), and happy family scenes with children, three years duration in less than three minutes 43:50-49:30 1947, Jake's house on Pelham Parkway, The Bronx, Jake is furious at Joey that he weighs 168 pounds, and that he can't get down to the needed 155-pound weight, Jake starts becoming jealous of Vickie, and shows signs of needing to be in control 49:30-55:20 At the Copacabana Club, Jake is introduced to great applause, Vickie gets up and sees Sal and Jake is very jealous, the mob boss Tommy Como (Nicholas Colasanto) arrives and Vickie goes over to say an innocent hello, making Jake more jealous, this was the second longer (3:30+) scene in a row (the 1st time this has happened in the film) 55:20-57:00 At Jake's apartment, he wakens Vickie and asked her why she said Janiro (his upcoming opponent) had a "pretty face," he is showing signs of extreme jealousy and rage even though they haven't become manifest 57:00-58:20 1947 in New York, Jake fights Tony Janiro (Kevin Mahon) and beats him to a pulp, obviously enraged with jealousy, "He ain't pretty no more," Tommy Como says 58:20- 59:03 Jake working out in a sauna, being hectored to lose 4 pounds by his trainer, in the shortest scene thus far in the movie 59:03-63:02 Joey is in a nightclub, chatting with the mafia, he sees Vickie walk in a group which includes Sal, Joey pulls Vickie aside and berates her, she complains that she's in a sexless marriage, Joey throws a drink on Sal, who pursues him outside, Joey starts beating him, and in the melee forming outside, beats him badly 63:02-66:30 Coffee at the Debonair Social Club at a table including Joey, Sal, and a lecturing Tommy Como who insists the two shake hands, Sal walks out and Tommy lectures Joey about Jake becoming an embarrassment, 66:30-68:10 Joey meets Jake at the swimming pool where he met Vickie, he said he wants to catch her in the act just once, Joey informs him he gets a shot at the title, but only if he first flops in an upcoming fight 68:10-68:22 Weigh-in between Billy Fox (Eddie Mustafa Muhammad) and Jake 68:22-69:13 Jake and Joey meet in an underground tunnel with a mobster who said he heard Jake was going to flop, Jake assured him it wasn't going to happen 69:13-71:28 1947 in New York, Jake fights Billy Fox, lots of mafia there, Jake clocks Billy then lets him off the hook, Jake is purposely taking a beating in round 4, lets himself get TKO'd 71:28-72:18 Jake breaks down crying in the locker room in disgrace for throwing the fight 72:18-73:36 Headline: "Board Suspends LaMotta," at Jake's apartment, Joey is trying to justify Jake throwing the fight, Jake cannot justify it in his mind, Jake and Joey eat Chinese carryout, Joey assures him he'll get his title match for throwing the fight 73:36-78:20 1949 in Detroit, Jake vs. Marcel Cerdan (World Middleweight Champion, 1948-1949, Louis Raftis), the LaMottas are discussing things in their room, it's a stadium fight and it's raining, they order food, Tommy stops by the room, Jake gets furious when Vickie kisses him goodbye on the lips, Jake is disgusted with Vickie and with Joey for sticking up for her, 78:20-82:07 Jake finishes warming up on Joey's mid-section, walks out to ring to great applause, Jake winning on points, Cerdan can't answer the bell in Round 10, Jake wins the World Middleweight Championship for the first time in his life 82:07-90:50 1950, Jake's apartment on Pelham Parkway in The Bronx, Jake gets angry at Joey for kissing Vickie on the mouth, Joey chides Jake for eating and drinking too much and gaining weight, Jake asks Joey what happened when he beat up Sal, Jake suspects there was an affair between Sal and Vickie, Jake works himself into a frenzy, he accuses Joey - completely without merit - of "fucking Vickie, Joey walks out, Jake goes upstairs to find Vickie making the bed, he accuses her of fucking his brother, she locks herself in the bathroom, Vickie finally taunts him after being smacked around, Jake storms outside, the longest scene in the film so far 90:50-91:04 Vickie pursues him outside, he shoves her on the ground 91:04-91:55 At Joey's dinner table, Jake enters (followed by Vickie), and pummels Joey for "fucking his wife," nobody can stop him, he beats him in front of his children, everyone is helpless 91:55-93:55 Jake is home alone, Vickie walks in and starts packing, Jake (in classic wife-beater fashion) asks her not to leave and woos her, incredibly, she stops packing and puts her arms around him 93:55-95:03 1950 in Detroit, Jake vs. Laurent Dauthuille (Johnny Turner), Jake plays possum and is losing in the 15th round, then unleashes a furious onslaught and KOs Dauthuille 95:03-97:06 In the locker room after the shower, Vickie talks Jake into calling Joey to apologize, he does, but can't bring himself