Is Gangs of New York worth a blind buy?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Shawn Collins, Jun 29, 2003.

  1. Shawn Collins

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    Is Gangs of New York worth a blind buy? I didn't have a chance to see it in the theater. I've read mixed reviews all over the place.

    Target has it for $14.99 Tuesday. I was planning on getting the Chaplin collection along with a couple of others.

    So is the consensus to rent or buy?

    Shawn
    My humble collection
     
  2. Donnie Eldridge

    Donnie Eldridge Supporting Actor

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    I was wonder the exact same thing myself.
     
  3. JoshB

    JoshB Supporting Actor

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    Its hard to say. If you are a Scorsese fan then its a no brainer. Some may be offset by its violence, runtime(just under 3 hours) and miscasting. It does have however stunning producion values, great directing, good acting, and a pretty good story. I will be picking it up, along with Something About Mary 2-Disc.
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    I thought it was one of the best films I saw
    all last year.

    I was quite disturbed that Daniel-Day Lewis
    lost to Adrien Brody as Best Actor at last year's
    Oscars. Watch this film and you will agree that
    Lewis's character, "The Butcher," is one of the
    most memorable movie characters of all time.

    This film is quite violent, but it is stunningly
    beautiful to watch thanks to its amazing recreation
    of New York near the turn of the century.

    The film only fails, I think, because of Leonardo
    DeCaprio. I never felt he was a strong actor. On
    the other hand, it is Daniel-Day Lewis that makes
    this film an absolute "must see."

    Worth a blind purchase? I would say absolutely.
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I'm a big Scorsese fan but I couldn't recommend this dvd as a blind purchase. The film is okay but is far from one of Scorsese's best. Some people loved this film but many others including myself were not nearly as impressed with it.



    Crawdaddy
     
  6. Mike Graham

    Mike Graham Supporting Actor

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    Have to disagree with you about DiCaprio, Ron, as I feel he did great work with Catch Me If You Can; he was just the victim of being poorly cast for the role. Add to that Cameron Diaz's role could've been easily cut out, and you already have a film built on two shaky leads.

    Concerning the film's plot, Scorsese's ambition lead to some sequences that just felt like too much - he's trying to cover everything that was going on in New York at the time, which gives the film a somewhat muddled climax. It's these points that I bring up to show that this really doesn't seem like a good blind buy to me (although I would consider Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and The King of Comedy great films to pick up sight unseen).
     
  7. Nick Sievers

    Nick Sievers Producer

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    I'll side with Robert on this one. High production values but for me the story came out 'flat' for lack of a better word. Definitely not a blind purchase, rent and then make a decision.

    On a side note - While Daniel Day-Lewis was indeed fantastic in the role, I still think Adrien Brody deserved the Oscar last March.
     
  8. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    It's a good blind rental choice.
     
  9. Adam_WM

    Adam_WM Screenwriter

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    Patrick, you stole the words out of my mouth: blind rental for sure. I saw Gangs in the theaters and here's a bit of good recommendation reasons and bad "avoid" reasons:

    GOOD:
    Daniel Day-Lewis -- Quite possibly one of the coolest villains I've ever seen

    Design - Very cool looking

    BAD:
    Length -- Too damn long (and don't think I'm against length, I love Fellowship EE)

    Plotting -- I'm sure the original screenplay was quite good, but the version that finally was released after numerous re-edits had a good first act and an ok final act, but everything in the middle seemed left there and misdirected

    IMHO, it wasn't a terrible movies, nor was it a great movie. Easily worth a rent, as I said.
     
  10. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    Rent it.

    The film's a mess. Definitely Scorsese's worst film.

    Positives:

    The set design is incredible, and the cinematography is great.
    Daniel Day Lewis' performance.

    Negatives:

    Story was all over the place.
    Poorly edited (if Scorsese is telling the truth and this is his cut of the film, then he should fire the editor).
    Leo was miscast... just not believable.
    Diaz's character was irrelevant to the story, and was only there to add the obligatory "love interest" of the film (ala. Pearl Harbor).
     
  11. Matt Pelham

    Matt Pelham Screenwriter

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    It was an OK film, but I wouldn't recommend it as a blind buy.

    I second what others have said and give this one a rent first.
     
  12. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Just 2 more cents: The Fox theater in Atlanta is playing GONY tonight, and I passed on seeing it on their massive screen because I've seen it, and just didn't want to see it again (even on a grander scale) because the film's overall story doesn't have as much re-watchability for me, but it might for others.
     
  13. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    Posted in another thread:

    Gangs of New York was disappointing to me, though I saw elements of greatness. As good as I thought Daniel Day-Lewis's performance was, I felt he worked a little bit in a vacuum. One didn't really understand, as hard as the creative team worked, the real New York in the 1850s and 1860s. I think the Five Points area needed more juxtaposition with other areas of New York, to give it focus. Also, the movie's story needed more imagination, and many of the actors needed to alter their modern acting styles (particularly Cameron Diaz). So, this movie fascinates mostly from a historical and design point of view.

    I bought this blind, because it is Scorsese, and I will have all his works. Although I don't regret the decision, the movie still disappoints (me).
     
  14. Jefferson Morris

    Jefferson Morris Supporting Actor

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    A true Scorsese fan would owe it to themselves to buy this blindly. Then again, a true Scorsese fan presumably already would have seen it theatrically. I suppose I'll have to go with the group here and recommend a rental first.

    I liked the film quite a bit (more than Bringing Out the Dead, at any rate), and found the director's foray into historical revenge melodrama fascinating. I agree it doesn't feel like one of his top-tier masterpieces, but time often is kind to Scorsese's films in this regard. And Bill the Butcher truly is one of the best villains I've ever seen on film, and is given a plethora of wonderfully memorable lines ("I'll paint Paradise Square with his blood - two coats."). I wasn't sad to see Adrien Brody win the Oscar for The Pianist, but I'd have been even happier to see DDL pick up the prize.

    What really puts this one over the top for me is the inclusion of a commentary. To my knowledge, this is the only time any of Scorsese's films has come with a commentary upon its initial video release - we usually have to wait years for special editions. Anyone who's heard one of his commentaries knows how good they are.

    --Jefferson Morris
     
  15. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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  16. Shawn Collins

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  17. Mick Wright

    Mick Wright Second Unit

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    Angelo, I agree with you. I think Marty is the greatest director of all time, but this is easily his worst film. Maybe he'll finally get back to that Rat Pack movie now.
     
  18. Julian Lalor

    Julian Lalor Supporting Actor

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    I have to add my voice to the chorus of Scorsese-lovers who just didn't enjoy this film. At all. Long, ponderous and contrary to many, I wasn't particularly taken with Day-Lewis (not his performance so much as his character). Diaz was only in the film because, without her, there wouldn't have been any female presence at all. DiCaprio is a fine actor woefully miscast here. The film just goes on and on and on for no good reason. It's odd to think that this is Scorsese's labor of love when truly great films like Goodfellas and Raging Bull were made in the interim of getting this film up.
     
  19. Louis C

    Louis C Supporting Actor

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    Taxi Driver --- now THERE's a blind buy.
     
  20. Sam E. Torres

    Sam E. Torres Second Unit

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    i've seen few scorsese films, admittingly, gangs of new york is not one of them. i plan on either renting it or borrowing it from my hardcore scorcese fan of a brother when he eventually gets it. i have noticed that his films are good, but the pacing always seems to be extremely slow(and do NOT jump to conclusions and assume that i'm some mtv generation "i want everything zim POW ZAM!" kid). i'm crossing my fingers and hoping that not only the film is good, but the commentary, as well.
     

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