This Is a Blog: Kris and Adam Discuss AFI’s Top 100: Goodfellas

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Kris and Adam Discuss AFI’s Top 100: Goodfellas

Kris Jenson, with whom I've had the best discussions of my life, is an old friend of mine from Boston. We had been talking about the American Film Institute's Top 100 when he got a job at Dig Boston, writing about just that. Instead of letting the conversation end just because he's a big, fancy writer now, I'm going to write responses to his articles. I can't keep up with his movie watching, so I'm only responding to the ones I've seen.


Speaking of "South Park," a friend of mine in college used to say he stopped liking that show because of the people who liked it. Nothing about the quality of the show, just that douche bags like it; therefore, he hates it. While I think that's a cop out and an excuse to not make opinions for yourself, I think Kris nails the sentiment behind it. Stupid people can ruin anything with their stupidity. On the other hand, every time I see some bro with that iconic "Goodfellas" poster on the wall, I can't help but chuckle because he clearly loves it for all the reasons the movie tells you you're not supposed to like it.

Wow, what the hell does that mean?

At its core, "Goodfellas" is the tragedy of a man who gets sucked into and is ultimately abandoned by the glamorous world of organized crime. In the end, when Henry monologues about missing all the trappings of the wiseguy life, we're supposed to feel sorry for him. He's addicted to the very thing that threatens to kill him. We're supposed to come out of this movie feeling like Kris feels, that these people are as far from role models as humanly possible. It's a cautionary tale, not a how-to guide.

When I watch this movie, I get sucked in every time. That actually has very little to do with the subject matter. It's so episodic that I can watch it for just a few minutes and still walk away satisfied. Every little piece works on its own and does such a brilliant job of telling a man's life in terms of its strongest moments. From the SteadiCam shot into the club to the much [poorly] imitated long zoom-focus, this film should be taught in film schools. The music is perfect, even hilarious at times (eg- Layla). Every performance is spot on, even Lorraine Bracco, whom I sort of despise. Scorsese brings to this intensely violent story a real insight and sensitivity to the people involved.

But that asshole who smoked pot in the dorm next to yours just stared in bed looking at that poster, dreaming of one day being Bobby DeNiro, the Irish bad ass. He, to this day, doesn't see Henry Hill's mistake as falling in with a bunch of murdering psychopaths. He just thinks Henry crossed the line by getting into drugs -- even Vito Corleone wouldn't do that shit. He looks at these gangsters and dreams of one day being Henry Hill but smarter.

That's why I laugh. Stupid assholes like this are why "The Matrix" movies were blamed for Columbine. They can't see past the surface level to the real point of the film. I refuse to let these fuckers ruin good movies for me. They can "Funny? Funny how?" all they want, but I will not let them suck the enjoyment out of this film. Let morons ruin society. I'll still be here laughing over their idiot heads.

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