Goodfellas, The F*cking Best Movie Ever Made. Open Thread.

Goodfellas celebrates 25th anniversary.

Good Evening

It’s been 25 years since “Goodfellas” was released in 1990 and yet the film still remains a favorite. Well, it is my favorite anyway….

You can see what the cast looks like now after 25 years at that link.

The film was celebrated at the Tribeca film festival today.  So enjoy these next few links that discuss the one and only Goodfellas.

‘Goodfellas’ actors spill secrets for 25th anniversary – NY Daily News

Just like the character he played in “Goodfellas,” Ray Liotta sang like a canary Saturday at the 25th anniversary reunion for the mob classic.

Capping the 12-day Tribeca Film Festival, actors Robert De Niro, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino and screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi more than amused a Beacon Theatre audience with behind-the-scenes tales from the beloved flick, which opened in 1990.

But it was Liotta, who played mob informant Henry Hill, who truly spilled the beans, telling a rapt crowd that Joe Pesci’s famous “Do I Amuse You” sequence was almost entirely improvised.

“Joe was just telling a story in rehearsal about something that happened to him in Queens,” Liotta recalled. “Some guy, who happened to be a connected guy, said, ‘You think that’s funny?’”

Actually, that is not anything new as far as news…we all have heard about that tale from Joe Pesci before.

But more here:

Tribeca 2015: ‘Goodfellas’ Reunion, Martin Scorsese Said He “Denigrated a Certain Ethnic Group” – Hollywood Reporter

Of the many delicious scenes in Goodfellas, the one that lingers longest is that of Paulie Cicero slicing garlic with a razor blade.

“The character in real life actually did that! And people have asked me if those were stunt hands — no, they’re mine,” Paul Sorvino recalled to The Hollywood Reporter of the move, which he recently re-created on Rachael Ray. “But do not mix garlic and onions together — if I hear you did, I’m going to hunt you down.”

Ray Liotta also joked of the scene, “I like it a little thicker — not as thin as they do!” and Debi Mazar, who actually hadn’t ever seen the movie on the big screen before, warned fans, “Don’t slice your garlic with a razor blade — there’s no reason to do that!”

The three shared hugs at New York City’s Beacon Theatre on Saturday night, along with Robert De Niro and Lorraine Bracco, for the 25th anniversary of the Martin Scorsese gangster classic — a reunion that closed the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and included about a dozen members of the 1990 film’s other cast and crew in the audience.

Joe Pesci couldn’t be here, but he sent this email: ‘F—, f—, f—, f—ity f—, f—'” read De Niro, introducing the film with fest co-founder Jane Rosenthal. “I’ll translate: ‘Dear Bob, sorry I can’t be there. Love to all. Best, Joe.'”

Scorsese and producer Irwin Winkler sent video messages to the audience, as they’re currently filming Silence in Taiwan. “I remember the previews were one of the worst experiences of my life — we had three of them and they were all in California. … It seemed that the audience had to be prepared for what it was, but there was a lot of controversy,” Scorsese said of debuting the crime drama, in which his parents also appear. He then addressed screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi: “Remember that nice Italian restaurant in Tribeca that we used to go to? And then when the film came out, the owner of the restaurant said we’re not allowed in anymore because we apparently denigrated a certain ethnic group for the picture?”

That I have to say no…I can’t agree with that. Because what I saw, is what I grew up with. Sorry.

The scene with the Mother and Tommy and eating spaghetti and talking about settling down…no, that is as real as it gets.

As far as the mobsters and the violence, ugh….no comment. (Cough…cough.)

11 Things We Learned About Goodfellas — Vulture

Author and co-screenwriter Pileggi didn’t believe it was Scorsese calling him.

After Wiseguy, Pileggi’s book about the life of Henry Hill, came out, Martin Scorsese called the writer numerous times to talk about adapting it. Pileggi, a writer for New York (hey!) at the time, said he would get “these pink slips saying, ‘Call Marty Scorsese.’” But he refused to believe it was Scorsese calling; he thought they were messages from David Denby, then the magazine’s film critic. Scorsese, unable to figure out why Pileggi wasn’t calling him back, got someone in his office to call Pileggi’s wife, the late Nora Ephron, and told her to tell the writer to call him back. Pileggi came home that night to an irate Ephron: “Are you crazy? Marty Scorsese’s been trying to reach you! Call him back!”

