"One of the big controversies surrounding this film was that Martin Scorcese was forced to cut nearly an hour of footage from his final vision in order to get the studio to release it. That's understandable, as not many people will be willing to sit through a 4 hour movie in theatres. So with the release of it on DVD, we should get the complete version, right? Well... it doesn't seem so.The details on this DVD mention nothing about extra footage. Isn't one of the benefits of the DVD format that we get to see what the director intended before politics and marketing step in? I for one would like to see the COMPLETE movie, the movie that Scorcese wanted to make, rather than the movie which was released, even though that movie was quite good.I have a feeling that the studio is just doing the usual DVD scam of releasing the theatrical version as soon as possible to catch people while they are still hyped on this movie from the theatrical release and post-Oscar boost. After a few months, hopefully they will release a director's cut, causing many people to go back and buy the DVD a second time. I, for one, will wait as long as it takes until the full version comes out. I'm sick of getting scammed by these studios into buying one version, and then seeing a "special edition" with all sorts of extras come out a few months later. Not gonna happen this time, buddy-boy."
This Movie Gets 4 Stars Because...
The Groove | Boston, MA | 01/26/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"1.) It's an unflinchingly realistic story of an Irish immigrant (Amsterdam, played by Leonardo DiCaprio) who vows to avenge the cold murder of his father by the gang leader of the "natives" (Cutting, played by Daniel Day Lewis).2). At 2 hours and 45 minutes, "Gangs of New York" moves at a brisk pace that keeps the viewer hooked to the screen.3). Daniel Day Lewis is absolutely electrifying as Will Cutting, the ruthless butcher who is Amsterdam's sworn enemy. (Cameron Diaz's role, however, is completely disposable and DiCaprio's performance starts off strong, but flies off the rails by the end of the movie.)4). Director Marty Scorcese is a gifted storyteller, and in this movie, he doesn't gloss over the blatant racism and social unrest that pervaded New York City in the mid 1800's.Is it Scorcese's masterpiece? No, it isn't. It also doesn't live up to the hype generated by some critics who gush over this movie. But it is a solid, raw, and thoroughly entertaining film that's not for the thin-skinned or squeamish.Grade: B+"
Godawful Blu Ray disk
M. Hafner | Switzerland | 06/24/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Disney just slapped the old transfer made for the DVD on this BD disk. The DVD was notorious for bad image quality with grotesquely overdone digital sharpening and noise filtering. The Blu Ray is the same, justh with additional resolution to see all the uglyness with enhanced clarity. This is a crap transfer that should be withdrawn immediately or it will damage Disney's reputation of releasing high quality HD disks. Yes, it is this bad compared to the state of the art from Disney and other studios."
Major Disappointment from a Major Director
The Groove | 12/27/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This material would seem to be perfectly suited to Scorsese's talents. Unfortunately, the result is a big disappointing mess. Set in the slums of lower Manhattan during the early 1860s, the movie is supposed to chronicle the gang warfare that plagued mid-19th-century New York City and the political machinations of Boss Tweed, who played hardball ethnic politics and cleverly pitted the Catholic immigrants against the native Protestants. As I said, right up Scorsese's alley. Instead what we get is a tired, trite, overlong cornball melodrama about a young man (an out-of-place Leonardo DiCaprio) attempting to avenge the murder of his father by infiltrating a rival gang and "befriending" the leader (an over-the-top Daniel Day Lewis) who killed Leo's dad. Leo waits (and waits, and waits...) for just the right moment to strike. But complications ensue when fatherless Leo begins to develop filial feelings for his nemesis. Will Leo ever work up the nerve to slaughter his new surrogate dad? Will new surrogate dad find out Leo's secret? Meanwhile, the Civil War and the New York City Draft Riots are brewing. Although the costumes and set designs are impressive, and some of the scenes are spectacularly shot, the movie bogs down again and again in fifth-hand melodramatic plot devices and outrageous ham acting. Particularly egregious is the usually outstanding Daniel Day Lewis (as the arch-villain Bill the Butcher), who must have decided that this movie was so ridiculous anyway that the only thing to do was stand out by giving us the hammiest damn performance ever put on celluloid. Twirling his waxed moustachio, sporting a garish glass eye, and chopping up everything in sight with his trademark meat clever, Lewis is funny as hell, but not remotely credible.The ending is so bogus and strained, it would qualify the movie as pure camp, were it not for the offensive way it turns the horrendous 1863 race riots and mass lynchings into just another plot point--and a particularly ludicrous one at that.What a missed opportunity by a great director! The growing pains of 19th-century New York City is a great subject, and the story of Tammany Hall and the Draft Riots is one of the most interesting and important in American history. Scorsese would seem to be the ideal director to tell this story. But he decided instead to make a turgid, corny, anachronistic, flashy (and flaccid) three-hour music video & costume drama. What a waste!If you want to see a good movie about generations of gang warfare in the slums, check out the 2003 Brazilian film "City of God." It should be coming out on DVD soon. It's what "Gangs of New York" should have been."
A Glorious Redemption
A. Stokes | MN | 03/03/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Every issue with the original Blu-ray release of this movie has been fixed, moving it from one of the worst releases on the format to one of the very best. This film now looks and sounds spectacular on Blu-ray and is a must own for any fan."