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  1. #466
    Ultimate Member numberthirty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    It's based on real historical figures and actual events that happened in real life.
    That it's "Based On..." has nothing to do with the way that it tells the story. It is a strictly "Paint By Numbers" version of the characters whose story it tells.

    "Based On" doesn't mean you are even remotely close and not telling a story without much of a connection to reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The main character is Irish-American and he marries a Jewish woman (who is given a major voiceover and is one of the major characters of the movie), and he's excluded from becoming a real part of the Italian mob's inner circle which values "pure blood Italians" and so on.

    So if you're trying to say the movie is some ethnic ghetto tour and so on...then that's not really the movie.
    No one has said that.

    That said, the idea that those two films are not painting a pretty specific version of the ethnic group that founded the Mafia is on shaky ground.

  2. #467
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    Quote Originally Posted by numberthirty View Post
    That it's "Based On..." has nothing to do with the way that it tells the story. It is a strictly "Paint By Numbers" version of the characters whose story it tells.

    "Based On" doesn't mean you are even remotely close and not telling a story without much of a connection to reality.
    This, there is a few horror movies "based on true events" But I am not prepared to accept the events in the movies as possible just from that.

  3. #468
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by numberthirty View Post
    It is a strictly "Paint By Numbers" version of the characters whose story it tells.
    Paint By Numbers is usually understood to be conventional, traditional, and expected. That doesn't apply to a movie wth as much narrative, cinematic, technical, and artistic innovation as Goodfellas.

    "Based On" doesn't mean you are even remotely close and not telling a story without much of a connection to reality.
    Goodfellas is widely considered the most realistic portrayal of organized crime. You know, gangsters living in suburbia, most criminal activity happening in broad daylight and so on. That was pretty different from crime was shown in older gangster movies. It also shows the psychology of these criminals, what draws them into "the life" and so on.

    The movie served as a template for The Sopranos you know (which also featured a sizable chunk of its cast).

    That said, the idea that those two films are not painting a pretty specific version of the ethnic group that founded the Mafia is on shaky ground.
    Can you clarify what you mean by this?

  4. #469
    Ultimate Member numberthirty's Avatar
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    Put simply...

    If you were to attempt to dream up the most "Paint By Numbers" Italian involved in the "Mafia" corner of organized crime that you could, you would most likely see something that looked quite a bit like the characters in either Goodfellas or Casino.

  5. #470
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by numberthirty View Post
    If you were to attempt to dream up the most "Paint By Numbers" Italian
    involved in the "Mafia" corner of organized crime that you could, you would most likely see something that looked quite a bit like the characters in either Goodfellas or Casino.
    A cast that includes actors of such high quality as Liotta, DeNiro, Pesci, Paul Sorvino, Lorraine Bracco among others is not, never was, never will be "paint by numbers".

    Furthermore, literally nobody said this in the year of the movie's release.

    For one thing, before Goodfellas, most people's ideas of the mob was based on The Godfather (a movie that had basically two-three Italian-Americans -- Al Pacino, John Cazale, Talia Shire, the rest including Marlon Brando weren't Italian-American). A few years before Goodfellas, you had a crime comedy like Married to the Mob which had Michelle Pfeiffer and Alec Baldwin (two non-Italian Americans) as leads. Likewise, I need to repeat this, the lead character of Goodfellas, played by Ray Liotta, is Irish-American, the lead character of Casino, played by DeNiro, is Jewish-American.

    The only reason anyone has to think these movies are paint-by-numbers is because it influenced literally every gangster and crime movie that came afterwards.

    These movies are not and never were and never will be formulaic.

  6. #471
    Ultimate Member numberthirty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    A cast that includes actors of such high quality as Liotta, DeNiro, Pesci, Paul Sorvino, Lorraine Bracco among others is not, never was, never will be "paint by numbers".

    Furthermore, literally nobody said this in the year of the movie's release.

    For one thing, before Goodfellas, most people's ideas of the mob was based on The Godfather (a movie that had basically two-three Italian-Americans -- Al Pacino, John Cazale, Talia Shire, the rest including Marlon Brando weren't Italian-American). A few years before Goodfellas, you had a crime comedy like Married to the Mob which had Michelle Pfeiffer and Alec Baldwin (two non-Italian Americans) as leads. Likewise, I need to repeat this, the lead character of Goodfellas, played by Ray Liotta, is Irish-American, the lead character of Casino, played by DeNiro, is Jewish-American.

    The only reason anyone has to think these movies are paint-by-numbers is because it influenced literally every gangster and crime movie that came afterwards.

    These movies are not and never were and never will be formulaic.
    Going back repeatedly to the pair of characters who are not Italians says most of what needs to be said about just how "Paint By Numbers" the depictions of Italian criminals wind up being in Goodfellas and Casino.

  7. #472
    Ultimate Member numberthirty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Goodfellas and Casino utterly revolutionized narrative film in terms of editing, camera movement, action, storytelling. It's one of the most influential movies of the '90s. There was never anything like it before and after that it created a slew of imitators.

