Gangs of New York

Saw this today. Whoo dogger, is it bad. I’m sorry, but Martin Scorcese is overrated as a movie director. I can’t remember a good movie he made in the last 20 years (which is not to say there isn’t one, but it sure doesn’t come to mind). Anyway, “Gangs” is overwrought, predictable, and heavy-handed. It has some really good acting (Daniel Day-Lewis is strikingly similar to Robert DeNiro in his “Deer Hunter” and “Taxi Driver” days) and there are a few scenes that are pretty gripping, but overall the thing is just way too long, way too pretentious, and moves way, way, way too slowly. You thought the Ents were slow? Wait 'til you see Leonardo DiCaprio plotting his revenge.

Or better yet, don’t–avoid the movie altogether. Thumbs way down. The weird thing is, it’s getting really good reviews. I have no idea why.

Goodfellas, 1990
Casino, 1998.

I kill you!!

No plans to see it in the theatre, but I sort of like the entertainment value of dudes fighting in top hats, and rolling up their sleeves – is that historically accurate? TOP HATS.

Heh – no idea, but there was a time when men always wore hats. I wouldn’t be surprised if the tophats are accurate.

Yeah, I don’t doubt it – I seem to recall seeing old kinescopes of top-hat boxing, but there’s just something so absurd about top hats that I can’t figure how they were ever considered “the norm”. I guess the same applies to mullets, though.

Conan O’Brien wasn’t wearing a top hat in that SNL skit.

Goodfellas–excellent call. Casino wasn’t that good, I didn’t think. But Goodfellas was.

Anyway, they actually DO fight in top hats (and the most unbelieveable plaid pants you’ve ever seen) in the movie. I don’t know whether it’s historically accurate or not, but I assume it is. Scorcese apparently did tons and tons of research before making this film, and I definitely give him props for building a pretty amazing set. Supposedly it’s totally authentic; whether it is or not (I have no idea) it certainly LOOKS believeable. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make up for the fact that the movie is a bloated leviathan of boringness.

Scorcese apparently did tons and tons of research before making this film, and I definitely give him props for building a pretty amazing set. Supposedly it’s totally authentic; whether it is or not (I have no idea) it certainly LOOKS believeable. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make up for the fact that the movie is a bloated leviathan of boringness.

Sounds like LotR.

complacently watches troll amble by

/me sitting next to you and watching the spectacle too :roll:

Hmm…

The critics are praising the hell out of the is film. Every review that I’ve read gives this film nothing less then 4 stars.

Rywill wrote:
complacently watches troll amble by

/me sitting next to you and watching the spectacle too

And I thought you LotR fanboys liked trolls…

ba dump bump!

S

Yeah, it was running like 70% on Rotten Tomatoes when I checked prior to going to see it. Like I said above, maybe I’m just nuts. But I really didn’t like it. I think a lot of reviewers give lots of extra points because it’s Martin Scorcese. It’s also getting points because it’s an “American epic,” a movie genre that I didn’t know existed before this movie came out but the revival of which is causing reviewer pants-peeing on a scale unseen since Kubrick announced he was going to do “Eyes Wide Shut.”

I didn’t think it’s quite that bad, but it’s getting good reviews because, as was noted, it’s a story no one’s told before that I’m aware of (I hope it’s historically accurate, because if it is, I had no idea that level of gang warfare existed in American cities in that time period). It’s also getting good reviews because Scorcese is a masterful filmmaker, though I think some of his shots in this one are heavy-handed. But there’s one amazing continuous tracking shot of the Irish coming off the boat, signing up for the Civil War, putting on uniforms, getting a weapon, and getting back on a boat which is placing unmarked coffins on the dock. It’s incredible.

The movie’s fundamental problem is a horribly miscast Leonardo DiCaprio. I think he’s a good actor, but to quote Almost Famous, “Your looks are becoming a problem.” He’s way too pretty. Greasy hair or not, he doesn’t look anything like a tough Irish kid who kicks ass. He carries no weight with the role. In his scenes with Daniel Day-Lewis, he comes across as a petulant twerp. I think he’ll be perfect in Catch Me If You Can, but this one, ugh. You just laugh every time he tries to look tough. Cameron Diaz was decent, but she’s also too pretty for this role.

