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The Departed: Awesome but probably not a date movie


djmelbatoast
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Martin Scorcese's new movie is intense. I highly recommend this film, but learn from my mistake that it is probably not a date movie.

This is like all the violence from Goodfellas, Casino, Gangs of New York and Raging Bull all rolled into one movie. That being said it isn't merely a shoot'em-up. The story is intriguing and the cast is great. I'm not sure when Leo DiCaprio and Marky Mark became good actors but they are solid in this film. Jack Nicholson is plain scary, like he was in Batman or the Shining, and Mat Damon and Alec Baldwin do a good job to.

I haven't seen this many lead characters get killed since Reservoir Dogs, but the violence is realistic and brutal and on screen, like the Devil's Regects. I think that having it be realistic makes it much more powerful, unlike an action movie where when people get shot they just vibrate for a minute and fall down.

My girlfriend though failed to take into account these subtleties.

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i couldn't agree more... fantastic movie. i think marky mark was born to play that role.

definitely not the ending that i was hoping for, but it is a scorcese flick, so i should have known better.

jack nicholson had a great role too, with those classic jack nicholson lines, "Everyone's going to die, act accordingly". loves it!

all in all, they assembled a fantastic group of actors for this movie who all played their parts perfectly. go see it!

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Yeah you're right that was THE ROLE for Mark Wahlberg. I mean a lot of those guys are Southies (South Boston) including Damon and Wahlberg - well maybe they're the only two- maybe Alec Baldwin's Mass. native too. You think about it Good Will Hunting written by Damon was a total Southie movie. The thing I found was it was really cinematographically sound, great ensemble, great dialogue- maybe a little too trite a plot. It kind of had that Face Off implausibility vibe- cop behind enemy lines/ gangster behind cop lines.

A really interesting parallel for me was I saw Scorcese's Gangs Of New York afterwards for the first time and realized that DiCaprio played really similar roles- a good conscienced hoodlum mentored by a dyed in the wool gangster. "The thing about being tucked under a dragon's wing. It's warmer than you think".

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It's a remake of a Hong Kong movie called Infernal Affairs

Not that I know anything about the original, but a guy whose opinion I trust pointed out some differences that are interesting for those of us that have already seen it. SPOILER ALERT

[spoilerq:1]If you haven't seen the movie, don't click this[/spoilerq]

[spoilera:1]In anticipation of seeing The Departed, the much-acclaimed American adaptation of the Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs, I went out and rented Infernal Affairs 3 this weekend, having seen and thoroughly enjoyed parts one and two last year and wanting to wrap things up before seeing Scorsese's version.

Whereas Infernal Affairs 2 was actually a prequel to the original, the third and final installment is a proper follow-up to the first film (though it only makes any sense if you saw the Hong Kong final scene and not the one shot for mainland China). It's a bit tough to talk about it without spoiling the first film, but I can say this - while it's something of a mess for trying to simultaneously expand on and ret-con the already convoluted and labyrinthine whack-a-mole plot of the first film, it actually manages to pull out a very strong and unpredictable plot out of it all and ends up being rather satisfying. Not as good as the first two, but still with more pluses than minuses. I don't doubt that part of my difficulty in following things was the 22- and 14-month gaps between seeing the original films and this one, but I still managed to keep up on the main plot points alright.

As for The Departed, when a big studio film clocks in at 87% and 93% at Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes respectively, odds are pretty good that it's a good film - and it is. I was surprised how faithfully the plot followed the original films - I expected that they'd lift the premise and maybe diverge from there, but besides rejigging things to fit the new locale and characters it's quite faithful. And maybe that's why I wasn't overwhelmed by the film - I knew what was going to happen, and for a suspense-thriller, that's pretty much death.

Which segues into the differences between the two. Whereas the vibe of the Hong Kong version was a slick, modern gangster film, Scorsese's vision is a helluva lot grittier, bloodier and all-around dirtier. Jack Nicholson's crew are old school street hoods as happy to beat the tar out of someone with their fists as put a bullet through their head (everyone in Scorsese's Boston is an excellent marksman). His characters are also more fully developed, which they had better be considering the film runs an epic two and a half hours. Matt Damon's mole is a bit of an exception to this, displaying less of the crisis of conscience than Andy Lau's Ming did and is more interested in covering his own ass than redeeming himself. Jack Nicholson is his typical scenery-chewing self as the mob boss but is certainly more threatening and debased than his HK counterpart was - probably too much so, but when was the last time Nicholson gave a nuanced performance? I think it was sometime around never. Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg are all good with what their given but not surprisingly it's Leonardo DiCaprio, Scorsese's muse, and his undercover cop who is given the richest backstory, making the mob part of his family history which he's trying to escape.

Scorsese's film is different enough from Infernal Affairs that comparing them doesn't necessarily require one to be superiour to the other. As I mentioned, whichever you see first will ruin the plot for the other, but there's still plenty to appreciate in the execution. Which there's also plenty of. But one point where the original definitely comes out ahead is the stylishness of their climaxes, or at least the promo photos taken from them, as you can see above. Hong Kong's stone cold showdown versus USA's sissy fight? No contest.[/spoilera]

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funny that i see this thread,

cuz i went on a date last night and saw this movie....first date too..

we both loved it.

at first, it was a bit hectic and i was pissed cuz i was so lost in the fast dialogue and quick cutting of times...

but once you get settled, and the pace really slows down, its absolutely mind blowing at times.

loved it.

its real strength is its pace and the way it feels...both very unique aspects of the film.

i want to watch it again with a pen and paper and jot down some of those incredible southie lines.

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Aside from the solid casting, that movie was all about it's excellent pacing although it may have been a touch long. I really dont know how much we needed the psychologist's involvement as a lover to fit into the grand scheme of things. It was an interesting sidebar but a seemingly unecessary one because I dont think it worked as was intended (the rats and all that imagery).

Its a really good flick though and I would recommend it. MS is the king of the gangster-mob mentality flicks.

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I admit the therapist was excessive and just added to the improbability and unbelievable quality. Both guys are behind enemy lines and they both share the same girl- whowouldathunk it. Other than that though it's merits far outweigh it's failings and it feels comfortable in Scorcese's ouevre.

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