Gangs of New York – my thoughts.

Movie poster…didn’t realize this was released in 2002!

This weekend, hubs and I were taking it easy – icky weather out, didn’t feeling doing a whole heck of a lot – so he popped in this DVD. Although I’m a pretty big Leo (duh, Titanic and The Departed) fan, for some reason I had never seen this film. Hubs was pretty surprised at this fact, and prefaced our movie night with one statement:

“It’s pretty good, but it’s really long.”

Well, we had nowhere to go…so, no worries 🙂

The “Natives”

I am not going to write a review of the film, because maybe, just maybe, there are people out there that are even more behind the times than me and haven’t seen it – but I just had a few thoughts I wanted to share about the film.

  1. It is indeed long – 167 minutes run time – but a quick look into the trivia page on IMDB, I found that the original cut was actually an hour longer. I am one of those people that actually prefer longer films (in most cases) because then I don’t feel like I am missing anything.
  2. The sets are MAGNIFICENT – constructed in Cincecitta, Italy, the set was pulled straight from the mean streets of mid-19th century New York. Back in college, I took a popular culture course (actually over two semesters) so it was especially fascinating for me to see the roots of oft-forgotten chapters of American history in spectacular detail. 
  3. Daniel Day-Lewis (DDL) steals the show – as much as I love Leo, I had a really hard time connecting to his character – not sure if this was to the fault of the character development (cut scenes, etc) or his acting prowess, but it was just weak. Same goes for Cameron Diaz’s character…they just were ‘eh’ to me. Between their odd accents and awkward scenes, I just couldn’t connect with them. On the other hand, DDL, who portrays Bill “The Butcher” Cutting really draws you in. From the elaborate costuming and attention to details (hairstyle, mannerisms, accent) I found myself rooting for a psychotic murderer…go figure. Also, another fun fact: it was said that to prepare for this role, DDL listened to Eminem.
  4. There is some dark/ironic humor – but you might have to use Closed Captioning to realize it – sometimes hubs and I turn on the CC option so we don’t miss dialogue – glad we did this time, too!
  5. The soundtrack stays with you – along with the masterful set design and costuming, the audio selections were very powerful.
All in all, it was definitely a moving cinematic experience. I would NOT recommend if you are squeamish around blood – and though most of the language is set in period slang, it’s definitely worthy of its R rating…and I know I’ve said it before, but it’s hard to believe that this was released a decade ago…that was the year I graduated HIGH SCHOOL. Wow.

Seen any good movies lately? I want to see the Avengers – maybe later this month!

All images from IMDB.com

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2 thoughts on “Gangs of New York – my thoughts.

    • I am pretty intrigued by that movie, too. The previews make it look like good ol’ sci-fi thrillers…

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