|Gangs of New York (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
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A man seeks to avenge the murder of his father. Set in nyc just before the civil war hes caught in the middle of the equally powerful & corrupt politician machines of manhattan. Studio: Buena Vista Home Video Release Date: 06/06/2006 Starring: Cameron Diaz Leonardo Dicaprio Run time: 167 minutes Rating: R Director: Martin Scorsese
Gangs of New York may achieve greatness with the passage of time. Mixed reviews were inevitable for a production this grand (and this troubled behind the scenes), but it's as distinguished as any of director Martin Scorsese's more celebrated New York stories. From its astonishing 1846 prologue to the city's infernal draft riots of 1863, the film aspires to erase the decorum of textbooks and chronicle 19th-century New York as a cauldron of street warfare. The hostility is embodied in a tale of primal vengeance between Irish American son Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his father's ruthless killer and "Nativist" gang leader Bill "the Butcher" Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis, brutally inspired), so named for his lethal talent with knives. Vallon's vengeance is only marginally compelling; DiCaprio is arguably miscast, and Cameron Diaz (as Vallon's pickpocket lover) is adrift in a film with little use for women. Despite these weaknesses, Scorsese's mastery blossoms in his expert melding of personal and political trajectories; this is American history written in blood, unflinching, authentic, and utterly spectacular. --Jeff Shannon
- Daniel Day-Lewis makes this movie as good as it is
I am not a Decaprio fan by any means but he was a step above bearable in this movie. It was Daniel Day-Lewis that made this movie. Outstanding acting. Lewis's character could have really become 2 dimensional by making him a 2 dimensional jingoistic racist, which would have really killed the movie. But even though he really was a jigoistic racist, you were really drawn to him in an empathetic way.
This movie is very violent and quite gory. There also seems to be no moral framework in any area of life - casual sex, corrupt cops, firemen that fight while a burning building is looted, public hangings for entertainment, etc, etc. None of it really would have really made sense if I did not put it in the proper context of the era.
The storyline was nicely packaged - leader 1 kills leader 2 ; leader 2's son grows up and comes back to kill leader 1 in the final scene. 3 hours was probably a bit long but you know over all it was a good movie. Daniel Day-Lewis's acting was so compelling that I could have watched him all day.
- Daniel Day-Lewis: Spectacular Performance
Daniel Day-Lewis elevates this film from just "pretty good" to "very good." He is absolutely riveting, one of the most interesting "villains" I have ever seen on film. I am sorryhe didn't win the Academy Award for his performance. His facial expressions alone cracked me up!
Day-Lewis played "Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting" he is one nasty dude. However, there are no real "good guys" in this story. The supposed hero, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is a revenge-seeking man with a ton of flaws himself. The rest of the characters are either thieves, gang members, corrupt politicians or corrupt policeman. Ah yes, another family-oriented film from that kindly director Martin Scorcese.
What Scorcese lacks in family values, he comes close to making up for in style. This is another fascinating visual film with great sets, costumes, color and camera-work. Other typical Scorcese touches are in here: Catholic-bashing and brutal language. (I question whether the f-word was used back in the days this film takes place.)
All in all, a tough film that could be too unpleasant to watch but for Lewis' outstanding performance and the spectacular visuals...more info
- Powerful script, delirious cinematography!
Scorsese made an admirable picture about factions in New York in the XIX Century. Once more it? s good to remark, this picture is far to be a simple apology about the violence. On the contrary, it's a striking allegation around the fact, the violence is a basic component of the human behavior. And under certain circumstances (emotional, affective or ideological) ignites by itself. So from this perspective you will watch a crude portrait, a potent allegory, a brutal story, an intense description of the human nature in its more absolute nakedness.
The eye camera scrutinizes all the dark corners of this demolishing story, emphasizing the inner motivations that induce to that vehement explosion of outrage.
Perhaps the final sequences exceed excessively exaggerate, due the previous sequences have been enough violent by themselves and consequently the expected climax does not work out, since it maybe seen simply as an programmatic appendix of the storytelling.
Daniel Day Lewis, once more shows us why he is one of the finest actors of his generation. Cameron Diaz and Di Caprio have never been better. The portentous cinematography is really mesmerizing.
This is an emblematic film, because it reflects another historical perspective, so many times discussed but scarcely taken to screen. Bold and controversial, as the most of films of this talented director.
- Gangs of New York Two-Disc
Having seen the movie before, I bought this to update my library. My copy does not have the collectors' edition banner on it.
The extras on the movie are great, and I'm sad to see that Amazon seems to no longer post what they are! The special features usually determine which edition of a film I will buy, so this information is very much missed!
