Video Picks Archive

February 16, 2000
This Week's Video Picks
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This week my picks are Brokedown Palace (1999 - ) and GoodFellas (1990 - ).

The first film this week stars Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale as two American girls vacationing in Thailand. They meet an attractive young man who frames them for drug smuggling. In the unforgiving Thai penal system, they depend on expatriate American lawyer Bill Pullman to help them get out. Brokedown Palace is a well-made prison film from director Jonathan Kaplan (The Accused). Solid performances from the cast combined with an exotic location help offset some of its more conventional aspects.
Full review from August 13, 1999

Kaplan was a student of Martin Scorsese at NYU film school many years ago, so I thought I should make GoodFellas -- which I recently called the best film of the 1990s -- my second pick. Ray Liotta plays Irish-Italian-American mafioso Henry Hill in this true story about the fall of one of the biggest crime "families" in New York. As with all the best Scorsese films, Robert De Niro has a good role, but it was Joe Pesci that came away with an Oscar for his performance. GoodFellas is filmmaking at its best, by the best filmmaker alive today. However, due to popular sentiment, it lost the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Director to Kevin Costner's Dances With Wolves.

Fun Fact: Just to show that talent runs in the family, the woman who plays Pesci's mother in the film is actually Scorsese's mother. The scene with her and the three guys was mostly improvised, but she comes off beautifully.

For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
Brokedown Palace (1999)
GoodFellas (1990)

Here's some merchandise for sale at
Brokedown Palace (1999) -- VHS
Brokedown Palace (1999) -- DVD
Brokedown Palace: Original Soundtrack -- Compact Disc
GoodFellas (1990) -- VHS
GoodFellas (1990) -- VHS Widescreen
GoodFellas (1990) -- DVD
Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family, by Nicholas Pileggi -- Paperback
GoodFellas: Music From The Motion Picture -- Compact Disc Home
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