American Gangster was borin' as hell

Discussion in 'Movies, Entertainment & Various Music Genres' started by Blaine Fontaine, Nov 4, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Ignorant

    Ignorant Village Idiot

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Messages:
    17,755
    ^Some would say that the westerns/cowboys are a precursor to gangsters/mob.

    The cowboys were the earliest form of organized crime. Portraying the mob now is just an update.

    I see the logic in your assessment of the movie, though. I did think the effects of his dealings were very minimized, but I don't know if he was romanticized all that much, either.
    test
  2. Brahm@n

    Brahm@n New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Messages:
    792
    he's talking about the lawmen maintaining town order

    the gary cooper in high noon types who fought the bands of outlaws



    jeus, i can see where you're coming from and agree with you in spirit, but i don't know what else the movie could have done... it showed footage of the squalor and pain users were living in (i.e. passing out in bathtubs, emaciated babies crying by their dead overdosed parents, etc.). did you find these too fleeting though? what would you like to have seen? more similar montages? longer, drawn-out scenes of the like?

    i'm with ignorant. perhaps it did soften the real frank lucas up a bit, but i think it remained fairly neutral and objective as a work of art... not glamourizing but not holding the audience's hand toward a "this is bad" message either

    there was one part of the movie i took issue with and saw as a bit glamourized however. the scene where his footsoldiers are distributing the product backed by a "let's get it!" hustler type song... i forget which track it was exactly, but i think cheap, exploitive film scoring like that should remain with the second-rate straight-to-vid master p movies. a film like american gangster should have used more subtle music or left a scene like that scoreless.

    other than that, i can't remember anything that was overly promotional
    test
  3. Ignorant

    Ignorant Village Idiot

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Messages:
    17,755
    If anything, "The Godfather" overly romanticized gangster life by cloaking it in FAMILY VALUES... even the author Mario Puzo tried to give it that line of reasoning.

    I thought the film meandered at times and like I wrote previously, the editing was bad... but overall, it was a sharp portrayal. I didn't see a slant of pro or con, either way. I do agree that the parallel between Roberts and Lucas might've been strained, but it seemed like he needed a neat frame of reference to tell the story.
    test
  4. The Jeus

    The Jeus _________

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Messages:
    6,419
    I think this adequately sums up my objections to it. Isn't the artist supposed to express a point of view? From what vantage point is Ridley Scott showing us Frank Lucas? I got the feeling he was trying too hard to keep the audience feeling as neutral toward Frank as possible, which to my mind is self-defeating, because if the audience can take or leave the character the outcome doesn't really matter, especially when the audience comes in knowing how it ends.
    So you either raise the stakes and adopt an approach to showcase the broader scope of Frank's range of influence (how does his cousin get the drugs into the coffins without the military knowing?, etc) or you veer into the same hyper-violent big budget B-movie territory where The Departed went. This film stays on the fence between the two and ends up muddled in my opinion. Or it could be that I just don't particularly care for Ridley Scott as a director. (I didn't really like Gladiator, Blade Runner, or Thelma and Louise either, and those were also critically-acclaimed).

    Right, except the audience allegiance has changed sides. We used to cheer for Wyatt Earp, now we'd side with the Clanton's.
    test
  5. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze pop warner hof

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2000
    Messages:
    9,911

    Based on a true story.
    test
  6. Riz

    Riz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2002
    Messages:
    8,537
    I thought it was excellent; my favourite film of the year so far.

    I disagree. The Thanksgiving scene showed that while he was getting rich and providing a life for his family he was doing it by destroying the families and lives of others. When he gets out of prison we see that he's left with nothing. Not just without money, but without the things that are most important to him (mainly family).

    Also, I felt the film did a good job of justifying what he did. He was as righteous as he could possibly be in an unrighteous situation.
    test
  7. double ML

    double ML Guest

    ^^i'ma guess you aint' seen 300, mr. brooks, or live free die hard yet
    test
  8. Brahm@n

    Brahm@n New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Messages:
    792
    i don't think the artist is supposed to do anything but create a work of art

    and, the vantage point can be an indifferent documentarian one. simply depicting the events that happened as one's own imagination would conceive.

    i agree that it's a shame there could be negative consequences in terms of not educating the audience with what you and i deem as "the positive message", but i don't think it's the filmmaker's obligative duty or responsibility



    i think your anti-ridley scott bias is weighing in heavily here [funny]

    i can see where you're coming from on some level (i.e. investigating some pertinent questions, etc.), but i don't think it was as irresponsible or B-movie as you're making it out to be








    i think he could have extended a little more effort as there was some righteousness within his grasp that he neglected to take

    it's like the vietnamese supplier told him... "quitting when you're on top isn't quitting". he refused to quit, however, and continued to cause destruction to his community out of greed when he actually had enough money to funnel back in some sort of rebuilding effort to counter the unrighteous situation which spawned his existence in the first place.

    i don't see how what he did can be justified (explained maybe) in any way as it is, though.
    test
  9. The Jeus

    The Jeus _________

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Messages:
    6,419
    I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you typed this in jest.

    2-3 shots of junkies passing out vs. him building a 9-figure empire? Anyway, I think this is the sort of detail that will bog down this discussion. So let's leave it there.

    We never see him in prison, though. We never see his trial, the verdict, and even when we see him emerge as the man alone, he is unsympathetic because we know anyone who would be there to greet him was either a victim of his own actions or someone he sold up the river who was still inside. There's no reason to care about him at that moment.

    We simply disagree on this point.

    You believe in a distinction here that I don't.

    I can't imagine a documentarian being indifferent to his/her subject matter. It's possible to aim for neutrality in reportage, but that's not what we're dealing with here. The events in the lives of Frank and Richie are chosen specifically to tell a specific story for a specific point or set of points. I just can't put together what it was Scott was trying to get across. If its goal is as Riz posits in his last point, then I think it failed. He doesn't. And so we discuss.
    test
  10. Riz

    Riz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2002
    Messages:
    8,537
    You're right, he could have done more than I made out... but the thing for me is that once you get to a certain point I don't think it's a matter of quitting. It's like the Mob boss told him, you can be unsuccessful and have friends or you can be successful and have enemies. By the time the war was over Frank had made far too many enemies to ever be able to be unsuccessful. Giving back to the community wouldn't save him from the corrupt cops or the rival gangs/drug dealers.

    What was your opinion of the actual film, Brah? I don't think you've said yet.

    I would argue that that's the biggest indictment of what he did. He's not alone because a rival gang killed all his family and friends, he's alone because, like you said, they're victims of his actions.

    I was probably too strong with my "righteous as possible" comment, but I think ultimately he did what he thought was the Amerian way. At the beginning Bumpy says that extreme capitalism was destroying America, but Frank saw it as the very thing that defined America... in the end if you think Frank was completely wrong or not comes down to what side of that fence you fall on.
    test
  11. The Jeus

    The Jeus _________

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Messages:
    6,419
    Interesting, although perhaps both are correct.
    test
  12. calycain

    calycain New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Messages:
    58
    that shit was koo
    test
  13. Brahm@n

    Brahm@n New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Messages:
    792
    very good.

    on my list, would rank it #6 of 2007 behind

    1. before the devil knows you're dead
    2. eastern promises
    3. no country for old men
    4. 3:10 to yuma (great rec on your part)
    5. beowulf
    test
  14. Superman70

    Superman70 edited

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    16,116
    after seeing 1 and 3 today, those are def. my top 2 for the year.

    Beowulf is in the top 10 too.

    I haven't seen 2 or 4 yet on your list
    test
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Users Viewing Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 0)