on November 22, 1995 by Kim Williamson
   This story of two Mob-connected gamblers (Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci) and the unstable woman (Sharon Stone) who comes between them reportedly had to travel through several MPAA screenings before it avoided an NC-17, but the more apt rating--as disappointed exhibitors who attended the ShowEast screening in November would agree--would have been NS, for no see.
   The "Casino" project wasn't a bad bet, reteaming as it did key principals from "GoodFellas" and "Raging Bull," and indeed De Niro as the trying-to-steer-right overseer of a Vegas casino and Joe Pesci as his old pal who wants to continue working under the table provide two face cards toward a royal flush. But it's down the tubes from there, with "Casino" left king-high by a wobbily high-heeled Sharon Stone and by an especially inept script and questionable direction. Co-writer Nicholas Pileggi barely adapts his book--most of the story is told via novelistic voiceovers (provided by two characters, one of whom would have to be speaking from the grave), leaving few real scenes in a 182-minute run--and Scorsese seems to have so little to say he shows a (poorly executed) explosion scene three times. Make that four explosions: "Casino" itself.    Starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone. Directed by Martin Scor-sese. Written by Nicholas Pileggi and Martin Scorsese. Produced by Barbara De Fina. A Universal release. Drama. Rated R for strong brutal violence, pervasive strong language, drug use and some sexuality. Running time: 182 min.
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