Of course, Scorsese has been doing his part to carry on that tradition, and no fewer than three of his best are included in the companion Blu-ray set, “Ultimate Gangsters: Contemporary.” There’s his superb low-budget indie “Mean Streets” (1973), his semi-autobiographical tale of survival in New York’s Little Italy, which put a big crack in the wall between obscurity and fame for Scorsese and his stars, Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro (a year before his breakthrough in “The Godfather Part II”).
Two other Scorsese hood-a-ramas are the epic, fact-based “Goodfellas” (1990), inspired by Nicholas Pileggi’s biographical bestseller “Wiseguy,” with Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci and De Niro (again), and “The Departed” (2006), a tale of honest and crooked cops and ruthless mobsters, double-crosses and triple-crosses, starring young lions Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg, and the King of the Beasts himself, Jack Nicholson, giving his best performance in nearly a decade. Scorsese won a long-overdue directing Oscar for this one.
Then there are writer-director Michael Mann’s big bank-heist blockbuster, “Heat” (1995), which pits (guess who?) De Niro as a master thief against Al Pacino’s relentless (and pretty over-the-top) cop. Finally, there’s director Brian De Palma’s “The Untouchables,” written by David Mamaet and starring Kevin Costner as straight-arrow Prohibition agent Eliot Ness and De Niro getting villainous yet again, as a head-bashing Al Capone. This one is actually a Paramount Picture that plays like a Warner Bros. thriller.
There are some great short-subject surprises in the classics package - including a moving 1930 two-reeler with a very young Spencer Tracy as “The Hard Guy” - and both of these box sets come with compact hardback books full of essays about the films and the people who made them, with lots of behind-the-scenes photographs and production stills, to complete pistol-packing packages designed to blow Dad away.
— Gene Triplett<code_qr>
Cut pounds of stomach fat every week by using this 1 weird old tip.