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Thursday, October 19, 2006


I went to "The Departed" because, like many fellow movie nuts and Baby Boomers, I wanted to witness the historic first teaming of Jack Nicholson and Martin Scorsese -- in a theater with a box of Tropical Dots in hand.

I'm sorry to report that all those rave reviews of "The Departed" are just one big case of "The Emperor's New Clothes."

I said to a friend, "Any movie that has Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Marky Mark is just a hair's breadth away from ..."

"... a boy band?" my friend came back.

"... a Ben Affleck performance," I said.

There was just too much in "The Departed" -- or, as I've been calling it, "The Depleted" -- that reeks of movie cliches.

Case in point: I've had one shrink all my life. He happens to be a white-haired guy in his 50s with a mustache.

Leonardo gets a shrink in "The Departed." She happens to be a SMOKIN' HOT BABE.

Oh, yeah, and she's Matt Damon's girlfriend (a monster coincidence that, of course, has zero payoff).

PLEASE DON'T TELL ME LEO'S GOING TO SHAG HER, I thought when I first saw Leo in her office.

Guess what happens.

I have seven questions:

1.) Why would Jack give his lawyer instructions to mail Leo incriminating telephone tapes in the event of his untimely death? The audience is asked to accept this obediently, but if you really think it through, it's pretty hard to swallow.

2.) How could Matt Damon's shrink girlfriend recognize Jack's voice on the CD that Leo mailed to Matt Damon? How could she instantly comprehend the ramifications of the conversation?

3.) Why didn't Leo just mail the tapes to Marky Mark, instead of luring Matt Damon to a rooftop for a Hollywood Showdown?

4.) Exactly HOW did Matt Damon explain those three guys with their heads blown off? Was it: "Guy A and Guy B shot each other simultaneously, and then I shot Guy C in self defense"?

5.) Why did Matt Damon's hallway neighbors suddenly begin to treat him like a pariah? Even the old lady's poodle? What does the poodle know that the entire Boston State Police Department doesn't?

6.) How did Marky Mark figure out that Matt Damon was a baddie?

And most importantly:

7.) Are Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese pretty much a package deal now?

So many people get a bullet in the head during the last five minutes of the film, the audience was laughing.

But Jack, as usual, was The Man. And any movie that uses "Let it Loose" from "Exile on Main Street" is worth a look.

To all you slavering Scorsese-ites who rave about "The Depleted," I have this to say: Ten years from now, when you're looking for a good Scorsese movie to throw in the DVD player (or whatever Must-Have Machine will make DVD players obsolete in 10 years), I'll bet you won't be reaching for "The Depleted." It just ain't up there with "Taxi Driver" or "Raging Bull."


Blogger wstroby said...

And what about that mysterious envelope DiCaprio gave Farmiga? There's a whole scene spent on it, but it's never brought up again.

6:06 PM, October 20, 2006  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has nothing to do with the topic of 'The Depleted,' but it's not Blog-spam like the previous comment. Since you ar a comics guy, you HAVE to read the current entry (titled 'Dream Country') on Wil Wheaton's blog ( ). It's about how he was affected by the first Neil Gaiman 'Sandman' comic he read... I think you'd enjoy reading it, even though the comics you like are much earlier...

8:25 AM, October 25, 2006  
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