Quickly, on THE DEPARTED.
Watched this on an inexplicable impulse while browsing hbogo.com, which may end up being as dangerous to my cardiac health as a box of butter cookies. So! Many! Movies! Most of them shit, luckily. This one was not. When it came out, back in the day, I thought it was a perfectly executed trifle. Wax-Banks-from-back-in-the-day, you weren’t wrong. The tonal oddities, e.g. the goofy Baldwin/Wahlberg pairing, keep the film from sinking beneath its own grandiosity. But while the screws tighten expertly from open to close, the story is neither fleet nor operatic — and stuff like ‘Damon’s character is obviously closeted!’ plays as trivia rather than deepening the experience. I came away from this second viewing slightly annoyed that Scorsese won the Oscar for a film that matters, that ramifies, not one single solitary bit. All it had to show me was itself. What a perfectly modern entertainment.