Monday, March 28, 2011

Smilin' Through

Due to the fact that this past weekend contained my senior prom (which was very exciting, for anyone who may care!), I have not gotten a chance to watch a single movie since last week's Elizabeth Taylor tribute...and that feels like so long ago. Today I struggled to stay awake for all of Goodfellas (1990), and not because it was a bad movie. Anyone who's seen it knows it's anything but boring, but I was buckling under the exhaustion of a very long weekend and I just couldn't seem to keep my head up. I had to rewind it to watch the scenes I snoozed through, and even then my eyelids were fighting me. Needless to say, it was a very difficult accomplishment.

This has got Martin Scorsese's brilliant little handprints all over it- certainly an apogee of the director's bold style. The technique I dig the most is his tendency to pair upbeat classic songs with macabre scenes of death and keeps his films from ever rolling over into the deep end of drama. Emotional detachment like this feels refreshing in today's drama genre, where every new film out there seems to be trying so hard to make us cry that it forgets how to be good.

Robert De Niro is one of the funnest guys to watch onscreen.
Seriously...every time he steps into the frame of a movie a little part of me wants to jump up and applaud because I just know it's about to get good. And while he gives a satisfyingly awesome performance here, I don't think he wins this film.
If I were going to hand out a medal to the actor who does the most powerful mobster impression in Goodfellas, I'd have to give it to Ray Liotta. His screaming, cursing, gun-slinging gangster is as bad-ass as they where was his Oscar, Academy?
Instead, the award went to Joe Pesci, a bronze-medal-er in this one, if you ask me, slotting himself in well behind Liotta and De Niro on the figurative acting podium. Incidentally, Pesci's acceptance speech was among the shortest of all time. The guy got up there on the stage, picked up his statuette, and delivered the following eloquent, emotional address: "It was my privilege. Thank you." Really, that's all you got, Joey? No genuine appreciation of any kind? I'm sure Ray Liotta's speech would have been brimming with joy and sincere gratitude if he had been given his rightful crack at the golden man.

Anyway, I seriously loved this movie, but it failed to surpass The Departed (2006) in my book. That's Scorsese at his finest, if you ask me, and anyone wanting to brush up on this director's modus operandi ought to pop that one out of their Redbox.

I'm approaching the realization that this list is not going to be finished by the end of the year, and though the thought of failure makes me want to give up completely, I'm just going to keep smilin' through until the credits roll on 2011 and see how far I've come by then. Who knows...maybe I'll have some sort of breakthrough in a few months and power my way through the remainder of the movies. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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