    Goodfellas is a movie that steamrolls over such things as "three-act structure" and conventional ideas of character arcs for something entirely new. More lifelike, more organic, and more stylish. The flashbacks and flashforward structure, the cutwaways, the use of music. Nobody had seen anything like that before. There hasn't been anything like it since.
    One other small detail...

    This is just provably not the case.

    Heck, it was done in a film about organized crime years before Goodfellas.

  8. #473
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by numberthirty View Post
    Going back repeatedly to the pair of characters who are not Italians says most of what needs to be said about just how "Paint By Numbers" the depictions of Italian criminals wind up being in Goodfellas and Casino.
    This is equivalent to saying that African-American film-makers need to cast white leads when they make movies about characters in the 'hood. Would you say this about Spike Lee's films or Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale Station?

    Scorsese is Sicilian-American himself, someone who grew up in a mob-controlled neighborhood and is telling a critical story of the mob without romanticism and so on from the inside. Of course most of the cast will be Italian-Americans with the exception of characters, who again were all based on real-life figures, who were connected to the story in crucial ways.

  9. #474
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    Quote Originally Posted by numberthirty View Post
    Put simply...

    If you were to attempt to dream up the most "Paint By Numbers" Italian involved in the "Mafia" corner of organized crime that you could, you would most likely see something that looked quite a bit like the characters in either Goodfellas or Casino.
    The Godfather and gangster films from the 30's through 50's don't agree with that

  10. #475
    Fantastic Member Marvelgirl's Avatar
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    What's with the dragging down of Goodfellas from MCU fans?

  11. #476
    Ultimate Member numberthirty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marvelgirl View Post
    What's with the dragging down of Goodfellas from MCU fans?
    To put it simply...

    The drop off in quality is a lot less steep from Casino to the MCU than the drop off in quality from The Magnificent Ambersons to Goodfellas.

  12. #477
    Ultimate Member numberthirty's Avatar
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    That being the case, it's hard to ignore that reality when Scorcese gives his opinion.

  13. #478
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    Scorsese doesn't know the difference between the MCU, DCEU, X-Universe, and Sony Universe hero movies. They are all the same to him. It's one big pile of homogenous films. His comment about Marvel movies applies to all cape movies by any studio.

  14. #479
    Incredible Member Beaddle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colossus1980 View Post
    Scorsese doesn't know the difference between the MCU, DCEU, X-Universe, and Sony Universe hero movies. They are all the same to him. It's one big pile of homogenous films. His comment about Marvel movies applies to all cape movies by any studio.
    Except we know they are not all the same. Scorsese did mention Marvel in name.I always knew this was coming when Endgame bested Avatar. Its hard for many film makers to understand how a movie like that is no 1 , why else are they questioning today's audiences or young ones.

    Disney thinks star wars is overexposed but Marvel is more overexposed. Its open season for Marvel for many directors to go after it.

  15. #480
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by numberthirty View Post
    The drop off in quality is a lot less steep from Casino to the MCU
    If you want to be fair to the MCU shouldn't the comparison be between The Departed (a self-admittedly commercial police thriller that's also a remake of a foreign movie) and the MCU? I mean The Departed came out in 2006 two-years before Iron Man even. I mean there's a drop-off from Casino to The Departed, since the latter movie isn't considered to be among Scorsese's very best (albeit it's a very good movie that did introduce a ton of millennials to Scorsese).

    Even then, the MCU wouldn't come off well, since The Departed was also a bold, daring crime movie, where at the end practically all the characters died, and often in the most sudden, shocking ways, with the movie having a lot to say about violence (whereas the MCU are basically all about the glories of a fist-fight and punching people and also murdering aliens by the dozens without any care). The Departed also influenced a ton of crime movies and dramas, basically putting Boston on the map, cinematically speaking inspiring the wave of Boston-set movies that followed -- Gone Baby Gone, The Fighter, Black Mass and so on.

    than the drop off in quality from The Magnificent Ambersons to Goodfellas.
    The Magnificent Ambersons is a movie butchered by studios while Goodfellas is an uncompromised movie made as per the intent of the film-maker. It's not a fair comparison to start with, but Goodfellas will always be a more satisfying movie than Magnificent Ambersons.

    And if you want to chart "drop-off in quality" in charts, well in the '40s, Orson Welles made bold unconventional movies that challenged the traditional hollywood narrative and visual style/editing, and his first movie (Citizen Kane) flopped, the second movie was butchered and taken away, while in the '90s, Martin Scorsese could make a bold radical movie like Goodfellas for a mainstream audience and it plays as he intended it. So on that level the early 90s was actually a lot better than the '40s.

    Whereas one cannot say that any of these MCU movies are really made as per the director's intentions.
    Last edited by Revolutionary_Jack; 11-19-2019 at 06:22 AM.

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