Universal Home Video
Cast: Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Sharon Stone
Extras: Deleted Scenes, Documentaries, Interviews
’Casino’ is director Martin Scorsese’s telling of the rise and fall of mobster Sam ’Ace’ Rothstein played by Robert De Niro, a character based on real-life gangster Frank ’Lefty’ Rosenthal. The setting is 1973 Las Vegas, a time when the Mob was in control of the gambling scene and few would interfere with their power. (For a full review of the film, please check out our review of a previously released DVD version of the film here)
’Casino’ features a terrific performance from Sharon Stone playing Vegas hustler Ginger, which helped her receive a nomination for best female actor in a leading role at the Academy Awards that year. Also featuring a solid performance by Joe Pesci, who plays Nicky Santoro, a Mob strongman who will stop at nothing to protect the riches that flow into the hands of the bosses back home. Martin Scorsese delves beneath the surface to expose the often scandalous inner workings behind the glamour of what Las Vegas once was.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has produced an all-new digitally re-mastered, anamorphic widescreen transfer for ’Casino’. Colors and detail are superb, from the neon lights and pastels in Sam Rothstein’s suit jackets, to the rich colors of the seventies-style décor throughout the Rothstein home; your eyes will be treated to a visual feast. This transfer exhibits nice defined blacks and good shadow detail. The only thing I noticed were minor traces of dirt and speckles present on the source print, these items are not too distracting though and the overall transfer remains pleasing.
Sound is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 with your choice of English, Spanish or French languages. Sound reproduction is good and well balanced, vocal tracks seem quite natural and the musical score of the film will give your home theater a good sonic workout.
Extras include; deleted scenes, behind the scenes documentaries including; ’Casino: The Story’, ’Casino: The Cast and Characters’, ’Casino: The Look’, ’Casino: After the Filming’. A commentary-style feature titled ’Moments with Martin Scorsese, Sharon Stone, Nicholas Pileggi and more!’ and a documentary titled ’Vegas and the Mob’ as well as ’True Crime Authors: Casino with Nicholas Pileggi’
For fans of ’Casino’ this DVD will be the one to get, considering the previous release had next to nothing for extra features. The overall presentation is an improvement over the previous release, but I was really hoping for a full digital restoration that would have taken care of the minor dirt noticed on the source print. All in all, ’Casino: Anniversary Edition’ will make a welcomed addition to your DVD library.