That is the first of the eleven, go and see the other ten…

Jon Stewart geeks out over “Goodfellas” at Tribeca: “One of my most favorite movies of all time” – Salon.com

Jon Stewart geeks out over "Goodfellas" at Tribeca: "One of my most favorite movies of all time"

In addition to celebrating the power of film, this year’s Tribeca Film Festival also provided an opportunity for all our esteemed fake news hosts to geek out over their favorite films. Colbert talked to his hero George Lucas about “Star Wars,” John Oliver moderated a lively Monty Python reunion, and last night, diehard “Goodfellas” fanboy Jon Stewart closed out the festival with a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Martin Scorsese’s iconic gangster film.

Following a screening of a remastered print of the film at New York’s Beacon Theater, Stewart moderated a Q&A with stars Robert DeNiro, Ray Liotta, Paul Sorvino, Lorraine Bracco and screenwriter and “Wiseguy” author Nicholas Pileggi.

“What a thrill for me tonight, this is one of my most favorite movies of all time,” said Stewart upon introducing the panel, adding that the film was “one that, when I saw back in 1990, nearly ruined my life, because at that point, I could only talk in ‘Goodfellas.’ I was a comedian, so you can only imagine our conversations ended with ‘funny, how?’”

Scorsese, who couldn’t be there because he was shooting in Taipei, sent a taped video message, in which he chatted candidly about the film and gave a shoutout to the panel’s moderator, saying: “Jon, if you were around at the time, we would’ve put you in the picture. I’m not exactly sure where, but…”

[…]

Super-fan Stewart, meanwhile, appeared to still be holding out hope for a sequel. “When you do a classic like this and then you think about ‘Godfather 1,’ ‘Godfather 2,’ ‘Godfather 3,’ do you think ‘Goodfellas,’ ‘Greatfellas?’” he quipped to the group. “You could have ruined this very easily.”

And now a bit of the real thing:

The Real Goodfellas: The Mysterious Fate of Tommy DeSimone

Goodfellas buried Tommy DeVito in a closed coffin. The real Tommy D came to a more crushing end.

SPOILER ALERT:This article is all about endings, but it is still has no finish.

In Martin Scorsese’s classic gangster film Goodfellas, Tommy DeVito, played by Joe Pesci, gets whacked by John Gotti’s family in retribution for killing made man Billy Batts, played by Frank Vincent. Robert De Niro’s character “Jimmy the Gent” Conway gets the news in a phone booth which he pummels in a fit of rage. Scorsese got his dope from Henry Hill, who ratted out his friends to the feds and told all in a best-selling book called Wise Guy. In the movie, Tommy has to be buried in a closed coffin because he was shot in the face.

Tommy DeVito is based on Tommy DeSimone, aka “Two-Gun Tommy” or “Tommy D.” Most news reports, including one of mine, are based on Wise Guy and the press reports surrounding the $6 million dollar Lufthansa heist at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The problem is, the Gotti crew had nothing to do with the death of DeSimone. Tommy wasn’t buried in a closed coffin. He was never buried at all. His body was never found.

Pretty much everyone is familiar with Joe Pesci, either from his role in popular Christmas-themed children’s film Home Alone or his role in Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning gangster classic Goodfellas. He largely retired from acting in 1999, but starting today, you can see him on the big screen in Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys. Just one hitch: you’ll be seeing an actor (Joseph Russo) playing the character “Joe Pesci” rather than the actor Joe Pesci playing a character in the film.

Jersey Boys the film is based on Jersey Boys the play, which tells the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons from the group’s inception all the way through to (spoiler alert) the group’s reunion at the 1990 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Turns out, Joe Pesci actually played a not-inconsequential role in the formation of the popular doo-wop band. Growing up near Newark, N.J., young Pesci was friendly with Tommy Devito and the rest of the band and, according to the canon that the film presents, Pesci connected DeVito (the band’s behind-the-scenes leader at the time) with “Short-Shorts” writer Bob Gaudio, who would later write nearly all of the Four Seasons’ most popular songs. Now, according to the movie, DeVito works for Pesci. Yeah, that Joe Pesci. Small world, right?

The connection doesn’t end there, though. Later, Pesci—the actor, not the Jersey Boys character, who was a real person but not played by Joe Pesci because real-life Pesci was already in his 60s by the time Jersey Boys the play arrived on Broadway in 2005—starred in Scorsese’s Goodfellas. His name in the film? Tommy DeVito. And in case that weren’t enough of an in-joke, at one point during Goodfellas, Karen (Lorraine Bracco) confronts Henry (Ray Liotta), and says to him, “”Who the hell do you think you are, Frankie Valli or some kinda big shot?” Valli, in addition to being the lead singer in the Four Seasons, also allegedly had ties to the Italian mob (as did DeVito), so there’s more than enough self-referentiality going on here.

Anyhow, here’s the point: without Joe Pesci, we likely wouldn’t have The Four Seasons, Jersey Boys (the play or the film), Goodfellas or My Cousin Vinny. There are likely plenty more links to be made, but probably best to stop here before the universe collapses on itself.

