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99 Goodfellas 
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Post 99 Goodfellas
See james review


Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:19 am
Post Re: 99 GoodFellas 1990
IMHO, that was Scorsese pinnacle. He combined his directorial mastery and flourishes with a compeling story and a non-stop pace that left you almost literally breathless at the end.

Whereas "Raging Bull" was a bit incoherent and unfocused, "Goodfellas" never loses sight of its protagonist and makes us root for Henry, despite his obvious shortcomings. The cast gives excellent performances all around and the script and dialogue are top-notch and give us a great insight into an unkown world.

Overall, one of the greatest Oscar losers of all time, alongside "Citizen Kane", "High Noon" and "2001:A Space Odyssey".


Last edited by panos75 on Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:24 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:53 am
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Post Re: 99 GoodFellas 1990
Scorsese has never been consistent with me. I thought Taxi Driver was great, and I think its my favorite of his films. I did not like Raging Bull. The Departed was very mature and requires several viewings to fully appreciate its complexities (allow me to include this one, I'd say its his great work of this decade). GoodFellas was sort of in the middle.

Overall, I liked GoodFellas, but by the time it was over, I wasn't really satisfied. Yeah, it gives insight into the inner-workings of an Italian crime family/mafia and the balance between dirty business and home life. But it's not the first to do so, and not the best. The Godfather wins that one.

Acting was pretty good. Nothing really stood out for me except for Joe Pesci. He plays the same pissed off vulgar Italian guy that he plays in pretty much all of his movies, but he does it here best - and with flare. Who can forget the scene when he shoots the kid for talking back to him? From what I've noticed, people have really praised Robert De Niro here as well. I'm not really sure why. He was in the background for most of the film, and in the parts that he was in the foreground, he did not dominate. I'm not sure if this performance was more character or De Niro, if you know what I mean.

This movie flowed well and was interesting. Yet the ending is not satisfying. After being busted for narcotics, our narrator enters the witness protection program and turns his comrades in. I understand that it is supposed to underscore the importance of family and trust that has been stressed throughout the film, but it all seems so sudden. I suppose that was done on purpose though. Our narrator's final situation is somewhat depressing - he completes the circle that began with his childhood. He grew out of mediocrity by becoming involved with the mafia, and eventually fell back into mediocrity because of the mafia. Go figure.

This movie REALLY made me want Italian food. It was pretty bad.


Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:28 am
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Post Re: 99 GoodFellas 1990
One of my favorites...period. Couple of questions though, see what you guys think.

At the end of the film there is a shot of Joe Pesci shooting in the direction of the camera. I understand that this is a reference to The Great Train Robbery of 1903 (which I definitely have not seen). Anyone have any input as to why Scorsese included this shot in his film?

Do you guys believe the tracking shot at the Copacabana is one of Scorsese's best in the film?

EDIT: Now that I'm thinking about it, the dolly zoom shot at the reastaurant was used to great effect. If I remember correctly, it's when Henry realizes he is being set up by Jimmy.


Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:15 pm
Post Re: 99 GoodFellas 1990
ram1312 wrote:
One of my favorites...period. Couple of questions though, see what you guys think.

At the end of the film there is a shot of Joe Pesci shooting in the direction of the camera. I understand that this is a reference to The Great Train Robbery of 1903 (which I definitely have not seen). Anyone have any input as to why Scorsese included this shot in his film?


Because it's awesome?

ram1312 wrote:
Do you guys believe the tracking shot at the Copacabana is one of Scorsese's best in the film?


If not the best it's certainty in the top 5.


Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:27 pm
Post Re: 99 GoodFellas 1990
I like Goodfellas okay, but the coke-fueled, Kafkaesque last twenty minutes is the only part of the movie that I think is especially great


Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:20 pm
Post Re: 99 GoodFellas 1990
Patrick wrote:
ram1312 wrote:
Do you guys believe the tracking shot at the Copacabana is one of Scorsese's best in the film?


If not the best it's certainty in the top 5.


The best shot of the film is towards the end when the cops raid the house and Karen hides the gun in her panties. The closeup of her doing that is such subtle symbolism that I get goosebumps everytime I see it. The tracking shot was obviously a million times more difficult to pull off, but this is the shot that does it for me. It could have been such a small, irrelevant, almost throwaway shot, and Scorsese elevated it to staggering importance, simply by framing it as a closeup. THAT'S the sign of a great director - turning the mundane into art.

I'd rank Goodfellas as Scorsese's best film, slightly ahead of Taxi Driver. I find it interesting that Goodfellas set out to de-mythologize the mob lifestyle, yet many people love it because the characters are so "badass" or "cool". It doesn't romanticize the mob like The Godfather does, yet it somehow is seemingly more identified with by regular folks than The Godfather . Maybe people can relate more to the working stiff mobsters depicted in Goodfellas than the dons and heads of the families depicted in The Godfather?


Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:30 am
Post Re: 99 GoodFellas 1990
I was giddy with excitement the first time I saw Goodfella's and was a fierce advocate of being awarded best film that year.
I remain just as excited by the movie, but don't think it's Scorsese's best film.

From James review " Film critics will argue over which represents Scorsese at his best - Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, or Goodfellas. Each movie has its fierce advocates, but to single out one at the expense of the other two seems to be a pointless and counterproductive enterprise. Taxi Driver and Raging Bull are more focused on an individual than Goodfellas, which examines how a culture shapes values, life choices, and relationships. Taken together, these three offer insight into the themes and ideas that are closest to Scorsese's heart. Taken individually, each represents an amazing motion picture accomplishment, with Goodfellas standing alongside The Godfather as one of the two greatest mob stories told on film."

I have not seen Goodfella's for a few years and wonder how it will hold up. That said, i think that Goodfella's is also about the influence of a culture on an individual.

Both Taxi Driver and Goodfella's scored a perfect 10 for me. I'd prefer to keep taxi Driver if i was only allowed to have one.

Rob


Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:55 am
Post Re: 99 GoodFellas 1990
" Some of the violence is sudden, shocking, and visceral. One death in particular comes as a total surprise, and leaves the viewer momentarily stunned and disoriented. Even after I have seen the film numerous times, this scene remains unsettling. "


Which scene is this in reference to?


[Reveal] Spoiler:
The trunk scene?


Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:08 pm
Post Re: 99 GoodFellas 1990
Evenflow8112 wrote:
" Some of the violence is sudden, shocking, and visceral. One death in particular comes as a total surprise, and leaves the viewer momentarily stunned and disoriented. Even after I have seen the film numerous times, this scene remains unsettling. "


Which scene is this in reference to?


[Reveal] Spoiler:
The trunk scene?


I'm guessing it's when...

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Joe Pesci's character shoots and kills Spider, after Spider stands up to him at the card game. "Why don't you go fuck yourself Tommy?"


I remember going "Oh shit!" the first time I saw that. Although what you said above, Evenflow, is pretty damn unsettling.


Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:23 pm
Post Re: 99 GoodFellas 1990
ram1312 wrote:
Evenflow8112 wrote:
" Some of the violence is sudden, shocking, and visceral. One death in particular comes as a total surprise, and leaves the viewer momentarily stunned and disoriented. Even after I have seen the film numerous times, this scene remains unsettling. "


Which scene is this in reference to?


[Reveal] Spoiler:
The trunk scene?


I'm guessing it's when...

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Joe Pesci's character shoots and kills Spider, after Spider stands up to him at the card game. "Why don't you go fuck yourself Tommy?"


I remember going "Oh shit!" the first time I saw that. Although what you said above, Evenflow, is pretty damn unsettling.


Ram is definitely correct. Evenflow's scene isn't all that shocking or unsettling - you know it's coming because the movie opens with it.


Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:10 pm
Post Re: 99 GoodFellas 1990
PeachyPete wrote:
ram1312 wrote:
Evenflow8112 wrote:
" Some of the violence is sudden, shocking, and visceral. One death in particular comes as a total surprise, and leaves the viewer momentarily stunned and disoriented. Even after I have seen the film numerous times, this scene remains unsettling. "


Which scene is this in reference to?


[Reveal] Spoiler:
The trunk scene?


I'm guessing it's when...

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Joe Pesci's character shoots and kills Spider, after Spider stands up to him at the card game. "Why don't you go fuck yourself Tommy?"


I remember going "Oh shit!" the first time I saw that. Although what you said above, Evenflow, is pretty damn unsettling.


Ram is definitely correct. Evenflow's scene isn't all that shocking or unsettling - you know it's coming because the movie opens with it.


Ah, but how do you know it's coming if you haven't seen the film already?

Another possible choice is when
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Morrie is killed quite suddenly, after supposedly being saved from Jimmy's meat hook by Henry, when Tommy digs an ice pick (?) into the back of his head. That is arguably more unsettling that simply seeing someone get shot unexpectedly (call me hardened, but people being shot in films does not unsettle me), and it's also performed in a quiet, desolate area which chillingly illuminates the realistic ugliness of the crime.


Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:42 pm
Post Re: 99 GoodFellas 1990
Aw man...I definitely forgot that scene Evenflow.

How they set him up for that makes it all the more unsettling. I think I even remember the sound "it" made.

I don't know what to put my money on.


Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:45 pm
Post Re: 99 GoodFellas 1990
Evenflow8112 wrote:
PeachyPete wrote:
ram1312 wrote:

I'm guessing it's when...

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Joe Pesci's character shoots and kills Spider, after Spider stands up to him at the card game. "Why don't you go fuck yourself Tommy?"


I remember going "Oh shit!" the first time I saw that. Although what you said above, Evenflow, is pretty damn unsettling.


Ram is definitely correct. Evenflow's scene isn't all that shocking or unsettling - you know it's coming because the movie opens with it.


