GOODFELLAS Director: MARTIN SCORCESE Year: 1990 ‘As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster’ are the words 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 16 to work under the Lucchese crime family, right up to a middle aged Henry settled out of gangster life after enrolling in the Witness Protection Program.
TRUE ROMANCE Director: TONY SCOTT Year: 1993 After what appears to be by chance, a comic book shop worker Clarence meets and falls in love with a call girl named Alabama. They marry a day later. Clarence goes over to see her boss to collect her stuff. They begin to fight and Clarence kills him, taking a bag that he thinks is Alabama’s. It turns out it contains a large amount of cocaine, giving them a chance to make a lot of money – but the gangster’s that own it aren’t willing to let it go without a fight.
THE GODFATHER Director: FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA Year: 1972 Vito Corleone is the aging don (head) of the Corleone Mafia Family. His youngest son Michael has returned from WWII but he just wants to live a normal life. Drug dealer Virgil Sollozzo is looking for Mafia Families to offer him protection in exchange for a profit of the drug money. He approaches Don Corleone about it, but he is morally against the use of drugs, and turns down the offer. This does not please Sollozzo, who has the Don shot down by some of his hit men. The Don barely survives, which leads Michael to begin a violent mob war against Sollozzo which tears the Corleone family apart.
Gangster Movies are my favourite kind of movies for a number of reasons.As well as the violence, which most lads my age enjoy,the storylines are usually very good, especially in the 3examples I have chosen. Whether they provide a twist or just tell a linear narrative, they always keep you engaged and interested in what’s going on.The acting is usually superb too. The cast of these types of movies are predominantly Italian-American, which provide 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 Joe Pesci, Ray Liotta and more as well as the legendary actors Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, who both made their breakthroughs by starring in crime orientated films. Another thing I really like about Gangster Movies are the sheer suspense that is apparent when watching.Sometimes there are certain scenes where there is a lot of talking going on. During these scenes the tensionbuilds and builds, coming to a head with a final verbal blow or even with a death. You never know when a person is going to be killed in these kinds of scenes because 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 director can have in influencing a person’s choice to spend their money to watch a film. A film could have the best script in the world, but there is a possibility that it will fail at the Box Office because they don’t have 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 you are a big fan of attached to it then it becomes more likely to succeed at the Box Office. Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are actors who would bring in a big audience to a crime orientated film. This is because they have made a career of starring in films of this genre as well astaking that success into more mainstream films, such as family comedies.An example of star theory in crime movies is the film ‘Righteous Kill’, starring both De Niro and Pacino. Prior to it’s release, it gained a massive buzz around it as it starred these two heavy weights in the same film. The critical response however waspoor, so this proves that sometimes having great actors doesn’t necessarily come hand in hand with having a great movie.
As well as star theory, there are many reasons as to why I may choose to watch a film. I must admit though that I too was excited for Righteous Kill and 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 in Heat and did not happen at all in The Godfather Part II. I do get attracted to films sometimes by reading a critics view beforehand. People might disagree with this and say its better to watch it and gather your own opinion yourself, but I don’t really want to spend a lot of money these days on a film that has been panned by every working film critic. It seems I dodged a bullet by not watching Movie 49, a film I liked thelook of by watching the trailer but by researching I find it to be described by some as ‘the worst movie ever’. It apparent that I am a big fan of gangster and crime films, so whenever a new one is released or I come across an old one which I havent seen, I’ll always watch it. Gangster Squad has been released quite recently and although it has a stellar cast, that wasn’t the reason I watched it. It made the film betterthough by having a top drawer list of actors who made the 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 there are a few different methods of how to see one. One way is by seeing a trailer being played at a cinema before your film begins. The trailers are usually screened a few months before the film’s release, sometimes even a year before if the film is expected to be a huge blockbuster. Another way is by seeing ashorter trailer played during the advert breaks on the TV. These are shown quite close to the release date, the furthest being a month before. Another way is by actually going onto a film website and checking out any new trailers that they might have their hands on, usually shown a long time before the movies release date.You can also find out about release dates by reading the newspaper, 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 Twitter and Facebook.