Check out our review of this Martin Scorsese classic that has been remastered for its 25th anniversary release on Blu-ray.
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Warner - 1990
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 145 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish/French Stereo
Subtitles:English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Paul Sorvino, Ray Liotta, Lorraine Bracco
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Written by: Nicholas Pileggi & Martin Scorsese
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 5, 2015
"As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a gangster"
Goodfellas is a semi-fictional crime drama based on the non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, who also co-wrote the screenplay for the film with Scorsese. It spans three decades and follows the rise and fall of three gangsters, Henry Hill (Liotta), Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci), and Jimmy “The Gent” Conway. Truly a classic piece of American Cinema, Goodfellas epitomizes the gangster genre and romanticizes the mob with endearing characters, visceral candor, and intriguing expose that is thoroughly engrossing. I am a fan and love the development of the relationships among the principles in Paulie, Henry, Tommy, Jimmy and Karen.
This story defines the mafia mentality and their quest for wealth, respect and status. I love its depiction of how they view things from an entirely different perspective/approach. Case in point is the scene involving the mailman. Henry is having problems at home because of correspondence coming from the school relative to his flagrant truancy. No problem, lets beat the crap out of the mailman and threaten him with serious bodily harm should any more mail reach his house from the school. I love it. Their code of ethics is simple, never rat on your friends, and always keep your mouth shut. There are rules though, and if you decide that living the life suits you then you had best learn them. Principle among them is that you can’t touch a made guy without permission. This is an offense that is punishable by death, no matter who you are.
Unfortunately, Tommy’s quick and violent temper lands himself, Jimmy and Henry in mortal danger for just such an offense. That event and the circumstances that immediately follow cement their relationship which would last for years. Of course the mob being the mob those events are not the secret they thought, nor forgotten as they’d hoped. The story is narrated by and revolves primarily around Henry and sees him go from a kid enamored by the style, wealth, and brashness of the mafia to a person of stature among their ranks. He takes to the life of an “earner” through means of intimidation, bribery, robbery, and pillaging.
He falls in love with and marries Karen, who quickly finds out that the life of a gangster wife has more down than upsides however she enjoys it when life is good and adapts. Although a person of stature Henry will never achieve the untouchable status of a made man, since he is of Irish heritage. After years of riding the lightning Henry finds that when the chips are down the only person he can truly trust is himself. The life he loved the people he respected are gone. He is an “average nobody, left to live the rest of his life a schnook.”
Goodfellas is a classic film that is oft quoted and fondly memorialized as one of the best gangster flicks ever. It’s evocative, timeless, powerful and richly entertaining. Scorsese is at his best as he engages the audience by drawing us into the world inhabited by these characters and ensuring that we become invested in them. He assembled a superb cast, headlined by Robert DeNiro, Paul Sorvino, Joe Pesci, Ray Liotta, and Lorraine Bracco. There are a plethora of supporting roles that contribute to the success and credibility of the acting ensemble. Many of them will be familiar to fans of the HBO TV series The Sopranos.
Goodfellas was nominated for 6 Academy Awards including Best Picture (it lost to Dances with wolves). Among its many accolades it has been deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. Other than the Godfather it is generally considered the best mob/gangster ever, although I am sure there are those that would place this film ahead of it. I find it to be one of those films that never loses its appeal and holds up extremely well under repeat viewings.
The 25th Anniversary Blu-ray release of GoodFellas has been remastered from a 4k scan of the original camera negative, supervised by Martin Scorsese. It features a new documentary with interviews from Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta and more, and a 36-page photo book exploring the film’s far-reaching influence. The book also includes a letter written by Martin Scorsese.
The 36 page book is a bound hardcover type that makes for an informative and attractive keepsake that fits nicely into the amaray case sized cardboard slipcover along with the Blu-ray case.
The rating is for strong/brutal violence, pervasive language, drug content, and thematic material.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA
- DSU Rating * (non-rated element): NA
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
Goodfellas: 25th anniversary comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 34 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.6 Mbps.
According to Warner Home Video’s press documentation Goodfellas, under the supervision of Martin Scorsese, recently underwent a restorative process and the results, especially compared to the 2010 Blu-ray release, are impressive. This film’s 1.85:1 framed high definition video presentation on Blu-ray looks very good on my 100 inch screen. Colors are tonally balanced with inviting primaries, clean rendering and delineated secondary hues. Fleshtones are appreciably lifelike with discernible texture and natural depiction. The level of visible detail in facial features, hair and clothing during close-ups is noteworthy. Wide angle shots vary in terms of visual depth but most reveal subtle degrees of refinement and fidelity is never in question.
While the film’s elements aren’t the type to yield razor sharp imagery resolution is excellent as the blend of interior shots and sets featured in the story offer clarity, detail and dimension that appear filmic and rewarding. Blacks are noise free, stable and fairly deep. Contrast and brightness are balanced well which enlivens bright scenes and colors while maintaining an appreciable level of visibility and dimension during darker segments. Grain is present and appears undisturbed. Warner is to be commended on this excellent and faithful high definition presentation that is sure to please even discerning fans.
The high resolution DTS-HD MA 5.1 channel mix does a terrific job rendering the film’s soundtrack. Dialogue has appreciable vocal character and above average room penetration. This is a predominantly front oriented presentation that delivers a rewarding audio experience. The surrounds are occasionally utilized for atmospheric extension while appropriately applied dynamics and mid to upper level bass combine to provide solidity that enhances effects without sounding unnatural or over processed. I was extremely pleased with the outcome of this audio presentation.
I have to give credit to Warner Brothers Home Entertainment for consistently offering re-mastered releases of some of their classic films. This one, taken from a 4k scan of the original camera negative, brings the film to life as never before on home video. This coupled with the upgrade from lossy Dolby Digital on the previous versions, to lossless DTS-HD Master Audio sound makes for an improvement that enhances the experience of this wonderful film.
- Commentaries tracks: Cast/Crew and Cop/Crook
- Getting made featurette – 29 minutes, featuring new/vintage interviews chronicling the making of Goodfellas
- Made men: The Goodfellas legacy - 13 minutes - featuring the perspectives of various filmmakers
- Paper is cheaper than film – Sketch to screen comparisons
- The workaday gangster – 8 minute feature
- Theatrical trailer
- Comes packaged in a 34 page book with photos, talent files, production background and more
- Public Enemies – The golden age of gangster film – 105 minute documentary hosted by Alec Baldwin
- Animated shorts
- Digital HD Copy
Goodfellas is a classic American film that is beloved by many and heralded as one of the best gangster movies of all time. This 25th Anniversary release marks its third foray onto Blu-ray Disc from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment. With its remastered video, new lossless sound and additional bonus material it makes for worthy upgrade consideration for those that already own it in high definition. Warner has included the legacy supplements found on the previous releases which makes for a comprehensive offering.
If you don’t already own Goodfellas in high definition or by some chance have never seen it this set comes highly recommended. The choice to upgrade from a previous high definition release will depend on how important the newly remastered video is to you. I am pleased to report that Goodfellas has never looked or sounded better on home video. It’s a classic film that deserves a place in the collection of every cinema enthusiast.
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JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and In-Ceiling series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package