Release Date: Aug 17, 2004 Region: 1 Runtime: 146 mins Studio: Warner Bros. Audio:
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC] SPANISH: Dolby Digital Stereo
Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French Packaging: Keep Case Rating: R Features:
Commentaries with Director Martin Scorsese, Ray Liotta, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino, Frank Vincent, Co-screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi, Producers Irwin Winkler and Barbara De Fina, Cinematographer Michael Ballhaus, Editor Thelma Schoomaker FBI agent Edward McDonald and real life goodfella Henry Hill. 3 All-New Documentaries Getting Made: How a movie classic hit the streets.Made Men: The Goodfellas Legacy: Filmmakers Joe Carnhan, Jon Favreau, Antoine Fuqua, the Hughes Brothers and Richard Linklater comment on the movie's influence. The Workaday Gangster looks at the less-glamorous side of mob life plus Paper Is Cheaper than Film: Storyboard-to-screen comparisons.
Given the number of truly great Mafia movies over the years it would be a brave soul who classed GoodFellas as the best. But surely we can all agree that it is, at the very least, first among equals. Martin Scorsese took the factual details of mobster Henry Hill's life, as written by author Nicholas Pileggi, and turned it into a cinematic experience that has burnt itself indelibly into the consciousness of every viewer, and which now forms a touchstone in the lexicon of film and TV-making (what is The Sopranos if not GoodFellas: The Soap?) For aficionados it's a virtuoso exercise in filmmaking, showcasing remarkable and innovative use of steadicam shots, freeze-frame, voice-over narration, editing and incidental music (you'll never be able to listen to "Layla" the same way again). Every would-be hotshot director from Quentin Tarantino to Doug Liman to Jon Favreau has paid homage to it.
But above all that, it's an extraordinarily visceral, gripping and thoroughly enjoyable piece of storytelling as we witness the glory days of organised crime from the protagonist's viewpoint; then, abruptly after one bloody murder too far, we see him decline in a spiral of drugs, violence and paranoia. The principal triumvirate of Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci ("You think I'm funny? I'm here to amuse you?") and Robert DeNiro are utterly convincing as the three wiseguys. If you haven't seen it for a while, watch out for many familiar Sopranos faces in the rest of the cast, not least of course the wonderful Lorraine Bracco.
On the DVD: Finally, GoodFellas gets a worthy DVD release, with the feature presented in a new anamorphic 16:9 digital transfer, accompanied by two separate commentary tracks. Scorsese, Pileggi and other collaborators are present on a patchwork and partial track which is too disjointed to be really satisfying; fortunately on the second track, Henry Hill himself is joined by ex-FBI agent Edward McDonald to chat about their own memories of the events depicted in the movie. On the second disc there are four new documentaries which look back at the making of the picture, at its effect on other filmmakers, at Scorsese's creative process, and the true-life background to the film. A gold-plated essential item for every DVD collection. --Mark Walker
Release Date: Oct 25, 2004 Audio:
Dolby Digital 5.1
16:9 Wide Screen
Martin Scorsese Commentary Selected Cast And Crew Commentary Cop And Crook Former FBI Agent Edward McDonald And Former Gangster Henry Hill Commentary Getting Made Documentary Made Men The Goodfellas Legacy Documentary The Workaday Gangster Documentary Paper Is Cheaper Than Film Documentary Theatrical Trailer