Newest Review: ... boss. He instantly takes to life as a gangster. "I was treated like a grown up. I was living a fantasy... At 13, I was making more mo... more
Your Killers Come With Smiles
Member Name: lilmsnaughty79
Advantages: Excellent Performances and Story
Disadvantages: Bad Language and Very Violent
Your Killers Come With Smiles
Henry Hill wants to be a gangster. From his young adult days he put himself in the company of the local New York mafia and is slowly embraced by them.
However, all things do not run smooth in the violent world he has entered and he finds that things can change at any moment, is his life of luxury worth the risk?
Goodfellas is a landmark achievement in the works of Martin Scorsese. He had made man acclaimed films before this, notably Raging Bull. In the eighties he still made good films but they did not fulfil his expectations. In Goodfellas he has let everything go and summoned up all his talent, and boy is it a roller coaster ride.
The film is based on the book by Nicholas Pileggi, who also co-wrote the
screenplay with Scorsese. It is based on the true story of gangster Henry Hill, that's not to say that it is exactly what happened, I've read into it and it seems that this is tame compared to the real lives of these people, hard to believe though it is. In this film it seems there is some honour among thieves but in their real lives it seems there is very little.
Ray Liotta plays the main character of Henry Hill, although Robert DeNito gets top billing, not fair if you ask me. This is easily the best thing he's done. I have enjoyed some of his other films but this was always going to be a hard act to follow.
Robert DeNiro is Jimmy Conway, a brutal man who will kill without any conscience and really loves to steal. He is also based on a real person, and from what I've read on Wikipedia (if you can believe it!) is that the real Jimmy was a much more brutal and violent man. DeNiro's performance is amongst his best. It is an seemingly effortless performance, most of the acting he does with his eyes it seems.
Lorraine Bracco is tough woman Karen Hill, a fantastic performance by her full of fire and emotion. Her character goes through a lot in this film and Lorraine pulls off everything very well indeed.
Another Scorsese favourite, Joe Pesci plays very violent and unpredictable character of Tommy. This is a world apart from his likeable fool character he plays in films like Lethal Weapon or My Cousin Vinny. A career best performance if you ask me.
Paul Sorvino is mafia boss Pauly, a very talented actor who is underused these days. Not a huge part in this film but he does a lot of acting here with his eyes. He is very believable as a crime boss. He is an underused actor, I loved him as Kissinger in Nixon too. All the performers are excellent, with the possible exception of Martin Scorses's Mum who he put in quite a lot of his films. I do find her amusing in this though so it's ok.
This is an extremely violent film, right from the outset and it has one of the highest F word counts of any film I've seen. If that offends you then I certainly wouldn't recommend this to you. If the first scene in the movie turns your stomach then it's probably not going to be a film you enjoy.
Director Martin Scorsese has really let himself go here, the pace of the film is very fast. There is no padding scenes here at all. He is known for making quite violent films in the past, such as Mean Street and Taxi Driver but the style here is different. It's a better film the The Departed that he won an Oscar for. Some of the editing could have been a bit tighter as there a few places where things seem to jump, for example Karen and Henry are talking in one scene, and Henry seems move several metres in just a split second. Not a major thing but slightly distracting.
There is no conventional soundtrack as such, it is a practically a constant stream of classic songs covering the three decades the film covers. This works very well, the choice of music is excellent and really fits the scenes well. Some that stick in my mind are Layla by Eric Clapton and Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones. I even bought the soundtrack, although it's missing a few good tracks.
Summing up, Goodfellas is a film that I really enjoy. The story and characters are very interesting and the fact that it's based on a true story adds a lot to it. It never stops for breath and in he end you wonder where the time has gone. It is one of DeNiros last great performances and for me the highlight in Liotta's career so far. It really is superb. Forget The Soprano's or even The Godfather, watch this.
My DVD is a two sided one, meaning I have to change it half way through and it's very annoying. There are no special features. Look out if you buy it that you get the single sided version that is out now.
Main Cast List
Robert De Niro - Jimmy Conway
Ray Liotta - Henry Hill
Joe Pesci - Tommy DeVito
Lorraine Bracco - Karen Hill
Paul Sorvino - Paul Cicero
Directed By : Martin Scorsese
Running Time : 146 Mins.
Certificate : 18
P.S. I noticed a goof, watch Pauly's cigar when he's talking about Tommy and the restaurant. There one second and gone the next. I posted it on IMDB.
Summary: A Classic Gangster Film