That said, here's how the back cover of mine reads:
*Costume Design featurette
*Set Design featurette
*History of the Five Points
*Exploring the Sets...With Multiple Angles Utilizing 360 Degree Shots of the Set
*U2 Music Video
*Discovery Channel Special: Uncovering the Real Gangs of New York
*The Five Points Study Guide
*Feature Commentary with Martin Scorsese
*French Language track
And, of course, it does offer English subtitles. The historical extras are excellent and informative, but the study guide was a little baffling: it's presented in text with no voiceover, and the font was so small I couldn't read it easily about six feet from my 32" tv. As far as documenting the film itself, the specials and trailers doa good job of preserving the movie's history.
The fly in the ointment:
Like the Titanic 3-disc, Gangs cuts halfway through for you to insert the second disc, during the sex scene. Why you wouldn't put the movie on one disc and the extras on another is beyond me, but to cut it there? There are many complaints concerning this also posted on imdb, and no one seems to know why this decision was made. We may have progressed to the age of dvd and blu-ray, but we're still stuck getting up to change the tape....more info
- Only for Lewis
Daniel-Day Lewis is riveting here, but the love story is terrible, and Diaz is especially bad. Leo is miscast -- he rarely works in period movies -- and Scorcese's vision of a nasty, messy New York is entertaining, if mildly depressing. But you watch this film pretty much for Lewis' magnetic performance....more info
- I Think This Film Was Great
Long as it was, it ended too soon for me. Some call this its famous director's flop, but I disagree. This tale of revenge, corruption, and of immigrants vying for a place in the landscape of American society balances fantasy and history and with its authenticity regarding period attitudes on race, ethnicity and status it is among the more courageous motion pictures made in a long time. As far as storytelling for the sake of storytelling goes, Gangs of New York gives three hours of great characters, intricate mid-nineteenth-century scenery, and a plot that never drags. Violent, mesmerizing, gritty, it is among Scorsese's top films, and Daniel Day Lewis deserved an Oscar for making Bill the Butcher the best cinematic villain so far in this decade....more info
- Excellent movie---a very REAL slice of New York history
I do not mean to offend Mr. Vincent and his review. However, does he not understand that this movie is a FACTUAL movie. This is not a movie with "a trite boring plot" with the same old revenge stuff we always see about New York. This was the REAL New York. How do I know this? I am Irish for one thing. I am VERY proud to be Irish for another thing. I researched and found amazing details about these two gangs and how they were basically the first gangs in America. The Dead Rabbits was an actual true to life gang. There is an Irish tribute band for the Pogues called "The Dead Rabbits". I also found a terrific image that I have saved that says "The Dead Rabbits" on it, with a square in green around it and a couple of shamrocks around it. I am having it put on a T shirt for myself. Interesting, because I am a 42 year old woman who will soon be teaching. As I said before I am proud to be Irish. Watch it again, this time wrap your mind around the real "reality" of it, then come back and lets see what your review is this time. By the way I do agree with most everyone about Cameron Diaz. I usually just forget she is even in the movie until someone brings it up....more info
- Great Movie, Bad Transfer
For those unfamiliar with the movie, it's a film about gangs in New York during the civil war fighting for control over the Five Points. This review is more of a review for the Blu-Ray, not the movie itself. I'd say based on the movie alone, it's a good 5 star for those interested in some dark history of New York.
For the transfer of this film, it's horrible. The noise is filtered in some scenes enough to make the film seen 'dirty' or blurred. The blacks seem to bleed a bit in dark scenes and for those with LCD screens, expect to notice some motion blur during these scenes. I never notice motion blur on my Samsung, but this movie (and Donnie Darko) are blur in any scene with shadows. I really think this is due to all of the horrible noise filters. At time's, the Butcher's hate (a green color) has movement issues towards the end. You can see details moving around that just doesn't look right. This really only applies to the video quality, as the uncompressed PCM audio is very nice (a little low in areas though).
Overall, anyone looking for this film should probably wait to see if it is going to be re-released. I think current owners should get a free upgrade to a better quality if that's ever released (which I doubt it will happen)....more info
- "Part 2 On Disc 2" Seriously ??
With all due respect to the movie(The only reason I can't go below 3 stars), the movie AND special features being split evenly between two discs was a disapointment. ONe would think that when purchasing a 2-disc special edition of a movie, that disc one would contain the feature film, and perhaps any commentaries, and disc 2 would contain all of the special features. One would think. As a result, swapping out disc one and disc two is necessary to watch the movie in its entirety.
I love the film, and give it 5 stars, and the special features are sufficient, but feel like I made the wrong purchase since the film is not contained on one dvd....more info
- Part of a great New York Oeuvre
Love the opening scene: the eerie martial drum beat, the old world pipes, marching through the typical post-apocalyptic, "Thunderdome" setting, kicking open the door onto a glaringly bleak 19th-Century America. (It boggles my mind when I consider what else was going on in the world (and what was to come!)).
For his portrayal of Bill Cutting, Daniel Day-Lewis wins a place in the Pantheon. This is one of the great performances in all of cinema. "The Butcher" is terrifying, hateful, barbaric, and still, human and understandable. The character is so very strange, it strikes me as taking strength to portray him with such overwhelming brute force. The character is a Shakespearian or Nietzschean monster. A tour-de-force performance.
