*** Official "GANGS OF NEW YORK" Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by NickWR, Dec 19, 2002.

  1. NickWR

    NickWR Auditioning

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    I just saw this movie is opening on just 1500 theaters. Why such few theaters, are the theaters thinking this movie is going to bomb, or is Mirimax have some kind of plan to gradually add more theaters every week? I sure hope it doesn't bomb.
     
  2. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    A 30-screen theater near me usually shows all the big movies including some indepedent ones, but they aren't showing this. I think theaters don't think it will do well against Two Towers.

    ~T
     
  3. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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    It's probably on fewer screens simply because of length and the glut of films this time of year. It won't compete with The Two Towers for box office, and I'd be shocked if Miramax thought it ever would do that.

    Gangs of New York needs word of mouth to drive the box office. The critics' reviews generally seem to be positive, although there are some pretty tough takes out there. I don't particularly expect for it to connect with big, big audiences.

    FWIW, I think it's a good film but by no means great. I don't think it merits the extreme praise some have been heaping on it, but everyone seems to want Scorsese to get a lifetime achievement award, even though this time, IMO, the film isn't quite up to snuff. (I plan on seeing it again since I saw this in the blizzard of screenings over the last two weeks, but I felt underwhelmed with the film before other reviews started leaking out.)
     
  4. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    I'm gonna pull a Bill the Butcher on my dad!!![​IMG] He got pulled over for driving with expired tags today, so now he can't take me to see GONY tomorrow, which means I now have to pull an exhausting double-header of GONY at 11:50 and TTT at 3:45 on Saturday. I kinda dig the idea of a double-header at two different theaters, but I really wanted to see GONY opening day. Damnit!!!!
     
  5. NickWR

    NickWR Auditioning

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    How could theaters not think it would not compete against Two Towers? Of course Two Towers will make a whole lot more money then GONY, but GONY should definitely make more money then the other shitty movies comming out this weekend that are getting a whole bunch of theaters. Wild Thornberrys opening in 3,012 theaters and Two Weeks Notice opening on 2,755 theaters. I just don't understand it at all. Gangs of New York is a huge budget, highly anticipated film.
     
  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now designated the Official Discussion Thread for "Gangs of New York" please, post all comments, links to outside reviews, film and box office discussion items to this thread.
    All HTF member film reviews of "Gangs of New York" should be posted to the Official Review Thread.
    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
    Crawdaddy
     
  7. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    I have been anxiously waiting for Gangs of New York for a very long time and really wanted to see it opening weekend. But thats not going to happen due to I am only able to go to the theatres once a week. And I am obviously going to see LOTR. I just wonder who is in charge of determining the release dates for films. If it would have been released last weekend it would have had a shot for being number one for at least one week. Now, not a chance in the world.
     
  8. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    It's probabloy the notion that they'll appeal to different audiences. I for one will be skipping LOTR and seeing Gangs of new York. Miramax isn't probably too worried about number one as they expect this to play into January quietly making money (it it's good enough).
     
  9. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Kenneth Turan's review in this morning's Los Angeles Times is a bit discouraging, suggesting the film engenders outright apathy toward the situations and the characters.
     
  10. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    My excitement for this film is quickly accelerating. While reviews have been largely postive, there have been some notable detractors.

    Nevertheless, the biggest draw for me is not that this is a Scorcese-helmed film, starring DiCaprio & Diaz. One of favorite actors on a very short list sounds like he's making a triumphant return to film after apprenticing as a cobbler - Daniel Day Lewis is what I believe the preeminent actor in contemporary cinema.

    I'm puzzled why DiCaprio and Diaz get top billing over Lewis. Is the studio's aim errant in targeting the teeny-bopper girls? From what I've heard, Lewis' performance is inarguably head-and-shoulders above the rest of a scintillating cast.

    Final add...Jim Broadbent is on a hell of a ride for the last several years. One of my favorite performance from last year was seeing him in Bridget Jones's Diary. Not to mention his Oscar-winning turn in Gosford Park?
     
