Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bugsy (1991)

Director: Barry Levinson

Starring: Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Harvey Keitel, Ben Kingsley, Elliott Gould, Joe Mantegna, Richard C. Sarafian, Bebe Neuwirth

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Glamour Was The Disguise.

Plot: New York gangster Ben 'Bugsy' Siegel takes a brief business trip to Los Angeles. A sharp-dressing womaniser with a foul temper, Siegel doesn't hesitate to kill or maim anyone crossing him. In L.A. the life, the movies, and most of all strong-willed Virginia Hill detain him while his family wait back home. Then a trip to a run-down gambling joint at a spot in the desert known as Las Vegas gives him his big idea.

My rating: 8.5/10

Will I watch it again? Oh, yeah.

I digs me some gangster pictures and especially those that take place during the first half of the 20th century. BUGSY is a really good movie across the board. Ennio Morricone's score is hauntingly poignant and fateful. Yeah, there are hints of his score from THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987) but that's forgivable since he's got some beautiful themes here. The casting is equally good with Bening as the standout. She's amazing. I can see how Beatty could fall for a broad like that. She's not just a pretty, I mean GORGEOUS, woman but she's smart and a damn fine actress. What a performance!!! Then there's Beatty. I REALLY dig him but in this picture he's playing Bugsy the same way he's played many other characters to where I get the impression that he's really like that in real life. I love his optimism and drive and Beatty is the kind of actor that can deliver that in spades but here he's not bringing much to the character but Warren Beatty and, in the end, I'm perfectly OK with that. Nobody does Beatty like Beatty. The extras on the DVD are well worth the time. There's a section on how important a good DP is and demonstrated that by how Allen Daviau made one minor adjustment that didn't need to be there but it transformed the scene into art. Damn, I love the movies.

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