(1991, Twin disc DVD & Video):
|Making The Godfather
appear second rate is no mean feat. Yet this is what the Martin Scorsese
movie, Goodfellas, manages to do. It is a 'Gangster' flick that
has everything; over the top violence, terrible language and criminal glorification
counter balanced by humour, tears and credibility.
Based on the 'true' story written
by Joe Pillegi, Goodfellas follows the life of Henry Hill,
from rebellious teenager to Mafia wannabe. Showing how crimes - at least
the 'legitimate' ones like theft, racketeering and counterfeiting -
can pay, this is a movie that should not be missed at any cost.
The cast are outstanding, with Pesci
taking the plaudits as the mad Tommy, who delights in making up for
what he lacks in height, by bullying, ridiculing and killing anybody
who gets in his way or even speaks back at him.
Liotta takes the lead role of Hill and
also acts as the narrator, detailing all those incidents too numerous
to show. He was born for this role and is far more impressive here than
in any other role to date, though possibly just as slimy as the FBI
man he played in Hannibal. De Niro is, well, just de Niro. A
master of his craft, he plays the understated Jimmy the Gent, headman
and all out bad guy with cool ease and desperate ruthlessness. Surely
if he'd failed as an actor, he would have become a Don so well does
he play such roles. In fact, so well does he play any role!
The script is slick and fast, helped
along by the soundtrack that encompasses the 50's, 60's 70's & 80's
with impeccable surety and the action is unceasing. The other notable
element of this movie is that it is almost, almost, impossible to have
any empathy with, or sympathy for, the characters. They get what they
deserve and when watching it, the audience feels better for the fact.
Drawbacks? Well, to be honest, there are few. A cast of thousands (seemingly) all playing people with nicknames or the same names (I lost count of how many Marie's, Michael's & Tony's there were even before the scene where this point is made obvious) and who's who sometimes gets a little confusing. There is also the fact that the movie runs for just a little shy of 2hr 45 min, so if a quick fix is what you want, this isn't for you.
Having said this, however, the time flies by as the
action fills the screen from the opening moments, until the final bars
of Derek's Layla are being played. Consistently voted in polls as the
best movie ever made, I'm confident that you will enjoy every nerve
jangling moment of it.
|Maybe you you seen this movie - 'Goodfellas' and would like to comment on this review? - FEEDBACK|
Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit. - Chris High 2003.
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