07 October 2006

Succinct Film Reviews: Departed Edition

The Departed is trashy fun, but too long, watchably entertaining, nevertheless.

Longer review.

Seriously, nobody edits a Martin Scorsese film. I know there is a credit for an editor, but she clearly never says no. Nobody says no to Marty and that damages his films. He hasn't released a picture since Goodfellas that couldn't have stood to be trimmed by at least 30 minutes. The longstanding working relationship between Scorsese and his editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, would argue against maintaining that kind of working relationship too long. Most directors need editors who can say no to them once in awhile and don't share exactly the same vision. There are lenghty self indulgent passages in every Scorcese picture that make what could be truly mind blowing art into only very good pictures.

This tale is essentially a small exploitation picture that has an uneven tone, too much or too little violence (depending on your tastes), and great or hammy performances (depending on your tolerance for scene chewing). See it, unless you have no stomach for violence, you'll enjoy it, but it's still way too long for the trifle that it really is.

And I know Howard Shore has won his share of accolades, but he seriously over does the score to this picture.

Also, not Claire Forlani 'aka' Vera Farmiga (go ahead, click on the two links, and look at their photos and then come back and tell me with confidence that these are two different people. Just as I thought, you couldn't do it, could you?) wasn't sufficiently womanly or ballsy to balance all the cockfighting dominating this picture. Also, she seemed out of place, her whole subplot either needed to be more or less, how it is in the picture, is flat and unneeded.

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