Tuesday, October 14, 2003

welcome to paradise square

Gangs of New York could well have been Martin Scorsese's The Godfather II. Technically, it's there. It's his magnum opus. What lets it down is the story. To be precise, it's just that I kept getting the feeling that Scorsese was not as at ease as a storyteller. His oeuvre speaks volumes of his mastery of the craft of filmmaking, his love for his craft, and his expertise at telling layered stories with well-developed characters. This tale of revenge (which seemed like the theme for this week for my moviewatching) does not get enough counterpoint. It's a good film, but misses out on being a great one. The DVD is chock-full of special features, and my pick would have to be the stupendous set designed at Cinecitta Studios in Rome (yes, a film about old New York shot completely in Rome!). The performances are first-rate too, but I really wish I could shake off the feeling of being bogged down by darkness and depression. But since I wasn't ever bored watching it (the last time I had to change DVDs was with The Godfather II), I'd still recommend it.

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