Thursday, January 29, 2009

Operation Screenshot (Films of the 2000s): Martin Scorsese's The Departed (2006)

While I suspect that this might be one of the more unpopular choices of this series so far, I am actually extremely happy to include it. After being incredibly disappointed by Scorsese's films since Bringing Out The Dead, I had particularly looked forward to The Departed. However with my first viewing I only found it to be a partial return to form. Revisiting the film though has been a great treat and I now think it's his finest work since Casino and possibly The Age of Innocence. Complaints that Scorsese is revisiting themes he has explored time and time again don't ring true to me as I expect my favorite filmmakers to return to many of the same thematic and personal obsessions throughout their career. The Departed is a thrilling and hugely entertaining film, and and Martin Scorsese is one of the few American filmmakers who would place a film in my best of lists of the seventies, eighties, nineties and now this decade. God bless him...



















13 comments:

Keith said...

Hey Jeremy. I personally loved this film. It had great performances from the entire cast. I also loved the music in it. This has been one of my favorite movies over the last few years. Thanks for posting about it.

Ed Howard said...

I don't know why it's so fashionable to knock this film -- I thought it was great as well. As far as Scorsese's more grandiose, "operatic" films go, this might even be my favorite; I generally prefer his smaller character pieces like After Hours, King of Comedy, Taxi Driver, etc.

J.D. said...

Yeah, I loved this film as well. Great cast and it finally got Nicholson off autopilot for a change. He should just do films for Scorsese and Sean Penn (I loved THE PLEDGE).

FilmFather said...

Hi there - got here from a mention of your blog on Kindertrauma...

While The Departed is a really good film, I give slightly higher marks to the original on which it's based: 2002's Infernal Affairs from Hong Kong. It's available on Amazon and Netflix; I highly recommend checking it out.

Samuel Wilson said...

It's at least an improvement on The Aviator, but to be fair, even that film had its moments. From this decade I prefer Gangs of New York for its audacity, but Departed is at least a good film. It's probably fashionable to knock it because people dislike Scorsese following the trend of imitating Asian films. Then again, people knocked Casino because that was supposedly Scorsese imitating himself, but I'll defend that film to the death. Jeremy, I'm pleased to see the phrase "best since Casino" used in a sentence for once.

Joe said...

Thanks for posting these screengrabs, Jeremy. I haven't seen quality images from The Departed on the Internet anywhere until now.

That said, I seem to be in the minority here. I thought Gangs of New York was a disaster, The Aviator interesting at best and The Departed a piece of crap. Maybe I was expecting more texture and intelligence along the lines of The Wire. If I wanted a movie to have lotsa exploding brains though, I would give this high marks.

MovieMan0283 said...

I had a great time at this movie, though I wouldn't consider it one of Scorsese's "greats." I'm a sucker for the genre, and all the movies I made with my friends as a kid had each and every character - good or bad - dying gratuitously in gunfire, so the film's denouement reached a special place in my heart. The Departed may not transcend its genre, but it does fulfill it in flying colors (with special touches like the Boston setting and the Nicholson performance which make it unique as well).

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Keith,
Yea the cast is just outstanding. I especially love Wahlberg and thought his performance was just amazing.

Thanks Ed,
I typically prefer those as well but I am glad to hear you share my admiration for this one. After Hours and king of Comedy are both so underrated.

Thanks JD,
Man, The Pledge is great. I really admire Penn's films as a director with that being the best one.

Thanks Filmfather,
I dig the original as well. I think Scorsese's stands on its own, although I wish more knew about Infernal Affairs.

Samuel,
I've loved Casino since I sawit twice in its initial run. Big, bold, audacious...the kind of film only Scorsese could have delivered.

Wow Joe,
I would never associate the phrases 'piece of crap' or 'a disaster' with anything Marty has done but to each his own. For what its worth, I do think Gangs of NY was his most disappointing production.

Movieman,
I like this line of yours.."The Departed may not transcend its genre, but it does fulfill it in flying colors." Perfect way of describing the film...

Thanks everyone for the comments.

RC said...

good images...

i remember the images of all the "X's" of building structure in the film...

was sure you'd include it.

RC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kotto said...

i had the same experience. saw it in the theater and wasn't all that impressed, then watched the dvd and realized how great it really was.

Larry Aydlette said...

It's a very good film. Leo is a problem in all of his Scorsese films, but the filmmaking is still rapturous.

Joshua said...

Right on all accounts. I am in enthusiastic agreement with you, for my money, I'd rank The Departed above Goodfellas.