Movie Review: Goodfellas (1990)

Yes, you got that right. I only now got to this “must watch” piece of cinema. Shut up.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gents… “Goodfellas”.

As far back as he could remember, Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) always wanted to be a gangster *brass music plays*. And throughout the movie we follow his rise within the mob, giving us all the ups and downs. And yes, we’ve seen this kind of shit in a bunch of movies before. But I don’t think I’ve seen it done this well before. The movie is two hours and twenty minutes long, but you never feel that runtime thanks to writing that is equal parts dramatically compelling and pure entertainment value. It crackles along at a good pace, while still presenting us with situations that last with the viewers, even after the credits have rolled. It doesn’t do the slow, methodical approach that “The Godfather” used, instead opting for a more popcorn-friendly style still rises above most basic gangster stories.

The characters in this are flawed, nuanced, colorful, entertaining, and just overall really interesting. Ray Liotta plays Henry Hill, the man at the center of the story with dreams of being the next big gangster. His journey from small time crook to where he eventually ends up is quite fascinating, and he’s one of the most compelling protagonists I’ve had the pleasure of following in anything I’ve watched recently. And Liotta is great in the role. Next we have Lorraine Bracco as Karen, Henry’s wife. Seeing her journey alongside Henry is quite interesting, especially since she becomes a bit of a conflicted character that has a really interesting rapport with Henry and his story. And Bracco is great in the role. Next we have Joe Pesci as Tommy, Henry’s friend and a fellow gangster. He’s a very short-tempered guy who makes for a lot of unpredictable scenes, which is all I’ll say about him. And Pesci is great in the role. We also get supporting work from people like Robert De Niro, Paul Sorvino, Frank Sivero, Tony Darrow, and many more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

What’s interesting about the music in “Goodfellas” is that there is no typical score. No composer, no orchestra… jack shit. Instead there’s a lot of licensed music, mostly period accurate rock songs, that get used throughout to help set the mood and tell the story. And god damn it, the use of said songs here is fucking spectacular, partly because there’s a lot of music in there I genuinely like in general, but also because the director (and possibly editor) has a good fucking grasp of how to utilize a song throughout a scene.

Based on a book called “Wiseguy” by Nicholas Pileggi, the movie was co-written by Pileggi and Martin Scorsese, with Scorsese of course handling direction. And really, what else can I say that hasn’t been said before? This shit is immaculate. The blend of the writing and directing here creates a crackling energy that makes it an absolute blast to watch. Never does it feel dull. There are a few moments where it risks slipping into it, but then it picks up again, like a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% positive rating and a “Fresh” ceritifcation. On Metacritic it has a score of 89/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,7/10 and is ranked #18 on the “Top 250” list. The movie won 1 Oscar in the category of Best supporting actor (Pesci). It was also nominated for an additional 5 Oscars in the categories of Best picture, Best supporting actress (Bracco), Best director, Best adapted screenplay, and Best film editing.

I don’t think I’m bringing anything new to the table when I say that “Goodfellas” is fucking rad. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great writing/directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Goodfellas” is a 9,88/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Goodfellas” is now completed.

I see why people like this so much.

12 Films of Christmas (Part 10)

Part ten. The tenth part. We’ve seriously already gone through ten parts in this series. I’ve said it before, but time sure flies. Wow. Anyway, let’s get into it.

Family. Facing your fears. Deadly traps. These are the central themes of christmas classic “Home Alone”. Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) lives in a troubled home. And when he’s supposed to go on vacation to France with his family, his family forgets him and he gets left alone at home. And he soon have to defend his home from a pair of bumbling thieves (Joe Pesci & Daniel Stern). And yeah, “Home Alone” is great. It’s a good movie for teaching lessons about family and how you should learn to confront your fears and to be a good person and blah blah blah, we all know why we’re watching “Home Alone” every year, and it’s to see two thieves get knocked around by some really clever and fun traps set out by a little kid. Yes, the lessons in this are heartfelt and good, but they’re not what people watch this for. We’re here for slapstick, and then we get some heartfelt lessons in the meantime. This movie could’ve probably gotten away with just being a silly holiday comedy featuring traps and slapstick and stuff, but the filmmakers actually gave a damn and put in a lot of effort to make a movie that resonates on multiple levels. So yeah, “Home Alone” is great.

