Gangs of New York (2002)

January 5, 2008

[spoiler]

Director:
Martin Scorsese

Writers (WGA):
Jay Cocks (story)
Jay Cocks (screenplay) …

Release Date:
9 January 2003 (UK)

Genre:
Crime / Drama / History more

Tagline:
America Was Born In The Streets.

Plot Outline:
In 1863, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father’s killer. more

Cast
(Cast overview, first billed only)

Leonardo DiCaprio    …     Amsterdam Vallon

Daniel Day-Lewis    …     Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting

Cameron Diaz    …     Jenny Everdeane

Jim Broadbent    …     Boss Tweed

John C. Reilly    …     Happy Jack

Henry Thomas    …     Johnny Sirocco

Liam Neeson    …     ‘Priest’ Vallon

Brendan Gleeson    …     Walter ‘Monk’ McGinn
Gary Lewis    …     McGloin
Stephen Graham    …     Shang

Eddie Marsan    …     Killoran
Alec McCowen    …     Reverend Raleigh (as Alec Mccowen)
David Hemmings    …     Mr. Schermerhorn

Larry Gilliard Jr.    …     Jimmy Spoils
Cara Seymour    …     Hell-Cat Maggie

[/spoiler]

10 Oscars?  You have got to be kidding me.  Must have been a slow year.

I have seen this film a few times and just rented it again as my other half hasn’t.  I have to admit I could remember some details about the story and characters, but not much else.  Says a lot on reflection I think.

Ok, so you can gather that I don’t rate this film all that highly, but it isn’t all bad.  Daniel Day Lewis puts in a barn storming performance.  What else… hmmm.  I honestly can’t think of anything.  The sets seem a bit forced and unrealistic.  Most of the acting is so so.  The story doesn’t ring that true to me, even knowing it’s fiction.  The ending just doesn’t work.

Am I disappointed, well yes, as I am normally a Scorsese fan.  Let’s just say this won’t be rented again.


The Departed (2006)

December 30, 2007

[spoiler]

Director:
Martin Scorsese
Writers (WGA):
William Monahan (screenplay)
Siu Fai Mak (2002 screenplay Mou gaan dou)
more
Release Date:
6 October 2006 (UK)
Genre:
Crime / Drama / Thriller
Plot Outline:
Two men from opposite sides of the law are undercover within the Massachusetts State Police and the Irish mafia, but violence and bloodshed boil when discoveries are made, and the moles are dispatched to find out their enemy’s identities.
Cast
(Cast overview, first billed only)

Leonardo DiCaprio    …     Ofcr. William M. ‘Billy’ Costigan Jr.

Matt Damon    …     Det. SSgt. Colin Sullivan

Jack Nicholson    …     Francis ‘Frank’ Costello

Mark Wahlberg    …     Det. SSgt. Dignam

Martin Sheen    …     Det. Capt. Oliver Queenan

Ray Winstone    …     Mr. French

Vera Farmiga    …     Dr. Madolyn Madden

Anthony Anderson    …     Officer Brown

Alec Baldwin    …     Det. Capt. George Ellerby

Kevin Corrigan    …     Cousin Sean

James Badge Dale    …     Officer Barrigan

David O’Hara    …     Fitzy (as David Patrick O’Hara)

Mark Rolston    …     Timothy Delahunt

Robert Wahlberg    …     Agent Frank Lazio – FBI

Kristen Dalton    …     Gwen

[/spoiler]

American Gangster?  Forget it.  This is where the real star vehicle meets with truly great film making.

Cops, robbers and gangsters.  The way it should be done.


Romeo + Juliet (1996)

November 4, 2007

Director: Baz Luhrmann
Leonardo DiCaprio – Romeo
Claire Danes – Juliet

Shakespeare’s famous play is updated to the hip modern suburb of Verona still retaining its original dialogue.

I am a huge Shakespeare fan and have been since I first started reading him and I happen to love the popular remakes of his works if they are done properly.  This one is done properly.  Although the dialog is cut down from the original play it is still a magnificent tribute from Baz Luhrmann to the the great man.  This is one of my favourite films for a number of reasons, it’s the ‘bard’ for a start and then there are two great performances from the leads, the direction is great along with the modern update that works surprisingly well with the period script.  I don’t feel the need to spout any more superlatives other than to say finally:  Watch it.

(This is the film that turned me into a life long Clarie Danes fan, she is simply, IMO, one of the most beautiful women in the world).