  11. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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  12. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    Well my dad got his registration problems straightened out, so I indeed get to see this today. Two words to describe Day-Lewis: HOLY SHIT!! Ebert is not exagerrating when he says that his Bill the Butcher is among the great characters of modern cinema. He completely carried the film on his shoulders, dominating the screen every single second he was on it. Simply breathtaking. As for the rest of the films, most of the other performances were good, especially Gleeson, Reilly and Broadbendt. DiCaprio did well enough, but his character was rather vanilla compared to all of the other colorful inhabitants of the film. Technically it was mostly astounding, although the narrator device during the riots was out of place.
     
  13. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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  14. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    Sch: you thought the telegraph narration during the riots was out of place? Wow, favorite scene in the movie. The telegraph narration was absolutely perfect, especially when they started to get effected by the riots with cutting the lines.
     
  15. MikeF

    MikeF Stunt Coordinator

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    I felt the film was very strong up until about its last hour (post-Johnny's betrayal of Amsterdam), at which point it very much seemed to lose its focus. On a technical level, the direction was outstanding throughout. As well, Daniel Day-Lewis's performance was, needless to say, stunning.

    Was I the only one who felt that Cameron Diaz's role bordered on superfluous? Other than as a means by which to (1) inject an element of romance and thus increase popular appeal; and (2) explain Johnny's motivation for betraying Amsterdam, I didn't feel that she added a lot to the film.
     
  16. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    I thought she added some depth of character to The Butcher, making his character less black and white.
     
  17. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

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    Was Scorsese in the film? I thought I saw him sitting at a table kind of near the beginning.
     
  18. MikeRS

    MikeRS Screenwriter

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    Yep, that was Marty.
    Daniel Day scorched the screen. What a character! My friend whispered at that moment he talks to Leo (wearing that American flag at the brothel),
    This is the greatest character ever
    Hype aside, it is arguable. [​IMG]
     
  19. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    Greatest EVER might be a bit of a stretch, but he's certainly right there alongside Don Corleone, Jake LaMotta, Michael Corleone, R.P. McMurphy, Patton, etc. in the lexicon of great characters. Day-Lewis' imposing physical presence alone is more compelling than about 99% of lead characters I've come across.
     
