Re: Scorsese and Seagal.
I could never even think about which is the better film, GOODFELLAS or CASINO. I love them both so very, very much. The answer would probably depend more on me and my viewing mood on the day. If I want a dark, edgy, close-up and personal NYC kind of thing: GOODFELLAS. If I want flashy, widescreeny, show-stopping, turn-it-up-to-11 entertainment, CASINO. I just recently had a ScorseseFest of my own, watching almost every conventional narrative film the man ever made in the order they were released (not SHINE A LIGHT nor the documentaries) and had a great time doing it.
Who's That Knocking At My Door? (1968) ***1/2
Boxcar Bertha ***
Mean Streets ****
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore ***1/2
Taxi Driver ****
New York, New York ***
Raging Bull ****
The King Of Comedy ***1/2
After Hours ****
The Color of Money ****
The Last Temptation of Christ ****
New York Stories: Life Lessons ****
Cape Fear ***1/2
The Age of Innocence ***
Bringing Out the Dead ***
Gangs of New York ***
The Aviator ***
The Departed ***1/2
Shutter Island ***1/2
And then we have Steven Seagal. The Robed Warrior. The Whispeing Behometh. Ah, his work... Not only does the man often elect not to show up for his own films (close up of Seagal's shoes in ATTACK FORCE are plentiful) apparently he often also refuses to even perform his own dubbing. (Imagine that's your job, being Seagal's voice double. This guy would be an interesting interview.) There is next to no reason he should still be making these movies. But wow... thank God he does, right? They can be so entertaining beyond the typical scope of your "average," "normal," or even "professionally made" films. And this is not sideways, snarky criticism. I legitimately like a lot of his DTV flicks for the sheer audacity of many of the choices made in them. What I said a couple of days ago regarding Takashi Miike movies can also apply to Seagal's recent cinema: You just never know what you're going to get. I loved that for a while you were always guaranteed one special guest of some high repute in Seagal movies. That is, one performer you've seen before. Dennis Hopper in TICKER, playing the silliest mad bomber I've ever seen. William Atherton in INTO THE SUN, calling Seagal "Big Poppa." Monica Lo in BELLY OF THE BEAST. Matt Schulze in OUT OF REACH. I love the often-befuddling choices the casting agents and performance coaches make for supporting characters like "Bulldog" in MERCENARY FOR JUSTICE -- who seemed like he'd have to fight Seagal until he decides to befriend him, like any good bulldog probably would -- and the Tech Geek in BLACK DAWN -- who is such a wheezing, dark-room kind of kid you'd think Seagal would throw him through a window just so that the kid could get a little sun.
When Seagal's movies are bad, they are really bad. ATTACK FORCE is probably the one I like the least, too. Or maybe the recent BORN TO RAISE HELL, during which my friends and I stopped following the film and trailed off into conversations... But I do own quite a few of his career second-half DTV pictures on DVD because when they're fun, they're really fun. Partially in a "so bad they're good" way but also partially in a "it's so crazy this guy still makes movies, it's like my dad being an action star" way. Conventional film business wisdom says an over-50, over 250 lb male lead should not be allowed to keep this up, making one movie after another and a TV series or two. But Seagal doesn't care. He's following his own path. I really had fun with LAWMAN, that show out of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. The best parts for me were always seeing people legitimately lighting up when Seagal enters a room. People love the guy. Even the ones he's handcuffing. And of his two music albums, the guy's not bad there either. I really liked his second one, "Mojo Priest." There are at least a half dozen good songs on there.
This is probably ground the thread has already covered a thousand times, before. Sorry about going on and on for so long. It's not like Scorsese and Seagal need me to promote them. :)
Edited by Engineer - 2/14/12 at 3:57pm