to say anything when Joey answers 97:06-101:34 1951 in Chicago, the 6th and final fight against Sugar Ray Robinson, the famous "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" fight, Jake is pummeled in the 13th round into a TKO, but never leaves his feet, he taunts Sugar Ray, seemingly placing more importance in Ray's inability to knock him down than winning the fight, amazingly, this was Ray's first world championship 101:34-102:50 1956 in Miami, Jake (notably larger), Vickie, and their 3 children are relaxing by their pool being interviewed about his retirement, he mentions he just bought a nightclub 102:50-109:26 The neon lights of "Jake LaMotta's" nightclub are lit up, Jake grabs a microphone, and yucks it up with the patrons, clearly trying his hand at stand-up comedy, he mentions he and Vickie will soon be celebrating their 11th wedding anniversary, Jake nevertheless starts kissing young girls in his nightclub, Jake is told his wife is waiting outside for him 109:26-110:30 Jake walks outside to meet Vickie, it's broad daylight, she's in her car and tells him she's leaving him, she's taking custody of the kids, and if he shows his face she'll call the cops on him, she comes across as quite resolute 110:30-112:10 Jake, remarkably fatter, is woken up by two DA agents, the "young girls" in his club were 14 years old, they say they're taking him downtown 112:10-113:07 Jake knocks on Vickie's door, saying he has to get one thing, he goes after his championship belt, and starts hammering off the precious metal, making a lot of noise, 113:07-113:39 Jake at a pawn shop, trying to sell the jewels from the belt; the dealer wants the belt itself, he gets offered $1,500 but wants $2,000, he refuses and leaves 113:39-113:59 On a pay phone outside the jeweler, saying "I can't raise the $10,000." 113:59-117:00 1957 in the Dade County Stockade, forcibly led into a cell by two men, he contemplates things in his dark jail cell, and begins pounding his head against the wall, begins punching the wall, saying, Why? Why?! Why?!!, a very sad, total meltdown, he might have killed himself if he had a gun 117:00-118:26 1958 in New York City, Jake telling stand-up, he gets heckled, and challenges the heckler, it doesn't escalate, Jake introduces the next act, Emma 118:26-121:03 Jake leaves with Emma, and puts her in a cab after he sees Joey closing up his shop, he pursues Joey trying to make up, he tries to apologize, Italian-style with kisses, Joey tells him "later," this is not the right place, then gets in his car 121:03-123:55 Barbizon Plaza, a sandwich sign says, "An Evening of Jake LaMotta featuring the works of Paddy Chayefsky, Rod Serling, Shakespeare, Budd Schulberg, Tennessee Williams - Tonight," he's rehearsing in the dressing room, smoking a cigar, "Go get "˜em, champ," he says to himself, before going on stage, before shadowboxing in the mirror several times, you can tell he wants those days back badly 123:55-124:45 The text appears on the screen, one line at a time, in black and white: "So, for the second time [the Pharisees] summoned the man who had been blind and said: "Speak the truth before God. We know this fellow is a sinner." "Whether or not he is a sinner, I do not know," the man replied. "All I know is this: once I was blind and now I can see." John IX. 24-26 the New English Bible Remembering Haig P. Manoogian, teacher. May 23, 1916-May 26-1980 With Love and resolution, Marty. 124:45-129:04 Closing credits A magnificent film. I won't usually take this type of notes while watching films because it's a brutal amount of work, and detracts immensely from the enjoyment of the film, but in this case, I'm glad I did because I feel like I really know it well now.
  2. I'm not a big fan of violent gangster films - Bonnie and Clyde started it all in 1967, and it continued to "go downhill" (that's my own personal term) during the next 40-50 years, finally having reached its basal conclusion with as much graphic violence as the CGI staff has time to program. I don't like anything by Quentin Tarantino (not Pulp Fiction, not Reservoir Dogs, not anything), but I do enjoy several works by Martin Scorsese, in a "guilty pleasure" sort of way. In theory non-fiction, as it reflects Lucchese crime family associate Henry Hill - who narrates the film - I suppose it reflects real-world violence, and is, in that sense, "important." Looking back, it's hard to believe that this film was made on a $25 million budget in 1990, and brought in $47 million at the box office as recently as 1990 - a success, sure, but not a blockbuster given how famous the movie is. Roger Ebert named it, "The best mob movie ever," and GoodFellas is #94 on AFI's "100 Years, 100 Movies" list. There's no doubt about it: It's famous.
