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GOODFELLASDirector: MARTIN SCORCESEYear: 1990Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci‘As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster’ are thewords provided by the narrator and main character of the film, Henry Hill.The film follows him through his life, beginning with him quitting school at 16to work under the Lucchese crime family, right up to a middle aged Henrysettled out of gangster life after enrolling in the Witness Protection Program.
TRUE ROMANCEDirector: TONY SCOTTYear: 1993Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Gary Oldman, ChristopherWalken, Dennis Hopper, Brad Pitt, Val KilmerAfter what appears to be by chance, an Elvis-obsessed comic book shopworker named Clarence meets and falls in love with a call girl namedAlabama. They marry a day later. Clarence goes over to see her boss to collecther stuff. They begin to fight and Clarence kills him, taking a bag that hethinks is Alabama’s. It turns out it contains a large amount of cocaine, givingthem a chance to make a lot of money – but the gangster’s that own it aren’twilling to let it go without a fight.
THE GODFATHERDirector: FRANCIS FORD COPPOLAYear: 1972Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, DianeKeatonVito Corleone is the aging don (head) of the Corleone Mafia family. Hisyoungest son Michael has returned from WWII but he just wants to live anormal life. Drug dealer Virgil Sollozzo is looking for Mafia families to offerhim protection in exchange for a profit of the drug money. He approaches DonCorleone about it, but he is morally against the use of drugs, and turns downthe offer. This does not please Sollozzo, who has the Don shot down by someof his hit men. The Don barely survives, which leads Michael to begin a violentmob war against Sollozzo which tears the Corleone family apart.
Gangster Movies are my favourite kind of movies for anumber of reasons.As well as the violence, which most lads my ageenjoy, the storylines are usually very good, especially inthe 3 examples I have chosen. Whether they provide atwist or just tell a linear narrative, they always keepyou engaged and interested in what’s going on.The acting is usually superb too. The cast of these typesof movies are predominantly Italian-American, whichprovide an opportunity for a talented young actor tofind a way into the movie business. Some go on to havevery successful and prolonged film careers, such as JoePesci, Ray Liotta, Harvey Keitel and more as well as thelegendary actors Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, whoboth made their breakthroughs by starring in crimeorientated films.Another thing I really like about Gangster movies arethe sheer suspense that is apparent when watching.Sometimes there are certain scenes where there is a lotof talking going on. During these scenes the tensionbuilds and builds, coming to a head with a final verbalblow or even with a death. You never know when aperson is going to be killed in these kinds of scenesbecause the suspense is so huge.
Star theory sometimes plays a huge part in a films success.Star theory basically means the power a famous actor or directorcan have in influencing a person’s choice to spend their moneyto watch a film.A film could have the best script in the world, but there is apossibility that it will fail at the Box Office because they don’thave the draw or the appeal of a high-profile actor or director.If you see a trailer of a film that has the name of someone youare a big fan of attached to it then it becomes more likely tosucceed at the Box Office.Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are actors who would bring in abig audience to a crime orientated film. This is because theyhave made a career of starring in films of this genre as well astaking that success into more mainstream films, such as familycomedies.An example of star theory in crime movies is the film RighteousKill, starring both De Niro and Pacino. Prior to it’s release, itgained a massive buzz around it as it starred these two heavyweights in the same film. The critical response however waspoor, so this proves that sometimes having great actors doesn’tnecessarily come hand in hand with having a great movie.
As well as star theory, there are many reasons as to why I maychoose to watch a film.I must admit though that I too was excited for Righteous Killand was also disappointed with the outcome. Nevertheless, itwas still fascinating to see De Niro and Pacino share sufficientscreen time, something which only happened for two scenes inHeat and did not happen at all in The Godfather Part II.I do get attracted to films sometimes by reading a critics viewbeforehand. People might disagree with this and say its betterto watch it and gather your own opinion yourself, but I don’treally want to spend a lot of money these days on a film thathas been panned by every working film critic. It seems Idodged a bullet by not watching Movie 49, a film I liked thelook of by watching the trailer but by researching I find it to bedescribed by some as ‘the worst movie ever’.It apparent that I am a big fan of gangster and crime films, sowhenever a new one is released or I come across an old onewhich I havent seen, I’ll always watch it. Gangster Squad hasbeen released quite recently and although it has a stellarcast, that wasn’t the reason I watched it. It made the filmbetter though by having a top drawer list of actors who madethe film more believable with their fine performances.
There are many ways I use to find out about a film’s release.Trailers are a big way of finding out about a film’s release, and thereare a few different methods of how to see one.One way is by seeing a trailer being played at a cinema before yourfilm begins. The trailers are usually screened a few months beforethe film’s release, sometimes even a year before if the film isexpected to be a huge blockbuster. Another way is by seeing ashorter trailer played during the advert breaks on the TV. These areshown quite close to the release date, the furthest being a monthbefore. Another way is by actually going onto a film website andchecking out any new trailers that they might have their handson, usually shown a long time before the movies release date.You can also find out about release dates by reading thenewspaper, magazines and the internet.The internet is becoming more and more prominent in the moviebusiness nowadays. Film studios find they can get any informationwidespread at a quicker pace by using social networks like Twitterand Facebook.
Reception Theory is when someone’s opinion of a movie is based on their personality and likes. It’sbasically a like or dislike for a movie determined from a personal experience or emotional connection.Someone who has a member of their family or a close friend who has suffered or suffers from cancermay really enjoy the 2009 movie, My Sister’s Keeper because they may relate to the film’s narrative. Incomparison, a person may know someone who was killed so therefore may not enjoy a film whichfeatures murder. Romantic comedies tend to split the opinions of people – this is because on onehand, the storyline is relatable to many people over the world as almost everyone has experiencedheartbreak or tried to pursue someone they have feelings for. One on the other hand, they may enjoycomedy and could be in an emotional state where they require something which makes them laugh andcheers them up.I am a big fan of Gangster movies because I like the insight it gives into the lives of these peopleinvolved in the Mafia. The characters are always interesting and are very 3-dimensional, usually with avery detailed back story, whether they are one of the main characters or just in a supporting role.Goodfellas is my favourite movie of all time and a big reason for this is down to the fact that it is basedon a true story – the characters, the plot, the settings – all of these things happened. I also enjoywatching documentaries about people involved in the Mafia or organised crime so this is whyGoodfellas appeals to me the most because it is almost like watching a documentary but with cinematicelements to it (with the fancy sets and great cast, etc.)As this lifestyle isn’t one that I could or would get into, therefore making Reception Theory not relate tomy opinion as I have no real life experience related to the genre, the insight gathered from watchingthese characters is all the more enjoyable because it shows me how life would be if I was involved inthis lifestyle. Also, people my age arent really the main target audience for these films. They are moreaimed toward adult males. I prefer to watch movies like these because they are much more clever thana genre that my demographic would be linked with. I prefer to watch a 10 minute scene of greatdialogue and suspense as opposed to a scene that you may see in the Fast and Furious franchise, forexample.RECEPTION THEORY