I just saw Gangs of New York

No one’s started a thread on this yet, so here goes. I think this was Scorcese’s best movie since Goodfellas, but it wasn’t quite as good as that movie. The best thing about, by far, is the performance of Daniel Day Lewis as the villain, Bill “the Butcher” Cutter. This is really Lewis’ movie. He dominates every scene that he’s in. Lewis’ character is so strong, in fact, that he basically blows DiCaprio off the screen. This is probably the movie’s only real flaw. The protagonist is nowhere near as interesting as the villain.

I liked all of the other little historical details and real historical characters too, but I honestly think this could have simply been a story about Bill the Butcher and not lost anything. Lewis will have to get an oscar nom for this, and probably deserves to win it.

I’m interested in other opinions. Whadja think?

I can’t wait to see this!

Diogenes, I’ve respected your opinion in so many threads. I look forward to seeing this film.

Do you know who Daniel Day Lewis’s father-in-law is?[/hijack]

I saw it this afternoon and have to say I was less than thrilled. I liked Lewis’s character as well, but the movie seemed to go nowhere for three hours, until the end, when we’re presented with Yet Another Really Long Gruesome Battle Between The Good Guy and the Bad Guy, Wherein All The Minions Have Conveniently Vanished.

I enjoyed the film immensely visually; I think Scorcese did a fine job re-creating 19th century Manhattan. His portrayal of the Tammany dudes and fire brigades was amusing as well.

Arthur Miller is his father in law and he is also the the son of the Anglo-Irish writer Cecil Day-Lewis, British poet laureate in the late sixties and early seventies.

And I will see this movie only because DDL is in it. He always amazes me.

Arthur Miller. :slight_smile:

I see where you’re coming from. The movie IS flawed, but I thought that DDL’s performance, along with all of the visual details and historical side stories made it well worth watching. I agree that Amsterdam’s quest to avenge his father’s death is the least interesting part of the movie. As I said in my OP, I believe that the DiCaprio character could have been dispensed with completely. (BTW, DiCaprio doesn’t suck or anything. His performance is fine, it’s just not a very well-written character)

I basically agree with the previous posts, except with a twist. This could have been made into two really interesting movies. The DDL/LDC movie where LDC avenges his fathers death. Then the there could have been another really interesting movie made about 1860’s New York, and the draft into the Civil War. I really liked, the friend I saw it with said it wasn’t worth the 3 hours.

Plus they showed boobs! Woo Hoo!

I’ve always wanted to use the spoiler tags!


Yeah but…

…they didn’t show the RIGHT boobs (i.e. Cameron Diaz’s)


Just saw GONY tonight…and while it’s not perfect, I think a flawed Scorese film is infinately more interesting than a “perfect” film from any other director.

My main problem was with the story structure and pacing. The sequence where Amsterdamn leaves the boys home and returns home is a mess; we get images of him returning home overlaid with out-of-place narration concerning Irish immigrants and intercut with scenes of Bill the Butcher and Boss Tweed talking business. We’re getting 3 story points jammed down our throats at once, none of which are thematically linked really.

I also disliked the sequence where the politcal mechanisms of Tammany are shown, and Monk Eastman is elected Sheriff only to be killed by the Butcher. In the aftermath of the confrontation between the Butcher and Amsterdamn, it just seems kind of out of place…stopping the personal story dead cold just for the sake of sketching out a picture of ward politics. Such info should have been placed into the movie earlier on.

Oh, and those spoken police dispatches were awful. Ruined the seriousness of what should have been a dire scene.

I loved much of the movie, though. I thought the acting was excellent all around, and there are many scenes that are as good as anything from Raging Bull or Goodfellas (the opening battle scene and the scene where Bill, wounded and sleepless, talks to Amsterdamn quietly with a American flag draped around him)
I’d give the movie a 8 out of 10, and think it deserves a Best Picture nomination.

One small thing that bugs me, though…having read the original Jay Cocks 4th draft script from 1993, which had a very different story arc (Amsterdamn and the Butcher remaining hostile enemies throughout, more grimy details of New York life concerning white slavery, child murders, and drug addiction, and a spectacular climax where the Dead Rabbits attempt to loot a armory and rob a bank during the height of the riots) I can’t help but compare what I originally envisioned and what wound up on film. I’d say they should have stuck with the original storyline…we would have missed out on the frisson between Bill and Amsterdamn (except for a temporarily alliance at the end, where the Dead Rabbits and Native Americans unite to fight the militia) but I think it would have been a more satisfying story overall.

I am not sure I will go see the film given the mixed reviews. What I am wondering is who was crazy enough to give Scorcese 100 million dollars to make the film. I mean he is a great director but none of his films have grossed 100 and few of them crossed the 50 million mark IIRC. This one doesn’t look likely to reach 50. Maybe it will be the biggest flop of the year and a pretty predictable one.

I agree with the majority of opinions in this thread… it was good but not great. Daniel Day Lewis did an amazing job. Cameron Diaz was much better than I excepted, Leonardo isn’t one of my favorites but he was OK too. Yeah, I say 7 or 8 out of 10. Worth matinee fee but not full price.

Keith Berry - I think that the election sub-plot was important because it helped illustrate Amsterdamn’s growing importance in the Five Points and how Bill’s time was fading. In the 16 years since Priest Vallon’s death, everyone owed alliegence to the Butcher. Former enemies were now toadies. Natives and immigrants alike pay homage and kickbacks. Boss Tweed needed him. Now with someone to bring together the old factions and the new immigrants, his time was fading. It didn’t really matter if Amsterdamn killed him or not - he was history and the Five Points were changing, never to return to the anarchy of the past. And the immigrants were only part of it - it continues the story of the evolution of New York with the militia. Government steps in to quell the riots, bringing a harsh order to the lawlessness of the Five Points. To not tell the story of the Tammany politics would be to only tell half the story, or less.


Is this a UL? I heard that Scorsese had to beg DDL to come out of returement to make this film because he was working quietly in Rome as a cobbler? WTF?

I will probably see it soon.

The cobbler story, weird as it seems, isn’t a UL.

I enjoyed the film, and contend that it was well done.

Sadly, it seems to be doing poorly sales wise.

Daoloth - Unfortunately, this was probably an poor week to open, because of the release of TTT. I saw TTT twice this weekend, as well as GONY. Hopefully it’ll pick up.


Mind you, GONY opened in only a fraction of the theatres that TTT did.

It’s a decent movie, but sadly the main character just isn’t that interesting. Like Diogenes, I think it would have been a stronger film if it had been purely the story of Bill the Butcher, with the bit about that Irish punk wanting revenge used only as a subplot.

Also, the Scorcese touch is missing throughout much of the movie. It plods, and the camera is almost always static. I had a hard time believing the fight scenes were from the same man who directed Raging Bull. The only place I really felt the Scorcese magic was in the dockside scene, which showed Irish immigrants literally turning into cannon fodder before your eyes.

Maid in Manhattan outperformed it, IIRC.

StGermain…please re-read my original post.

I didn’t have a problem with a brief depiction of electoral fraud…just a problem with its placement in the film. That kind of factual and semi-humorous sequence belonged earlier on in the film, not when things between our main characters should have been heating up.