“He’s a regular Martin Score-seez!”

Polarizing director Martin Scorsese celebrated his 70th birthday over the weekend, and while I consider him my favorite director (and GoodFellas is my favorite movie), yes, I said polarizing. Can fully admit absolute stinkers like Bringing out the Dead and shoulda-been-betters like Gangs of New York exist in the man’s catalog along with the masterpieces like Hugo, ‘Fellas and the below segment from New York Stories.

Howsabout you, Threedonia? Faves, slags, movies he did you wish someone else would have, or ones you wish were on his director’s resume?

9 comments to “He’s a regular Martin Score-seez!”

  • JimmyC

    My fave Scorsese films, in no particular order: After Hours, Goodfellas, The Departed, Shutter Island.

    His early films in the ’70s and early ’80s were all undeniably well-made, but I found it impossible to like any of them, or want to see them more than once. They’re all unpleasant, self-indulgent and full of unsympathetic characters. Raging Bull may be a masterpiece of filmmaking, but I’d rather eat a pound of nails than spend another two hours with DeNiro’s Jake LaMotta character.

    Bringing Out The Dead was far from his best work, but I actually quite enjoyed it. It was like an episode of ER on shrooms. Scorsese kept the film fast-paced and engrossing all the way through, and Nic Cage was still a pretty compelling lead actor before his tailspin (not to mention that Tom Sizemore and Ving Rhames are great in supporting roles).

    His more recent output, with the two exceptions I mentioned above, has been spotty at best. He needs to lay off the big-budget studio films that drown out his creative style and focus on more personal films like The Departed. And he REALLY needs to stop working with Leo DiCaprio. There’s plenty of young actors out there who would do much better as a Scorsese leading man. Michael Shannon comes to mind- just look at how he stole scenes away from DiCaprio in Reservation Road (or better yet, skip that awful movie and take my word for it).

  • Matt Helm

    Kundun (1997) is where he seemed to jump the shark. Like you said, Bringing Out the Dead, was the next domino to fall into the dung heap. Gangs of New York could have been salvaged with a heavy edit job (maybe cutting out Diaz altogether). The Aviator made me squirm watching the actors playing actual producers and actors, and could have used a heavy edit job, too. Plus, I can only take DiCaprio for so long. I didn’t see The Departed because of the Weinsteins’ buying up rights to HK movies, promising to release them in the US, and then shelving them, reediting them, changing musical scores, or remaking them, without fulfilling their promise of releasing them as is. They promised to release Infernal Affairs, then remade it instead. Then there was the horrible, Shitter Island. ** SPOILER** The whole main character finding out he/she is someone other than they thought has been done before, and better. But I will give Hugo a shot. I’m dreading the Sinatra movie.

    • I hear you on DiCaprio, but I’ve actually come to like his performances the more he’s worked with Scorsese. I also enjoyed The Aviator more than the average Marty fan, probably because I don’t have as deep a connection to the real-life people portrayed. Only enjoyed Wahlberg’s performance in The Departed more, too.

      Re. Gangs of NY, I really wish the studios and Scorsese wouldn’t have been so hesitant to release it on its original Oscar-season 2001 slot. Fully convinced the extra year of tinkering left the otherwise genius of the director too long to over-indulge the George Lucas part of his brain.

  • Tink in Cali

    Of his earlier ones, I liked Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (although now days it has more of a made for tv feel). Goodfellas was awesome (which made me even more disappointed in Casino) and I thought Cape Fear worked pretty well. Of his more recent ones, the only one I have seen is Gangs of New York, which I found pretty awful – just too much of everything. I think he might benefit from trying to tell a much smaller story on a much smaller scale if he wanted to get back some of his mojo. Or he could just stick with commercials, I guess.

  • Tink in Cali

    Moderated, really? Does it sound dirty when I say Goodfellas or something? :)

  • Tracy,txmom2many

    “come to Debbie country”

    “this negativity only makes me stronger”

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Score-seez movie, but I’ve seen Singles a million times. Great movie.

  • Scott M.

    Hell,”The Age of Innocence”!Love that movie.

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