Killer Elite


Killer Elite

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Di Niro In Killer Elite

Killer Elite: Jason Statham stars as an ex-special operations agent who's lured out of retirement to rescue his mentor (Robert DeNiro) - which means having to first take out three dangerous assassins and their cunning leader (Clive Owen).

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Killer Elite

Media Man does not represent Robert Di Niro

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Di Niro In Killer Elite

Killer Elite: Jason Statham stars as an ex-special operations agent who's lured out of retirement to rescue his mentor (Robert DeNiro) - which means having to first take out three dangerous assassins and their cunning leader (Clive Owen).

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Killer Elite

 

Underbelly Star Gambles On De Niro Flick, by Greg Tingle - 20th May 2010

Australian crime TV and movies continue to wow the Hollywood movers n shakers, most recently icon Robert Di Niro (Casino, Goodfellas et al). Yeah, we know we went with a headliner grabber and a bit of hype, but it reads better than 'Robert Di Niro Gambles On Up And Coming Aussie'! Media Man takes their eye in the sky to see what's cooking 'Underbelly' - Hollywood style...

He plays the toughest guy in Kings Cross.

But the star of Underbelly: The Golden Mile, Firass Dirani, says he's going to have to 'man up' for his next role opposite veteran US actor Robert De Niro, known of course as the Living Legend of movies, and who could forget his portrayal of Sam 'Ace' Rothstein (Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal) in Martin Scorsese classic 'Casino'.

Let's now cross to Dirani, Cleo Bachelor Of The Year...

"I'm going to have to take my middleweight gloves off and put my heavyweight gloves on," Dirani half jokes.

"I'm going to have to man up."

"It's been a childhood dream. I've imitated this guy since I was five, since I could speak - doing the whole crumpled-up face thing.

"I'm just pinching myself. Honestly, I'm just gobsmacked by the whole thing."

Dirani will also star alongside Hollywooders Jason Statham and Clive Owen in The Killer Elite, a flick about ex-SAS soldiers who are being hunted down by assassins.

Dirani, known for playing 'Sin City' Sydney colourful (aren't we all) identity John Ibrahim in the third series of the ratings hit Underbelly, was seated on the head table at a Network Nine function and pow wow celebrating the network's drama programs in Sydney this past Wednesday.

The man of the moment, the mans threat, the woman's regret, says he remains stunned to be included in the star line up at the network.

"It's weird isn't it? (I'm at) the creme de la creme table. Sitting with David Gyngell and Lisa McCune - the faces of Channel Nine," he says.

"I don't mind that - (being) the rookie of the year. I'm loving it."

Media Man wish Dirani well and look forward to seeing him rip up Hollywood, Las Vegas, Atlantic City and beyond.

Loyal readers will be aware that punters can now place bets on the success of upcoming films with a number of betting agencies and the like, so be sure to give a good look over the Gambling911 website for more on those great opportunities to make a killing.

Ace, take good care of our 'boy', soon to perhaps become 'The Man' in Hollywood, and Dirani, don't forget your Aussie mates and especially John Ibrahim and the boyz of 'The Golden Mile' King Cross. Dirani in line for an Oscar within 12 months? Yep, you wouldn't be dead for quids. Good hunting, and long live the AussieWood - Underbelly - Hollywood connection.

Go Aussie Go. Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi!

 

 

 

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Casino is an Academy Award nominated 1995 crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Nicholas Pileggi, who also co-wrote the screenplay for the film with Scorsese. Robert De Niro stars as Sam "Ace" Rothstein, a Jewish top gambling handicapper who is called by the Mob to oversee the day-to-day operations at the fictional Tangiers Casino in Las Vegas. The story is based on the late Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, who ran the Stardust, Fremont and the Hacienda casinos in Las Vegas for the Chicago Outfit from the 1970s until the early 1980s.

Joe Pesci plays Nicky Santoro, based on the real-life Anthony "Tony the Ant" Spilotro, an intimidating enforcer and psychopath. Nicky is sent by the Chicago Outfit to Vegas to make sure that money from the Tangiers is skimmed off the top and that the casinos and mobsters in Vegas are kept in line. Sharon Stone plays Ace's wife, the self-obsessed, spoiled, devious and sly Ginger, a role that earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

When released, Casino had the most uses of the word "fuck" (398) in a feature length film , but was outdone two years later by the film Nil by Mouth although it remains the highest number of uses of the word in an American film excluding documentaries. Casino has been considered a companion piece to Scorsese's earlier film, Goodfellas (1990), which also starred De Niro and Pesci, and was written by Pileggi and Scorsese.