So….what do you know…ain’t that funny….funny how?

But quick:

Power of Nepal earthquake was equivalent to 20 atomic bombs – Asia – World – The Independent

Clinton Foundation on Donor Disclosure: ‘We Made Mistakes’ | Mediaite

Stephanopoulos Challenges Clinton Cash Author: ‘Is There a Smoking Gun?’ | Mediaite

Smoke But No Gun Yet | The Mahablog

John Boehner Accuses Hillary Clinton of Breaking the Law

And this next story is crazy…

‘F*ck this court — I AM Justice’: Woman uncorks berserk legal rant after civil rights suit tossed

Full court filing can be found here: Very Angry Lady Successfully Files “Fuck This Court” Legal Brief

and if you read down at that Gawker link for the Pepperment comment you will find the full story behind the story:

http://gawker.com/this-is-amazing-by-the-way-the-background-is-that-our-1699883511

This is an open thread.

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Saturday Morning Reads

Good Morning!!

Yesterday was a pretty busy news day for a Friday. So if you’ve had your sugar bombs and coffee, let me fill you in on the latest before you head outside to enjoy a beautiful June day. The weather folks are saying this will be a nice weekend around the country.

Yesterday the President announced an executive order telling the Department of Homeland Security not to deport children who were brought to the U.S. illegally and have grown up here and gone to school here. These are the young people who would be eligible to stay here and have a path to citizenship under the “Dream Act” if Republicans in Congress would stop blocking the legislation.

In a move that seemed to be aimed at Hispanics whose enthusiasm for voting in the November 6 election could be crucial to Obama’s re-election chances, the president acted to potentially protect 800,000 people from deportation proceedings for at least two years.

Obama, who previously was reluctant to impose such an order even as Republicans in Congress blocked immigration reform bills he supported, called his action “the right thing to do.”

His announcement was on the 30th anniversary of a Supreme Court decision that said children of illegal-immigrant parents were entitled to public education in the United States.

Right wingers–including Mitt Romney–are of course calling the move “political,” but so what? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Politicians make political decisions. Duh! But if they’re doing the right thing, I don’t care what their motivation is. The LA Times published some basic information for people who want to know what this change means to them.

During the President’s announcement of the policy change at a press availability in the Rose Garden, a wingnut blogger from The Daily Caller, rudely broke into Obama’s speech with an offensive question. David Graham at the Atlantic:

An extremely unusual occurrence happened today as President Obama spoke at the White House. The president was offering a statement on his executive order suspending deportations for certain illegal immigrants brought here as children….when a reporter started heckling him and shouting questions.

The reporter has been identified as Neil Munro of the Daily Caller, a conservative online news outlet run by Tucker Carlson….

Interrupting the president mid-speech is considered a serious breach of etiquette, and Obama’s reaction shows how peeved (and probably taken aback) he was. Munro, and the Daily Caller, have immediately come in for harsh criticism by a wide range of journalists, including conservative ones. The problem isn’t that Munro was asking tough questions; it’s that he interrupted the commander-in-chief to ask them and in doing so guaranteed that none of the assembled press would be able to ask any serious questions — since it’s fairly clear that Munro’s query was intended as provocation.

I have video of the confrontation, but youtube seems to be down at the moment. I’ll put it up again later if I can. Munro yelled “Why do you favor foreigners over Americans?” Then when Obama responded, he proceed to argue and then yell while Obama was speaking. Pretty unprofessional for a so-called “journalist.”

Even Bill O’Reilly condemned the wingnut hack’s behavior, along with Fox News talkers Shep Smith and Chris Wallace.

At CNN, Dean Obeidallah says this type of behavior by wingnuts is part of an overall effort to “delegitimize” Obama’s presidency.

A reporter from a right-wing media outlet heckled President Obama — not once, but twice — on Friday as he was unveiling a new immigration policy. If this shocks you, you haven’t been paying attention. This is simply the latest page from the right’s playbook to delegitimize Barack Obama’s presidency.

Some may dismiss it as an isolated incident, but it’s not. It goes much deeper. Believe me, I know hecklers — I’m a stand-up comedian. If someone heckles me once, it can be a mistake: too many drinks, overcome by emotion, etc. But when you heckle twice, you have an agenda.

BTW, Munro is an Irish immigrant. So what is his problem?

A quick perusal of Munro’s Twitter feed reveals he does not hide his contempt for President Obama. His tweets range from claims that Obama is using NASCAR and country music to attract “white non-college voters,” to slams of Michelle Obama, to allegations that Obama is racially discriminating against blacks in his White House hiring practices.

