Gangs of New York
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In New York 1846, two gangs went to war for the and a young boy witnessed the death of his father. Sixteen years later, the young boy returns as a man to avenge his father's death.
The plethora of extras on this two-disc set are worth your time. There are several well-produced segments on the physical aspects of the film highlighted by a tour of the vast Cinecittà Studio sets with director Martin Scorsese and production designer Dante Ferretti (with a 360-degree-view feature to boot). Historian Luc Sante introduces you to the Five Corners area in New York circa the mid-19th century, and there's a vintage vocabulary guide (from the 1859 edition of The Rogue's Lexicon). Even though it was made as a "puff piece" for the movie, the Discovery Channel show "Uncovering the Real Gangs of New York" is an informative half-hour on the film's historical background. There's another espresso double-shot from a Scorsese commentary track. Not recorded traditionally as he watches the movie, the track pieces together thoughts from the director including some recorded in an NPR interview. This allows Scorsese to be even more focused, dealing with the history of the time and his own 30-year struggle to make the film. One serious demerit for stretching the feature film over both discs, which most likely had to be done with having both Dolby 5.1 and DTS tracks along with the commentary on the long film. --Doug Thomas
- History of Five Points featurette
- Exploring the sets (multi-angle)
- Set & costume design featurettes
- U2 music video
- Discovery Channel special "Uncovering the Real Gangs of New York"
- Five Points study guide
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into Ellis Island. He was alone and only 16 years old. New York was such a mess he headed to the West. He ended up in Nebraska
and became a very successful farmer and raised seven children. The Irish were strong and so were the Italians, Germans, French
and others who came from Europe. They were the founders of our great nation who sweat and bleed to build this country. They came because of the freedom of......religion, speech and land available for everyone. Opportunity was the gift of America.
The depiction of brutality and corruption that was the hallmark of the Tammany Hall era of NY politics is portrayed with breathtaking and gut wrenching Shakesperian eloquence.
The comparison to Shakespeare may seem to be a contradiction in terms, and yet it is possible to achieve with the collaborative efforts of a stellar cast, director and writers. It is technically flawless accompanied by a riveting soundtrack; and one would expect nothing less than a Martin Scorsese production wherein every detail is given it's due in minutiae.
New York was a city of immigrants since the Dutch founding, made only worse when the British took over control and the city grew large enough to develop its harbor and immigrants came. The British never did like the Irish and the feelings were mutual. The Irish resented the British continued control over them even in America. Thus the violent street gangs that thrived on revenge and extreme violence. Day-Lewis' role as Bill the Butcher, in mannerisms, emotion and physical appearance rules this movie. Bill the Butcher is frightening to just look at, with his demonic smirk and that glass eye that just doesn't quite look at you.
The cinematography and costumes are both well done. The movie was filmed in Rome and it does have a studio effect with its high definition shots and computer graphics. Fight scenes are quite bloody, but sometimes it's obvious that the bricks the rioters are throwing are painted styrofoam because bricks don't bounce when thrown.
Violence aside, what forces me to take away a star is director Scorsese moving away from historical facts. Bill the Butcher was killed in 1855, long before the Civil War and draft riots. I'd like to have seen more focus on Boss Tweed and the political ramifications of Tammany Hall.
It's still a good movie with convincing acting by everyone involved. Just be prepared for a lot of violence over almost three hours.
Echoes of the nativist strains that still exist today, with a touch of political chicanery thanks to Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall, and an additional touch of local color thanks to Barnum's Museum of Wonders.
Each of the character roles was pretty well written and the acting was great.
As we know a lot about the actual history of New York including the Irish gangs and Tammany hall "BOSS Tweed" this did not portray the history of the gangs or the extreme politics of the time. Brushed over the "machine politics",
There were also problems were in editing and over writing -- some parts should have just been left on the floor rather than wind up in the movie. they did not play a real role in the movie. It is as if they wanted to produce a very long movie and used things that were not really necessary.
The design and set really put one into the mid 1800s and were wonderfully created.
LOVED the BIG 6 portrayal (if you do not know what this was I am not going to tell as we cannot stand movie information spoilers.
Good job describing the 5 points district in Manhattan, but .a little off in the timing of the tenements and Tweeds control should have been much stronger at the time (if he was not already in jail at the time). The triangular building was down in 1832 so another problem with timing in the movie.
Decent portrayal of the crime infested slum though.
Should have included at least one character of outstanding (non violent non criminal) behavior.
The riots were very well done (those parts were five stars)
Overall, recommend this movie.