6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 2012
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.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 September 2008
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.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2011
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
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2015
A great but flawed film with a terrific performance by Daniel Day Lewis. The reason for my review however is to let people know that this remastered version is region free. It's no secret that the UK version of this film looks atrocious on blu ray and annoyingly the remastered version is still only available outside the UK. This U.S version is thankfully region free, the photos provided shows the words All regions on the disc. There is a review on blu-ray.com of this remastered version, the picture quality really is excellent as is the 5.1 dts surround sound and there are tons of extras too. I purchased mine from seller all your music, I've bought a lot from them and never had a problem.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2008
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.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 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. For example: in one shot, Scorsese pans from newly arrived immigrants who are welcomed, given the nationality, provided a uniform, and enlisted into the Union army to coffins of dead soldiers being unloaded on another peer.
Ultimately, a film lives or dies by its screenplay and acting, and herein lies Gangs of New York's polarizing point. Whether you focus on the slightly uneven story (oddly shortened in places by pressured editing) or the fantastic performances will determine whether Gangs makes it or breaks it, but for its sheer visual power and acting it deserves to be seen. Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Brendan Gleeson and John C. Reilly are all a joy to see when on top form, but the true feast here is Daniel Day Lewis's grand-standing, violent and xenophobic Bill The Butcher. A role that Robert De Niro (for whom it was originally intended over the years). The chances of this film becoming a favorite are slim, but at the very least you'll walk away with an indelible character to remember.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2010
How many movies were considered to be rubbish when they first came out on theatres only to be made timeless classics after a few decades? Well, the answer is many - and Gangs of New York may as well be the next inclusion.
Blade Runner; The Shinning; Apocalypse Now; and others are clear examples.
Yes, I agree with some reviews. Gangs is not fully appealing and DiCaprio might have been a miscast. Diaz is pretty but no great actress. But none of these factors actually change the final product. There is Day-Lewis. In my opinion, playing his best role ever. The typical villain we all love to hate. The production is flawless, from the period costumes to the architecture. The mood is also there... chaos, slightly surreal. Filthy.
Brilliant! Scorcese on top form!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Although I really AM NOT a fan of Leonardo Di Caprio, I still loved this most excellent film. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.
In February 1846 in Lower Manhattan a battle takes place between two large gangs. Bill "the Butcher" Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis) leads The Natives, a band composed of US-born outlaws - they go against "Priest" Vallon (Liam Neeson) and his Irish immigrant gang, the Dead Rabbits. The fight is watched from distance by "Priest" Vallon's son, Amsterdam (Leonardo Di Caprio). This extremely violent and bloody battle will have then consequences for years and years to come - all the way until the Great New York Draft Riots between 13 and 16 June 1863. This very real, extremely dramatic episode, was possibly the largest single popular uprising in history of USA and it ended only when Lincoln ordered the bombardment of New York City by US Navy and the use of Gatling machine guns against rioters...
This is a very, very good, powerful film, long (160 minutes) but never boring. It is both a darn good story and a precious history lesson and I really couldn't find any weaknesses in it.
For reasons which I am not fully able to understand myself I am really alergic to Leonardo Di Caprio, although I admit that he is a great actor. Fortunately (for me and people like me), his character is completely overshadowed and dominated in the whole film by the immense presence of Bill "The Butcher" Cutting, played by Daniel Day-Lewis in a way which simply made me fell on my knees! Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson and John C. Reilly offer great performances too. On another hand, if Cameron Diaz is of course always a pleasure to watch, her character is ultimately not really necessary for this film - if she disappeared, we probably wouldn't even notice.
This film was very deservedly nominated for 10 Oscars but won nothing - which I completely can't understand... I reckon one of the reasons was the anger of many left-winged influent intellectuals against Scorsese, who showed in this film that Abraham Lincoln, far from being an angel, was an EXTREMELY ruthless and merciless man and also reminded very usefully how horribly racist were white Northerners during the War Between States and how unpopular was this war (and the abolitionists) amongst the working class people...
I never expected that I would like this film so much (let's stress again how much I cannot stand Leonardo Di Caprio) and therefore watching it was for me a very, very pleasant surprise. A recommended viewing. Enjoy!