Liam Neeson is as powerful as he has ever been for the brief time he appears. It's high praise to say that when they're on together, he shares the stage with Lewis, as a presence.
When I read the book, I had difficulty picturing some of the images: the styles of the gang members, for example, the under-tree bar, the interior of the brewery. So it was cool to see these things well done. While you can't help noticing that medium and large-scale backdrops are mattes, this movie most definitely gives you a sense of the grittiness and strangeness of the time.
The book contains many stories, only some of them related: reportage, history. It's annoyingly sensationalist--especially with regard to issues of race. The story they use in the movie is strong--a young man comes back to revenge the death of his father. It has suspense. Maybe it's a parable or an encapsulation of its era. Maybe it's a parallel of our own.
I wondered if it might be a weakness that the personal and inter-gang dramas do little more than coincide with the Draft Riots of 1863. I decided that the stories are interdependent to varying degrees. Some issues of that time are unresolved to this day; interested parties may have switched guises several times since then, but present day counterparts of most wouldn't be hard to spot. So we deal with some attitudes and trends currently "in the ascent". I thought of the climactic scene as a bit flaccid. Considered in this light, though, that bit seems right.
I'm no expert, but I take issue with some of the accents. While I respect their work--they are both often creditable--Leonardo DiCaprio's accent seems off to me, and so does Cameron Diaz's. I used to think of dialog in movies from the 1920s and 30s as stiff, staged--"acted". But recently I read some stories by Steven Crane that have me reconsidering. In "Maggie: A Girl of the Streets", for example, characters speak in the quick staccato well-known from the old movies. Just about every sentence of dialog ends with, "see?" The characters in the stories are supposed to have grown up in the slums of New York--Crane moved to the Bowery in 1892 so he should have had a pretty good sense of how people spoke. So I imagine the characters in the movie speaking a little more like James Cagney or the kids from "Our Gang". (Were there linguists on the set?) Part of what's lacking is authenticity maybe, but also just assurance. I can't verify the accents of other leads, like Lewis and Neeson, but they win me over.
I can't get over how, early on, especially in the scene where he and his childhood acquaintance, Paddy M. Exposition, meander along the quay, Leonardo DiCaprio's character resembles V. I. Lenin.
In his narration, the Amsterdam character describes his times as "fierce". They certainly come off that way. When I watch this I find myself spinning a few cobwebs over how rare peace, relative comfort, and time for family and reflection are, historically, geographically, socially...
Martin Scorsese has accomplished a pretty strong New York "oeuvre". He's holding up a great city, looking at it from all sorts of angles, exposing its wretchedness and its grandeur in many different styles. He's doing credit to something great. I'm anxious to re-watch "The Age of Innocence".
Oh. The final shot is from the grave of Bill Cutting, looking across a body of water at Manhattan. Anybody know why Bill Cutting might have been buried somewhere other than Manhattan, other than just for the shot? (A helpful person answers this question in the comments.)...more info
- Way better on Blu-Ray
If you've only seen this movie on regular DVD you should see it on Blu-Ray. There is so much more detail it is like a different movie. Way better....more info
- Not Historically accurate.
While the story is good, the content represents decades of New York history spanning a longer period then noted on the screen. Some events did not occur at the same time or during the same era as presented....more info
- Scorsese falls on his face
Scorsese is great when he sticks to historical realism, but this absurd fantasy looks like a cross between the Keystone Cops and Monty Python, with lots of Sam Peckinpah blood thrown in. It's not funny, it's not dramatic, it's not believable, it's not clever, it's not exciting, but it is totally ludicrous. However, it takes itself so seriously that you can't even laugh at it.
Leonardo DiCrappio gives another crappy performance. He really is a one-note actor, and his attempt at an Irish accent is pathetic.
I'm a fan of Scorsese, but I turned off this turd after 30 minutes.
Those people who think this is a great film can keep the Jim Jones Kool-Ade to themselves; I'm not drinking it....more info
- Not the best work for scorsese
I was disappointed and confused with the plot. No direction, or real story line. Just to gangs who want to rule New York. Wopty Do. ...more info
- one of my favorites
This was one of my all time favorite movies. Definately in the top 10. However, I thought it was a bit long. The length of the movie took away some of the suspense. I thought the movie was similar to a modern day gangster movie. "friends close and enemies closer" Thought it was good. ...more info
- The star of this film is the violence of an era!
This historical film provides an glimpse into the violence and criminality of the late 1800's. The plot is the revenge of the killing of Amsterdam's (di Caprio) father by The Butcher (Daniel Day Lewis) the reigning gang leader of the section of New York known as Five Points. This is set against the backdrop of the civil war, corruption in politics and prejudice against immigrants to the US.
While the stars do their usual good job with a wonderful supporting cast, the true star of the film is the violence of the era. This leaves us with little to like about the film as the characters are manifestations of a culture of violence and predation. The usual themes of love, betrayal and vengeance are not enough to engage us after multiple scenes of callous violence. The lack of emotional and spiritual depth leaves a feeling of dullness and lack of resolution at the end of the film.
