Tag Archives: the departed

Leo Month Finale!

Sadly, this is our last Leo Month post this year. We had a fun ride watching a bunch of different movies starring our favorite non-Academy-Award winner. We’re finishing off by reviewing Leo movies that we haven’t seen until now.

Leave a comment below which Leo movie is your favorite
and one that you haven’t seen yet!

Kurtis – The Wolf of Wall Street (2013):
I was hesitant about watching The Wolf of Wall Street, mainly because I’m just not a big fan of movies that use vulgarities in excess when it doesn’t add to the story and that’s what I thought Wolf was going to be like. I was wrong, I mean, it was vulgar start-to-finish, but it’s a movie about greed and excess and Scorsese took it to a level that was required to really drive the point home. The movie follows a young man by the name of Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio) as he rises to one of the top stock brokers in the world. He is obsessed with wealth and all the pleasures it can buy, and achieves his success through incredible corruption and crime.  The SEC finally catches up to him and everything crumbles around him, eventually serving 3 years in jail. Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, who plays Belfort’s assistant Donnie Azoff, are absolutely hilarious in Wolf. The comedic pacing in this movie is fast and furious, interwoven into even the most serious scenes in the film.  One scene in particular, where Belfort is fighting with his wife, played by Margot Robbie, had me busting up laughing. DiCaprio yells in such a way that his voice starts cracking every couple of words and it’s perfectly delivered. While I don’t appreciate the excessive scenes of debauchery as much as someone else might (gay orgies in an apartment, orgies on an airplane, lines of cocaine done off a prostitutes posterior, etc.), the acting performances throughout the film are absolutely spot on and I was very impressed with DiCaprio’s performance in particular. He definitely deserved his nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Bottom Line: It’s not a movie I’m planning on buying, as I don’t know if it warrants repeated viewings, but Leo’s performance is out-of-this-world good and if you don’t mind a little (a lot) of debauchery it’s worth a rent.
Rating: 3.5/5

Morgan – The Departed (2006):
So this is probably going to send some people into shock, but I had never (until recently) seen The Departed. I feel like the last person in the world to have seen it. I mean, it’s even a shock to me, seeing as it has so many of my favorite people in it. It really doesn’t get much better than Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, and Leo. And you can’t forget Alec Baldwin. (I’m weirdly in love with him). Anyways, as a whole I really liked the movie. Spoiler alert: I was pissed when Billy died, even though I knew it was coming. But I relished in the perfection of the ending when the real bad guy gets what he deserved. I think Scorsese did a brilliant job telling an intricate, interesting, and funny story. It’s a little long, and requires you to pay attention. But I think it’s something everyone needs to have watched at some point. It shows you a bit of a different side of Leo.
Bottom Line: So, if you haven’t seen it yet, you should crawl out from under your rock and be a little adventurous. Unless you’re given the choice to see The Beach. In that case, just don’t.
Rating: 4/5

Jordan – The Aviator (2004):
I watched this on Kurtis’s many recommendations. DiCaprio plays Howard Hughes the orphaned millionaire. You can tell even from the very beginning that he’s an obsessive and an eccentric. He spends three years and $4 million on the 1930 movie Hell’s Angels. But it paid off as it is becomes a huge success. The rest of The Aviator chronicles his risks and successes in the film and airplane industry. He is a perfectionist, who cares about the smallest details but can’t make decisions on the big issues. He courts big name movie stars like Katherine Hepburn and Ava Gardner. These two characters seem to be the only ones that can love the man behind the neuroses. (Cate Blanchett as Hepburn is probably my favorite part of the film.) Things only get worse when he crashes a plane on a solo flight. He locks himself in a room for three solid months. He only breaks free to finally stop PanAm from securing a monopoly on international air travel. There is small swell of hope at the end… until the final scene.
Bottom Line: The three hour run time is pretty daunting, but there is so much that happens in this one man’s life. Martin Scorsese is obviously a genius, even with the details of coloring the film to look like movies of the time period. So unless you’re super into biopics set in the 1930s, or want to feel sad for three hours, I’d say this is a skip. Don’t tell Kurtis.
Rating: 2.5/5

—————————————-Last Week: ’10s Leo Movies—————————————-


Blog Me if You Can

Now we’re really hitting Leo’s prime.

We’re looking at our favorite movies starring Leo in the 2000s.

Morgan – Catch Me if You Can (2002):
The 2000s were an incredible time for Leonardo DiCaprio. He starred in a number of films that have become awesome, must-see movies today. People would be shocked if you told them you had never seen Gangs of New York, The Departed, or Blood Diamond, to name a few. My favorite from the 2000s however, is Catch Me If You Can. It’s the incredible true story of one of the world’s most famous con-men in history, Frank Abagnale Jr. He begins posing as a Pan Am pilot to cash forged checks, until the FBI catches on, forcing him to move from disguise to disguise. It is a fast-paced story without a dull moment that is easy to follow and fun to watch. DiCaprio and Tom Hanks are a great duo, and of course, Amy Adams sucks. Just kidding, she’s actually okay in this movie, but I still hate her.

Jordan – Catch Me if You Can (2002):
This is definitely the first movie I ever saw with Leonardo DiCaprio in it. Which means I probably saw it at age 12 or 13. And I saw it multiple times and all the special features (back when people actually liked buying DVDs). So this movie may just hold a sentimental place in my heart.
But I think it was also just a great movie. Even the opening credits are iconic! Leo definitely proved he could carry a movie. The other names in the billing don’t hurt: Stephen Spielberg, Christopher Walken, Amy Adams, John Williams. Sure, he soared in Romeo + Juliet and Titantic in the ’90s, but CMIYC solidifies DiCaprio’s career as the charming anti-hero in a period piece. I’m down to watch this anytime.
(Also, I feel the need to give a shout out to Blood Diamond, which I watched this week in preparation. Pretty solid movie about the Sierra Leone civil war and illegal diamond trade. Very graphic, violent, and sad. And I couldn’t get over Leo’s Afrikaner accent. Not my favorite, but still a good one. Of course, I love anything about Africa.)

Kurtis – The Aviator (2004):
This was a tough choice for me. I had it narrowed down between The Aviator, Catch Me If You Can and Gangs of New York. Ultimately, I decided on The Aviator because it is DiCaprio’s best performance of the three. The way he captured Howard Hughes’ eccentricities and descent into crazyville was absolutely perfect. The Aviator is a long biopic that showcases Hughes’ life from a twenty-something who made millions in the oil business to a perfectionist movie producer who took three years to complete his first film to a complete recluse separated from society. It’s complex and seeks to cover a lot of ground but even coming in at a nearly three hour run time, Martin Scorsese has a way of pacing this film that it doesn’t feel drawn out or slow. DiCaprio gives close to a perfect performance and elevates every scene he’s in. The whole cast gives solid performances, and Cate Blanchett shines as Katharine Hepburn.

Last Week: ’90s Leo Movies ——————————————————— Next Week: ’10s Leo Movies