Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Movie Madness: American Gangster

I can best sum up this movie by paraphrasing my good buddy ES, with whom I saw this decent film last night: "I felt like I've seen it before." This is not to say that it was bad - on the contrary, we both thought it was quite good. But the story line's the same as it ever was: there's a bad guy, doing some bad stuff, there's a cop, doing some stuff that's not perfect, but not as bad as the stuff the bad guy's doing, and the cop is going to bring the bad guy to justice. Simple as that, right? Going into this movie, you have to think that the bad guy is going to get caught eventually, because even if it's based on a true story, movies like this don't get made where the ending is "good guy sucks, bad guys win." It just doesn't happen (here's where the film buffs tell me I'm wrong and name movies where this happens - go ahead! I'm curious!). Two things I really liked: the countless fine actors who appeared in this movie - you never knew who would be on screen next; the violence - yes, I had to cover my eyes, because sometimes it was really, really bad, but it was completely appropriate for a film about a GANGSTER. Come on, violence haters! It's based on a true story, so roll with it.
Oscar worthy? In any other year, I'd say a lock for Best Adapted Screenplay, but not up against all the other stuff coming out. Maybe a nod for Denzel, but not Russell, and maybe for the aged Ruby Dee, who had a dynamite scene that everyone's talking about. That's all it takes for a supporting nomination, one phenomenal scene, and boy, does she have it.

American Gangster - B

4 comments:

Ashley said...

Part of this movie was shot on my block.

amandarama said...

which part?

senor fuerte said...

A few thoughts:
1. You're right on about Ruby Dee, but I also thought that Josh Brolin stole every single scene he was in.
2. This movie was chockfulla automotive anachronisms. I'm not talking about cars that are one or two years out of period; I'm talking about watching a scene set in 1968 and seeing a 1995 Civic drive through the frame. Bad.
3. "Do You Feel Me" has just GOT to win the Oscar for best original song.
4. Speaking of music, I highly recommend you go out and purchase a copy of this film's fine soundtrack. Check out the liner notes, and look under "Special Thanks." There I am!

Ashley said...

No idea. Haven't seen it yet. When I do, I'll let you know. They had the 3 blocks of 137th blocked off for an entire weekend. The corner to the west is a little boarded up and run-down looking. That's my guess for what made it in the film. It still looks of that time period.