This film is mildly interesting visually but I felt more could have been done in this arena as well. Also, there problems with pacing--it drags at points. A flawed film and not up to the usual Scorcese standard....more info
- Bill the Butcher - Patriot of the Future?
I think Daniel Day Lewis made this whole picture. Goldenboy Leonardo and Shameron Diaz bogged it down.
I love the whole idea of the movie. I read a book by Luc Sante entitled, These Were The Good Old Days, which chronicled the maggots which infested New York's rotten apple in the early 1900s.
It would be interesting if Scorsese showed the life of a typical family living under such horrible conditions.
I love Butcher Bill's centennial eyeball. The pseudo-patriots of today would give him a wink....more info
- An awful transfer of a great movie
The movie is a great, but we're talking about the Blu-Ray version of it. This is the worst Blu-Ray transfer I have yet seen. I already had the original DVD version, and expected a 1080p top quality transfer for the Blu-Ray, which this is not. I went back and watched some of the DVD version on an upscaling player, and it was indistinguishable from the Blu-Ray; both were well below the usual quality of a Blu-Ray. This may sadly indicate a growing trend, where an existing DVD transfer is run through an upscaler and put out on Blu-Ray, with the lie that it is a 1080p transfer. Judging from the many favorable reviews on this forum, many buyers' eyes or video system cannot tell the difference. I guess that is what the scoundrels who put out this Blu-Ray were banking on. I've just learned to be more careful about buying a Blu-Ray of something I already have on DVD. ...more info
- Almost complete junk
Daniel Day Lewis should run away with this film, but even he is not fast enough. He remains an absolute master of his craft, and almost surmounts the dreadful script and supporting cast. The settings truly evoke old New York in the Civil War era, but that's where it ends. WHY did they waste Liam Neeson on a role that's over before the credits begin? As for Di Caprio and Diaz...one can only ask Why?...more info
- Long and drawn out
the only redeeming value of this movie was Day-Lewis with his usual excellent work. The story is long and drawn out. None of the characters are likeable ( relate to ). OK, great cinemetography. I'd like the price of the disc back and 2:45 hrs. of my life....more info
- The Gangs of New York
I really loved this movie. The background notes especially well the type of problems our country went through during the 1860s. Daniel Day Lewis & the rest of the cast were just so true to life that I was in awe. One of my favorite movies of all time. I recommend this to all who are interested in the history of New York. Martin Scorsese really brought this to life. ...more info
- Probably the best movie EVER! Tremedous in every way.
The movie is GREAT, the way it was shot, the camera work, the exceptional action, the story-lines, everything! The masterful story developing when it goes through waves to culmination is mesmerizing.
I can't speak about this work otherwise as in superlative terms and it is why it had 10 academy nominations.
The story is incredibly deep, the dialogs are unbelievably smart and trough to life. In every shot, angle, camera movement, music there is so much of cool, artistic interpretation and sophistication. My humble description can even remotely capture the splendor of this work.
- Bad and dishonest history
This film is bad history. It misrepresents the situation in the five points in almost every way. It presents a bad history of the draft riots and worst of all it misreprents race relations of the period in ways that simply offensive.
What the director wants to do is make a dreamworld story of the salt-of-the-earth Irish rising against their "nativist" oppressors to bring about a new golden age in the streets of new york.
The problem for the director of course is the fact that his centerpiece for the film, the civil war draft riots, involves his heroic gangs going a racial rampage which involved acts of unbeleivable viciousness. The director tries his best to ignore such events. While he has no problem with violence in other parts of the film, the racial violence of the draft riots is something that he is shy about and repeatedly quick cuts away from. And his heroic Irish gangs of the five points just happen by coincidence to have been occupied fighting the nativists.
To make the hands of the noble Irish gangs even cleaner, the director makes their gang and even their church tolerant and integrated. If anything racial is to be said, the director makes sure Daniel-Day Lewis or one of his evil minions says the words.
And then there are the Chinese. The director totally misrepresents the tiny Chinese community of the era. While there were Chinese communities in the US in the era, they were not in New York. The chinese population at the time of the film was tiny and not mixed into the five points.
The nature of the five points itself is completely misrepresented. There was never anyone like Butcher Bill running the neighborhood. The bowery boys, the closest model to what is shown in the film, were as their name suggests located in the Bowery, not five points.
The other thing absolutely wrong in the film is how the police are shown (or not shown). The police of the era were a gang as much as any gang and they very much protected their own. If one of the police had been slaughtered and hung up as shown the film, they would have come down hard on everyone involved rather than (as in the film) ignoring it.
The point of the film could have been the continuity of gang violence in the five points and the continuity in terms of "gangs" cynically claiming to be for their people and against anyone different from them. It might have also been about the pointlessness of revenge. The director might have used the draft riots in particular to show how quickly "victim" becomes the new oppressor.
