Goodfellas Acting Style


Three actors from Goodfellas that I chose are Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta. In regards to how I would classify these actors, I would classify them all as Realistic actors.

In this film all three actors are to portray actual people that have been in the mob and have done what they do. As said in our text “ this is acting that doesn’t draw attention to itself but instead gives the impression of genuine human action and reaction.” (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014). For something like this it is imperative that the actors make it known that they are not just actors but real mobsters and walk the walk so to speak. While all three actors did a phenomenal job in Goodfellas lets look at De Niro and Pesci. Both have done such a good job playing gangsters that for quite some time they really played those roles exclusively it seems. The main reasons for this is due to them being able to develop such a deep connection with these types of characters.

Not long after beginning courses at P.S. 41 in Greenwhich Village, De Niro proved to be uninterested in school all together and, as a teenager, joined a rather tame Italian street gang that gave him the nickname “Bobby Milk,” in reference to his pale complexion. While De Niro was by all accounts only a very modest troublemaker, the gang provided him with ample experience to skillfully portray Italian mobsters as an actor. (Bio)


Even though Robert De Niro has played many roles as hangsters, he has also played other types of roles later in his career. In movies like Meet The Parents, Silver Linings Playbook and The Grudge Match, he has had a chance to show a different type of acting. Not a different style of acting per say but a different side of him as an actor. Like in Silver Lining Playbook, he played “an obsessive-compulsive Philadelphia Eagles fan trying to reconnect with his bipolar son when he’s not busy making   elaborate playoff bets, has been hailed as a comeback for an actor who long ago entered his profession’s pantheon.” (Brent Lang, 2012)

This role, while still needing to have a realism type acting style, really was able to bring out a different side of him altogether. Even though I do still see that old gangster, I also see that he really does have the ability to be very versatile.


Robert De Niro on Finding ‘Silver Linings’ in Mental Illness – but Not in Football Brent Lang (2012) Retrieved from

Robert De Niro Jr. (2014). Retrieved from The website. from

Silver Linings Playbook- Robert De Niro Lost his bet (2013) Thanh Khiết Trần(Uploader) Retrieved from

Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From Watching to Seeing. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.


Jurassic Park


In Jurassic Park the dialogue expresses a lot. For the most part in movies you will have a lot of your run to the mill conversations. This movie is no exception. It is not until you see things really go haywire, that the dialogue starts to make it’s mark. When you see all of the dinosaurs getting out of their cages and start going after all of the personnel, it brings on a feeling that is a bit uneasy. For us the audience we may gasp when something startles us, and during the film they are doing the same thing. When the children are in the kitchen trying not to get eaten by the Raptors, you can hear in the sisters voice, she is very scared and is trying to help her little brother get to safety. This makes very easy for us to put ourselves in the situation, reenacting how we would speak to each other in the same situation.


For Jurassic Park the sound plays one of the biggest roles in the movie, especially if you watch the movie in the theatre. When the scene with the T-Rex comes and the T-Rex roars you can really feel it. This is when you can appreciate the sound effects of the entire movie the most. With most of the dinosaurs being very scary as it is, being able to feel their presents through sound is something that is very pronounced throughout this film. With these vast types of sounds effects really gives the impression of an Adventure/Si-Fi/Thriller.

                Sound effects, to me, are not just to make the unbelievable believable, or to make sounds that make the movie realistic. They’re really there for the sake of storytelling. And one of the key things I try to keep in mind when doing sound effects work is how can we use sound effects to help tell a story. (Gary Rydstrom, 2009) 


One thing about the music that really does seem odd is that when they arrive at the facility, all of the background music seems to try and make the visitor comfortable and at ease. Which seems to be a bit of curve ball  due to everything that ends up happening during their visit. While all the daring and terrifying things that are happening, there is your usual dark and ominous music playing.


Gary Rydstrom (2009). Retrieved from

Jurassic Park Movie – Soundboard. (2012). Sound Clips, Retrieved from

Knocked Up

While watching the movie I would have to a say that a high-key lighting design was the main use  in the film. This design has very bright light over everything, with few shadows and relatively low contrast between the lightest and darkest parts of the scene. This style of lighting is typical of comedies, happy scenes, institutional and office scenes. The opening scene of the movie everyone is outside in the pool on a bright and sunny California day.  Which with this type of light produced by the sun you might automatically be drawn to high-key lighting. Also, in most shots taken inside the homes, there is a very bright and luminous look to the scene. In the perspective of the movie, the high-key lighting tends to be cheerful, expansive, and energetic, which is why it’s often used for comedy , and brings the mood of the entire movie to the level of the humor.