  3. My knowledge of mid-19th-century Manhattan is something approaching zero. I had absolutely no idea about the gang wars of the 1840s (likewise Five Points), nor Blackwell's Island, nor the nefarious activity that occurred during the 1860s (some of it also at Five Points), and in this regard, "Gangs of New York" does a good job at teaching this important, yet little known, part of American History. I can't sit here and claim it's faithful to the truth, when I don't even know what the truth is, but it seems like it's at least trying to be. Yes, Martin Scorsese is going to throw in some drama, but that doesn't mean the history lesson is worthless; just embellished. Let me warn you, before writing any spoilers, that this is a very long and difficult film to follow - you'll be doing yourself a favor to write down names, positions, actors, or have the Wikipedia window open if you're watching it on your computer - otherwise, you might easily get confused. I did all this and *still* got confused, so be mindful. If you get lost (and don't be ashamed if you do), there's a very thorough synopsis on IMDB.com. *** SPOILER ALERT *** It's surprising that Liam Neeson ("Priest" Vallon, Amsterdam Vallon's (Leonardo DiCaprio's) father) is killed off so early in the film, but that does set the stage for the rest of the movie. Plus with other major stars such as William Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis), and Jenny Everdeane (Cameron Diaz), this might have saved some on what must have been substantial salary costs (*) Speaking of history, I find it both fascinating and timely that Abraham Lincoln's Conscription Act of 1863 - the first-ever mandatory draft for American men - could be circumvented either by paying $300, or by finding a suitable substitute (this is both in the film, but also occurred in real-life). Needless to say, this caused a great deal of civil unrest, as accusations were made that wealthier people could avoid the draft, whereas poorer people were stuck with it - the more things change, the more they stay the same. It's amazing to me how Amsterdam had the wits about him to sell the recently killed corpse to medical science (it's even more amazing to me how that ended up in the papers, considering the transaction was made in complete secrecy). Notice the tribute paid to Nosferatu in the newspaper article - the drawing of the man second-from-the-right - even the man on the far-right has similar ears: My goodness - I just realized I'm only forty minutes into this film, and I have over two hours remaining. Ha! I knew when they were talking about Jenny (Cameron Diaz) being a "turtledove," that it was Martin Scorsese making a cameo as a wealthy homeowner. (*) Interesting - when I was confirming that about Scorsese, I also read that both DiCaprio and Scorsese both took salary reductions to preserve the budget. Huh! And shortly afterwards, Horace Greeley (Michael Byrne) makes a formidable appearance. Here's an interesting piece of information about the 1872 Presidential Election (it's too important to be called "trivia."). Likewise, P.T. Barnum (Roger Ashton-Griffiths) makes a significant appearance in the movie. Wikipedia describes "Gangs of New York" as an "epic period drama," and that it certainly is. Who would know that the New York City Draft Riots of 1863 were the largest civil and racial insurrection in American history, aside from the Civil War - I certainly didn't, and wouldn't have if I hadn't watched this film. For this reason alone, the film is worth watching - I'm not even sure I knew this film even existed (it was released four months after Karen died, and I only have a vague recollection of the Space Shuttle Columbia explosion - I mean, I have a memory of noticing the headlines when it happened, but I didn't care, and know almost nothing about it (contrast to the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion, which was one of the few incidents during my lifetime that I remember where I was when I heard the news (some others being the O.J. Simpson Trial, the World Trade Center attacks, the Apollo 11 moon landing, and Martin Luther King's assassination). "Gangs of New York" may not be to everyone's taste, but there's no denying that it's an important, historical film, and one which I will remember for a long time. It's so long (2'45") that you *must* be dragged into its atmosphere if you're going to watch it, and you're unlikely to forget it for that reason alone. To show how out of touch I was with life during that time period, I've never even heard of "Chicago," which won the Best Picture Academy Award that year.
  4. I saw "Taxi Driver" years ago, and the only thing I remembered was finding Jodie Foster's portrayal of a 12-year-old prostitute unsettling. I am one year younger than Jodi Foster, so, at the time, her character stood out in my mind. I recently re-watched the film, and I am glad I did. "Taxi Driver" is a masterpiece. It is a gritty tale about the underbelly of New York City. Robert De Niro's portrayal of Travis Bickle, a lonely and depressed former U.S. Marine who becomes a taxi driver, is phenomenal. Is this troubled young man insane, a hero, or a little of both? De Niro's nuanced performance captures the essence of Bickle, and we are drawn into his world of paranoia, violence and redemption. There are outstanding performances by Jodie Foster, a long-haired and buffed Harvey Keitel, and Peter Boyle. Even Scorsese has a very good cameo as one of Bickle's more interesting passengers.
  5. I watched "The Departed" today, and while I loved the film, I'm a little surprised it won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Picture. It was an excellent, thrilling, double-twisting, head-scratching, mess-with-your-mind, crime thriller involving mirror-image good-and-evil juxtapositions that make you thankful you're watching it on video, since you're camped on the rewind button for half the movie. A great picture with mega, mega-stars? Yes! Best Picture of the year? Boy this must have been a very lean year, not that the Academy Awards are any arbiter of truth; still, I just don't see this as even being in the running, although the Academy has shocked me in the past with its mediocre winners. Don't get me wrong: It's an outstanding crime thriller which I really enjoyed; I'm just surprised so many critics thought so highly of it. How many films have you seen lately where Matt Damon is arguably the third-biggest draw, and where Alec Baldwin is perhaps the sixth-biggest? How much did they spend on salaries? I am very much in the minority in that I find Quentin Tarantino terribly overrated, and someone who relies far too much on excessive violence; this film clearly had a Tarantino-like influence over the far-superior Scorsese. Did he really need to make this such a bloodbath? Well, it added something, I suppose, and also like most audience members, I'm starting to become numb to gratuitous splatter films, so as long as movies aren't torture porn (and this didn't go that far) they've become socially accepted, and not even all that shocking which I think is a real shame.
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