Gangs of New York (2002)

Martin Scorsese teamed with cinematographer Michael Ballhaus in the making the epic film, Gangs of New York.

Its is a historical drama film. Set In the mid-1800s New York City was a brutal place to be with rival gangs dominating almost every aspect of daily life. In the middle of things “Amsterdam” (Leonardo DiCaprio) sets out on a quest to avenge his father’s “The Priest” (Liam Neeson) death by killing gang leader Bill “the Butcher”(Daniel Day-Lewis) Cutting, beating, scheming and falling in love with a beautiful pickpocket “Jenny”(Cameron Diaz) along the way.

Gangs of New York jumps straight into the “meat” of the story from the beginning. As the film progresses quickly the reality of the brutality and crazy characters at the start, overtime time solidifies, and our focus is drawn to the performances of some great actors. The impact of the rough and raw life at the time and the flow of the film almost leads us to expect DeCaprio to break out with a song like Clint Eastwood did in “Paint your Wagon”. Thank goodness he doesn’t!

I personally think the acting was really good. DiCaprio did a solid job on acting and portraying his character. Day-Lewis ruled the screen acting as a very twisted meat cutter that was larger than life and definitively sadistic!! My favorite actress of all times Cameron Diaz didn’t really pull it off. I wouldn’t say this was her strongest performance. And she kind of left me wanting more out of her.

The incredible cinematography, colorful sets, backgrounds and the costumes were fantastic and really made this movie pop! This was also a well-written film and I really enjoyed the intricacies of the dialogue. The use of the English language eloquently portrays what the times might have been in Five Points NY in the 1800s.

Gangs of New York is a great film and full of eye candy! The special effects kind of “eye candy” doesn’t really come into play in this movie. The great camera work, directing and editing make this film look so good and flow so well. Shot using Super 35mm film. And the combined use of crane shots, smoke and fog filters, creative use of lighting, vivid colors, costumes and great camera positioning makes this movie a pleasure to watch.

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