I know probably a lot of you have. I just watched it for the first time last night. Leo Decaprios’ performance was replaceable but Daniel Day Lewis made this movie great. I’m going to watch it again today. They way the characters are presented as well as the cinematography provided by Martin Scorsese was amazing. It almost looked like it could have been on stage like a play, but it wasn’t as obtuse as Moulin Rouge.
I don’t know, I’m sure I’m just babbling, but I recommend this movie as well as all the special features. I just found myself awestruck about this story and at the end of it wanted to know more.
Read the book “Low Life” by Luc Sante if you want to learn more. Each chapter covers a different vice… gambling, prostitution, political corruption, police corruption, etc. The book covers the general time period of mid-1800s to early turn of the century. New York City was pretty lawless and wild.
It’s a great book, possibly available at your local library.
The primary problem with “Gangs” is that is was not a highlight of Scorsese’s illustrious career.
This man is responsible for such gems as “Raging Bull” (voted as BEST MOVIE of the 80’s by critics, and I agree), “Goodfellas” (which should have won Best Picture OVER Dance with Wolves), “After Hours” and “The King of Comedy” (two of the best comedies I’ve seen). And can’t forget “Mean Streets”, “Taxi Driver”, and another one of my faves, “The Color of Money”.
I just have oodles of respect for Scorsese and his genius. BUT “Gangs” comes off forceful. And with only ONE grand performance at it’s core (DD Lewis). THIS was to be Scorsese’s opus, the result of 20-years of preparing to bring this story to the screen and it seemed quite the opposite. I guarantee you that THIS is what the Academy members were thinking when placing their votes.
They votes for Chicago came due to the fact that this movie made musicals interesting and dynamic on the big screen again. Not by annoying overly fast editing (Moulin Rouge), but by interesting characters, good acting across the board and steady directing (and a good script). I still love movies like “An American in Paris”, “Cabaret”, and especially “All That Jazz”. Where music can add to the drama or comedy of a scene, if used deftly. And in Chicago, it was.
Two movies who had actors and directors at the top of their game beat both Scorsese and Gangs is all.
I really like Scorcese, and liked lots of things about GONY, but I think the plot was weak. The character of Bill the Butcher that Daniel Day Lewis made so terrifying would not have let Leonardo DiCaprio get off with just a little burn on the cheek. He would have at least cut off his hand to make sure he couldn’t come back to fight again. To me, this took a lot out of the movie. I did love the sets, though, and the movie got me to read all about the 5 Points neighborhood and slums of N.Y. in the mid 19th century.