I had planned to write an editorial piece on Martin Scorsese for the LAMBs in the Director's Chair series but time was not on my side this month. Still here are my picks for the best and worst Scorsese films:
The King of Comedy
I am not sure why this film does not get more love from the general public. In my opinion this is a hidden gem in Martin Scorsese's large canon of work.
Still one of the best sports related films ever made. I remember first seeing this on the big screen at age 13 or so. The film was playing at one of the old historic theatres downtown as part of a Scorsese double bill. Even at a young age this film blew me away.
I came close to placing either After Hours or The Last Waltz here, but ultimately went with Driver. The film has been quoted to death so it does not have the same replay value as some of the other ones on the list. Still every once and a while it is good to revisit the dark mind of Travis Bickle.
You knew this would appear on the list somewhere. With the exception of The Godfather series, ever other gangster film gets compared to this cinematic classic.
I was tempted to put Mean Street in this spot but figured I needed a break from the Scorsese/De Niro pairing. I loved Infernal Affairs and I really like how Scorsese remade the film. Since I have not seen Shutter Island yet, hope to catch it in the next week or so, I would say this is the best film of his films with Leonardo Dicaprio.
Gangs of New York
The beginning of the Scorsese/DiCaprio era also coincided with the tail end of Scorsese’s decade long “Give Me an Oscar” push. Daniel Day-Lewis’ Bill the Butcher is the only reason to watch this bloated mess.
The Age of Innocence
Love the casting, found the film to be rather dull on the whole. It also did not help that this came out when Ismail Merchant and James Ivory were still at the top of their game. There are far better period piece romances out there.
The cinematography is fantastic but the film just did not live up to my expectation.
See Gangs of New York comments minus Daniel Day-Lewis. DiCaprio gives a good performance in the film but I walked away learning nothing new, or interesting, about Howard Hughes. To see a biopic done right go back up to Raging Bull.