Like the movie itself, last Friday’s presentation of Bugsy at the El Cortez’s Evening Under The Stars was flawed. The ideas were both great: Make a movie about the gangster who dreamed up a vision of what would one day become our fair city. Show the movie outdoors while patrons sipped on a variety of wines. But sometimes ideas just aren’t executed correctly.
The movie takes a fascinating character, a character different than many other mobsters, and just throws him in a boilerplate mob movie. No surprises, no different levels. Just a guy who does bad things, falls for a girl and oh yeah, comes up with the idea of our desert oasis. You know the ending. All interesting ideas, but executed in a very bland way.
The concept was sound: For $20, sample 30 differnet wines, grab dinner at Lulu’s On the Move and watch a film about the godfather of Las Vegas. Here was the big problem. It was outside, Downtown. Not tucked away, but right off of Fremont and Las Vegas Boulevard. That means blaring horns, sirens, street noise and planes above. It was impossible to enjoy the film because it was impossible to hear it all. What was a great idea turned out to be just terrible if you were there for the film. If you went for wine and food, then it was more than worth your while, I suspect.
Bugsy Siegel, (who hated to be called that), wouldn’t have been satisfied with either the movie or the night.
Jason Harris is a local stand-up comedian.