And if you really wanted an honest film, the film would have shown a five points with a mixed african-american and Irish population up to the draft riots at which point the Irish population turned on the african-american population with incredible violence.
On the positive side, in terms of sets and getting the look of the historical setting correct, the film is excellent. Daniel-Day Lewis also gives what I would consider his finest performance in the film and acts Leonardo DiCaprio off the screen. Cameron Diaz is miscast, in over her head in terms of acting and very forgettable.
- Movie: 3.75/5 Picture Quality: 1/5 Sound Quality: 4/5 Extras: 2.75/5
Version: U.S.A / Region Free
Running time: 2:46:35
Movie size: 41,75 GB
Disc size: 48,30 GB
Average video bit rate: 22.67 Mbps
LPCM Audio English 6912 kbps 5.1 / 48kHz / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48kHz
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48kHz
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48kHz
Subtitles: English SDH / French / Swedish / Norwegian / Danish / Finnish / Icelandic
#History of the Five Points (SD, 14 min.)
#Set Design (SD, 9 min.)
#Exploring the Sets of Gangs of New York (SD, 23 min.)
#Costume Design (SD, 8 min.)
#Discovery Channel Special: Uncovering the Real Gangs of New York (SD, 35 min.)
#U2 Music Video: The Hands That Built America (SD, 5 min.)
#Trailers (SD, 5 min.)
- Short of spectacular, but there's always 'The Butcher' to make it all better...
`Gangs of New York' is definitely not a great movie, but it's not as bad as some have labeled it either. It's certainly long enough, although with a film of this epic grandeur it probably could have used some more battle time. The weakness in this film falls in the hands of lead actor Leonardo DiCaprio who fails miserably to command his role. He lets Daniel Day-Lewis run away with the entire show, and run he does. As Bill `The Butcher' Cutting, Day-Lewis is at his most charismatic and impressive, chewing up every ounce of scenery at his disposal, and at an almost three-hour running rate he has quite a bit of time at hand.
The film takes place in 1863 and revolves around Amsterdam Vallon (DiCaprio) as he strives to avenge his father's death at the hands of Bill Cutting. Leo never quite develops his character fully and leaves the viewer a bit tired of seeing him. The plot drags out a bit too much and I found myself growing bored unless I was watching Day-Lewis chew, chew and chew some more. Cameron Diaz does well but the film has little use for her and it shows except for one scene involving a knife throwing scene with Daniel where their chemistry is bright and she makes good for herself.
This isn't, as I mentioned, a great movie but it's a decent one that has its share of good moments, most of which include the aforementioned Daniel Day-Lewis. This film also sports a rich cast of supporting players like John C. Reilly (just love him) and Jim Broadbent and of course is rich and beautifully shot by none other than acclaimed director Martin Scorsese who proves once again why he's so well loved. It's not a movie you'll hate, but you may end up scratching your head as to how it received 10 Oscar nominations, most shocking being that Best Picture nod that could have gone elsewhere....more info
- Endlessly fascinating but...
Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York is an endlessly fascinating film about the primal period of Manhattan when it was truly the melting pot, or should I say, burning pot? It is an extremely violent film, but I was in awe of the film's pacing and set pieces. The world Scorsese had created is certainly a dark one, but it is so realistic. The story, however, is not as tightly structured as the film editing. There is so much going on that I became absorbed by the film itself rather than the story. The story is so simple that I had no choice but to forget about it, take the ride and see what happens at the end: A boy's revenge for the death of his father. Ok, simple enough. Now, onto the history lesson.
Although I marvel at Scorsese's mastery of filmmaking, I cannot help but think that some of his energy are misguided. I can understand that he wants to make a very realistic picture of Manhattan Lower East Side during the Draft Riot, but why glorify the violence? Why glorify racism? Yeah, we all live in a tough world. Sure, this movie is not about sugarcoating America's dark past. But why did Scorsese have to write scenes in certain ways that glorify hatred? For example, when "The Butcher" was making a speech at the Chinese theater while the Chinese orchestra was playing, he suddenly said, "enough with this music, now it's time for some real American music!" Then the Chinese orchestra was violently pushed away and the good old American patriotic music began playing. All the men began to listen to Cutting's speech and this lone Chinese guy in the crowd was singled out and pulled away. It is a very tough scene, very manly, very brutal, very masculine and very racist in a tough guy way. It is as if Scorsese had associated toughness with racism. Now that's glorification!
Do you see what I mean about this? It is as if Scorsese had completely forgotten about making a commentary and became overwhelmed by the power of violence, hatred and male ego. It seems like Scorsese cannot get out of this mindset. I was a little disturbed by this and I even hoped that another ethnic group would be treated as such (I really did not want to go there). And even when other ethnic groups were in fact treated unfairly, I felt sympathy for these groups. When the black comrade of Vallon was ganged up near the end of the movie, I felt a serious injustice. However, in the Chinese scene, I felt as if these Chinese people weren't tough enough to be among these tough men. Why is that? I certainly would agree that this is a very realistic image. But why not allow the movie audience to sympathize with this Chinese orchestra? Why not let us feel as if they were treated unfairly?
