Gangster No. 1 - Full specs & Review - Cdn. only

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kyle Milligan, Jan 20, 2002.

  1. Kyle Milligan

    Kyle Milligan Stunt Coordinator

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    There may eventually be an American version on the distant horizon, but none in the works that I'm aware of. So those who are interested might find it worth importing.
    Director Paul McGuigan, once a successful still photographer, makes his directorial debut with “Gangster No. 1.” A gritty, unflinching crime flick that while is certainly flawed in some elements, holds its audience captive, and suggests a promise of great potential from the director, and certainly its young star Paul Bettany.
    In his audio commentary, McGuigan praises his actors, (at the risk of being labeled a sycophant about loving McDowell’s face) and bemoans the dreaded extras from scene to scene. McGuigan took the camera himself for shooting some of the handheld scenes in the film, hence their ‘dodgy’ feel. He prefers the camera being on the move, to give the scene more immediacy and a sense of realism. But admitting that he wasn’t the best at it, he knows he missed some good stuff in a few bits.
    Apparently Saffron Burrows did her own singing for the film, and all her own spitting too. Paul Bettany was expecting a hit, not spit, in the face, but he rolled with it like a pro. Saffron’s make-up was not advanced enough for her scene twenty five years later, and some of that footage was reshot (it needed re-doing, whether McGuigan realizes it or not).
    The featurette is short, but still gives us a chance to hear from the principal cast and director. Without this piece, I might not have realized our protagonist / storyteller character doesn’t really have a name, and is known only as gangster.
    In the deleted scenes segment, make sure the kids and grandparents are out of the room, this one is not for the faint of heart. Optional commentary for a torture scene reveals that even the director has his limits. The unsettling demise of this guy will likely make many squirm in their seat.
    So McGuigan reflects on his film, pointing out his numerous, least favourite part(s) and takes a beat to point out that his film isn’t like that “Lock, Stock, cartoony shite” and based in realism, even if the main character is a bit extreme. “Gangster No. 1” hits the mark so hard it’ll knock you right out of your socks at times, but misses in other, albeit less crucial, bits. But with the aid of the commentary, you’ll better understand where he was coming from.
    Full specs and details
     
  2. Mario Bartel

    Mario Bartel Stunt Coordinator

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    I really wanted to see this when it briefly skipped through the theater last year, so I'm looking forward to the dvd. Sounds like it would make a heck of an evening teamed up with Sexy Beast when that comes out next month[​IMG]
    Given that his is a TVA disc, and they've got a bit of a reputation for producing quirky dvd's that don't play properly on certain players, any problems with this one?
     
  3. Kyle Milligan

    Kyle Milligan Stunt Coordinator

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    Sexy Beast is a WAAAYY better flick, but you've got the genres bang on.

    No problems that I had, playing on a Sony. Actually it's kind of a rare thing if a title won't play properly on a Sony, last one I can recall was Dinosaur, and it was just a momentary blip that didn't happen the second time. Hadn't heard about previous problems on TVA titles. Any names come to mind? Just curious.
     
  4. Mario Bartel

    Mario Bartel Stunt Coordinator

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    >>Hadn't heard about previous problems on TVA titles. Any names come to mind?

    Their version of Art of War was a mess; it wouldn't properly letterbox the 16X9 picture so, on 4X3 tv's, everyone looked tall and skinny. And I think they've tried to encode P&S on-the-fly on some of their other releases, creating problems for some players.
     
  5. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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    I saw this in Toronto last summer. It hasn't played the US yet. I think it's scheduled to be released theatrically in April, so any US DVD is still a ways off.

    I'd agree that it's not as good as Sexy Beast but a film in the same vein. Malcolm McDowell is fierce in this.
     

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