What do you think about “Home Alone”? And what’s your favorite trap from the movie? Leave any and all answers in the comments.
Have a good one.

Movie Review: Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)

LethalWeapon_4

Finally, we are here. The fourth and final part in this action movie franchise. Not that I had any planned reviewes for these. I really saw the first one pretty much on accident (a happy accident) and then the sequels have been sprinkled into my life at pure random. But now we are at last here, the last movie in this awesome franchise.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Lethal Weapon 4”.

Once again we get to follow the craziness of LAPD detectives Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Murtaugh (Danny Glover). And in this one they have to try to stop a deadly Chinese crime lord that is related in one way or another to immigrant smuggling and counterfeiting. Just like all the other movies, the premise is simple. And just like the sequels it is also executed in a pretty simple way. The first movie had surprising depth to it, but all sequels (including this one) stay really simple in style and execution. And while I don’t mind too much because of the fast pace and entertainment factor of the plot, it is sad that it didn’t feel a little more… deep. The only thing put in here that sort of raises the stakes is the fact that Lorna (Rene Russo) is pregnant in this movie, but that isn’t too prominent in the movie. But to sum it up, the plot is entertaining, but not really that great.

The chemistry between our two leads is just as great as ever. You know, despite it being six years since the third movie came out. So yeah, their chemistry is still great. And their performances are still great nothing else to say there. Also, I’m glad to see that newcomer Jet Li fits into teh plot perfectly and also gives a great performance as a really badass guy. We also get another newcomer in the form of Chris Rock who I can say was servicable at best. Look, I got nothing against him, I think he is overall a really funny guy, but he didn’t fit that perfectly in this movie. It is also a shame that Rene Russo isn’t the badass woman she was in “Lethal Weapon 3”, instead she is thrown to the side and pops up every now and then. Oh well, she at least gives a good performance whenever she’s in front of the camera. But I swear, if I ever have to listen to Joe Pesci (as Leo Getz) say “Okay” one more time, I will hurt something. Overall he was fine in the movie, but he was also annoying. This movie lost a little in character compared to the other ones, but it is still not bad.

Once again, the score was done by Michael Kamen, Eric Clapton and David Sanborn. And once again it is pretty fucking great. Perfectly creating tension for the action scenes, perfectly lighting the mood when the we need to chill out and jsut perfectly capturing every feeling/style it needs to capture. It is really a terrific score that we got here, but that is something that has stayed consistent throughout all of the movies.

I think it’s safe to say that if you give Richard Donner (R.I.P) a camera and a pretty big budget, he’s gonna make something great. “Lethal Waepon 4” from a technical standpoint is pretty amazing. The shots look great and everything is steady and nice. Which segues me perfectly into what I wanted to mention next which is the action. Yeah, it is as awesome as ever. Like I said, it is all very steady which is great because we actually get to see what’s going on. The action gets a lot better thanks to the inclusion of some martial arts in this one. The action is one of the aspects which bumps up “Lethal Weapon 4” quite the bit as a movie. Also, the comedy in the movie worked really well, I really did laugh at it a lot.

This movie has gotten some pretty mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 52% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 37/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10.

“Lethal Weapon 4” is pretty much everything I expected and wanted from a “Lethal Weapon” movie. A decent story, fun characters, great music, great directing & action. While two of the actors might be slightly annoying (Rock and Pesci), everyone else did a great job. I also can’t deny the fun I had with this movie. Time for my final score. I’m still too old for this shit. My final score for “Lethal Weapon 4” is an 8,54/10. I do think it’s worth buying.
Worth buying

My review of “Lethal Weapon 4” is now completed.

Despite this being a good movie, I still found a serious lack of Gibson-mullet.
tAjEJHH

Movie Review: Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)

LETHAL_WEAPON_action_thriller_crime_comedy_1366x768

You might remember that I reviewed the first two “Lethal Weapon” movies a while back, you might also remember that I liked them quite a bit. Well now after several months, it is time to review the third one in the franchise! So… here we go!

Sirs and madams please stand back, because this is… “Lethal Weapon 3”.

