Extended “Gangster” in the wings

The unrated extended edition DVD of American Gangster coming out on 2.19 will run 174 minutes vs. the 157-minute theatrical version. As I said in my original review, I could easily rolled with a three-hour theatrical cut.

35 thoughts on “Extended “Gangster” in the wings

  1. Me too, Wells. This was a movie that flew by the first time I saw it and actually left me wanting more, not in the sense that I thought it didn’t deliver the goods, but that I was loving it so much I could have easily sat through another 20 or 30 minutes.

  2. Just insert another run-of-the-mill gangster movie and there will be more hours of the same, except maybe a little less bland and with a little more ambition. Or watch heat, the vastly superiour blueprint for the film.

  3. Agreed, Burma . . . For me, this movie was the very definition of “yeomanlike.” Solidly written, acted, and directed, but nothing extraordinary.
    Don’t get me started on Ruby Dee’s lifetime achievement nomination.

  4. I love Ridley Scott. Too many people focus on this bullshit style over substance knock against him. I know I maybe in the minority but I find almost all of his films completely enthralling from both a story and character standpoint.
    Blade Runner, American Gangster, Man on Fire, Thelma & Louise, Alien, Kingdom of Heaven (Directors Cut). These aren’t just beautifully made films from a technical standpoint but they’re also important films of substance that you can really dig into. They’re good for the soul and the mind type flicks. You’re a more well-rounded human being for just watching them.
    Also, let us not forget that he executive produced hands down one of the top 3 films this year in The Assassination of Jesse James. A fact most seem to simply overlook or ignore.
    Incidentally, I was perusing one of my 300 HBO channels last night and A Good Year came on. I had yet to see this. The trailers had turned me off and most people I know seemed to brush it off or hate it all together. I have to admit I fucking loved it. Talk about a studio selling a film one way (Russell Crowe romantic comedy let’s make a shit load of money) but having it be a completely different experience all together. It’s Ridley Scott’s homage to Jaques Tati and French film. Great supporting characters and performances. Plus, it’s got this great quirky, feel good vibe. Shit man, there’s nothing wrong with that once in awhile. And a great score to boot. Am I the only one on this planet thinks this was a really great little flick?

  5. Ooops! Tony made Man on Fire. My bad. I forgot. Which is still fucking great and Tony’s best film by far. In a year when Kill Bill Vol. 2 came out (revenge movies) this was better by good fucking 3 miles. I could watch Denzel in that last hour a million times and never get bored.

  6. Is the extended cut director-approved? I’d hate for the studio to throw in crap that Scott wouldn’t have allowed.
    I’m always leary about extended cuts as opposed to “director’s” cuts.
    Does anyone know?

  7. I also enjoyed A Good Year and found it to be way better than I thought it would be, especially considering how the critics butchered the film. It’s a light film from Ridley Scott and it was refreshing.
    I also agree that Man on Fire is amazing, which is clearly one of (if not the best) films that Tony has ever directed.
    The fact that they both produced Jesse James (and stood by the director, so I have heard) is just icing on the cake.
    These two guys have been shot down by critics for years for their “style-over-substance” tendencies but I think there’s lots going on, both narratively and thematically, in most of their films.
    Glad to see that someone else appreciates what the Scotts bring to the table.

  8. Businesstoolz, I have “A GOOD YEAR” in my ever growing “to watch” pile, but after yours and actionman’s recommendations I’m going to give it a look this weekend.

  9. Man on Fire? That’s the movie where Denzel slaughters ten thousand Mexicans in order to save Dakota Fanning?
    I swear, between that movie and War of the Worlds, if I heard Dakota Fanning scream that uniquely annoying scream one more time, I would slaughter ten thousand Mexicans in order to KILL her.
    Other than her, good flick.

  10. American Gangster NEEDED more time. Even at that length, it felt rushed.
    And Man on Fire is just behind True Romance as Tony’s best. God, but Domino was a steaming pile though.

  11. Domino was incredible, one of my favorites of Tony’s. I suggest that anyone who thinks otherwise should read Manhola Dargis’ review. She was one of the only critics in the nation to understand what Tony was after with that flick.
    True Romance, Man on Fire, Crimson Tide, Domino, Enemy of the State, and Top Gun. All awesome, manly action films.

  12. I totally agree about Domino. It’s absolutely my favorite behind Man On Fire and True Romance. Mickey Rourke just knocks it out of the fucking park in it. Edgar Ramirez is an absolute blast to watch. Plus, it’s the best thing Richard Kelley has written. At least he understood what he was writing with this one. Besides any movie that has Tom Waits, Mickey Rourke, Ian Ziering and Brian Austin Green tripping in the middle of the desert after a bus crash is A OKAY in my book!

  13. What having 45 minutes of interesting story in 2 1/2 hours of a movie isn’t enough for Ridley Scott? He needs 45 minutes in three hours?

  14. American Gangster needs less time. The reason it is unsatisfying is not because the narrative was shortchanged, but because there is nothing in its utterly typical rags-to-riches drug kingpin story that warrants the typical bloat Sir Ridley hacks up to turn his films into perverse embodiments of his ego. 97 minutes was long enough when it was called New Jack City.

  15. I tried really hard to like “Domino” but I barely made it through watching it on DVD. I just hated it. Hated it. If I had to hear Keira Knightly say, “My name is Dah-me-no Hah-vey, Dah-me-no Hah-vey” one more time I think my head would have exploded. Still, as has been noted here, it does have its devoted fans and hats off to you. I just didn’t get it. Edgar Wright & Quentin Tarantino praise it to the heavens on one of the commentaries for “Hot Fuzz”. I dig Tony Scott’s “True Romance” & “Man On Fire”, though. Those were great.

  16. I love Domino. It was in my top 10 in 2005. First, it’s a post-modern story about living in an age of exploitation. Second, it’s entertaining as heck.
    What people don’t get is that it’s a tall tale told to get a rise out of a cop. It’s a little like Atonement, in a way, with the main character reassembling a false biography. Which undermines the concept of the biopic. Which is why all those people wanting a straight-up biopic of Domino Harvey hate the film.

  17. Throw this sentence somewhere into the second paragraph of the last post.
    It’s a phony confession, in an age in which a phony confession is one of the few ways to protect your integrity from those seeking to exploit you.

  18. I love all of the Tony Scott films you fine folks have mentioned except Top Gun. It’s just too jingoistic for my taste. Well made, but…

  19. Domino _wants_ to be a post-modern movie about living in the exploitation, but it’s actually an exploitation movie about not much of anything.
    And re: American Gangster, it was clearly Ridley Scott trying again to get an Oscar by toning down his style and as a result making a bland, uninteresting movie.

  20. My theory is that he thinks he didn’t get Oscars for either Gladiator or Black Hawn Down because they were too violent and frenetic, so he made a more sedate movie.
    I also don’t remember a lot of color or fast cutting in it. It’s a stately, burnished, slightly washed-out movie.
    Actionman, the best review of the movie that I’ve read was by Matt Zoller Seitz, he’s better at telling you why it wasn’t good than I am.

  21. Again, I guess my sarcasm doesn’t register. You’re exactly right jeffmcm, he tried to slow things way down, and as a result, removed it almost completely of any style.

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