Plot

In the opening sequence, Sam "Ace" Rothstein's (Robert De Niro) narration explains: "When you love someone, you've got to trust them, there's no other way. You've got to give them the key to everything that's yours. Otherwise what's the point? And for a while I believed that's the kind of love I had." His car then explodes into a ball of fire. The story then cuts back in time, showing Sam to be a talented sports handicapper for the mob. Due to his handicapping prowess, Sam is entrusted by four Midwest mob bosses in Kansas City, Missouri to oversee the management of the Tangiers Hotel's casino in Las Vegas. Since they were skimming (taking a "cut" before income is reported to the authorities)off the top of the casino's profits, they wanted someone in charge who would make them the most amount of money. The backstory of how the mob actually ran the casinos at that time is told, revealing that although people may have seemed legitimate that they were all chosen solely for their role in allowing the skim to work. Sam is very happy to be offered the job, but is afraid to take it due to his past as a bookmaker getting in the way of his getting the license needed to work in the casino. Once he is assured that he only needs to APPLY for a license to be able to work and that no one will interfere with how he choose to run the casino, he takes the job.

Once at work, he almost immediately doubles the casino's profits. As he builds the Tangiers into a legitimate force to be reckoned with in Vegas and in doing so leaves his illegal past behind, it is revealed that Nicky has been up to his old tricks "back home". Sam meets and falls in love with an attractive hustler named Ginger (Sharon Stone), whose driving force is money. She is respected as a hustler due to her ability to take care of the people that she needed to carry on her business (of keeping wealthy men awake for days at a time, gambling and spending money), but had an Achilles' heel in Lester Diamond, her old pimp boyfriend. Due to Sam's success in bringing in massive amounts of cash, the bosses send his boyhood friend, Nicholas "Nicky" Santoro (Joe Pesci) (who is famous for his violent temper) to protect their interests. When faced with the reality of Nicky moving to Vegas, Sam immediately warns him that Vegas is no joke for even "the coppers aren't afraid to bury people out in the desert here". Nicky responds by making his intentions of breaking free of the bosses' control known as well, which can only mean trouble.

After finally getting the hotel and casino just he way he wants them, Sam decides to propose to Ginger. She tells him that she does not love him (added to the fact that they have only known one another for a few months), but he convinces her that he is fine with her respect, since in time it can turn into love. He clinches the deal by reassuring her that if anything should go wrong between them that he will take care of her financially for the rest of her life. Always the handicapper, after Ginger had their child, Sam married her. He finds her on the phone with Lester Diamond in the middle of their reception, in which she claims that she is simply saying goodbye since she had known him for most of her life. Sam accepts this and then tells her that since she is with him now, that part of her life is over. He sets her up exactly as he promised, with a large, lavishly appointed house in the best neighborhood, closets full of the best clothes and furs, $1 million in cash and jewels just for her and $2 million in shakedown and bail money that only she had access to in case he was in jail or kidnapped.

Over time, Nicky got more and more carried away. As Sam remarks early in the movie, Nicky enjoyed being a gangster and didn't care who knew about it. Almost since the day he hit town, he had been involved in all kinds of illegal activity, activity that the bosses would not have approved of especially since it involved employees of the Tangiers. Since most of his security personnell were ex-cops, Sam was privy to information that heat was coming down on Nicky. He warned him that he was close to being put in the (Black Book)(which would mean he was banned from EVERY casino in Vegas), but Nicky kept right along believing he was untouchable since there were only 2 names in the book, one of which "was STILL Al Capone". However, Nicky isn't as untouchable as he thinks an he is indeed placed in the book. Once this happens, Sam can't be seen with him anywhere near Vegas for the sake of the casino's reputation (and more importantly, money). Since Nicky refuses to go back home, he forms his own crew and hits Vegas with a whirlwind that it's never seen before with some "desperadoes from back home": Jack Hardy (Jed Mills), Sal Fusco (Clem Caserta), and Bernie Blue (Bret McCormick) his brother Dominick (Philip Suriano) and Frankie Marino (Frank Vincent). He sets up some legitimate businesses to spread some money areound, such as a jewelry store and a restaurant, but he and his crew mostly rob anything they can : other jewelery stores, hotels, apartments, and private homes. Nicky sends Frank back with money for the bosses to keep them happy, but since most of what he is doing he isn't supposed to, he can only send so much.