I don't know, maybe I am a little too sensitive. Gangs of New York is a good movie, but certainly a little misguided. Scorsese should had given us something to think about, not to cheer on the brutality of white male ego. Yeah, it is cool and tough, but not when this sort of movie is created by such an influential filmmaker. It is unfortunate I sat through this movie hoping that an all ethnic group would be beaten by these gangs. And I guess it is ok if these white gangs were clobbering this ethnic group as long as other ethnic groups were clobbered in the same manner? Now that's a big relief! Whew!
Hatred is a vicious cycle...But beyond all of this, I have to admit, it is a hypnotic movie. I will have to see it again. Perhaps this movie is way ahead of its time. After all, most of Scorsese's movies are ahead of their time.
- gangs of new york
brilliant. For the history alone, this is a fantastic disc. sharp pic and sound and beautifully shot. highly recommended. ...more info
- Absolutely awful, but totally riveting, nonetheless!
This film/movie is absolutely awful, dreadfully violent, pretty disgusting, and likely to be nightmare-inducing, but it is totally riveting, nonetheless - I give it five stars, but I don't recommend watching it and won't do so myself again!...more info
- What will the jungle ever bring?
Strangely enough this film about New York at the time of the Civil War is more about the end of the hellish gate to some kind of lawless and wild wild west it is living through than its real depiction. New York was the immigrating harbour and as such had an enormous and constantly changing population. The turn-over as they say today was extremely rapid. It was also a very cosmopilitan city that accepted all nationalities but also all races. But the political and security organizations and institutions were far from up to what it should have been. In other words, and corruption demultiplied this phenomenon, gangs were everywhere and particularly the good old gang of native Americans, meaning the Americans who had been born in American, in the US, against all the others, the immigrants, the foreigners who come and eat your bread out of your mouth as is well known. Constant fight, constant strife, constant rivalry and daily casualties in a constant violence of every single second, day and night. Killing, hanging, lynching, stabbing, shooting, and so many other variants of these were everyday entertainment and distraction. The film focuses on the Irish as the main opponents of the native American gang. I find the film a little bit complacent as for the picturing and illustrating of this violence, and that pushes other issues a little bit in the background, for instance the rich bourgeoisie of fifth avenue, the merchants and the industrialists. The working class in the sweatshops are not shown either. This is slightly regrettable, because we do not understand then why politicians feel obliged to have some kind of alliance with one gang or the other. They have to choose such an alliance as opposed to the possibility for the working class poor to come together and join forces with the various minorities and fight for their own candidates in the elections. The Civil War provides the best surrounding environment for such a film too because of the anti-draft movement that develops in New York around 1863-64. This anti-draft movement could be the element that might make all the segments of the poor coalesce in one invincible majority. Scorsese shows very well, through the gangs and through the two leaders of native Americans and the Irish, how a possible alliance could have come out of this situation, but the gang war going on prevents basic interests to prevail in the name of jingoistic community interests. Scorsese seems to be wishing for us to believe that gang violence has always been the way for the establishment in New York to sail through all tempests, storms and other social hurricanes. It is a very pessimistic film that opens no perspective whatsoever. Then what about the acting of the various actors ? It is essentially Leornardo Di Caprio that I observed, following his iron hard and steel cold eyes in the film. He is so static most of the time, and when he is not , when he is moving he seems to be sliding slowly across the room, the street or the screen without any body language. Even his face seems to be expressionless except for his eyes. He looks like an actor who has risen or been raised in an environment of violence that has left some kind of shock in him, the shock that makes him step back, melt in the wall tapestry and keep out of trouble all the time. Will he ever learn how to use his body to express feelings, action, speed, and so many elements that have to be made visible on the screen because they cannot be described with words ? He has a real problem now his adolescent looks and naivety and charm have gone and he is obliged to move a body and move in it that has become slightly too heavy for him. Having seen what he did in The Departed, I believe he can learn, but he definitely still has a lot to improve. Good luck on the way to San Francisco.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University of Paris Dauphine & University of Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne
- turkey of new york
Saw this film on TV. Didn't care much for it.
Acting average. Costuming and scenery superb. Fight scenes splend especially the final one with Union Soldiers marching in to put down the draft riots.
Otherwise, this film was nothing but thugs wielding knives and naked whores. None of the characters were likable or even sympathetic. The only one close to likableness was Cutting.
