Here's 10 reasons why Casino is a criminally overlooked Mob Epic and is to Goodfellas as The Godfather II is to the original:
1) Joe Pesci playing yet another Napoleon-like maniac complete with blue eyes and a midwest accent that makes the f-bombs and m-and-f-ers that much more enjoyable.
2) Robert Richardson's cinematography. It beautifully captures the glitz and sparkle of 1970's Las Vegas.
3) The at times whirlwind narrative that takes us through the inner workings of the casino and it's many players. "The shift boss is watching the pit boss..."
4) Lester Diamond. Nobody portrays scumbags better than James Woods. His back and forth banter with Ginger and Amy is pure gold.
5) A plethora of pre-CGI gore effects that would satisfy even the most hardcore of horror fans. The pen-neck, head-vise, cheater's justice, and cornfield scenes set a new standard for mob-flick brutality.
6) Ace & Ginger's doomed trainwreck of a relationship. Deniro's battle scenes with her are his true shining moments in the film.
7) The soundtrack. Scorsese throwing music at us like some crazy drug-addled DJ. It's one of the oft-overlooked keys to his craft.
8) Scorcese's mother in her last cameo and perhaps one of the funniest moments in the film. Here we have a character telling her son not to curse in a film that broke records for cursing. Classic!
9) Frank Vincent's revenge. Here's a guy who at the hands of Joe Pesci was beaten to a bloody mess in Raging Bull, and then again in Goodfellas while also being stabbed, shot, and buried, finally gives it back to Pesci in a big way.
10) The House Of The Rising Sun by The Animals. Scorcese trumps his Layla body count montage in Goodfellas with an even more powerful and haunting montage of death scenes.