(D: Martin Scorsese, 149 min)
When I heard that Martin Scorsese was set to direct the U.S. remake of the Hong Kong crime thriller Infernal Affairs, I thought, "At least now I'll be able to make sense of the convoluted plot."
The Departed is about a good cop who infiltrates the Mob (it's set in Boston) and a bad one planted among the boys in blue. Jack Nicholson, looking gleefully insane in the trailers, plays the crime lord. This sounds like a return to Scorsese's old-style crime classics and could emerge as one of the season's huge hits. What's telling is that recent Scorsese muse Leonardo DiCaprio gets top billing, above Matt Damon (who should at least get the Bean Town accent) and Wacky Jack.
Note that marathon running time.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
(D: Jonathan Liebesman, 84 min)
Here's a head-scratcher. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning is a prequel not to the original Tobe Hooper horror masterpiece - one of the original sicko sadist gorefests - but to its inferior 2003 remake.
It's about a quartet of friends whose car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Instead of small-town hospitality, they get a bloody welcome. The cast includes Jordana Brewster, who really should have graduated from slasher pics by now, and R. Lee Ermey, the sadistic sarge from Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, who reprises his role as the local sheriff.
Count on a strong opening weekend and then - like most horrors - dwindling returns.
Both open Friday (October 6). Screened after press time - see reviews October 6 at www.nowtoronto.com/film.