GoodFellas Ultra HD Blu-ray review

For as long as I can remember I always wanted to be a 4K gangster...

Martin Scorsese's GoodFellas is one of the director's premium creations – a frenetic, slickly-edited immersion into the life of small-time mobster Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), spanning his childhood in the 1950s up to his disappearance into the FBI's Witness Protection Programme in the 1980s. Along the way, he teams up with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci's gangsters, marries Karen (Lorraine Bracco) and learns how to smuggle pastrami into prison.

A dizzying tapestry of freeze-frames, voiceover, Rolling Stones tunes and sharp bursts of violence, GoodFellas was a great way for film fans to start the 1990s.

Picture: Scorsese's classic gets a UHD BD release by Warner, having previously been available in 4K via the Vudu service in the US.

When it comes to detail, this 4K/35mm scan doesn't offer that much of a step up over the previous 25th Anniversary Blu-ray, which was itself derived from the same 4K scan. The image is crisp with obvious fine detail evident throughout, but doesn't reach the eyeball-searing levels of clarity that some will have hoped for. At the same time, it retains a pleasing grain structure and celluloid feel.

As regards HDR and colour saturation, this is a subtle makeover, for which perhaps we should be grateful. There's a gentle boost to primary hues compared to the Full HD Blu-ray (such as the lurid yellow golf sweaters that Henry Hill hawks), but nothing as drastic as an obvious regrade. And peak HDR highlights aren't the order of the day here either. In fact the image feels dark generally, but has some odd brightness fluctuations, such as in the Bamboo Lounge sequence in Chapter 9.
Picture rating: 3.5/5

Audio: The disc's DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundmix is as fine as ever – front-heavy, but clean and atmospheric, with strong fidelity when the soundtrack starts pumping.
Audio rating: 4/5

Extras: All extras are housed on the 1080p disc, and this is where this release becomes a little curious, as some that featured on the 25th Anniversary Blu-ray (such as the Public Enemies... doc) are not included – what's here are the two commentaries and featurettes of the 2007 Blu-ray. A comparison between 1080p platters reveals that the one bundled here is from 2007, meaning it's not the encode based on the 4K scan. Disappointing.
Extras rating: 3/5

We say: Classic Scorsese on a not-so-classic 4K release, which cuts corners with its second disc.

GoodFellas, Warner Bros., Ultra HD Blu-ray & All-region BD, £30