The last scene of the movie pretty much matches my view of it in its entirety....more info
- Scorsese at his best
Martin Scorsese contuinedto make great films in the form of Gangs Of New York. I don't know the history behind what really happened but I found the film to be entertaining . Leo carrys the film very well as does Cameron Diaz. Daniel Day Lewis does a great job as the villian and the costumes, action sequences are all great. I give this film *** stars. ...more info
- America was born in the streets
This is easily in my top 5 favorite movies of all time. Of course, being a good Irish-Catholic boy, I am certainly biased. For all the corruption and criminality portrayed in this movie, it is impossible to exaggerate the influence and impact of Irish-Americans on this nation, especially New York and the northeast. We were the first major non-WASP migration(besides the enslaved Africans) to America, and our impact can still be felt to this day. This film shows the uglier side of those immigrants and those who opposed their arrival, but also highlights the dynamic spirit and faith of those all too human men and women known as the Irish.
With all that said, I found the movie highly entertaining and extremely well done. The cinematography is awesome and the details such as, wardrobe, street lingo, and gang names are all in place. I also have to agree with previous reviewers about Daniel-Day Lewis' portrayal of "The Butcher." Definitely one of the best performances in recent film. Also, contrary to many reviewers, I think DiCaprio holds his own in this film. Some have criticized the alleged lack of historical accuracy, but I have a news flash, IT'S A MOVIE!! Much of the background of the movie is fact, but of course it is embellished to make it a more enjoyable film. I expected that. I believe this is an excellent film that shows a somewhat forgotten part of American history. Well done....more info
- Interesting But by No Means Scorsese's Best
This is an interesting tale of 1860's (and earlier) New York where life was often as the historians put it "nasty, brutish, and short". I am curious how historically accurate the movie is, but if it is accurate it explains a lot about how New Yorkers are today (at least how they are perceived by those who are not New Yorkers). The opening battle scene is quite memorable as is Daniel Day-Lewis's character -- The Butcher. Leonardo DiCaprio & Cameron Diaz are less noteable, however....more info
- Beautiful picutre + Brutal fighting + Good acting = Worth watching.
It's a beautiful picutre. It contains brutal fighting. The acting of main actors are good. It's worth watching. ...more info
- GREAT MOVIE!!!
How can a movie be bad when it is starring not only the great Liam Neeson but also probably the best actor in all of hollywood, Daniel Day-Lewis! Leonardo is also really good! The movie can be long at points to people but it is one of my favorite movies from my movie collection!...more info
- A Hollywood History of the Wild East
A man talks to his son. A group forms and marches out of the Old Brewery in the Five Points district of New York city. [The streets seems strangely deserted.] They use the names of early Gangs of New York. The bloody battle continues until a horn sounds. "My sympathies." [Was there such a large open plaza?] Sixteen years later the young boy is grown up and released from an institution. The date seems to be 1863. Coffins are unloaded from ships. William Marcy Tweed schemes to improve the city and his fortune. We hear the names of the various gangs. [Did people walk outside without hats?] Amateur fire companies fought for the profit of putting out a fire. [The efficiency of private business?]
Amsterdam visits Butcher Bill's hangout. They attempt to rob a ship, and sell a dead body for medical science. There is a test for Amsterdam. They show the various methods of thefts by the crooks of that day. Criminality is rampant in the Five Points. [Caused by poverty or oppression?] they make an example of some men for a public hanging. Army recruits climb onto a ship while coffins are landed on the dock. Somebody shoots Butcher Bill. [Does this film have a plot or just a collection of scenes?] Amsterdam has a tender minute with Jenny. Does fear preserve the order of things? [Do the conversations make much sense?] "Who are you?" Will someone peach?
Butcher Bill shows his knife-throwing skills. There is a shocking surprise and a gruesome and revolting scene. Who killed a poor little rabbit? [Does the story make sense?] Will there be a grand fight to provide an exciting finish? William Marcy Tweed seeks votes in the Five Points. Voters are recruited; its not the ballots that count but the count of the vote. [Is the violence almost cartoonish? Does the film start to drag?] Now the tempo picks up when the mob attacks people and buildings. The army clear the mob from the streets, the navy bombards the people in the plaza. There is one last meeting for Butcher Bill and Amsterdam. [This movie doesn't have a good ending, was something cut out?]
The last scene shows the Brooklyn Bridge which didn't exist until years after 1863. This film was loosely based on Herbert Asbury's 1925 book. You may find the book "Low Life" by Luc Sante to be more informative and interesting. The Discovery Channel had a good film on the Five Points. It explains that "Dead Rabbits" meant "real tough guys" (Gaelic r¨¢ib¨¦ad). Fire was the chief danger in those days (candles, fireplaces). These stories tell little about the economic situations. The gangs here can explain the turmoil in some Middle East countries today. Does anyone believe corruption ended with Boss Tweed? Some say Federal, state, and municipal projects today don't get funded unless somebody gets paid. You can compare this to many business projects.
I saw Santa Trap with Robert Hays on tv, and then the older movie Airspeed with Elisha Cuthbert; then at a theater a worthless movie: Gangs of New York. It had enough interesting material for a 15-30 minute slide show on history Chanel. Why are these people supposed to be interseting? Do I feel empathy and compassion for them? Hardly. Day-Lewis may have been historically accurate vocally and in costume but he seemed to have escaped from Popeye starring Robin williams. Cameron D. was not attractive here.
