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Goodfellas (1991, Twin disc DVD & Video):
Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci & Robert de Niro.
C.H. Ranking: 5/5.

Goodfellas starring  Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci & Robert de Niro.
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.


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“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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