Ah, but how do you know it's coming if you haven't seen the film already?

Another possible choice is when
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Morrie is killed quite suddenly, after supposedly being saved from Jimmy's meat hook by Henry, when Tommy digs an ice pick (?) into the back of his head. That is arguably more unsettling that simply seeing someone get shot unexpectedly (call me hardened, but people being shot in films does not unsettle me), and it's also performed in a quiet, desolate area which chillingly illuminates the realistic ugliness of the crime.


This is what I get for skimming. Sorry, Ram, didn't mean to say you were correct when I actually disagree. I think it's:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
When Pesci gets killed. You're led to believe he's going to be made, and he gets whacked for something that you thought was resolved. I don't know that it's unsettling, but it sure is shocking. Also, why are we using spoiler tags in the thread of a movie that is almost 20 years old?


I thought Ram was refering to that scene when I read the first word of his post and skimmed the rest. Oops.


Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:07 pm
Post Re: 99 GoodFellas 1990
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZrNDBkXIeg

^-> Short clip, have a look. Pay attention to the way DeNiro's facial expressions sync with the song. Perfect. Best use of Cream in a movie?

ram1312 wrote:
At the end of the film there is a shot of Joe Pesci shooting in the direction of the camera. I understand that this is a reference to The Great Train Robbery of 1903 (which I definitely have not seen). Anyone have any input as to why Scorsese included this shot in his film?


I suppose it's just an homage, much like what Tarantino likes to do. The real reason I'm replying is to tell everyone to check out The Great Train Robbery. For a movie that old, it holds up remarkably well. It's available on youtube and isn't all that long (~20 minutes if memory serves right). I have very fond memories of my first viewing. The clip I saw had absolutely no music, so I put on Electric Wizard's album Dopethrone as a score. Strange as it may seem the two fit together really nicely.


Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:13 pm
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Post Re: 99 GoodFellas 1990
ed_metal_head wrote:
I suppose it's just an homage, much like what Tarantino likes to do. The real reason I'm replying is to tell everyone to check out The Great Train Robbery. For a movie that old, it holds up remarkably well. It's available on youtube and isn't all that long (~20 minutes if memory serves right). I have very fond memories of my first viewing. The clip I saw had absolutely no music, so I put on Electric Wizard's album Dopethrone as a score. Strange as it may seem the two fit together really nicely.


I love it when silent films have no background scores. It allows me to put on my own music. I watched The Passion of Joan of Arc with Philip Glass Etudes (perfect) and The General with Chopin Etudes.

Back to the thread, I thought that

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Joe Pesci killing the kid was the most unsettling death. This is because it is extremely sudden, the kid is completely innocent, and rarely in movies do you see someone be such an asshole for no reason.


Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:59 pm
Profile
Post Re: 99 GoodFellas 1990
darthyoshi wrote:
Back to the thread, I thought that

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Joe Pesci killing the kid was the most unsettling death. This is because it is extremely sudden, the kid is completely innocent, and rarely in movies do you see someone be such an asshole for no reason.


It's been a while, but said "kid" is Michael Imperioli who played Christopher on The Sopranos, right?


Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:53 am
Post Re: 99 GoodFellas 1990
ed_metal_head wrote:
darthyoshi wrote:
Back to the thread, I thought that

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Joe Pesci killing the kid was the most unsettling death. This is because it is extremely sudden, the kid is completely innocent, and rarely in movies do you see someone be such an asshole for no reason.


It's been a while, but said "kid" is Michael Imperioli who played Christopher on The Sopranos, right?


Correct. His name is Spider in the movie. I only remember that because in college we nicknamed a kid Spider because he was such a pushover. I'm sure everyone cares about who I nicknamed what back in college.


Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:06 am
Post Re: 99 GoodFellas 1990
[quote="darthyoshi"]



Acting was pretty good. Nothing really stood out for me except for Joe Pesci. He plays the same pissed off vulgar Italian guy that he plays in pretty much all of his movies, but he does it here best - and with flare. Who can forget the scene when he shoots the kid for talking back to him? From what I've noticed, people have really praised Robert De Niro here as well. I'm not really sure why. He was in the background for most of the film, and in the parts that he was in the foreground, he did not dominate. I'm not sure if this performance was more character or De Niro, if you know what I mean.
[quote]
Apart from this and Casino I don't Pesci ever played another Itallion charactor. Certainly these were the only 2 films that Pesci ever made were the charctor was ruthlessly violent.
I think that DeNiro performance is off great merit. Over the span of the film you see him age both internally and externally. At the begining of the film he seemd more happy. perhaps content/light hearted is a better word, but as the movie progessess he becomes more and more angry where towards the end he is extremely dark. It is subtle but it is definately there.
Also you acnnot ignore Ray Liotta's work, especially when you consider that this was his breakout role and though young he was able to go toe to toe with DeNiiro and Pesci


Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:13 am
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