Once again we follow LAPD sergeants Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Murtaugh (Danny Glover). Murtaugh only has a week until retirement, but that doesn’t stop him from getting dragged into aonther giant case, this time he and Riggs together with an internal affairs officer (Rene Russo) have to try to take down an arms dealer (Stuart Wilson) who used used to be an LAPD officer. And from that… chaos ensues. While the plot is really fun to follow I feel like it isn’t as interesting as the previous two movies. In this movie they focus less on character development and focus more on chases and explosions and extreme action. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of that shit, but it just isn’t as interesting as the previous movies since they had really good character development. Also, for some reason they decided to shoehorn in Leo Getz (Joe Pesci) into this movie. In the previous movie he was a fun character that was integrated into the plot in aa good way, but here he just feels forced.

I think it is pretty fucking obvious at this point that Mel Gibson and Danny Glover have excellent chemistry. In the first “Lethal Weapon” they were great together, in “Lethal Weapon 2” they were even better and in this it has reached it’s peak. Their chemistry in this movie is fantastic, you notice that these two actors have a lot of fun working together. Newcomer Rene Russo is also really good in the movie and have really good chemistry with our two heroes, especially Mel Gibson who she banters with excellently. And Joe Pesci as Leo Getz is fine, he just feels so shoehorned into this movie. And I swear to fucking god, if I have to hear him say “Okay” again, I will snap! But overall the characters in this movie are all good. Sure, the villain is not that great, but everyone else makes up for that.

Once again the soundtrack was done by Michael Kamen, Eric Clapton and David Sanborn. And once again it is great wit ha great mix of typical action movie songs, smooth jazz and some rock n roll. There were also two tracks made for the movie. One is called “It’s Probably Me” which was done by Eric Clapton and Sting, the second one was “Runaway Train” by Eric Clapton and Elton John. And both were great songs that fit the movie in different ways.

Okay, my research now gives my feelings about Leo Getz feeling shoehorned in some much needed evidence. Apparently he wasn’t even in the original script. All scenes he were in were written in after the script was completed. Why they had to put him in the movie, I do not know. But now I at least know why he felt forced. Moving on! Once again Richard Donner steps up as director after the two first ones. And once again he is triumphant at making the movie fast, fierce and really well-directed. The camera work is great and the action scenes are awesome as always.

This movie was received decently. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 56% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 36/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,7/10.

“Lethal Weapon” has a plot that isn’t too interesting, a meh villain and a forced in Leo Getz. But it makes up for a fair amount of that with fun action, great characters, great music and great direction/camera work. Time for my final score. Jeff! Where’s the freaking envelope!? *Envelope flies into face* Ouch! I’m too old for this shit! My final score for “Lethal Weapon 3” is an 8,54/10. It is definitely worth buying.
Worth buying

“Lethal Weapon 3” is now reviewed.

You have the right to remain unconscious. Anything you say ain’t gonna be much.

 

Movie Review: Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)

23108

Sequels. Love them, hate them, don’t give a shit about them. There are many sides to how it can go for a sequel. Most times sequels can never live up to the original. But then we have a few gems that actually surpass the original like “Terminator 2” or “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”. Today we are taking a look at a sequel for a movie I review a few weeks back. Is it as good as the first or will it fall flat? Let’s have a look!

Cops and robbers… “Lethal Weapon 2”.

Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Murtaugh (Danny Glover) are back! Set one year(ish) after the first movie it follows our heroes as they have to protect someone who has been involved with some South African diplomats who are up to shady shit. This man they to protect is the eccentric and kinda rich Leo Getz (Joe Pesci). At the same time they have to find a way to stop these South African diplomats who use their diplomatic immunity as cover to carry on with their shady shit. Now while this story works for the movie I feel that it somehow is less inspired than the original one. It might be my skepticism against sequels in general, but it doesn’t have the same time of *boom* as the first one had. Although I did find this plot functional and entertaining.

To compensate for the not overly inspired story we have some great characters. The chemistry between Riggs and Murtaugh is just as good as last time, if not even better. The supporting characters are also great and fill their roles well. I can however see how some people would maybe get a little annoyed by the character of Leo Getz, but I didn’t mind him, he worked in my opinion. Sure, the villains aren’t as interesting as Gary Busey & friends from the first movie, but they do well for this movie.