But this is all not about Munro — he is just a small cog in the right’s campaign to diminish the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency. I’m not talking about people disagreeing with policies. I mean specifically the campaign to paint Barack Obama as less than American — as an “other”–as someone whose presidency is not entitled to the same respect as that of the presidents who came before him.

OK, maybe I’m spending too much time on this, but I guess I’m a bit old fashioned. I believe in respecting the office of the President. I think it’s very important for the White House press corps to behave respectfully, while at the same time asking tough questions. In this case, Munro’s behavior led to the press conference being cut off before more responsible reporters could ask questions.

I have some other news for you, and I’ll give it to you quickly so you can get out an enjoy your day.

The send-off for Mitt Romney’s bus tour of “small-town America” was overshadowed by Obama’s announcement.

After weeks of gaining momentum amid a spate of bad economic news that has shaken Obama’s reelection campaign, Romney was faced with a classic demonstration of how the White House can use its power to reset the agenda.

For hours, Romney tried to ignore the news. Finally, after a rally here with a ragtime band playing “Yankee Doodle Dandy” in a town-square gazebo, Romney made a statement that struck a radically different tone from the hard-line approach he took on illegal immigration during the Republican primaries.

“I believe the status of young people who come here through no fault of their own is an important matter to be considered and should be solved on a long-term basis so they know what their future would be in this country,” he told reporters outside of his campaign bus.

“I think the action that the president took today makes it more difficult to reach that long-term solution, because an executive order is of course just a short-term matter. It could be reversed by subsequent presidents. I’d like to see legislation that deals with this issue.”

But he made no commitment to supporting any particular option.

Of course not. Just more meaningless huffing and puffing from an old stuffed suit.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg expects “sharp disagreement” in the Supreme Court over the Affordable Care Act.

The LA Times reports: Egypt revolution losing steam as military asserts power

Germany could be in trouble if Greece opts out of the Euro.

Why can’t the Euro nations agree on a plan? In Germany, the situation is being compared to Titanic, one of the greatest disasters in history.

Since Euro Zone is like the Titanic heading for an iceberg called Greece, there’s plenty of concern on the first-class deck called Germany. If Greece goes down, it can take even Europe’s biggest economy with it.

“I believe Europe is right in a crossroads right now,” Gerhard Hofmann, director of the German Cooperative Bank Group, told CBS News.

How the shock waves will hit the U.S. if it happens.

The NYT says Obama is “looking to Merkel” for aid and comfort.

A collapse of the euro could derail America’s fragile recovery and doom Mr. Obama’s re-election hopes. So the president finds himself in the strange position of having forged a relationship with Ms. Merkel that is perhaps the best he has with any foreign leader, but that has not yet resulted in the chancellor’s agreeing to what Mr. Obama thinks must be done in Europe: an American-style bailout and fiscal stimulus.

Mr. Obama and Ms. Merkel will meet again Monday at a Group of 20 summit meeting in Mexico, with the stakes for Europe even higher than they were last month. With Greece holding elections on Sunday that could precipitate its exit from the European currency union — the nightmare feared by the financial markets — Mr. Obama may be running out of time to make his case.

And there is no indication Ms. Merkel is any more inclined to heed his advice. In a speech to the German Parliament on Thursday, she said the world should not expect Berlin to be Europe’s savior, rejecting calls to create euro bonds to share the debt burden of the Mediterranean countries.

Boy is she ever stubborn. And she seems determined to bring the entire world economy crashing down. Mitt Romney must love her.

A new study suggests that Gay Men Have Evolutionary Benefit For Their Families.

Henry Hill with Goodfellas star Ray Liotta

Finally, Henry Hill has died. He was the “wise guy” who was the inspiration for Martin Scorcese’s “Goodfellas.” Hill was only 69, and died from health problems related to smoking.

Henry Hill, the infamous mob informant whose life of crime was chronicled in the film classic “GoodFellas,” was the first to admit that he did “a lot of bad things back then.”

“I shot at people. I busted a lot of heads, and I buried a lot of bodies,” he told the London-based Daily Telegraph in 2010. “You can try to justify it by saying they deserved it, that they had it coming, but some just got whacked for absolutely no reason at all.”

….

Henry Hill, the infamous mob informant whose life of crime was chronicled in the film classic “GoodFellas,” was the first to admit that he did “a lot of bad things back then.”

“I shot at people. I busted a lot of heads, and I buried a lot of bodies,” he told the London-based Daily Telegraph in 2010. “You can try to justify it by saying they deserved it, that they had it coming, but some just got whacked for absolutely no reason at all.”

RIP, Henry.

Have a fabulous Saturday, and if you’re reading anything interesting today, please share!