Goodfellas: 20th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Review)12 Feb, 2010 By: John Latchem
Stars Ray Liotta, Lorraine Bracco, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Paul Sorvino.
Martin Scorsese’s epic of the wiseguy lifestyle remains a fascinating character study of loyalty and betrayal. Goodfellas could easily have won the best picture Oscar for 1990, and Scorsese for best director, and no one would have blinked.
Goodfellas is often hailed as the greatest gangster movie ever made, though I think it still has miles to go before it can touch either of the first two “Godfather” films. But Goodfellas is still a great film all on its own, filled with so many touches that now seem cliché. One can’t help but be impressed at the way Scorsese uses his camera to immerse viewers into every scene so the story is always clear and the characters are always compelling.
This 20th anniversary edition isn’t really an upgrade from earlier releases. It’s pretty much the same disc as the 2007 Blu-ray version, which had the same extras as the 2004 special-edition DVD.
That means the film has still not been remastered to really take advantage of the 1080p presentation. The film still has a visible black line down the middle of the frame at the 76-minute mark and a weird black bar over an airline logo near the end, both of which could have been easily fixed with simple digital enhancements (though purists would likely object).
A bonus disc contains the fascinating documentary Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film and some gangster-themed cartoons. But this disc was previously part of Warner’s 2008 Gangsters Vol. 4 release.
So the only thing new in this re-packaging … is the packaging. It’s a digibook with some cast bios and production notes. But anyone who has the 2007 Blu-ray version, or even the DVD, probably shouldn’t feel rushed to go out and snap up this new edition.