Tag Archives: Martin Scorsese

The King of Comedy

IT’S NO LAUGHING MATTER.  Autograph hunter Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro) idolizes the legendary late-night TV host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis) and does everything in his power to launch a standup-comedy career on Langford’s show. After Raging Bull (1980), Martin Scorsese turned to comedy with a story partly inspired by a Johnny Carson stalker. Following … Continue reading The King of Comedy

Mean Streets

WELCOME… BUT DON’T BREAK THE RULES! Charlie Cappa (Harvey Keitel) is looking forward to a career in the Mafia with help from his uncle (Cesare Danova), but his relationships with best friend Johnny Boy (Robert De Niro), a perpetual screw-up, and an epileptic girl (Amy Robinson) stand in the way. Martin Scorsese’s breakthrough is considered … Continue reading Mean Streets

The Grifters

SEDUCTION. BETRAYAL. MURDER. WHO’S CONNING WHO? Veteran con artist Lilly Dillon (Anjelica Huston) meets her son (John Cusack) for the first time in eight years and realizes that he’s been seriously hurt; after getting him to a hospital, she meets his mysterious girlfriend (Annette Bening)… The same year as Martin Scorsese directed GoodFellas, he also … Continue reading The Grifters

Life Itself: Ebert’s Four-Star Journey

THE ONLY THING ROGER LOVED MORE THAN THE MOVIES.   I first approached this film because of my interest in movies and as a fan of Roger Ebert as a film critic. Would it appeal to someone who didn’t care about movies or was this simply an experience for a very small crowd? I didn’t … Continue reading Life Itself: Ebert’s Four-Star Journey

Trespassing Bergman

Edited together (with partly new material) from a documentary series, this film examines (in chronological order) the career and films of Ingmar Bergman through the eyes of numerous prominent filmmakers and actors who have been more or less touched by the Master’s work. Some of them also visit the stark island in Sweden where Bergman … Continue reading Trespassing Bergman

The Wolf of Wall Street

After the Black Monday stock market crash in 1987, Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) finds the perfect little boiler room to start over and turn into a rapidly successful brokerage firm, with a steady supply of money, champagne and cocaine. In Martin Scorsese and Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter’s hands, the real-life story of convicted Wall … Continue reading The Wolf of Wall Street

Woody Allen: A Documentary

Originally shown as a two-part event on the PBS show American Masters, this is Robert B. Weide’s fourth documentary on comedians, a frequently entertaining and engrossing look at one of the hardest working men in showbiz. Over the course of three hours we learn what motivates him, what makes him great and how he works … Continue reading Woody Allen: A Documentary

The Last Waltz: End of the Road

IT STARTED AS A CONCERT. IT BECAME A CELEBRATION.   “The Last Waltz was the biggest fuckin’ rip-off that ever happened to The Band.” That was how drummer and vocalist Levon Helm felt about Martin Scorsese’s famous concert movie back in 1993 when he wrote his memoirs. Apparently, he was jealous of Robbie Robertson’s elevated position … Continue reading The Last Waltz: End of the Road

Hugo: Reinventing Méliès

  When I first saw the previews for Steven Spielberg’s War Horse and Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, I was sorely disappointed and thought that these films will hardly be counted among the masters’ greatest. The first one looked awfully sentimental, the other one too kid-oriented. I still haven’t seen War Horse, but boy was I wrong about Hugo. Admittedly, the film … Continue reading Hugo: Reinventing Méliès

Raging Bull: Fists of Fury

Martin Scorsese doesn’t really care about sports movies. The idea of making a film about Jake LaMotta would probably never have hit him were it not for Robert De Niro. The actor first read La Motta’s autobiography in 1974 and became fascinated, but when he showed it to Scorsese the director was far from impressed. … Continue reading Raging Bull: Fists of Fury

Shutter Island

SOME PLACES NEVER LET YOU GO. In 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his new partner (Mark Ruffalo) arrive at Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of one of the patients from the island’s mental hospital. Director Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s tightly written page-turner is somewhat bloated and overwrought, but he nevertheless … Continue reading Shutter Island

The Last Temptation of Christ

When Judas (Harvey Keitel), a Jewish resistance fighter, is sent to kill Jesus (Willem Dafoe), a carpenter who helps Romans construct crosses for crucifixions, he realizes that Jesus might in fact be the Messiah. An intensely religious retelling of the life of Jesus Christ that was much hated by conservatives for having the audacity to … Continue reading The Last Temptation of Christ