…and the quest to see everything

Posts tagged “Ray Liotta

Dominick and Eugene


Dominick and Eugene is quite homoerotic. Italian American brothers Dominick (Tom Hulce) and Eugene (Ray Liotta) invade each other’s private space, an exaggerated motif on the brothers’ co-dependent relationship. These moments come when both are happy, before the movie’s main dilemma arrives.

It’s also unconventionally cast. This is probably typical of most early entries within certain actors’ CV’s, when agents or even the actors themselves didn’t know in what niche they fit. Besides, this came within Liotta and David Strathairn’s careers before Goodfellas and Good Night and Good Luck. Nonetheless, the main players are convincing in their parts in a movie that tests their versatility. Hulce is a sanitation worker whose developmental problems make no one jealous of him. He’s also into pop culture stuff like The Hulk, Charlie’s Angels and Wrestlemania. He pays for the medical school bills for Eugene, a medical student who tries to keep his family together. Jamie Lee Curtis is Jennifer, Gino’s relatively supportive girlfriend type who cooks for both men. The three learn to have a dysfunctional yet tolerable coexistence, Gino’s plans eventually involve a practice in Stanford without having to take care of Nicky. But Strathairn’s character, a long-haired, moustached working class man within the neighbourhood, enters their lives and drives Nicky into a nervous breakdown. Heavy on conflict, it’s respectful about portraying people of special needs and capably incorporates subtext that make this movie an interesting find.


Goodfellas


(Contrition ph. Warner)

Apparently this movie’s about guilt. The best thing I could come up with was that the characters weren’t as annoying as my first impression of them was and that it wasn’t really that feminist and that there’s so much. Food. In this movie.

P.s. Fuck it.

Half of Scorsese movies are a Sisyphean project towards empathy, but he strikes gold in analyzing Henry (Ray Liotta) and Karen Hill (Lorraine Bracco). In a scene, Karen tells Henry that she flushed $50,000 worth of cocaine because of the police presence near their house, he is exasperated by knowing that their lavish lives become hollowed out. They repeat the same rationales for or against throwing out said cocaine for a few lines. At one point, I really thought this scene is gonna end like the last time. If I have to remind you, he hits her, she flails to the floor like a Guy Bourdin model (thus giving me ambiguous feelings about that, Marty), he storms out, the huge argument further fractures the relationship.

Now back to this scene. Instead of another assault, she apologizes, he doesn’t say but implies that she could have been right about making said cocaine disappear. Tour de force character writing/directing/acting come together as he goes into fetal position by instinct. He doesn’t have to think about being vulnerable, it’s surprisingly a part of his nature. She joins him, bellowing another “SORRY!” They become a lump of black and white bodies and as cheesy as it sounds, become one. Her lamentation articulates his the anguish that most Scorsese men can’t verbally produce.

This movie has a lot of flaws, specifically around Karen’s characterization. I can’t still understand how he attracted her. Passivity is under the guise of being observant and pragmatic, materialism under the guise of female desire. But there’s this appreciation or realization that gangsters will always have mistakes because they’re illegitimate by nature. And that the characters seem in a better light under a second view. And the food.