LYDIA and JAN'S MIDWINTER FILM FESTIVAL
JAN 20 THRU FEB 9, 2003
Gangs of New York
Spectrum Seven Theatres
Jan 20th: Monday, 7PM
Albany temperature: High 19 Low -6
"The Gangs of New York": A Review
This film, starring newly returned to the cinema, Leonard DiCaprio, is the story of
Amsterdam - played by DiCaprio, the son of Priest, leader of an Irish gang called The Dead Rabbits.
It is about Amsterdam's life as a young adult trying to avenge the death of his father, when Amsterdam was just a child called Michael. How, and why, he changed his name has a lot to do with this story.
In the film, the story is undone by a mediocre plot, but is enhanced by good acting. Alongside DiCaprio is a girlfriend, played by Cameron Diaz and a bad guy, played by Daniel Day Lewis.
The plot of this movie is mostly about the actual fighting, which means: a lot of blood and gore.
Good for fans of action, but not my personal favorite.
Overall, I rate it at 15 degrees.
#1 "Cinema or Stress?"
I bought a thick slice of banana nut bread and a Bengal Spice tea. Lydia got a dark, chewy nut brownie and a large paper cup of milk. I finished the nut bread before the coming attractions were over. Lydia held on to her brownie well into the first, of far too many, bloody battles we were to witness in "Gangs of New York" (GoNY).
After we got home I ran the title (GoNY) through the waring blender of an internet anagram generator (http://www.ssynth.co.uk/~gay/anagram.html) and got back "fog greasy snow" which made some sense, so then I tried the director's name "Martin Scorsese" and got back "Cinema or Stress?" which certainly qualifies as the title for my portion of this review.
Bloody snow, blood running in the streets, bloody battles, bloody meat butchering, bloody meat debasement, a bloody mess - bloody hell. Knives everywhere. Knife wielding gangmembers, card shark stabbed - hand pinned to the table, carnival knife throwing, bandoleers of knives strapped to bloody warriors. And what are the names of these 19th century NYC lower-class street gangs we meet in (GoNY): the Natives, the Bowery Boys, the Pug Uglies, the Dead Rabbits, the Whyos, the Five Points Gang, the Eastmans, the Hells Kitchen Gophers, the 40 Theives, and the Shirt Tails. It leaves me wondering, to quote a newly arrived Irish immigrant as he steps off the boat and is immediately conscripted into U.S. Grant's northern army and sent to fight against the rebels in the south "Where's Tennessee?"
The madness, mayhem, grottos, lurid costumes and quest for the pot of gold at the end of the Manhattan Bridge reminded me of "Harry Potter y la Camera Secreto" as it was called in the version Lydia and I saw in Buenos Aires just last month. At the end of that movie Harry Potter gets his diploma, and at the end of this movie, Leonardo DeCaprio, looking like he survived the sinking of the Titanic after all, gets the other guys girl. Sunset, fade to black.
As a postscript I tried "Leonardo DeCaprio" in the anagram machine and got "airdrop coed alone" which I'm sure he wouldn't mind, and as an episode of "Celebrity Survivor" would make an interesting reality tv-show.
Jan's rating: 15 degrees