Monday, January 6, 2014

Movie of the Week – Goodfellas

This week’s movie: Goodfellas (1990).

The film is based on the true story of Henry Hill, a gangster who made his way through the mob hierarchy. Henry started as a young boy infatuated with local mobsters that he saw in his neighborhood. To him, they seemed better than the average man grinding it out for little pay and little respect. He just wanted to be a part of it. As Henry got older, he started pulling jobs with James Conway and Tommy DeVito having the time of his life. But like all gangster stories, eventually the music stopped.

Goodfellas is written and directed by Martin Scorsese and is considered to be among his best films (if not his best), which is saying something – the man being among film’s most accomplished filmmakers. Scorsese worked with frequent collaborators cinematographer Michael Ballhaus (whose work on the film is top notch) and production designer Kristi Zea.

The film stars Ray Liotta, and co-stars Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci (whose performance won the film’s only Oscar), and Lorraine Bracco. Paul Sorvino features in support (along with a bunch of other familiar faces to gangster films and TV series).

Goodfellas is one of the most critically heralded films of all-time (even though it lost Best Picture to Dances with Wolves at the 1991 Oscars); many even consider it the best film of the 1990s. Likewise, it is among the most exalted in the gangster genre (a genre Scorsese does incredibly well with films like Mean Streets, Casino, The Departed, and now with The Wolf of Wall Street – though it is a much different kind of gangster film, if you even want to call it that). It is a must-see for fans of the genre (as well as cinephiles in general), along with The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II, The Sopranos, Once Upon a Time in America, and City of God.

Trailer: Here
Available on: Blu-ray and Video On-Demand

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