Gangs Of New York

So last night I was sitting around my apartment getting ready to settle in for a Saturday night. I just finished some Stouffers French Bread pizza with pepperoni and just was gonna stay in and watch the tv. But at the last minute I headed down the street for this Gangs flick. I left my apartment at 8:40 for an 8:50 movie  so I only caught one preview. It was for 'Kill Bill' which I had seen online already and was curious to see what the audience reaction would be. It was pretty much a flatline except for this like 3 year old kid a few rows back that went 'Oooh!...' I was like that's nice. A little kid is here for the next three hours. It was a late nite movie and he was way too young to be there. During the movie when there was a shot of someone with blood all over his face the kid said, 'Ewww!' Great momming, by that mom..

Anyway, the one good thing I can say about this movie is that somehow it successfully sidestepped becoming a complete fuckin disaster. From the very beginning- the movie didn't feel right to me. There was an opening gangwar scene which seemed overedited and not vicious enough. No guts. No glory. It was like- Show both sides. Cut to. Guys rushing at each other yelling! Cut to. An axe in hand! Cut to. A guy spinning around with a dying in pain face! Cut to. A knife slicing through the air! Cut to. Overhead shot of the whole battlefield. Show how many extras there are! Cut to. Close up of an eye. Cut to. Knife stab in the side then a pull up on it. Cut to. Running and yelling sideslashing someone along the way! Cut. Cut. Cut. Then show the slow fade out to the blood stained snow and the bodies. Typical. Yawn. It didn't even raise my heartbeat.

But this movie was good in some ways. Daniel Dunce Lewis finally decided to bless us with his presence and got all dressed up clowny for the occasion. So nice of him to join us. Who really cared that he was gone. Yeah he turned in a good performance but it wasn't all that. Leo did his job desperately hanging onto an accent by his fingertips and Cameron Diaz didn't bother me at all. She never does. She's underrated. It had a nice sidecast including the sidekick little guy from Snatch who was fun too.

So the movie moves along with attempts to wow with the detailed sets and costumes. But that gets old really fast. The real problem I had was I didn't like or hate anyone at all -I didn't even dislike Daniel Dunce Lewis until the last 40 minutes. He didn't seem so bad up till then. He was kind of respectful and fair. And you don't get a feel for why everyone is so angry. Or what the hell they're fighting about anyway. There is no passion behind all the expensive scenery. This flick was drained of ooomph and not one scene made me sit up straight. I just slouched there and plodded through it.

The movie did hold my attention all the way thru though. It did show a slice of time that I had never thought about before- with those crazed Irish hooligans all crazed boozy kooky. I was impressed by the film's bigness and I liked the colors and I liked the old wood and the ships and the sound. But when you add it all up, if the History Channel put together the story of the old gangs in new york with illustrations and good narration I would have been just as interested as I was in this movie. Actually the History channel would have probably been more interesting  Point made in only an hour too.

Three Good Things About this Movie

- The clowny hats and costumes were funny.
- It definitely was coolio seeing shots in different places of 'old new york' and thinking about how crazy shit went down at one time.
- There was no lack of boobage.

Three Bad Things About this Movie

- You get the feeling none of this really ever happened in this way at all ever.
- The violence wasn't strong enough for me.
- Zero surprises, forced, and overlong.

Finally the awful awful closing credits boomed up on the screen. The giant ugly graphics seemingly screaming out 'YOU JUST SAW AN EPIC MOVIE! DID YOU TAKE NOTE OF HOW EPIC? WE HIT ALL THE RIGHT NOTES! HISTORICAL, EMOTIONAL, BEAUTIFUL, AND POWERFUL! WE GAVE YOU EVERYTHING YOU COULD HAVE WANTED! EPIC I TELL YOU IT WAS! DID YOU SEE THAT!? EPIC!!!'  Yeah right.... umm.. great job... and whatever. 


(i gave the mom with the kid a mean look on the way out.)