Tag: henry hill

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI WEEKEND*** #92. Goodfellas (1990)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.
“You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it’s me, I’m a little fucked up maybe, but I’m funny how, I mean funny like I’m a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I’m here to fuckin’ amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?”

Bored and Dangerous is usually all about movies I’ve watched of the first time. Sometimes I’ll cheat and re-watch something I haven’t seen in years and remember nothing about.   But as I make my way through the AFI 100, it’s inevitable that I’ll run across a few things I’ve seen multiple times. Some, maybe dozens of times. Not only is this one that definitely ranks in the “dozens” category, it’s a movie that only gets better with age. I would even go as far as to say it may be, in my opinion, the greatest film ever made. Screenplay, acting, direction, music, editing… Top to bottom, I love every single detail of Goodfellas.

It’s 1950s New York, and while his father works a thankless, low playing job, young Henry Hill (Christopher Serrone) is obsessed with the local gangsters in his neighbourhood. It’s not long before he’s taken under the wing of local street boss Paul Sicero (Paul Sorvino) and notorious street soldier and killer, Jimmy “the Gent” Conway (Robert De Niro). By the time he’s a young adult played by Ray Liotta, Henry is living the wise guy dream, taking and doing whatever he wants, along with Jimmy and fellow gangster wunderkind, Joe Pesci’s Tommy DeVito. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | My Blue Heaven (1990)

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters
In the 80s and 90s, Steve Martin and Rick Moranis were up there with Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy and Eddie Murphy as the biggest names in comedy.  Every time one of their movies was on telly, I’d record it and wear out the tape.  So how come when Martin and Moranis teamed up, I never saw it until so many years later?  The other collaboration of theirs I know of is Little Shop of Horrors, and I only saw that for the first time a few months ago.  But they only had a couple of scenes together in that.

In 1990, when my 10 year old self saw the TV ads for My Blue Heaven, a proper team up between two of my favourite actors, I know I was excited, but I guess I couldn’t convince anyone to take me to see it.  Then for whatever reasons, I never caught on TV as a kid either.  I remember stumbling across it late at night a few years ago, but falling asleep in the first few minutes.  But now I’ve seen it, and it lives up to the expectations I had almost a quarter of a century ago.

My Blue Heaven is what happens when you give the story of Goodfellas to the writer of When Harry Met Sally, instead of Scorsese.  Steve Martin is Vinnie Antonelli, or, as he’s known in the witness relocation program, Todd Wilkinson.  After agreeing to testify against the mob, this New York street thug is now in a quiet, seaside suburb, under the watchful eye of his FBI handler, Barney Coopersmith (Moranis).

Unable to resist the gullibility and easy pickings of petty crime in is new surrounds, Martin quickly catches the attention of local Assistant District Attorney, Joan Cusack’s Hannah Stubbs.  Any attempts to go on the straight and narrow are quickly swept aside when Martin realises the little town is a dumping ground for mob informants, and he runs into a gang of old gangster friends who’ve also turned rat.

Steve Martin hams it up in all the best ways.  His accent, gestures and mannerisms are so cartoony and over the top, Fat Tony and his goombas on the Simpsons would tell him to tone it down.  Moranis is the perfect straight man, letting Martin take centre stage most of the time, only stepping forward when it’s just the right time to take the spotlight.  But the real surprise is Joan Cusack.  Even though I love her in Gross Point Blank, I forget what an amazing comic actor she is.  And here, she manages to steal every scene she’s in from both Moranis and Martin.

Finally seeing My Blue Heaven after all these years was a bit of a risk.  How bad would it date itself?  Had my nostalgic love for Martin and Moranis made my hopes too high?  Was it one of the shit bombs this crowd of comic geniuses dropped around that period, like House Sitter or The Flintstones.  But luckily, My Blue Heaven is exactly what 10 year old me wanted then and what present day me wanted when I pressed play today.  A silly little comedy that never takes itself seriously for a second, and lets its stars do what they do best.

My Blue Heaven
Directed By – Herbert Ross
Written By – Nora Ephron