A constant theme throughout the movie is family, and this type of lighting technique contributes to the overall family theme. With the lighting style representing cheerfulness and energy, it all comes together as probably the best lighting choice for the movie.

For the overall tone of the film, the outside daylight really makes you feel like you are missing out. With almost all of the lighting throughout the movie having this sunshine type light, it makes you want to be there and almost envy the cast for being in such nice and pleasant scenery.  It doesn’t overpower the cast in anyway or make the movie seem too serious.

In some parts of the movie there were serious scenes that where appropriately shot with the correct type of lighting for the mood being set. If for any reason there was a decision made to shoot the entire film in another way, it would have really drained from the overall concept of the movie. If the entire movie was shot in say three-point lighting, there would have been a vibe from what was being seen and being heard.


Jim Stinson, In The Mood, March 2006, Retrieved from

Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film:From Watching To seeing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Vega, O. Week 1 Blog Good Will Hunting


[1. Select a full-length film and identify the title, writer, director, major actors, and the year it was released.]

Title: Good Will Hunting

Writer: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck

Director: Gus Van Sant

Cast: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, Stellan Skarsgard, Minnie Driver

Year: 1997

[2. Summarize the story and plot of your chosen movie.]

Story: Good Will Hunting is a story about a young man with unparalleled intelligence. While his troubled and rough upbringing keeps him loyal to a  tight nit group of friends, after an altercation with someone from his past, he begins to be challenged like never before. On his path to self awareness, he is confronted by people try to help him see his gift for greatness, work through his troubled past and allow himself to be vulnerable.

Plot: The movie begins with Will, played by Matt Damon, doing what he does everyday, spending time with his friends. Will, being the brilliant minded individual that he is, has a job at M.I.T. as a janitor. He on day sees a formula posted outside of Prof. Gerald Lameau’s,played by Stellan Skarsgard, classroom and has the urge to solve it. The next day at work, after everyone has left he quickly does just that.

He is then sought after when Prof. Lambeau figures out it was him that solved the formula. Due, to a recent altercation that Will and his friends had with a grade school bully, Prof. Lambeau got will out of jail in order to work with him. One of the stipulations of his release is that he must see a therapist. The only one that was able to get through to Will was Sean Maguire, played by Robin Williams.

While in his first few meeting with Sean, Will showed no desire to share anything with Sean unti

Sean then works with Will to try and break down the barriers that Will has had up for years and try to get him to understand that life isn’t as black and white as he thinks. The one thing that is standing in the way of Sean doing what he thinks is right by Will is Prof. Lambeau. Prof. Lambeau is pushing for Will to get into the world that he thinks he is ready for, but Sean thinks that if pushed at this point he may react negatively.

In the meantime, with everything that he is going through with Sean and Prof. Lambeau, he meets a girl, Skylar, played by Minnie Driver. She is someone that he meet on a night out with his friends at a local Harvard bar, after sticking up for his friend Chuckie, played my Ben Affleck. She is unlike any other girl he has conversed with, which has him at ends about pursuing her.

As the movie goes on, Will ends up almost right back where he started, with just him and his three best friends. After a talk with Chuckie about what his possible future has in store for him he decides to take a leap and go “see about a girl”, (Matt Damon).

[3. Discuss whether your film is presented chronologically or non-linearly.]

Chronologically: The film is told in a manner so that you see the steps Will had to take in order to find himself. For this particular story I think it works best in chronological order mainly because the story being told has a cut and dry start and finish. The only non-linear part of this movie was the information that came to light about his past. Although the information came at parts that would best represent the situations and the specific part of the movie.

[4. If the film had followed a different presentation style, how would the general effect on the audience have been different?]

If this movie was done completely non-linearly it would have had a completely different feel. The movie itself has a indie feel to it, and I think that a lot of that has to do with the way that the story was told.


Good Will Hunting Official Trailer [Video File]. Retrieved from


Internet Movie Database [General Movie Information]. Retrieved from