"In the casino, the cardinal rule is to keep them playing and to keep them coming back. The longer they play, the more they lose, and in the end, we get it all."   - Ace Rothstein

release year: 1995
genre: drama
viewing setting: home Bluray 10/4/19 and 1/9/17 and home DVD, 11/16/09 and 3/28/07 and 6/29/03

synopsis: This is the story of the rise and fall of a Las Vegas casino boss.

impressions: This was a great crime/violence drama, with everything you'd expect: beatings, gunplay, gambling, an insider's take on everything, crooked cops, lots of profanity, gangsters, payoffs, big money, pimps and whores, and multiple narratives to tie it all together from different characters' points of view. I was really impressed. There were some insights into casino workings, cheating, skimming, how to deal with high rollers, etc. Vegas is broken down into its most basic component: money. It's a money-making machine, and when the people who run that machine start to argue and have problems, the machine isn't as efficient, which has repercussions.

things to watch for: There are so many, but near the end, certain people get what's coming to them.

something this movie has that no other movie has: Murder by pen, via several dozen stabs.

acting: Robert DeNiro is the financial/betting genius who can make money for those who secretly back the casino. Joe Pesci is the fiery-tempered friend with more ambition than sense, and an utter inability to handle any sort of criticism. Sharon Stone is a hustler with major weaknesses. James Woods is her sleazy ex-pimp who still has a hold over her. There were several dozen supporting roles, too many to name here, but they all did good jobs.

final word: Must-see.

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