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Nick's Pics
Nick Nicholson
Film & Home Entertainment Critic

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg star in Martin Scorsese’s new crime drama “The Departed.” The movie is set in South Boston where the Massachusetts State Police Department is waging an all-out war to take down the city’s top organized crime ring. The key is to end the reign of powerful mob boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) from the inside. A young rookie, Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio), who grew up in South Boston, is assigned to infiltrate the mob run by Costello. While Billy is working to gain Costello’s trust, another young cop who came up from the streets of “Southie,” Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), is quickly rising through the ranks of the state police. Earning a spot in the Special Investigations Unit, Colin is among a handful of elite officers whose mission is to bring Costello down. But what his superiors don’t know is that Colin is working for Costello, keeping the crime boss one step ahead of the police. Each man becomes deeply consumed by his double life, gathering information about the plans and counter-plans of the operation he has penetrated. But when it becomes clear to both the gangsters and the police that they have a mole in their midst, Billy and Colin find themselves in constant danger of being caught and exposed to the enemy—and each must race to uncover the identity of the other man in time to save himself.

I have been so disapointed with the pictures this year (and last). Granted, we did have a wonderful few movies, as is the case every year, but, let us harken back to three summers ago. We all were able to take in block buster after block buster. It’s like we are drilling for oil with movies nowadays. One dry well after another. Lately, even the popcorn has been dry. The Departed makes the long, dreary wait seem all the more worthwhile. Aside from this season’s LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, I hadn’t seen a film that was truly Oscar worthy...until this one. I despise spoilers, so let me tell you right now I will avoid them completely. This picture has an all-star cast, the writing is top notch, and the premise of the story, although unoriginal, has twists that even a pretzel couldn’t reproduce. DiCaprio continues to show his depth as an actor as he portays Billy, the focal point of the story. Jack Nicholson provides a depth to his role that is absolutely unquestionable. These two actors, together for the first time, just may have a slam dunk at the Oscar alter this season. Scorsese on the other hand...what to say about him? This is, arguably, his finest achievement since Goodfellas. Scorsese’s return to crime/mob drama is welcome by all film aficianados. Will this be the year that the film communities most worthy director finally receives his well deserved and well past due Oscar?

The Departed

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio & Jack Nicholson

Director: Martin Scorsese

Company: Warner

Now Showing: In area Theatres

MPAA Rating - R

Grade: A+

DVD Picks


This great collection includes: Life Begins at Forty , Steamboat Round the Bend, Doubting Thomas, and In Old Kentucky. One of the great comedians of the 20’s and 30’s, Will Rogers is an American Icon. Known for his famous quotes, Rogers never failed to make you laugh. This DVD set has four newly restored movies starring Rogers. They are all similar, (and all made in 1935) and are guaranteed to make you laugh! This is humor from the good old days—well, sort of. The Depression was not exactly a good time, but Rogers helped the nation laugh when they did not have much to smile about. This boxed set is loaded with extras and will keep you laughing for days on end. The new digital restoration looks great and the sound is much improved.

JACKASS: The Movie - Paramount

An unrated version of Super-Stunts by Super-Idiots is what you get with Jackass, The Movie. This is 88 minutes of sheer stupidity. “Professionals” trying to out do Evil Knievel in their own MTV kind of way. These disgusting guys will do anything to get a laugh, including defecating in a display toilet in a hardware store. Another “highlight” is the “Yellow Snow cone” episode in which one of these morons takes a ball of snow, urinates on it, eats it, vomits, and then eats the vomit-covered snow. Wow, what cinematic excellence. Don’t waste your time or money on this one. Oh, there are plenty of extra grossness included on this DVD for you.

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  November 01, 2006