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Casino

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Had it been made by any other director, this gambling-and-goons saga would have been a triumphant display of technical virtuosity and uncanny empathy. Coming from Martin Scorsese, though, it’s a disappointing retread. An occasionally engrossing but mostly weary hybrid of Scorsese’s own GoodFellas (content) and Powell and Pressburger’s The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (scope and color schemes), Casino benefits on video from fast-forwarding through the scenes featuring Sharon Stone as gambling lord Robert De Niro’s scheming ex-hooker wife. Stone’s Oscar nod notwithstanding, her character is so one-dimensional she’s a chore to watch. If you watch at all, make sure it’s the letterboxed laserdisc — the cassette edition’s indifferently panned and scanned transfer of this very wide-screen movie jettisons the stylistic flourishes that occasionally lend Casino a hallucinogenic splendor. B-

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