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Kino Korner March 20, 2003
Gangs Of Shite
By Mark Ames Browse author Email
Page 3 of 4
Rothstein: "Hey, don't...don't talk to me like I'm a fuckin idiot. Now are you telling me that you didn't see how badly they were miscast and how shallow this script was?"

Scorcese: "Well no, how could I, Mister Rothstein?"

Rothstein: "How could you? Because they're idiots and you never hired shitty top-bill actors before just for the money, that's why. The odds of them acting well, especially given the script, are a billion to one. It can't happen!"

Scorcese: "Now, Mister Rothstein, that's not fair."

Rothstein: "Not fair? Listen you fucking guinea zombie. Either you didn't know how bad the script and your choice of lead actors was, in which case you're senile and you should retire, or else you did know and you were in on it. Either way you're out! Get him outta my casino!"

Scorcese: "Mister Rothstein, you're going to regret this, sir. I'm now in with Harvey Weinstein. I may get that Academy I've always wanted. You can't just come into our town and treat people that way."

Rothstein: "I just did. Gettim outta here!"

Cut! That's a take.


Kevorkian Kevorkian Kevorkian

Three Kevorkians.

Put this man down now. We do it to dogs we love. Why not to once-heroic directors? Are we more humane to our pets than to our heroes?


Speaking of a shameful slide, former heroes and Robert De Niro...This is the kind of movie that a certain segment of the American population likes. Really, I swear. I mean if you go to the theater in a certain demographic that cuts across the country, you'll hear people laugh at the jokes, and you'll see good moods leaving when the lights go up. And you won't understand why. Because you, right-thinking viewer, didn't crack a smile the entire time, though you did find yourself wincing and worrying about "what it all means."

De Niro's slide in the 90s really sucks. He's reached that level of psychopathic greed that happens to stars and billionaires once they get past a certain level, like the Rolling Stones or Ted Turner. The more money they have, the more money they'll whore themselves out to earn. Like vampires or spice addicts.

Billy Crystal hasn't been funny in at least 25 years, if he ever was. He's sort of the Jewish Tom Hanks - not sort of, he just is. Take Hanks and recede his hair, rabbi-out the beard a bit, make him a little whiny and there you have it. What makes Crystal so painful to watch is that he's the family member who never stops firing bad one-liners, the one whose family encourages the bad one-liners by answering each with a courtesy laugh. That's it: Crystal is the guy who you have to courtesy laugh all night over dinner because you're afraid if you don't, he'll make a scene.

If the movie has any underlying theme, it's the bourgeoisie's eternal attraction to supposedly "authentic" undereducated, crude criminals whose lives are supposedly more interesting than theirs. Although I'm not sure that's what they're saying. I think this movie appeals to Middle Americans more than to coastal upper-middle-class Jews. Middle Americans want to live through the neurosis and comfort of Crystal's character's upper-middle-class world, and through that, experience his bourgeois dissatisfaction and subsequent attraction to authentic undereducated criminals. Only that could explain the movie's box office success.


Bin Laden

One bin Laden.

Viewers in the Muslim world will see Crystal's character, who is both manipulative and upper-middle-class, as proof of the Zionist conspiracy. They will admire his SUV which is why this is only one bin Laden.


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