Looking at the trailer, I thought Day-Lewis was going to be awful, as I couldn’t figure out what the fuck his accent was supposed to be and he looked like all affectation and overblown scene schewing. But in the movie, it worked, and he was as fantastic as ever.

Jim Broadbent was superb as Tweed, and Brendan Gleeson great as Monk. Both were considerably more believable than Diaz and DiCaprio.

The movie looks fantastic, and moves relatively quickly for a nearly three-hour movie. The draggy parts mostly involve DiCaprio and the Hollywood love story with Diaz. I wish they’d spent more time looking at the scams and the street hustling going on. It’s worth seeing, if only for the amazing cinematography and set designs and for its unique look at an interesting period of history. But its main story is dull.

though I think some of his shots in this one are heavy-handed. But there’s one amazing continuous tracking shot of the Irish coming off the boat, signing up for the Civil War, putting on uniforms, getting a weapon, and getting back on a boat which is placing unmarked coffins on the dock. It’s incredible.

Yeah that was easily the best shot in the movie and the only one that seemed worthy of Scorcese. I was shocked by how boring the visuals were. For the most part the camera was locked down which is something I certainly don’t expect from him. The movie felt really slow paced, which shocked me because Scorcese is usually a master at melding visuals and music in a way that can make a 2.5-3 film fly by (Casino and Goodfellas are excellent examples of this).

I thought Daniel Day-Lewis was excellent. I saw the Golden Globe nominations and Day-Lewis was nominated for Best Actor for Gangs of New York and DiCaprio Best Actor for Catch Me If You Can. I was curious if Day-Lewis had enough screen time to warrant a best actor nod over DiCaprio but once I saw the movie, it was a moot point because:

1 - Day-Lewis is in quite a bit of the movie
2 - He owns the screen anytime the two of them are in the same scene

As a previous poster noted, I was a bit worried about DiCaprio being a bit miscast in the role and at first I thought he looked feral enough for the part but to me he kept slipping in and out of the part and losing his accent.

I thought the first scene was very shocking and visceral. I was actually glad the movie didn’t continue down that route.

I disliked the ending where a cannonball changes what was a more likely outcome to one that was … a bit more predictable(?).

Decent movie, but it could have been better.

Brilliant. So how many minutes from the beginning am I supposed to be skipping this time around before going in?

What is with filmmakers and gratuitous violence? Why can’t it be something like what Peter did in the LOTR movies?

This is begining to upset me more and more. A movie doesn’t need visceral violence to be entertaining. So why do they do it?

Wow, you guys must have seen a different film than me. I thought it was fantastic! A others noted I found to be Day-Lewis was amazing, and thought Decaprio did a good job too. Truly a very enjoyable movie. I would count it among this years top 5 for me.

Two three hours epics in one week…it just dosen’t get any better! :D

Everything is spelled right (even “gratuitous”), so I assume you’re not joking. You’re holding up LOTR as an example of movies without gratuitous violence? I mean, the violence is technically not “gratuitious,” because it advances the story, but that is also true of the violence in “Gangs of New York” (the violent intro shows why DeCaprio hates Day-Lewis, which sets him on his three-hour quest to make the most boring revenge picture ever). Usually when people decry “gratuitous” violence they mean that there’s no reason to show the violence onscreen, or to show it so graphically. Assuming this is your complaint, LOTR is just as guilty of this as anyone else. Even just taking the first movie (which is significantly less violent than the second), there are beheadings, unhandings, etc., and dozens and dozens of people get killed (assuming you include the orcs). How many times do they show a close-up of an orc with Legolas’ arrow in its eye or throat?

It’s not like the movie is a splatter-fest, and I definitely think Jackson did a good job when he used more “subtle” violence (so to speak), such as in Boromir’s death (where you never actually see an arrow enter his body).
But I would hardly hold this up as my big exemplar of a movie without gratuitous violence.

And really, Scorcese’s movie has almost the same approach to violence. Much of it is shown, but there is also a fair amount that is only implied by editing, sound, and reaction shots.

Scorsese has always depicted violence graphically. Casino is the most violent mainstream movie of all time, in my opinion. I don’t think his depictions are gratuitous – they are inherent in the stories he’s interested in telling.