Movie Review: No 16. Goodfellas

Movie Review: No 16. Goodfellas

I’m beginning to notice some similarities with the Top 100 imdb movie list. As a result, I’ve come to suspect that imdb’s most avid reviewers are just a bunch of 14-year-old boys.

The Top 100 films I’ve watched so far indicate a preference for the following:

  1. Violence
  2. Voiceovers
  3. True stories (as long as they’re violent)

Essentially, Goodfellas is just a gangsta version of ‘The Wonder Years’. Only, instead of angsting over unrequited love and Dad’s latest goof, our hero, Henry Hill, is digging himself ever-deeper into the underworld of crime.

Since the Simpsons is pretty much my go-to reference point for all things pop culture, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Simpsons character ‘Fat Tony’ and his cronies. Interestingly (at least according to Wikipedia), the character of Fat Tony was modelled after the actor Paul Sorvino, who plays the mob boss in Goodfellas, HOWEVER, the first Simpsons episode to feature Fat Tony (which involves a very similar plot to Goodfellas) was devised before Goodfellas was released!

Finally, irrefutable evidence that TV can be up there with the best of the Hollywood films when it comes to quality writing!

Then again, when I say “the best of Hollywood films”, I’m really just going along with the crowd – I’m jumping off that bridge just ’cause the 14-year-olds thought it would be a good idea.

Sure, the film has plenty of drama, and if you have serious bloodlust then you won’t be disappointed. Unfortunately for me, my bloodlust is more ‘G’ rated. I can handle Joe Pesci wielding a carving knife… I’d just kinda prefer to see him get owned by a paint can to the face, à la Home Alone.

Movies like ‘Goodfellas’ become popular because they have a cult following, and even Suri Cruise knows that’s no way to make it in Hollywood.

7 (somewhat reluctant) pumpkins.

Have you seen ‘Goodfellas’? Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments below.

21 responses »

  1. i have seen 4 of the top 100 movies… and I would really like to know who votes?!?!
    Finding Nemo…. der 11 pumpkins right there!

  2. I know it’s some sort of unforgivable crime, but I haven’t seen Goodfellas or Godfather (I know, right?). So I can’t really comment on this. But I would expect that the IMDb does skew towards young males. Apparently (I just discovered) you can actually refine searches and view reviews by demographics. Just search “imdb demographics”.

    • Love it! Wish I’d known about that before I committed to the Top 100 list! Then again, I’ve been meaning to watch the Godfather series for about 10 years and if it’s not going to happen now, then when will it?!

  3. Don’t expect too much from The Godfather. I have a theory that the movies when they first came out were edgy & pushed the boundaries i.e. edgy. They’ve lost a lot of that over the years as others have come out & done it better. I heard somewhere that really, there are only six basic story lines that cover every movie made or book ever written.
    I think I could come up with 100 of my favourite movies that would give this list a run for it’s money. “Starship Troopers” springs immediately to mind.
    Who could ever forget the poignant scenes of the death of Diz. “I love you Johnny” through lungfuls of blood. Not even an Oscar nomination.
    Who needs more proof that the Oscars are rigged?

    • Do you remember what those 6 storylines were? I bet the theory holds true!

      I’m more of a comedy fan than a gangsta fan, so I like films like ‘Liar Liar’ and ‘Waynes World’. They may not be classy but I could watch them a thousand times each and enever get bored!

      • If you read the book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” by Joseph Campbell (written in 1949), he argues there is only one storyline which all stories follow.

        The basic structure is-
        1) Call to adventure – the hero is shown in their everyday life when there is a “call to adventure”; ie. something happens that causes our hero to head off into the unknown
        2) Refusal of the Call – often when the call is given, the hero first refuses to heed it
        3) Supernatural Aid – Once the hero has committed to the quest, a guide and/or magical helper appears (often a little old crone or old man) and gives the hero a weapon (or advice) to help him/her on their quest
        4) Crossing the threshold – the hero leaves their everyday life, crosses the point of no return and enters the field of adventure
        5) Road of Trials – the hero is subjected to a series of tests, tasks, or ordeals
        6) Belly of The Whale – things look grim for the hero who now looks certain to fail
        7) Meeting With the Goddess – the hero finds the person he/she loves
        8) The Ultimate Prize – the hero achieves of the goal of the quest
        9) Refusal of the Return – the hero may not want to return to the ordinary world to bestow the prize onto his fellow man
        10) The Magic Flight – the hero must escape with the prize
        11) The Return – the hero returns to the world of common day

        There are a few other elements I’ve missed but that’s the gist.

        George Lucas read Joseph Campbell’s book and followed this formula to the letter when he wrote “Star Wars”.

  4. OMG you haven’t seen Schindlers List? I don’t think that one will ever get old. We are capable of evil. I saw Raging Bull when it first came out at the pics & thought it was awesome. My rating was downgraded considerably when I saw it again not long ago. Where’s “Last of the Mohicans” on this list? or even “Dances with Wolves”?

    • The list is horribly lacking in many departments. Where is ‘Ghost’ or ‘Dirty Dancing’? No ‘Titanic’, no ‘Good Will Hunting’, no ‘Avatar’, no ‘Sound of Music’. There’s only one Steven King film!

      This is why we should never rely on other people’s judgement 😛

  5. Pingback: Reading Digest: Longest Daycare Wrap-Up Edition « Dead Homer Society

  6. “Movies like ‘Goodfellas’ become popular because they have a cult following, and even Suri Cruise knows that’s no way to make it in Hollywood.”

    – ‘Goodfellas’ was a popular film before it had a cult following. It grossed $6,368,901 on the opening weekend (not a bad figure for an R-rated release in 1991), was ranked #1 at 1,070 theatres and was nominated for six Academy Awards that year – Pesci bagged an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.


    Are you saying Scorsese hasn’t ‘made it’ in Hollywood? Dude!

      • Haha, don’t make me go all ‘My Cousin Vinny’ on your arse with the ‘Pesci’s best work’ suegue.

        Anyway, what about Scorsese? Aah!

      • Scorcese was doing so well until he vomited up ‘Hugo’. Then again, he was also responsible for ‘Shitter Island’. I think he got lost on his way to the ‘Coping with Senility’ class and ended up in ‘Microwave Cookery’…

  7. I’m not going to argue about ‘Hugo’ but I liked Shutter Island. Maybe you’d like the book better? Nonetheless, Scorsese is like, totes amaze-balls.

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