  20. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    I'm still digesting this, but right now this film is fighting very hard with Spirited Away as the best film of the year. I will definitely be seeing this again, and if there weren't such a glut of great movies, I'd see it three times in theaters. TTT blew me away and was the most amazing visceral rush, But the hand to hand fight scene between Dicaprio and John C Riley (the bald guy right?) when, was one of the most incredibly effective fight scenes I've ever seen, there was a refined kinetic quality to the scene, it was very short, but absolutely exhilerating on a whole other level compared to helm's deep (and I say this as someone who has seen FOTR at least ten times so far).
    The opening battle. Dear God, the absolute mastery that Scorsese displays in this film of cinematic technique, whether it's from the silent to the post modern era is absolutely shattering. For that scene alone I want to give Scorsese the best direction award, and GONY the best editing awards.
    The incredible buildup to the scene, introducing every main character you'll need to concern yourself with (except Diaz) in a matter of seconds, but managing to do so in an iconic and memorable way (my biggest beef with the film is the flashbacks we saw later as Dicaprio met these people, those stuck out like a sore thumb and stunk of Wienstein (in my opinion) 'making the 'shit' work').
    Anyway the actual battle is simply astounding. the challenge and response is a stirring and incredibly powerful tension builder, it's absolutely perfect cinema--an all time great moment. The actual battle is so incredible, the variety of technique here as the batle progresses the way Scorsese is manipulating cinema and maniuplating the audience simultaneously is incredible. There's this beautific balletic quality to Day Lewis's butcher in ther early part of this scene, which begins to explode into the very real chaos and blood rage that the characters on screen are feeling. We begin the scene in awe and half rooting for Bill the Butcher's prowess and capability and are brought to a feeling of shame and disgust at seeing this vision of humanity at it's most primal, most frighening, most disturbing. As the camera cuts away from the triangle cross streets of the five points to a farther and farther glimpse of new york, we see the absolute meaninglessness of this carnage--control of a tiny bit of turf in an already enormous city--the battle participants lose their humanity and become a pack of wolves or apes fighting over territory. Scorsese achieves this brilliantly in an almost subconscious manner. If the audience isn't examining themselves as they take in the movie, they won't realize how deeply this film is affecting and disturbing them. It doesn't surprise me that people were walking out, this is the reason the R rating was created, I'd hesitate about showing this to a fifteen year old, it's a film that frightens me in a way that now cheap horror or vast bloodletting ever will; this is a vision of humanity that most of us would gladly deny existed (and to do so can be our gravest mistake), and for american audiences--seeing this version of ourselves during the greatest crisis our country faced alone, seeing every character in the film level disparagement after disparagment on a figure many consider one of the greatest Americans ever--this film becomes all the more powerful.
    I have never seen a better American history period film (set prior to the 1920's) that was better, this is the absolute best Civil War era film (or any american era prior to that) I have ever seen. The historical accuracy is wonderful, Scorsese doesn't blunt anything and manages to include so many beautiful grace notes, such as casting someone as Horace Greeley (!), and the use of woodcuts that appeared in then current newspapers. This film is absolutely brilliant, and I think Scorsese should get another year to work on editing it, and we would get one of the finest films ever seen.
    Because despite the briliance, the film is not perfect, and I speak mainly of the compression after what should be the midpoint of the film, after Dicaprio betrays Lewis things simply go too fast, motivations are lost, time is compressed the film moves much too fast when it should take it's time. The two notable exceptions being: the Dead Rabbit put out after the betrayal to the policeman's 'crucifixition', and the whole election of Monk sequence. Those two moments shine, but they still don't provide with how Dicaprio carved out power for himself so that he is on a level capable of challenging Bill. From the moment of the challenge the film works every bit as well as the first two hours, but there was this brief fifteen-thirty minute dead space that just keep the film from being all it could be, another twenty minutes in there would perhaps have helped.
    The final riot sequence is every single bit as good as the opening battle, from the absolutely chilling and brillinat telegraph narration, and use of woodcuts extremely effectively, to the incredibly disturbing brutality of the mob. What this scene shows us is that the tiny bit of new york that became primal, animallike, inhuman in the beginning of the film has in the following sixteen years infected the city with the desease of all that is base and rotten in the human existence--what we saw on a microscopic scale has virally exploded across the whole city, macrocosmically, no place is uninfected. And as Americans, we have the bitter knowledge, that this 'infection' of New york is but a microscopic reflection of the rest of the country, so when we see the chaos, the insanity, the unpreditability of the rioting... we know that this is but a small taste of what was experienced at Gettysburg, Antietam, Shiloh, Chattanooga or Chickamauga--to name but a few. That is why this is the greatest Civil War movie ever made, because it can tell us all we could want to know about the depravity the human soul sunk to during that period, but without ever really showing us the 'actual war'.
    To say a few words on the ending (sure to be discussed): I was somewhat disapointed, as I expected more of a Shakespearian tragedy, certain attributes of the film were classic Hamlet, and I think the film would have benefited with Diaz burying her surrogate father and her lover beside the man that brought about both of their deaths, I think leaving Amsterdam alive hurts the films impact, had they died on each others' blades I think the ending would have been more satisfying. As to the final dissolves, I think this is the absolute perfect grace note to end the film on. Because despite the lowest levels of humanity we have just witnessed, this offers a small ray of hope that we will move on, beyond perhaps to a higher plane of existence, yet as the film fades out on the image of the world trade center and not the new skyline of new york we are reminded that
     

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