Friday, May 25, 2018

360 Vegas POV: Casino E-1

Casino is the story of Sam "Ace" Rothstein and the events that occurred while he ran the Tangiers hotel and casino in Las Vegas.  The movie is based on the real life of Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal and what happened while he was running the Stardust.   

What's fun about this movie are the choices Scorsese makes, how often his story accurately mirrors the real events that inspired it and where they deviate from one another.  Not only the differences in the narrative but in the movie version of the city of Las Vegas.  Both are set in the 1970s through the early 80s.  However since the movie was filmed in 1994, without the use of modern CGI, differences between how the landscape looked during the time the story is set in and what it looked like during filming were unavoidable.  Despite that challenge, Scorsese made the conscious effort to represent the city as it existed during that time when he could, changing it when it benefited the story. 

In that spirit, lets play a game.  We want to see how close the movie storyline matches what really happenedWhile doing that, we'll compare the landscape in Scorsese's version of Vegas to the real one.   

We'll start by assuming both are exactly the same and analyze the movie to either confirm this or establish that they're different As we encounter moments that conflict with the chronological events, we'll acknowledge them, then remove them from the equation so we can move on connecting the moments in time that still match up.  We'll continue doing this until we're finally shown something that breaks the last connection we have, to the continuity of the real events. 

Regarding the landscape, we will allow it to help us progress in the timeline but not to establish a break in it.  Conflicts will simply be documented differences between the movie landscape and the real one.  That being said, one rule we will make is you can't make things up.  The Tangiers will be the only fictional landmark.  The rest of the landscape can only be reconfigured, either in location or in its evolution.  The moment something can't simply be reconfigured to explain what you are seeing, the game is over.  That includes making changes to the infrastructure.  IE, things like roads and landmarks exist exactly as they are, or were, in the Las Vegas until something is shown to force us to relocate them.  So if we are driving along the strip and after the Flamingo we see the Golden Nugget, then that's where the Golden Nugget exists in films version of Las Vegas.  It doesn't become a problem until we see the Golden Nugget shown again but located in a different geographical location 

Also, understand that an argument can be made to challenge any of this.  This is just a chance to over analyze a movie and talk about Vegas while doing it. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

E-268: Shots...In My Mouth

Random Vegas
Dunes jacket shop owner and property fanboy Jerry Pearman was given the honor of making the final throw of the dice before the property closed in 1993.  Betting $5 on the pass line, he rolled a 7 and won.

Twitpic of the week

The Silverbird signage alone may have secured the win for this week's "Twitpic of the week", once again brought to you by @TonyIlliawho has recently been dominating the designation.  I know it was a short lived incarnation for the property, originally known as the Thunderbird, but something about all the silver just captures my imagination.  I'm curious how hot that sign got with the desert sun shinning down on it, and what sort of crazy reflections that thing created, and was the real concept behind the signage an overly elaborate way to torture and kill James Bond.  The world may never know.  What we do know is that only two things in this picture still exist today on the Las Vegas strip, Caesars Palace and Circus Circus, interestingly enough, both themed resorts from the mind of Jay Sarno.  And only one of them still looks like it did in 1981, that's the Lucky the Clown marquee at Circus Circus. Caesars Palace is shown here in the dead center of the photo, still sporting the Sarno block exterior it would keep for almost another 20 year before being changed to what we know it as today.  Everything else, has literally been raised to ground and is currently undeveloped land.  But don't lament its passing too much because what the picture doesn't show you, is that in 1981, the strip located south of Caesars looked very similar to what this part of the strip looks like today. Paris, Planet Hollywood, Cosmopolitan, City Center, Monte Carlo, NYNY, MGM Grand and Luxor were little more than undeveloped land.  I'm sure there's a metaphor in their somewhere but I'm too busy enjoying the view to wax philosophical. 


360VV6 Housekeeping
Wynn Picasso Damaged
Cosmopolitan New Restaurants Announced
Sugarfina Opens
CNF Reminder

Saturday, May 12, 2018

E-267: Didn't Be Like

Random Vegas
The International (aka Hilton, LVH & Westgate) was the first Vegas property to use the 3-wing hotel design; also know as the hug concept.  The Mirage, Treasure Island and Monte Carlo all used the same concept.  Bellagio and Venetian are variations of the concept. Wynn & Encore are considered to be a further evolution of the practice.

Twitpic of the week

I've never been one to lament the virtual elimination of the small business.  I fully support property consolidation, if only so low rollers have more options while still being able to get credit for their action, as long as it's kept within reason.  Anti-trust regulations were created for a reason.  That being said, I get it.  Especially when I look at the Twitpic of the week, brought to you by @Summacorp.  It's a picture of Fremont St circa 1963.  And while all these structures still exist, in one form or another, the only one that is today, what it was in 63, is Golden Gate. The rest have been repurposed or absorbed by its neighbors.  And honestly, my real disappointment may simply be an excessive desire for more signage, or different signage.  Although, the more I look at this picture, the more I start to think, I prefer it the way it is now, minus the Fremont St Experience canopy.  Thank you, pictures, for allowing me to enjoy how things existed in the past while not forcing me to have to live with them in the present. 


Saturday, May 5, 2018

E-266: Acceptable Cuntery

Random Vegas
Since peaking in 2006 at $1.2 billion, strip properties in Las Vegas have generated the majority of their revenue, as much as 65% in some cases, from non-gaming amenities likehotel rooms, shopping, entertainment and spas. Further explaining why gaming odds have declined for the player over the last decade.

Twitpic of the week

While I love the Fremont St Experience, I prefer the landscape without it.  There's something exceptional about all that signage, densely concentrated, set against a black night sky.  No single location or landmark says Vegas like the neon strip.  That being said, this week's winner, once again brought to you by @TonyIllia, says something else to me.  Something I've never noticed before.  It says in 1990, Fremont was tired.  I can't put my finger on exactly what it is, but it all looks like it was feeling every bit its age.  Maybe it was bad idea to let Binion's and the Golden Nugget absorb its neighbors so they could expand.  Maybe it's the excessive use of the orange hue lettering in the Golden Goose and Coin Castle signage.  Whatever it is, something was clearly off.  And now that I'm seeing it, it's hard to fault those that acknowledged Fremont St needed something to shock the area back to life.  Fast forward four years from this moment, and Fremont St, meet your defibrillator in the form of, what else, bright signage to recapture the imagination and patronage of the Las Vegas visitor.