But above all that, it's an extraordinarily visceral, gripping and thoroughly enjoyable piece of storytelling as we witness the glory days of organised crime from the protagonist's viewpoint; then, abruptly after one bloody murder too far, we see him decline in a spiral of drugs, violence and paranoia. The principal triumvirate of Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci ("You think I'm funny? I'm here to amuse you?") and Robert DeNiro are utterly convincing as the three wiseguys. If you haven't seen it for a while, watch out for many familiar Sopranos faces in the rest of the cast, not least of course the wonderful Lorraine Bracco.
On the DVD: Finally, GoodFellas gets a worthy DVD release, with the feature presented in a new anamorphic 16:9 digital transfer, accompanied by two separate commentary tracks. Scorsese, Pileggi and other collaborators are present on a patchwork and partial track which is too disjointed to be really satisfying; fortunately on the second track, Henry Hill himself is joined by ex-FBI agent Edward McDonald to chat about their own memories of the events depicted in the movie. On the second disc there are four new documentaries which look back at the making of the picture, at its effect on other filmmakers, at Scorsese's creative process, and the true-life background to the film. A gold-plated essential item for every DVD collection. --Mark Walker
It is usually accepted that Raging Bull was the greatest movie of the 1980s. That's probably true. Goodfellas is possibly the greatest movie of the 1990s.
The thing that makes this movie so attractive to me is that Scorsese could have easily made another Godfather. Goodfellas isn't about Mafia Kings, or Crime Lords. This is about the lower levels of the mafia who don't have the glamorous lifestyle as "the kings". These are the people who are several levels down from Don Corleone. Hence, the tone of the movie is much more raw, and violent. Thus, this film is more similar to Scorsese's 1973 classic Mean Streets as opposed to Coppola's Godfather.
Scorsese pays attention to every little detail in this movie. He uses so many different aspects of cinema in order to turn what may be a typical scene into something that you always remember. Examples of this include the brilliant camera work through the back entrance of the nightclub ; freeze frames that are accompanied with interesting narrative ; great shifts in scenes that highlight twists in the characters' minds. It is as though Scorsese had a whole bag of tricks that he was picking from to put into this movie - and they all work perfectly.
The soundtrack is brilliant. In some cases it places an exclamation point on a dramatic scene, in other cases it is used to give the viewer a sense of a time period. Scorsese even shows the same scene twice from two different angles just to illustrate two different points of view...brilliant!
This is Scorsese's best film from the 1990s, even better than Cape Fear and Casino.... Read more ›
This product's forum
Active discussions in related forums
Search Customer Discussions