Saturday, August 11, 2012

Goodfellas (1990)

“By the way, I took care of that thing for ya” 

            For the longest time I have been a shame to my family for the fact that I have never seen The Godfather or Goodfellas. I knew what they were about especially The Godfather, I mean any member of my family can quote it and name more than five characters and what their jobs are. We could not call ourselves true Italians if we never saw The Godfather. So I guess you could say I could not call myself a real Italian because I had never seen The Godfather or Goodfellas. Goodfellas is almost as classic as the first one. Most of my friends who are Italian grew up watching either one of them or both movies during Sunday dinner. I finally watched Goodfellas today because my brother Anthony who is a huge movie fanatic loves it (He says it is better than The Godfather… I do not think you can compare) and I wanted to spend time with him before he left and there is no way in hell he will sit through old movies with me unless they are Charlie Chaplin. I ran out of Charlie Chaplin films on DVD to show Anthony so I gave one of his favorite movies a try. As with any movie I enjoyed the experience of finally seeing it and now being able to have an opinion on it. I liked Goodfellas I liked the story and the characters.
            Goodfellas is a pretty long movie. The movie is about a guy named Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) who when he was younger he became part of the mob. His father was abusive and angry and his mother really did not do too much. He got a job at a pizza place across the street from where he lived that was owned by a guy named Paul Cicero (Paul Sorvino). Everyone knew Paul. He had connections all over the place and his racket was offering protection and stealing goods to make money. When he is a teenager he is introduced to the well known gangster Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) and his best friend Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci).
            Running around with Paul and Jimmy, Henry gets all the money he could ever want and whatever he wants. Every night they were out to eat or they would have a get together at Paul’s place. Family means everything to Paul and what he says goes. Tommy sets him and Henry up dates. Henry’s date is a Jewish girl named Karen (Lorraine Bracco). He thinks she is prejudice against Italians when they first meet and their date does not go over too well. But they meet again and they eventually get married.
            Henry’s life goes pretty well until he starts to screw up in the seventies. He keeps another woman on the side and Karen is not happy at all with it. She tells Paul and his wife so Paul and Jimmy step in saying he needs to get rid of the other girl. Not too long after that he, Jimmy, and Tommy get arrested and sent to jail. Tommy and Henry are in the same jail while Jimmy was shipped out to somewhere else. While in jail Henry gets hooked on drugs and starts to sell cocaine when he gets out with Jimmy and Tommy. Paul cannot know because Paul does not want to deal with drugs.
            With the help of a guy named Morris Jimmy and Henry pull of a huge heist. Jimmy wants the money for himself so he begins killing off everyone that was involved. He plans to kill Henry and Karen. He cannot go to Paul but Paul has found out and will eventually have him killed as well. One day Henry suspects that he is being followed by the cops in a helicopter. That night he is arrested for drug trafficking. So as not to go to jail again and to not be killed by Paul or Jimmy’s men he turns state’s evidence and becomes a witness. He, Karen, and their daughters have to go into witness protection.
            There is a lot more to this movie than what I was able to explain trust me it is very good.
            Every cast member and character were great. Ray Liotta I have not seen him in too many movies but he was perfect. He had the look of a little kid and innocence in his eyes but he was just a crazy young guy who got mixed up in the wrong things. Lorraine Bracco I could not get over how young she was because I am so used to seeing her as Angela Rizzoli on Rizzoli and Isles. She was so pretty. Now Bracco is more than Angela Rizzoli (sorry never watched The Sopranos I know she was in that). Robert De Niro is Robert De Niro the man is just awesome. Joe Pesci is nuts and hilarious. He drops more F-bombs than I have ever heard in my life. 
            Martin Scorsese is such an amazing director. There was one scene where he filmed it in one panning shot that was awesome. I like Scorsese as a director because he loves movies especially the classic ones. Since he likes the classic films he knows about their quality and care that went into making them and that is exactly what he does with his films he makes them quality and puts care and thought into them. You get to know his characters and that is what I love about some directors how they are able to make you get to know the people he is filming.
            Goodfellas is a very good gangster movie but to me it drags in some parts. I love movies that have narration and the whole movie is narrated mostly by Henry but also by Karen in some parts (you will see why at the ending). If I had to recommend a real gangster movie to watch besides The Godfather it would be Goodfellas. Hell, I would make people watch this even if they do not like gangster movies it is just so good.
            Now I am proud that I can finally call myself a real Italian (you would never know I am ass white with light brown hair and blue eyes like my mom whose family is from the northern Italy)… but it is going to take quite some time to be able to know either movie to the point where I can quote them.