I was roaming about in a local Target yesterday when I wandered into the electronics section. Looking at the DVDs, I saw "4 Film Favorites: Martin Scorsese Collection" on sale for $7.99. Four movies - "Mean Streets," "Goodfellas," "The Aviator," and "The Departed" - from a world class director for a mere $7.99. That's less than two bucks for each title. I bought it, but only for "Goodfellas" which is my favorite Scorsese film and one of my favorite films period. It was only later that I looked up this set at Amazon. I was shocked to see so many one and two star reviews.
Were these discs manufactured from inferior prints?
Were all four movies crammed onto one disc?
What could be the problem?
The problem, according to these customers, is that "Goodfellas" is truncated. When it first appeared on DVD, the nearly three hour film was divided into two parts, with one part on side one and the remainder of the film on side two. When putting together this set, the manufacturer apparently was unaware of that and only side one made it onto the disc.
Only after reading these reviews did I unseal the package and open the container to see what was inside. There were four discs, one for each film. However, "Goodfellas" was labeled "Disc One." Uh-oh. Where was "Disc Two"? Since "Disc One" had poster art reproduced on one side, I concluded that this wasn't a double-sided disc. I have never had a double-sided disc that had artwork on the label. I was disappointed. I felt like I had been ripped-off. I only bought this set for "Goodfellas" and I wasn't going to get the complete movie. "Heck," said I (well, I actually muttered another word, a euphemism for excrement, but I won't type that here).
There was only one thing left to do: insert "Disc One" of "Goodfellas" into my Bluray player and fast forward through each chapter to see if the movie abruptly ended, as that two-sided disc did, shortly after the murder of Billy Batts. Hmm. Clicking the "display" option on the remote, I discovered there were 47 chapters which seemed about right for a nearly three-hour movie. The display also said the film's running time was 146 minutes, the same running time provided at the Internet Movie Database. As I sped through each chapter I glimpsed many familiar scenes and when I reached the end, there was Ray Liotta getting his newspaper from the steps of his modest new digs, and addressing the viewer, telling us how his new life does not compare with life in the mob. Then Joe Pesci briefly appeared to blast away at the screen before it faded to black and Johnny Rotten (or whoever that is) sings "My Way" over the closing credits.
Unless someone received a defective edition of this set, the complaints are unwarranted. "Goodfellas" is here in its entirety and all on one disc. Unless you already have these movies, this set is a steal for the price and well worth owning.