Once again the soundtrack was done by composers Michael Kamen, Eric Clapton and David Sanborn. And once again it was good and fit the different parts of the movie. There was a good use of general orchestra like most action movies with great guitar work by Clapton and great saxophone pieces by Sanborn. I really have nothing special to say, the music was pretty much the same as the first movie (in style). And I like that music!

Richard Donner was back to direct this movie and once again he shows that he is a good director with good camera work and overall direction. The action was also just as good as in the first movie. It was fast-paced, visceral, thrilling and badass. And there is a part late in the movie (no spoilers) that I swear they made a reference to in “Grand Theft Auto Five”. There were jsut too many similarities that I couldn’t let it slip, it was too similar to not think about. You who have both seen the movie and played the game know what I am talking about.

This movie was pretty well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 83% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 70/100 (Sidenote: That is higher than what the first one got). Roger Ebert gave this movie 3,5/4 stars saying this;

“Lethal Weapon 2” is that rarity – a sequel with most of the same qualities as the original.

And on imdb.com it has a 7,2/10. The movie was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best sound effects editing. 

“Lethal Weapon 2” is entertaining, I will not deny that. I feel however though that the story was slightly less inspired (even if it worked) and that the villains weren’t as intertesting as in the first one. However the action is still great, thechemistry between the leads I would call even better than the first one and the music is still good. So time for my final score. *Explosion* My final score for “Lethal Weapon 2” is an 8,76/10. It is worth buying.
betala-kassa-butik

“Lethal Weapon 2” is now reviewed.

Whatever you need, Leo gets!

 

Movie Review: Home Alone (1990)

61e30637b68c5758

And the christmas reviews are continuing today with one of my childhood favorites, maybe it is one of yours as well, I don’t know. But will it hold up? Let’s find out!

Boys and girls… “Home Alone”

Kevin McCallister (Macauley Culkin) is not too happy with his incredibly dysfunctional family. They are all under huge stress because they will be going to Paris. Problem is that when they go to Paris they realize something… they forgot Kevin. So now he has to take care of himself while also trying to stop two burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) who want to steal all his and his family’s shit. You also have a side-plot going on where Kevin’s mom (Catherine O’Hara) is trying to get back home to Kevin. This story is very entertaining in premise and execution. Yes, a lot of it is very unrealistic and often makes little to no sense, but it still got a lot of comedic and charming moments to keep it going well.

Do you expect Oscar-worthy performances from this movie then you are sorely mistaken, my friend. The acting is average, but it doesn’t need to be more than that. I suppose the best performances in the movie might come from Roberts Blossom and Catherine O’Hara, but they are still nothing too special. And a lot of the characters in writing and style are just plain out assholes… I am not sugarcoating it, they are assholes. I guess that is part of the story and therefore works, but it just bugs me because I am a generally nice guy. But overall, characters and acting works.

I don’t really have to say what I think about the music because it should be obvious since it was composed by none other than the legendary John Williams. Yes, I love the music in the movie and there is nothing more to it. John Williams’ music is always great.

Camera work and cinematography (while not bad) is nothing special. Don’t bother focusing on that. The real cream-of-the-crop stuff here is the slapstick comedy you get… it is fucking glorious. As a fan of slapstick comedy I was happy to see that it actually was really fun and entertaining in this movie.

Time to see how people responded to this! Let’s see here… ah, here we go! On Rotten Tomatoes it got a 54% positive rating. On Metacritic this movie got a score of 63/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it got a 7,4/10. The movie was also nominated for 2 Academy Awards in teh categories of Best Original Song (Somehwere in my memory), and best original Score (John Williams).

As a huge fan of slapstick comedy, this movie gave me good entertainment. As a heartwarming christmas story, it worked. And with the great score by John Williams I am finally able to give my final score to “Home Alone”. My final score for “Home Alone” is an 8,96/10. And while it doesn’t hold up as well as it did years ago, I still think it is a great movie and worth buying!
betala-kassa-butik

“Home Alone” is now reviewed.

I guess it’s winter now. So just… Let it snow!