Posts Tagged ‘Ray Liotta’

This week’s releases include: a bizarre timeline terror; a desperate measure; a history of restriction; an animated fight against monsters; a lot of self-referential horror; a teen’s point-of-view of love; and a special edition of an acclaimed zombie series. (more…)

This week’s releases include: a slasher sequel; a dark, cyberpunk future; a political docudrama; an historical trek through South America; an eccentric family’s opening season; a police mystery; a fantastic mandated job; and a physical odyssey. (more…)

This week’s releases include: a sci-fi tour de force; a famous, tragic love story; a plunge into darkness; the true story of a kind-hearted drug dealer; the ultimate public, political betrayal; an entrancing mafia tale; a new Charlie Brown narrative; an amazing crime drama; an appalling future; an HBO series about the New Orleans; and a documentary that demonstrates one man’s trash is another’s treasure. (more…)

No one is able to depict the world of crime like master director Martin Scorsese. In 1990, he made one of the best gangster films of all time: Goodfellas.

Following a trio of gangsters over 30 years, we witness their rise up the criminal ranks and eventual falls to personal demons. Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) and Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) are a couple of half Irish kids that want nothing more than to be a part of the mob that runs their neighbourhood; however, their heritage guarantees they’ll never be full members of the crime family. Nonetheless, with their friend Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci), the group makes their impression and gains the boss’ trust. Tommy’s temper and business choices threaten their careers many times, but they have each other’s backs almost to the end.

The illicit tale is based on true events, but Scorsese’s brilliant storytelling truly brings the narrative to life. It is also no surprise Pesci earned an Academy Award for his role, as he presented one of the most memorable personalities and delivered one of the most repeated pieces of dialogue in film history, which begins with “What do you mean I’m funny?” The film was also nominated for five other Oscars, including best picture and best director (both categories were lost to Dances with Wolves).

Goodfellas is on par with the greatest mob picture, The Godfather. And if imitation is the best form of flattery, then “The Goodfeathers” on Warner Bros.’s Animaniacs was a significant compliment.

Special features for the 20th anniversary edition include: commentary with Scorsese, Liotta, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino, Frank Vincent, co-screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi, producers Irwin Winkler and Barbara De Fina, cinematographer Michael Ballhaus and editor Thelma McDonald; another commentary with Henry Hill and former FBI Agent Edward McDonald; “Getting Made,” a making-of featurette; “Made Men: The Goodfellas Legacy” comprised of filmmakers such as Jon Favreau, Joe Carnahan, Antoine Fuqua and Frank Durabont discussing film’s influence; “The Workaday Gangster,” in which actors and filmmakers tell stories about growing up in a world of small-time hoods; ‘Paper is Cheaper than Film,” a glimpse into Scorsese’s creative process; Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film documentary; four mob-themed WB cartoons; and a 34-page book.

Americans and Westerners in general are meant to be grateful for all the rights allotted them including those for peaceful assembly – but who pays when those rights are violated.

In 1999, the World Trade Organization held its conference in Seattle. It was the first time the meeting was held on American soil and the streets of downtown were turned into a warzone. Thousands gathered peacefully to protest the WTO. They shutdown major intersections and blocked the entrance to the summit’s meeting location by linking arms. Other than a small group of anarchists that damaged property, the gathering was within their constitutional rights. However, police in riot gear started using “disbursement” methods that included the firing of rubber bullets, tear gas and mace. Protestors were also beaten by police with batons. The following day police employed the same methods while arresting 600 people. Despite the hundreds of arrests, protestors successfully contributed to the collapse of WTO talks.

Writer/director Stuart Townsend incorporates a documentary-style to tell the story of those days, which climaxed in the calling of the National Guard. Based on research including archival footage and images, Townsend wrote a narrative that attempts to encapsulate various viewpoints, including those of protestors, anarchists, police, city officials, media, ordinary citizens and WTO participants. He also integrates actual footage taken at the events throughout the film.

The DVD special features include two short featurettes and an audio commentary with Townsend and editor Fernando Villena. One featurette is a behind-the-scenes look at the picture with Townsend, in which he explains his reasoning for making the film was to show the events from the perspective that was not shown on the nightly news, and the other is a compilation of interviews with labour leaders and members of congress about the events in 1999. The commentary is dominated by Townsend as he describes his inspiration for various scenes and shots.