Robert De Niro – GoodFellas – DVD

Robert De Niro – GoodFellas – DVD
Robert De Niro – GoodFellas”As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a gangster.” — Henry Hill, Brooklyn, N.Y. 1955.
Based on the real life story of Henry Hill, Goodfellas depicts two Irish-Italian Americans, Henry Hill (Liota) and Jimmy Conway (De Niro), and their full-blooded Italian friend Tommy DeVito (Peschi) rise in the mafia. Goodfellas progresses into the day-to-day life of three members of the Mafia as they try to rise up the ranks. The story revolves around Henry and his personal struggles from petty crime, to hired killer, to drug dealer.
Martin Scorsese (Gangs of New York, Casino, Cape Fear, Raging Bull) delivers in Goodfellas, perhaps his best movie. Scorsese does a wonderful job of allowing the music to set the mood. As the viewer, you may not notice it, but Scorsese’s music sets the tone for the rise and fall of the emotion throughout his films. Scorsese depicts very dark images well. The viewer feels the villain in each character. There is no good guy in Goodfellas and Scorsese makes you feel it.
Scorsese adds little pieces to the movie that are not necessary, but really add to the film. Some examples of these occurrences are when Hill gets beat by his Dad for not attending school. The local mob drives around, finds the postman, then roughs him up for delivering mail from the school to Hill’s house. Another prime example occurs with the guy who continues to irritate De Niro with the line, “I want my money.” This guy is a smuck, all movie you are waiting for him to get whacked, you just know it is coming. Then, you think he might make it, nope.
Joe Pesci, and his little man complex are wonderful once again. Lethal Weapon 2 was his launching point in my opinion. However, Goodfellas depicted him as the little guy with the big attitude you did not want to mess with. This little man complex he developed and depicted to perfection in Goodfellas definitely helped him later grab the roles in Casino, Home Alone 1 & 2, My Cousin Vinny, and A Bronx Tale. Pesci really had a coming out party in Goodfellas, and it was wonderful to watch unfold.
Samuel L. Jackson even had his bit part. The poor guy did not last very long, too bad, because he just made it big. Then he got his for not doing what De Niro told him.
Overall Goodfellas is a must have in your DVD collection, one of the great mob movies of all time. I know a lot of people on Amazon want to place it ahead of Scarface…but I cannot. Scarface is brilliant from beginning to end, while Hill punks out at the end. If Hill went out like a man, similar to Scarface, the two films would be tied. Unfortunately, Hill turned into a waste of life, as Tony Montana was on his way to becoming. I must say for that reason alone, Goodfellas is the second greatest Mob movie of all time.
Grade: A