I was watching 'Goodfellas' last night for the first time, and I suspect that taken in context of it's time it was potentially groundbreaking, but when watched nowadays without that there are some good camera shots, a few memorable scenes and whole first hour of nothingness. No plot or story, just a hugggggeeeeee voiceover narrative that fills in a back story.
But my issue with the genre is precisely with what that narrative focused on; a bunch of gangsters who hold their town to extortion and violence, but are equally nice to you IF you pay up and supposedly have a code of conduct. Sure, they kill the odd person and cheat on their wives and have no sense of the law or anyone elses' feelings, but hey... we overlook that because they're cheeky little chappies! Obviously it all goes great to start with, then one or another double crosses the other and it all ends with a senseless killing or revenge execution.
I actually liked the last hour of 'Goodfellas' the most when it diverted away from this tired formula, and I suspect my view on the genre is negated by the fact I've never watched 'The Godfather' trilogy, but isn't EVERY gangster film pretty much this one dimensional?
I just don't get why the genre is so lauded? It turns arseholes and power-hungry maniacs into heroes, glorifies violence, has cliched national stereotypes and seems more like an excuse to show some nice 1950's chrome diners and fire a tommy gun for a bit than push the boundaries of cinema?
This is where you all tell me I'm being a dick, isn't it?