Gangs of New York

billthebutchAround 2 am the other night while I was on Juni watch I decided to turn on the Netflix and watch a movie. Japanese Netflix is mediocre, but Gangs of New York is on there. Gangs is one of those movies that was huge with my friends when it came out but for whatever reason, I never got around to watching it.

Meh, it was alright middle of the night entertainment, but overall stupid and incoherent. First of all, I can’t buy DiCaprio as a badass. He’s a great actor and convincing in roles like The Great Gatsby or Wolf of Wall Street, but a badass Irish street brawler.. fuck no. I particularly didn’t understand why anyone would follow him over Bill, dude had a complete lack of charisma. Cameron Diaz’s character was equally stupid and had absolutely no reason for any of her actions.

The movie was incoherent in message because we were supposed to feel for the poor Irish immigrants, but every single one of them is portrayed as thieves, crooks, whores, or corrupt, and only shown living like violent animals. Not only that but I don’t feel much pathos for the good guys when the good guys are shown rioting and lynching blacks because they don’t want to go fight for the Union in the Civil War.

The best part of the movie and the only reason I kept watching was Bill The Butcher. Daniel Day Lewis puts out a fantastic performance and every time he comes on screen I was captivated by one of the manliest mustaches in film history. Excellent character that was wasted on an otherwise shitty movie.

I’ve come to realize that I don’t appreciate movies that much. I can sit for ten hours straight reading a novel cover to cover, but a two-hour movie rarely manages to keep me interested or engaged. Most of all I’ve realized that I don’t enjoy the great movies everyone else hypes up. I keep trying to watch Scorsese, Coppola, Kubrick, and others famous from that 70’s-80’s era and end up feeling underwhelmed.

The one good thing about watching the movie is that now I’m inspired to read some history about 19th century New York and The Five Points.



9 thoughts on “Gangs of New York

  1. I pretty much haven’t thought of Gangs of New York since I saw it when it came out. Definitely a mediocre-at-best movie.

    Southerners tend to obsess over Civil War-era history, but we aren’t paying much attention to what was happening in New York. So the historical context is super interesting, but, yeah, better to read a nonfiction book on it.

    You aren’t into movies because movies in general are substantially inferior to books. The mystery is why most people aren’t into books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to be able to tolerate sitting through movies, now just the thought of it irritates me. I went and sat through Deadpool 2 when it came out and honestly the whole time I couldn’t wait for it to be over. The last movie I enjoyed sitting through was Dunkirk.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed it, maybe because the fight scenes are pretty fun. Stuff like watching the firemen and policemen brawling over territory while a building burns down and is looted tickled me. And I also loved DDL’s performance.

    As HP pointed out, it’s a little piece of history you don’t often see portrayed, so maybe that also captured me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Scorsese is one of those Directors whose works is constantly praised, but honestly I haven’t been overly impressed by it. The only movie of his that I genuinely enjoyed was Taxi Driver, mostly because it was neo-noir, but even that movie felt try-hard and edgy at times, unlike the classic film noir it modeled itself after which often dealt with dark themes but never resorted to cheap tactics to manipulate the viewer’s emotions.

    Same with Kubrick or Coppola; pretentious arthouse fluff like 2001 A Space Odyssey and Apocalypse Now were complete snoozefests.

    I am becoming less and less interested in movies as well, same with TV Shows. Books have become one of my main entertainment hobbies, which is quite a pleasant surprise for me since I grew up reading only Harry Potter.

    Yeah, I know, full-body cringe, but it was either that or the dreadfully boring literature they gave us at school, and as a fellow Romanian I’m sure you know what I mean 🙂

    Reading the older works from pulp writers has turned me into a full-time reader.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When it comes to movies, may I suggest the classics? Do a web search for American Film Institute’s Top 100 Movies list. Copy the list and sort them in chronological order. It makes sense to watch them oldest to latest because newer movies reference older ones.

    Consider it a Barbarian film class. You won’t like every movie; I certainly didn’t. But there are some real gems in there.



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