Sunday, November 4, 2007
American Gansta is a gritty and entertaining throwback to classic gansgster films, which means its boring in some parts, however all the lead performers are hot, with the exception of Josh Brolin, (who played Mikey’s older brother in “GOONIES” and has several prominent tattoos.) He is in creepy, over-tanned mode the entire time and can best be likened to a 70’s cop version of David Copperfield.
All the actors wear really bad leisure suits, which makes it hard to concentrate on the main story line. Luckily, Denzell Washington’s super-bleached teeth draw us back into the storyline. Expect violence, especially when your not expecting it. Ridley Scott throws some in-your-face cut shots for effect. Lots of drug use, gross people who are sweaty and don't shave or shower. Their stank, rank pits will be in your face, especially if your sitting on the second row because the film is sold out, and everyone will be munching popcorn real loud, like rats, while you watch people inject heroin close up and see the blood. SUMMARY: close ups on stuff you’d totally avoid in real life. We left the 70’s for a reason. Don't look back.
Brian “fix your hair” Grazer produced it. who cares. Ridley Scott directed. He’s the one who made the smart choice to get Russell Crowe into a “GLADIATOR” suit! Plus he’s British, which means he knows films. Highlights include: ALIEN, with that freaky face thing, BLADE RUNNER (makes no sense to me), Thelma & Louise (Important because it introduced us to Brad Pitt*!)
So back to AMERICAN GANSTER.
*= super hot ^= bad hair @ = bloated #= English
Denzel Washington*,Russell Crowe @*, Brian Grazer ^, and Ridley Scott #, all team up to tell the “based on a true story” success story of a cult figure from the streets of 1970s Harlem in “AMERICAN GANSTER". I never heard of the dude and I’m American.
Apparently NOBODY used to notice Frank Lucas, played by Denzel Washington, because he was a quiet driver to one of the inner city's leading black crime bosses, plus his teeth were not bleached. But when his boss suddenly dies of a heart-attack, looking at bad 1970’s televisions for sale in some weird five and dime store, Frank rises to power, creating his own druggie king-pin version of the American Dream. Normally I would totally avoid this type of film, because I hate 70’s clothes, but with Washington & Crowe, it’s almost a must see!
We’re supposed to feel Frank has ingenuity and a strict business ethic, but really he’s just got a lot of pent up anger and rage. Through his pent up anger, rage and crafty ways, Frankie-boy comes to rule the inner-city drug trade. That’s like the first 1 ½ hours out of 3. By this time, your bum will start hurting sitting in the seat and you’ll be dying for a pee. But don’t get up, NOOoooo cause that’s when Russell Crowe starts “acting!”
Richie Roberts , played by Crowe, is an outcast cop close enough to the streets to “feel” a shift of control in the drug underworld. Too bad he doesn’t know what’s really going on through most of the film and drives a crappy beat up car. I mean Russell Crowe should have some standards.
Anyways, Roberts believes someone BLACK is rising above the Mafia families. NO! Roberts is suspecting and “feeling” things. He doesn’t “feel” for his wife though, cause he dumps her. I’d like to “feel” Russell Crowe, but I digress.
Both Lucas and Roberts share a rigorous ethical code that sets them apart from the other scumbag leisure suits in this film. They are indeed, lone figures on opposites sides of the law. To be fair, I think there are more people on Lucas side cause he’s the one with the money, the $50k chinchilla fur coat, married to Miss Puerto Rico, and the sweet pimp pad, where as Roberts (played by Crowe), is bloated, poor, and drives a sh*t-mobile.
The destinies of these two men will become intertwined as they approach a confrontation outside the church, where only one of them can come out on top. GEE! Guess who wins?! (insert holy music here).
Washington (Training Day) and Crowe (Gladiator) lead a spectacular cast of stars--Chiwetel Ejiofor, Cuba Gooding, Jr., (show me the money), Josh Brolin, Ted Levine, Armand Assante (mumble jumbles his words), John Ortiz, John Hawkes, RZA, Common and T.I., before he got arrested for purchasing machine guns.
All I can say is, Thank God the 70’s are over.