**Note: This film contains coarse language and is permeated with intense violence.**–For a change…
First of all, this won’t be like my previous posts in my review of the list, where I write as I watch, as I’d watched Goodfellas before, just on TV, so I took notes as I watched to remind myself of some impressions. Let’s be honest here, they must have played about 45 minutes of this movie–I don’t know how you could possibly show more than that on network television.
The opening scene is Joe Pesci, Ray Liotta, and Robert De Niro knifing and shooting a guy in the trunk of the car. We’re certainly opening up with a bang. Dang…
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster…they offer protection for people who can’t go to the cops.
Essentially, after that bloody opening scene, we start from the beginning of Henry Hill’s (played by Ray Liotta) participation in mob activity. He begins to idealize the power and respect (fear) that comes from being a strongman for a mafia family. We watch him quickly rise through the ranks of the mob, growing increasingly successful and powerful. We see him get married, go to jail, kill people, watch Joe Pesci kill people, then watch him kill more people.
Unfortunately, Ray Liotta’s laugh just annoys me–it’s got to be the worst laugh in the world.
…and he laughs a lot in this movie.
You really can’t avoid the comparison to other gangster movies like The Godfather Trilogy or Scarface, but this is a rougher, harder movie than The Godfather. It’s essentially a biopic, and it reminds me a lot of Blow, starring Johnny Depp just because of the way it ends and how Henry digresses from being a respectable gangster into a not-so-glorified drug dealer.
I suppose I could look at this as a warning, a deterrent film, but I was blown away (pun intended) and rather put off by the excessively gratuitous violence. I guess you could also say that it’s an realistic portrayal of the mob life, so they included the violence as a matter of course (not to mention the 300+ f-bombs…).
I don’t know exactly how this is a modern classic, as this isn’t groundbreaking, but just one more in a line of exceedingly violent and foul gangster movies. I really enjoyed The Godfather, because I think the cinematography, the acting, and quite a lot else was excellent–and it was groundbreaking.
Verdict: I think this is well made, well acted, and a lot else, but it’s not exactly the greatest thing ever made.
Maybe I don’t appreciate it like I should, but I could die without having seen this movie.
I didn’t want to get blood on your floor
–said by Tommy (Joe Pesci) after beating a man to death