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Gangs of New York [DVD] [2003]

Daniel Day-Lewis , Leonardo DiCaprio , Martin Scorsese    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
Price: £2.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Gangs of New York [DVD] [2003] + The Departed (2006) [DVD] + Body Of Lies [DVD] [2008]
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Product details

  • Actors: Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Roger Ashton-Griffiths
  • Directors: Martin Scorsese
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Eiv
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Jun 2003
  • Run Time: 168 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005RDPO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,522 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Almost obliged to be huge, Gangs of New York marks the return to work of three much-admired creatives missing-in-action for the past few years: director Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis. Vast, impressive and challenging, it's unlike anything Scorsese has done in look and manner even as it is exactly the material he has obsessively turned over since his first films. A terrific 1846 prologue depicts a battle for supremacy over a district known as the Five Points between the "native-born American" mob led by William "Butcher" Cutting (Day-Lewis) and an Irish immigrant crew headed by "Priest" Vallon (Liam Neeson). The bloody outcome is the death of Priest and the rise to godfather-like prominence of the literally eagle-eyed Butcher (an eagle-marked marble replaces an eye he fished out in homage to his enemy!). Sixteen years later, Priest's son Amsterdam (DiCaprio) shows up intent on revenge, but finds himself distracted as he is drawn into the Butcher's inner circle much as another Scorsese Irishman hooked up with the mob in Goodfellas.

The film covers an array of New York historical topics--from the corrupt government of William "Boss" Tweed to the riots that rocked the community when President Lincoln tried to impose military conscription--while the actual plot wobbles slightly as Amsterdam gets involved with a winsome pickpocket (Cameron Diaz) and wavers in his vengeful resolve. DeCaprio and Diaz aren't quite strong enough characters or players to hold things together--as in a few other recent Scorsese films, heroes are let off easily though they seem guilty of as many appalling crimes as the villains--but they have to compete with an award-worthy study in moustachioed menace and corruption from Day-Lewis and an array of the best supporting actors from either side of the Atlantic (Jim Broadbent, John C Reilly, Brendan Gleeson, David Hemmings). --Kim Newman

On the DVD: Gangs of New York comes with a decent set of extras on this two-disc set. Most notable is Martin Scorsese's commentary, the first of its kind on DVD. Taking a concise approach with some moderate pauses, Scorsese avoids a scene-specific analysis, but his rich knowledge both of the historical period and of cinema history is phenomenal, as is the account of his 30-year struggle to get the film made. Documentaries include costume and set design; a tour of the set with Scorsese and production designer Dante Ferretti (with optional 360-degree view); and a well-researched and insightful historical Discovery Channel documentary. "The History of the Five Points" is accompanied by some study notes and a vocab guide, all adding to the rich historical background that this extra material provides. Less insightful and more glossy are the obligatory trailer and "Making of" documentary, complete with husky voiceover. A choice of Dolby or DTS mixes are on offer sound-wise and, as you'd expect from such a beautifully filmed epic, the transfer is superb. --Laura Bushell

Product Description

DVD Buena Vista, Region 2; Region 3 2002 167 mins

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great movie - poor blu-ray 25 Aug 2011
By Mark
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I absolutely love this movie and had it on DVD. When I moved to blu-ray it was one of the first I wanted to see on blu. But I have to agree with most of the other reviews here that the transfer on this version is very poor. Picture quality is worse than the DVD version in my opinion, the colour intensity and contrast seem to get worse through the movie. After doing some research (which I now do before any blu-ray purchase!) the general consensus is that the best blu-ray version currently available is the US remastered version, which has been confirmed as region free. Hope this helps
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining, very well-made film. 13 Sep 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Being the "Victor Meldrew" that I am, I always read the worst reviews first, and this film has a lot on this site, mainly by people who didn't like the violence. I'm not too keen on graphic violence either, but in this film it probably has a purpose. Martin Scorsese is a serious, non-exploitive, film maker, so I'm guessing he might have been commenting on the "romancing" of violence by some people.

1. There are parallels in this film to the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland betwen the Catholic "Irish", and the Protestant supporters of the union within the United Kingdom. The Irish rebels are often romanticised by foreigners of Irish extraction, who fund rebel groups. The brutality of the violence in this film demonstrates that there is no romance to fighting.