Since running the casino takes up to 18 hours a day and Ginger isn't used to being a kept woman, she ends up spending time (and money) with Lester Diamond. Since she has been with him since she was a child, she seems to change into a completely different person when he is concerned and she takes money out of her account to give to him. Sam finds this out(she had asked him for the money and he questioned her as to what it was for) and follows her when she goes to a diner to meet Lester. Sam confronts Ginger after Lester leaves (with the money she brought)and reminds her that when she told Lester they were to marry that he didn't stop her or profess his lover for her. That he let it happen. Lester is then beaten up outside and Ginger witnesses part of it.

Nicky keeps the bosses happy when they send him instructions, including killing a long-forgotten business partner of the head of the Tangiers' gaming corporation and finding out who shot up one of Remo's bars. The issues with the casino force Sam to become more visible and he starts to give interviews. However, at the same time he is forced to fire one of his employees, who is "juiced" in, as he is the relative of the County Commissioner. When the Commissioner asks Sam to take his nephew back, he refuses, and makes an enemy that he doesn't need.

Ginger has gotten worse and worse with the drugs and alcohol and as a capper has turned to Nicky as a confidante. At this point Nicky and Sam barely speak since Sam is upset that Nicky's wild wild west antics bring heat on him. Things come to a head after Sam is misquoted during an interview claiming to be the boss of the Tangiers and his new enemy the Commissioner goes to the gaming board asking about his license. Nicky arranges a meeting with Sam's banker, Charlie Clark at Sam's house, wanting some money back. When the banker tells him it's not that easy jsut to give it back, Nicky threatens to kill him if he doesn't get it back the next day. Sam warns Nicky that the banker will run to the FBI messing up his chance's with his license. Nicky tells Sam that once he makes his moves, that he won't NEED a license. It is then that Sam realizes that Nicky plans on going after the Midwest bosses AND the skin, which he wants no part of.

Meanwhile, the skim is starting to get lighter and lighter and the bosses realize that the people they put in to pull of the skim are taking from THEM. Underboss Artie Piscano is sent to handle the situation, which involves alot of flying back and forth on his part. He is also unhappy with how he is being compensated for his trips, and threatens to begin keeping track, which he is warned against. Ginger is again hooked up with Lester Diamond and this time under guise of a vacation to Los Angeles with their daughter and runs off with him. Sam finds this out when he calls to speak to his wife, only to find out that both Mr and Mrs Sam Rothstein have checked out. Lester is in the middle of discussing their flight to Europe and elaborate plastic surgery plans when Sam (having called back home to have someone track them down) calls. Nicky comes by to offer his help, telling Sam that no matter what their business issues may be, that the disappearance of his daughter is family and he will help. Ginger calls Sam and he instructs her to send Amy (their daughter) home. When Ginger asks if she can come as well, Sam relents and sends a plane for them. Once home, the two go out for dinner to talk things through and he grills her about what they did while they were away and what she spent the money on. Ginger would rather forget anything happened, but Sam is enraged not only that she took their daughter but by the knowledge that Ginger has sex with Lester.

Ginger complains to Nicky about Sam's behavior since her return and it is revealed that she came back under HIS instruction. It is during this talk that they begin their affair. No one back home is happy since both Nicky and Sam are on tv. Nicky is constantly questioned for anything illegal that goes on in Vegas and Sam has created his own talks how to air his grievances over his license. Not only that, but on one trip while Frank Marinso goes home to take some money, Remo Gaggi questions him about the rumblings of an affair between Ginger and Nicky.

Realizing that even HIS life could be in danger if he tells the truth, Marino lies and denies it.

Everything begins to crumble one night when Sam calls the house to speak to Ginger and no one answers. Since Nicky has eyes on Sam, when he informs his number 2 Billy Sherbert (Don Rickles)that he is going home, a call goes out to Nicky. Sam gets home to find Ginger gone and his young daughter locked in her room and tied to her bed by her mother. The phone miraculously rings and it's Nicky calling. When Sam states that he's looking for Ginger, he tells him that she's a his restaurant with him. Sam speeds over there to find an inebriated and high Ginger sitting in a booth smoking a cigarette. Nicky warns him to be f_ckin' nice" before speaking to his wife, and Sam, almost ready to burst tells his wife to go home and be a mother. Ginger doesn't budge until Nicky gives her the ok to leave, which even further infuriates Sam. Once home, Ginger and Sam argue, with her accusing him of cheating as well. She goes back to the restaurant and tells Nicky to have Sam killed. When he refuses to kill his friend of more than 30 years, she becomes enraged and attacks him physically. He throws her out and laments to Marino that he made a mistake ever getting involved with her.

