Just what the title says, folks, gangs duking it out on the streets of New York. But wait! It’s 1862, not modern times. And the gangs are Irish and anti-Irish…and meanwhile, the first draft has started…
OK, I’ll say it again: I really, really do not like Leonardo DiCaprio. He’s icky and almost an anti-hero…but also in this movie is total honey Daniel Day-Lewis. Hm. Conflicting feelings here…but our theme for New Year’s Day was movies about cities, and the name of the city had to be in the title…this one fit the bill perfectly. And actually Mr. Otter had seen it in the theatre, and liked it a lot.
So ok. We put the movie names in a bowl, and drew that one. And damned if it wasn’t good. Even with Cameron Diaz, who for some reason (and it may be because the first thing I ever saw her in was Vanilla Sky) creeps me out. And Honey Daniel was wearing a big ol’ walrus moustache, which, while appropriate for the time, didn’t, shall we say, add to his honey quotient. And he only took off his shirt a couple of times, doggone it. But I digress.
Darn good. Good historical detail, good plot, interesting characters, enough blood and body parts and casual violence to make an otter happy, really good thoughtful juxtapositions of rich vs. poor and the whole immigrant question and gang warfare vs the Civil War and ending up in the NY City Draft Riots. Wow.
The characters were really interesting too, especially Day-Lewis’, of course. Would have been nice if they had made DiCaprio look as wierd as fashionable men did at the time, with strange bushy combinations of facial hair…but no, he had to be cute for the cameras. Ew.
I think I’m going to have ot see this one again, and I may end up buying it, it was that good. Long. Bloody. Not for the faint of heart…but really good.