“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.” This unforgettable declaration given by Henry Hill in the 1990 Martin Scorsese mob classic GoodFellas commences a 145-minute thrill ride covering three decades of life in the mafia. Twenty-five years after it’s theatrical release, GoodFellas returns in the form of a 4K remastered 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Disc. Fans may be skeptical about purchasing this release considering that the movie has been released twice before on Blu-ray, most recently in 2010 with a 20th Anniversary Edition DigiBook. Is the new edition worth a purchase? Not only is it worth the purchase, it is the definitive version to add to your collection.
In addition to the new artwork and slipcase that come along the movie, included inside is a 36 page book filled with great pictures from the film along with a look into the filming of the movie and a discussion of it’s legacy with some of Hollywood’s best directors. There is also a letter from director Martin Scorsese that comes along with this set. In the letter, he details his passion for the film and how he wanted to infuse every scene with a frenetic energy that complemented the mob lifestyle and how unpredictable and abundant these characters’ lives were.
New to the 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray of GoodFellas is an all-new documentary produced by Brett Ratner titled Scorsese’s Goodfellas. Director Martin Scorsese and stars of the film Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco, as well as author Nicholas Pileggi who wrote the book the film was based on, comment on the importance and impact of the film. Frequent Scorsese collaborators Leonardo DiCaprio and Terence Winter also provide some interesting commentary. With a 30 minute running time, it goes by way too fast but it is a great documentary that highlights the joy that Scorsese had in making the film with his cast and crew and how much they all loved going to work with the masterful director. The documentary answers why GoodFellas is still so enthralling 25 years later, and the answer is because of the details and authenticity Scorsese poured into every shot of the movie, from adjusting Liotta’s tie just right in every scene, to having the song “Layla” by Derek and the Dominoes play at an exact time in the film. Filmmaking simply doesn’t get any better than this.
The picture quality is superior to previous releases, as Martin Scorsese supervised a 4k scan of the original camera negative. With DTS HD audio, every gunshot and song from the outstanding soundtrack are crisp and clear. Never before has GoodFellas looked and sounded so rich up on screen. With brilliant performances from an all-star cast of actors/actresses, Martin Scorsese takes you into the heart of the mob life and forces you to learn the two most important rules in life, “never rat on your friends, and always keep your mouth shut.” As Leonardo DiCaprio commented about the film, whenever it comes on TV, you stop whatever it was you were doing and watch it even though you’ve seen it more times than you can count. With this terrific Blu-ray release, you can sit down with the fellas once again to celebrate the 25th anniversary. Don’t be a wiseguy.
I give the 25th Anniversary of GoodFellas 5 out of 5 Nerdskulls.
Check out the original movie trailer below:
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