So you own a luxury casino in the Philippines, and you’re keen to attract high-rollers. What to do? How about get Martin Scorsese to direct some commercials featuring his former star collaborator, Robert De Niro, and his current one, Leonardo DiCaprio? Sound good? Oh, by the way, the budget for the ads will be $70 million. You good with that? That’s a lot of quarters in the slot machine.
Now, before we get too excited about the price-tag ($26 million of that money was split evenly between the two actors; Scorsese’s fee is a mystery; and hey, it’s for more than one commercial, man), let’s look at the storyline. Scorsese meets De Niro and Di Caprio at the wildly opulent-looking City of Dreams casino in Manila to tell them that they’re vying for the same part in an upcoming movie. The tone is brisk and funny, the music is by Ray Charles. This is the first of we don’t know how many in a series. A quick shot of Brad Pitt plays into the rumor that he will show up. Is it a success? Well, it will probably go viral, maybe because of DiCaprio’s unbelievably hipsterish beard as much as for anything else. And frankly, it’s nice to see Marty directing Bobby again. The last time the two worked together (other than in Shark Tale) was twenty years ago in, er, Casino.