The next morning, Ginger turns up at their family home to collect her possessions. Getting access into the house, she steals the key to their safety deposit box, which contains a near two million dollars in emergency money (earlier it was revealed that she had skimmed some of it for Lester). Sam and Billy head for the bank to try to stop her. They are too late, and see her leave the bank with the cash, but she is arrested by the FBI about a block away for aiding the mob (she is later released when they decide that she knows nothing). The FBI and media, most of whom were already onto Nicky, gain enough information to track down all the players of the skimming operation, getting even more information when they find detailed records of how the skimming actually worked along with dates, names and addresses from mobster Artie Piscano's expense reports. Piscano, an incomptent underboss sent by the Kansas City bosses to weed out those who would steal from the mob's cut of The Tangiers's profits ("skim the skim") is ultimately responsible for destroying the mob's hold on the casino. FBI investigators, having bugged Piscano's Kansas City grocery while investigating crimes apparently unrelated to the casino, overhear the underboss rant in detail about the mob's involvement in The Tangiers. Piscano, unhappy that he'd been forced to pay his own expenses while in Vegas, and against the orders of the bosses, kept all records of his trips in a notebook. Now tipped off to the existence of the notebook, and having the names of the mob's contacts in The Tangiers, the FBI moves in.

Executing a search warrant in his home, the FBI immediately find Piscano's notebook, making sure to thank him for his cooperation. In shock, that he has now basically handed the mob's Vegas operation to the FBI, Piscano suffers a fatal heart attack. The Tangiers temporarily shuts down, and Nicky takes off after his restaurant and jewelery store get closed down, allowing Dominic, Frankie, and the rest of Nicky's crew to get arrested. The bosses are also arrested and taken into court. While together in the courthouse, the bosses hold a meeting during a recess and decide which witnesses should be eliminated. Those executed include Andy Stone (head of the Teamsters Union and Pension Fund), three casino executives, and John Nance (the money courier, whose son was in trouble with the FBI for drug-related charges). At this point, the film reverts to bombing, and apparent murder of Sam in his car, the explosion shown at the beginning of the film. Despite the seemingly instantaneous and complete explosion, Sam is now seen narrowly surviving the blast - largely due to a special plate inserted in the car, and unknown to almost everybody. Despite his brush with death, Sam dismisses the effort which he and the bosses suspect was made by Nicky. This is probably true, as earlier in the film Nicky talks to Marino about the possibility of having Sam whacked before he "starts a war back home", due to Ginger's affair with him. Months later, the bosses bail Nicky's crew out, and Nicky himself holds a meeting with them in an Indiana cornfield, apparently to send Dominic out to Vegas. His crew turns on him, with Frankie clubbing him in the leg. Nicky is forced to watch as Frankie and the crew savagely beat Dominic to a pulp with aluminum baseball bats. Nicky is gruesomely beaten by Frankie as well, and the men bury the Santoro brothers alive in a freshly dug grave in the dirt. Sam narrates that the bosses have had enough of Nicky's antics, and ordered Marino and his crew to "make an example" of him and his brother. Ginger leaves, and dies of a drug overdose in an L.A. after falling in with a bad crowd. The cash she has taken is almost all but spent, with only valuable coins left from the thousands she took.

The Tangiers gets demolished. In a montage, all the famous hotels of the Vegas strip are shown being demolished, replaced by oversized, 'family-friendly' resorts that have become the staple of the modern-day city, built by large corporations and financed withjunk bonds. Sam remarks that "today it looks like Disneyland," and that "in the old days, dealers knew your name, what you drank, what you played, and that today, it's like checking into an airport." Echoing Henry Hill's complaint about having to stomach bad take-out once he entered Witness Protection in Goodfellas, Sam says that in the modern Vegas, if you order room service "you're lucky if you get it by Thursday". As Nicky's narration from the beginning of the film puts it, "It turned out to be the last time street guys like us were given anything that fucking valuable."

The final scene shows Sam being reduced to what he started from, making bets for the mob and watching sporting events on multiple televisions from his home in San Diego, still able to make money at will. The film slowly fades out as the audience see his face looking straight at the camera as he takes his glasses off, older but wiser from his experience. As he proclaims in the last line of the film, "And that's that.". (Credit: Wikipedia).

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