Psychopathic killers and loveable slapstick buffoons. For some reason, God has blessed us with an actor who can be typecast in both of these roles.
Perhaps no other actor in western history has taken the comedy/drama binary to such an extreme. Joe Pesci has the ability to play a brutal, psychopathic villian with such conviction that he earned an Academy Award. With equal conviction, he can also play stumbling buffoons who invite more bodily harm than the 'Ow! My Balls!' guy from Idiocracy.
Does this remind anyone else of the Cracked.com home page?
The best example of this is the 1997 classic Gone Fishin'. Apparently, someone thought it would be a good idea to take an Oscar-winning murderer and the man who bested The Predator and send them on a wacky fishing trip as envisioned by J.J. Abrams (creator of Lost).
Perhaps more entertaining than the movie is this insanely detailed, rambling Wikipedia article devoted to the film: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gone_Fishin%27_(film)
One of the strange, overlooked facets of Joe Pesci's career has been his unique relationship with children onscreen.
Wait, before you rush to judgement, this has nothing to do with child molestation. I would like to quell any rumors that Vincent LaGuardia Gambini was playing 'find-the-positraction' with an alter boy. So relax, the only thing Joe Pesci does with children in his movies is unleash violent, psychotic rage at every possible opportunity.
"I don't want to do this."
I'm sure you all remember the scene where Pesci brutally murders Spider in "Goodfellas". Spider is the young kid who is supposed to remind the audience of Ray Liotta's character back when he was just starting out. However, young Liotta never made the mistake of forgetting to bring a drink to a psychopathic Joe Pesci.
Of course, most of us are forgetting the Home Alone movies. Joe Pesci plays a burglar who tries to break into a seemingly empty house around Christmas. After finding out that the house is actually occupied by a young tike with a knack for building improvised devices of household death, our burglar decides to give up and try to break in to a different house... no, wait, I have that wrong. He tries even harder to break into the house because he's now motivated by revenge and wants to MURDER THE EIGHT-YEAR-OLD.
No jury in the world would convict him.
It's also important to remember that the sequel "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York" is, in a nutshell, about two escaped convicts trying to murder a young boy... in New York! The real question is, why didn't any of this seem horrifying at the time? It must have been the paint can hitting them in the balls.
It's not far off, people.
Of course, all of these trivial murders and attempted murders pale in comparison to this:
That's right. The beloved Joe Pesci just tried to murder a group of orphans with a FUCKING LASER CANNON! When Michael Jackson is the only person who can stop you from trying to hurt children, you know you have a problem.
Joe Pesci and Frank Vincent have one of the most unique relationships in film history. As most devotees of mafia movies are well aware, Joe Pesci's character in Goodfellas brutally murders Billy Bates (played by Vincent) for no good reason (Well, that's a fucking surprise).
However, it starts to get strange when you remember that it was Frank Vincent's character who beats Joe Pesci to death in Casino... *spoiler alert*- oh shit, I just told you didn't I? Well you probably should have seen Casino by now, honestly...
Fascinatingly, before the two were famous for being typecast mafiosos, they toured together as a stand-up comedy duo. However, any simple bromantic bond from a lifelong friendship is nothing when compared to the indelible bond created by killing eachother in two separate movies. Only two other actors in film history have repeated the same feat.
As much as we love to make fun of him, we have to remember that Joe Pesci can be truly terrifying.