Twenty-something Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss - excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.
Having seen his father killed in a major gang fight in New York, young Amsterdam Vallon is spirited away for his own safety. Some years later, he returns to the scene of his father's death, the notorious Five Points district in New York. It's 1863 and lower Manhattan is run by gangs, the most powerful of which is the Natives, headed by Bill "The Butcher" Cutting. He believes that America should belong to native-born Americans and opposes the waves of immigrants, mostly Irish, entering the city. It's also the time of the Civil War and forced conscription leads to the worst riots in US history. Amid the violence and corruption, young Vallon tries to establish himself in the area and also seek revenge over his father's death. Written by
Bill says to Boss Tweed, "I know your works. You are neither cold nor hot. So because you are lukewarm, I will spew you out of my mouth." The line is from the Bible (Revelation 3:15-16). See more »
Before the opening battle, Priest and his followers stand in Paradise Square awaiting their adversaries. Bill's men appear from behind some buildings, with a number of large treetops behind them, as if a forested area is behind the square. After the battle, the camera pulls back to show the Five Corners district in the heart of mid-1840s Manhattan. As the shot zooms out and increases in altitude to reveal the computer-generated scenery, no CGI trees correspond with the trees built to represent the Paradise Square area. See more »
The Priest and me, we lived by the same principles. It was only faith divided us. He gave me this, you know? That was the finest beating I ever took. My face was pulp. My guts was pierced, my ribs was all mashed up. And when he came to finish me, I couldn't look him in the eye. He spared me, because he wanted me to live in shame. This was a great man. A great man. So I out out the eye that looked away, I sent it to him wrapped in blue paper. I would've cut them both out if I could have fought ...
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Noises from the modern day New York streets play over the second half of the closing credits. See more »
Daniel Day-Lewis elevates this film from just "good" to "very good" or even "excellent." He is absolutely riveting, one of the most interesting "villains" I have ever seen on film. I am sorry Day-Lewis didn't win the Academy Award for his performance. He was just outstanding to watch. His facial expressions alone cracked me up!
Day-Lewis played "Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting" he is one nasty dude. However, there are no real "good guys" in this story. The supposed hero, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is a revenge-seeking man with a ton of flaws himself. The rest of the characters are either thieves, gang members, corrupt politicians or corrupt policeman. Ah yes, another family-oriented film from that kindly director Martin Scorcese.
What Scorcese lacks in family values, he comes close to making up for in style. This is another fascinating visual film with great sets, costumes, color and camera-work. Other typical Scorcese touches are in here: Catholic-bashing and brutal language. (I question whether the f-word was used back in the days this film takes place.)
All in all, a tough film that could be too unpleasant to watch but for Lewis' outstanding performance and the spectacular visuals.
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