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Goodfellas: (Blu Ray) A semi-fictional take on the life of Henry Hill; notorious American Mobster from Brooklyn. The chemistry between all the characters is fantastically played, sure there are some stereotypes, but the main three are very believable and realistic, yet completely different. Liotta’s acting is great, but his commitment was even more noteworthy; starting off naive and weedy but becoming a fat, ruined, coked-up mess for the last 30 minutes. Women don’t get much of a look-in, and it’s a good job because Bracco’s acting and jewish accent’ are unforgivable. Scorsese shows he’s  a master of the craft with many great, long, signature single-take shots – in particular the journey from the car to the table at the front of the club and from the skies to the meat truck – very powerful directing for the duration that backs up the story. The only anomaly is a bizarre breaking of the fourth wall at the very end of the film. The elegance of the direction is contrasted with a lot of brutal, no-holds-barred violence: beatdowns, bitchslaps, chest-stabbing, face shots, and a lot of gun-butts to the nose! Unfortunately, the Blu Ray doesn’t do the movie justice; the picture’s mediocre and the audio track is pretty lifeless – not once does it make you think “wow”.  As divisive as this statement may be, I truly believe that this is the ultimate gangster movie and does in one film what The Godfather fails to do in three – an interesting and highly-watchable epic about the rise-and-fall of an ordinary man, that was accurate and true to the Italian Mafia.

Score: 9/10

So Kai and Novroz recently posted a couple of memes and tagged me in them. Here are my ten movie-related facts, and a sneak peek inside the life and times of your author. Please don’t use any of this information against me going forward.

  • I only started this site to document all the films I watch; at my peak I was averaging around 2-3 per day and trying to remember which movies are which (let alone good or bad) is usually a nightmare. Everything else I get out of this site – like readers and comments – is a bonus!
  • The earliest films I have memories of seeing are Papillon, Predator, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Mary Poppins – odd one out?
  • First time I went to the cinema without my parents was to see Spice World (it was my little sister’s birthday, honest!)
  • The films I’ve seen most times would probably be BASEketball, The Lion King and the start of Commando (after a lot of nights out)
  • I tried every weekend for 2 months to convince the staff at my local that I was old enough to legally watch The Matrix, I failed every weekend and had to wait for the VHS.
  • I only have three film posters in my house: Infernal Affairs, Goodfellas and Burn After Reading – none of them are up at the moment though :(
  • Studied Politics, International Relations and Film at university: the Film courses turned my fondness for movies into a voracious hobby and I genuinely couldn’t have guessed it would become the most useful, or relevant, to my future self at the time.
  • The pile of films I’ve yet to watch is probably bigger than most people’s DVD collection, definitely have an amazon wishlist addiction. I’m simultaneously proud and ashamed of that pile.
  • You wouldn’t believe how long it takes to chop a page full of notes into a concise paragraph! Sometimes I think it’d be easier and faster writing normal reviews. (Note: it’d be good to see people take the ‘Paragraph Film Review Challenge’)
  • Currently writing a screenplay for my first short film, plan to shoot, direct and edit it too but we’ll see how that works out with no experience… The story’s somewhere between (500) Days of Summer and Idle Hands at the moment.

No meme would be complete without the ability to spread. From my daily blog fodder I choose…

Michael Bay is The Antichrist – top reviews and movie news

Critic Planet – the internet’s biggest critic

Fandango Groovers – Big hittin’ movie review site

Suture Me In – Startup site with a bunch of reviews and mini awards

Tartan Films – Another startup, one dedicated dude watching every release by (Palisades) Tartan

Picture the scene, your author here gets kidnapped by an angry band of disagreeable movie bloggers and left for dead on a remote Desert Island. After 3 months of living off of tree bark and spring water he finds a rusty old lamp, tries to polish it up and WHAM – out pops a Genie. “Oh great one” Says the Genie, stretching, and giving his balls a seriously overdue scratch “You have awoken me from a 10,000 year slumber, and while I’m eternally grateful my wife will be pissed so I need to nip off home and do some washing up. Quickly, tell me eight things you would like…”

After a short think Paul replies. “I’ll have a solar-powered hot tub, an everlasting bottle of chilled Dos Equis, a bottomless bag of hot McChicken Sandwiches and the five most attractive Swedish female volleyball players the history books will ever see”

Fast-forward 25 years and Paul’s getting old, terminally jaded, has serious weight issues, no sexual boundaries left, alcoholism and 5 moody women / 47 unwanted children running around. He yearns to re-live the days where he sat around watching movies all day without a care in the world. It’s even more annoying that he found a 50″ TV and DVD player under a rock some 24 years ago… If he could go back to that fateful day and ask for eight of his finest movies, he would have probably said…

1) BASEketball: This film never fails to make me laugh. Watched it dozens of times growing up, know the script inside out and will never get bored of this. Anything featuring the minds behind Airplane! The Naked Gun and South Park is a surefire winner. Best Scene: pretty much every psyche-out

2) Kill Bill I:
nothing comes closer to filling a man’s insatiable lust for a great revenge tale like Tarrantino’s first Kill Bill Movie. With an epic story and more action than you could shake a stick at. Everything about this is textbook cool. Best Scene: House of Blue Leaves showdown.

3) Goodfellas: one of the best movies ever made and definitely the best gangster film. Screw the Godfather Trilogy, this is where it’s at. Diamond cast and technically it’s still one of the slickest films out there. Best Scene: Shoe Shine / In What Way Am I Funny?

4) Happiness: Every single subject brought up in this film is totally wrong. Rape, paedophilia, sodomy, abuse, massacre, masturbation… yet Todd Solondz manages to make this one of the most unforgettable black comedies known to man. Best scene: Seymour Hoffman’s phone manner.

5) Love Me If You Dare:
outstanding French movie about a life-long romance that starts off brilliantly but strains with age. Guillaume Canet and Marion Cotillard set the screen on fire long before they were household names. Best scene: the dares in school.

6) Oldboy: Korean masterpiece that’s just too damn good to never see again for the rest of your life. Everything about it is just stunning. Best scene: the single-take corridor fight.

7) The Wire: bit of a cheat here but seeing as I rate this higher than any film I’ve seen to date I’d love nothing more than to have the free time to watch it again, and again, and again. Best Scene: Omar, Stringer Bell and Brother Mouzone in the empty building.

8) Swedish Nymph Volleyball Milfs Go Wild*: On a practical note, any red-blooded male’s going to need some company until he’s rescued, dies or tries to escape!

Click here to see the full list of everyone’s Desert Island DVDs

Note: now you know why this isn’t a creative writing blog… *May not be a real movie, but you get the picture!