There’s no doubt that Collector’s Editions have been in vogue over the past few years, more than ever, and I’ve picked up a few myself along the way. It’s tricky to resist an enhanced, extended version of your favourite films – even in a digital era. There’s something personal about having those films that have graced your life on your shelf as a 4K UHD or Blu-ray, and now Warner Bros and Universal have stepped up their game – with this deeply impressive The Film Vault series.
“As far back as I can remember. I always wanted to be a gangster.” – Henry Hill
This specific Premium Range celebrates the greatest stories in cinema, and as well as Martin Scorsese’s iconic Goodfellas – which I’ll be reviewing shortly – the Warner Bros. Discovery and Universal Pictures back catalogues also currently offers up Blade Runner, Scarface and 1917, with more top titles to come! But these aren’t only standard 4K UHD versions of the film as each set comes with freshly-commissioned artwork based on key moments in each film designed by Vice Press, consisting of Critical Popcorn favourite Matt Ferguson alongside the talented Florey.
To keep that ‘unique’ vibe, each release is numbered (Goodfellas is 002) and, as you’ll see, they come in a really cool rigid clamshell outer case with a strong magnetic clasp, surrounded by a strong slipcase – which is printed with the film title and the usual setup on the back. That being said, slip it off and you get to see the full art design and unlike other Collector’s Editions, and it’s a sturdy beast, with top condition content, this isn’t your typical upgrade.
“I need this knife Ma’. I’m gonna take this, is that okay?” – Tommy DeVito
Open the box, and see my pics for Goodfellas all around, because it’s like opening a striking hard-back book with a host of surprises. Not only top quality in first impressions, it comes with a digipak that houses a 4K UHD and Blu-ray and in this design, character pics of Robert DeNiro, Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci, all represented in glossy photographs from the movie on the discs.
The other thing I liked is significant quotes from the film, these are dotted across the casing and within the extras. There’s a large, tough and branded envelope that holds a selection of art cards/from scenes, with more quotes, plus a fold-out A3 mini-poster from the movie – and Goodfellas is of course a classic one.
Looking deeper, the boxset contains a well-weighted, individually etched and numbered crystal-like display plaque. On this, you’ve got the film title in the font and style originally made, plus a little associated motif, which adds a nice unique touch to proceedings. The Film Vault collection genuinely bothers to make a stylish version of something you might well love sat in your movie collection, and for me that’s what makes it a little different.
So, and I don’t really need to delve into Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas itself because you know it’s worth it, not forgetting era-defining performances from the likes of De Niro, Liotta and Pesci of course. Although, you are getting the Special Features, which here adds in two commentaries from the cast and crew, three featurettes (Getting Made, Made Men: The Goodfellas Legacy, The Workaday) plus a rather insightful Storyboard-to-screen Comparison, which when you’re admiring the legend of Scorsese, is worth taking in.
Take note that although this isn’t a restored version, it’s still a high quality transfer and if you’re any kind of fan, this is an inventive, stylish addition for your collection!