- Very Good Film, Could Have Been Great
This film follows Amsterdam (Lonardo Dicapro) a young Irishman who is just emerging from 16 years in a Reformatory for juvenile delinquents. He is the son of the late leader of the Dead Rabbits--a gang of Irish immigrants which had in the past challenged the 'Nativist' gang for rule of the streets. Bill the Butcher (Daniel Day Lewis) is the leader of the Nativists and the killer of Amsterdam's father. Given his freedom from the reformatory, Amsterdam quickly works his way into the Nativist's organization, and begins to plot his revenge...
To begin, I really enjoyed this film. I particularly liked Daniel Day Lewis' performance as Bill "the Butcher" Cutting, the leader of the Nativist gang. He is fearsome, brutal and funny.
Now, I think "Gangs" was a very good film. But what really bothers me is that it could have been great. For instance, aside from Bill "the Butcher", most of the other characters are a little bit superficial. Dicaprio's performance as Amsterdam is about average; I never quite believe his motivation all the way. Cameron Diaz's acting was below average....But again, don't get me wrong--this film is epic [in a good way] and very good overrall. It's Scorsese's best since "Goodfellas" in my opinion....more info
- 3.5. Sorry Scorsese, this story ain't epic. It's not bad either, though.
There's a common thread to most of the moderately positive reviews of this film, which tends to be that "Gangs of New York" is generally well-made and fairly entertaining, but where the hell does it get off being 2 and 3/4 hours long? I hear that it was originally supposed to be 4 hours long, which is just baffling. Perhaps at that length it had some elements which made it seem truly expansive, but now it just seems like a severely padded run-of-the-mill revenge story. Now, mind you, I'm not inherently opposed to lengthy movies or anything like that, but the story here just doesn't seem at all suited for the epic format, as the final product clearly demonstrates. However, I can't say that the padding isn't fairly interesting, and it's all reasonably involving. The film looks terrific, has some very cool fight scenes, and the acting is generally excellent apart from DiCaprio. (And DiCaprio isn't exactly bad here, and he's proven elsewhere that he is a good actor he just isn't given much of anything to do even though he's the main character.) Daniel Day-Lewis, in particular, is a total hoot as Butcher Bill. Not exactly the most believable character around, but he's certainly entertaining to watch. Still, the story is only interesting as spectacle i.e. I never cared about or was even much interested in the characters, and though the film seems to think it's saying something about New York and America or whatever, I don't see it. And, again, damned if anything actually happens in the middle section of the film. But I was never bored, so I think it's worth a watch.
Grade: B- ...more info
- Return of the Natives, Boyo
This is how the Irish became white. By fighting their way into loopholes of the social contract, gaining a few inches of altitude and power by stepping on the necks of those mired even lower in the urban quagmire (New York's 1863 draft riots weren't the people vs. the powerful; they were the Irish rabble vs. the blacks), off-the-boat potato-famine Irish lost their blood & won their freedom. Others won a life by selling out & cashing in: He used to be Irish, Cutting says to Tweed about a born-again boyo, born the first time as an outcaste street-fighting man, reborn as a bog-trotting brogue-spewing Papist mercenary for the nativists who butchered his best men in 1846.
Yes, Martin's story is weak. It needs the extra hour left on the 'cutting' room floor. Yes, DiCaprio & Cameron are weak, but only in comparison to the incomparable Cutting, the strongest sinematic (Satan's in his doorway) character I've ever seen. But here's a caveat: DiCaprio works for me because he seems to work for 1863. Perhaps it's his resemblance to one of the 1865 assassins (Lewis Paine?), plotting in secrecy against a president who rushed his country into war. Gangs of New York lifts some of the sepia sentimentality from Lincoln; seeing how his war was fought on the mud sidewalks of New York -- getting half of the poor to slaughter the other half in a crusade to make America safe for the virtual slavery of segregation & Jim Crow -- smudges the triumphalism that whitewashed Civil War history, written by the victors.
Gangs of New York does well what movies do best, giving us what Jimmy Stewart called 'little pieces of time.' Gangs of New York isn't Dickens, and New York isn't Oliver's twisted London with a happy-face Fagin reviewing the situation. This is America as I think it was: raw as pig's meat; bloody as an arterial cut, a cut to kill; rude as a dead rabbit on a fence or a cop's body on a pole; muddy as the muck of Five Points to which uptown gangs of Schermerhorns occasionally came to step over corpses in the street. And some of it is Currier & Ives, before our eyes: fires become crowded theater as rival gangs of volunteers fight each other while their city burns. Or maybe it's Hogarth: church ladies sell temperance, their men try to sell good things, tidings of great joy, to bad people. Good people, drab & boring, take a loud & lonely stand against a world in which Satan & sin win almost every time, a world like our own in which the bad people are almost infinitely more interesting than the good. ...more info