Goodfellas is a great gangster movie on steroids. It features all the glorious staples of the tireless genre, amplified to the 10th degree, including mass executions, shocking betrayals, scenes of men cooking pasta in wife beaters and, my personal favorite, Robert De Niro saying, "What's the matter with you?" Adding to the gangster movie formula, Goodfellas also gives us memorable shots of frozen dead guys hung in meat lockers, eerie shots of gritty Queens neighborhoods at dusk, a young Samuel Jackson getting shot in his ratty apartment and, of course, the playfully deadly showdown between Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci. That "why am I funny" scene is the most memorable piece of pop culture to come out of the '90s. Martin Scorsese may have won his only Oscar for The Departed, but it doesn't hold a cannoli to Goodfellas, which was as freewheeling as The Departed was plodding, as ambitious as The Departed was rote. And again, Goodfellas has Robert De Niro saying, "What's the matter with you?" The Departed has Jack Nicholson acting cheesier than a gangster in a Steven Seagal movie. I'm not saying The Departed is a bad film, but if you liked it and never saw Goodfellas on the big screen, the Landmark Inwood Theatre has an offer you can't refuse. Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas plays at the Inwood Theatre at midnight Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit landmarktheatres.com.
Fri., Dec. 14; Sat., Dec. 15, 2007