2. Similarily, gang violence in modern America is also romanticised, and glorified by gangsta rappers. It is made to sound attractive. As this film demonstrates, there is nothing attractive about gang violence.

I found the film very well-made and good looking. It could have been a Ridley Scott film, and I mean that as a compliment.

There were some good performances, especially Daniel Day-Lewis and Cara somebody, who played Hell Cat Maggie, who made Sarah Palin seem like a teddy bear. In addition, Cameron Diaz was far more attractive in this film than she is wiggling her bum in films like she normally does, and her acting was the best I've seen her do.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top quality blu ray 13 May 2011
There must be more than one version of this blu ray because mine is absolutely spot on, the quality is excellent and the soundtrack makes good use of the soundfield. There are no weak points in this movie and even the usually lightweight Cameron Diaz gives a good performance as pickpocket Jenny Evedean. If you're worried about getting a poor quality one then buy it here, you can then return it if you strike out.
At 2.75 hours long this is a big movie and I was delighted to see that it had some worthwhile extras including a 25 minute episode from the History Channel exploring the real gangs of New York. This was a worthwhile upgrade of a great movie.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy 23 July 2008
By Tiste
Terrible picture quality. Give this one a miss, even if you're a die-hard fan of the film. I made a mistake and went for it before the reviews came out, and when they did, they reinforced my view that this is a very poor Blu-ray.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality BD 10 July 2008
This is a very poor quality Blu Ray disc based on an completely outdated transfer with tons of electronic sharpening and grain reduction. People walk around with forcefields attached to them and everything gets smeared in motion. Wait for a new transfer. This one does not deserve the term high definition.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Still not remastered, sadly 16 July 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Having seen mixed opinions on Amazon about the picture quality, I was hoping that this release had been quietly remastered, since that is what has happened to the US version. Sadly not.

Right from the opening moments, it's clear that the image fidelity is not of the standard that has come to be expected of Blu-ray. There is a smearing effect during movement, the actors look as if they've had too much make-up applied and objects or people in certain shots seem to be protected by a force-field. In others, someone's hit the Wilkinson Sword option on the sharpness control.

The result looks like ersatz HD and therefore appears unnatural. Others more knowledgeable about the subject than I am may well point you in the direction of Digital Noise Reduction and Edge Enhancement. These are techniques that are sometimes used to reduce excessive film grain and sharpen the image if it is deemed necessary; however, they can be applied rather too liberally.

I appreciate that some will wonder what all the fuss is about and find it perfectly acceptable but a screenshot comparison search should demonstrate why this particular edition of Gangs of New York has had some scathing reviews. The only consolation is that at least I only parted with £5.00 for it.

Since Amazon has a policy of unifying reviews for the same film, regardless of format, please be aware that I'm referring to the first Region B Blu-ray, released in August 2007.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "They don't speak English in New York any more?" 25 Jun 2007
For a movie that was almost 3 hours, I never managed to get bored. Viewers will love to hate Daniel D. Lewis in this role. What a performance! Many ancestors could have been part of these gangs. How people survive the times is a thought that comes to mind while watching. I can only hope that the violence depicted in the film was somewhat inflated. Have things changed since the late 1800s? Sure, but gangs still exist and corruption is more rampant than ever. In the 1840s. Natives and Irsih Americans fight to the death in New York, resulting in the death of Irish leader Priest Vallon (Liam Neeson) and Native Bill The Butcher's (Daniel Day Lewis) undisputed rule of the city's criminal underworld. Vallon's son, Amsterdam (Di Caprio) escapes. And after growing into an anonymous young man, returns to reap his revenge, yet unwittingly becomes the butcher's protégé...

Scorsese was bringing a long treasured project to the screen with Gangs, creating a hype that suffered from setbacks, delayed releases and mixed reviews. In hindsight what we have is no masterpiece, but it remains an undeniably good film, with many fine qualities to make up for its flaws.

Scorsese's recreation of the city is stunning: the level of detail completely immerses the viewer into an atmosphere scarcely read of in History books. Moreover, the rich criminal world depicted here maintains a delicate balance of understandability and chaos. Scorsese couples this with his flair for music to create a truly intoxicating mood. The photography reinforces the overall effect tenfold, wonderfully sustained and carrying scattered sparks of pure genius.
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