Articles

Movie Renter's Guide Number 155 - February, 2008

ARTICLE INDEX

 

"American Gangster" (HD DVD/SD DVD)

movie-american-gangster.jpgSynopsis

In the late 1960's, Frank Lucas (Washington) takes over for Harlem drug kingpin, Bumpy Johnson, after he dies. Frank has big ideas, including importing pure heroin from Viet Nam directly, rather than buying it through other dealers who cut its purity with powdered sugar.

It works, and all of a sudden, addicts can buy pure heroin at a fraction of the cost of the diluted product supplied by Italian gangsters in the city.

No one can believe that an African American can do what the Italians have never been able to do, and Detective Richie Roberts (Crowe), as leader of a drug enforcement team in New York City, assumes that Lucas is working for someone else, and tries to find out who it is.

He is shocked that Lucas is at the top of the drug pyramid, and in trying to bring him down, discovers that there is a conspiracy in the drug enforcement group involving so many officers, he doesn't know where to turn.

Meanwhile, Lucas has amassed 250 million dollars in profits, and Roberts gathers a small detail of men he can trust to aid him in breaking one of the most amazing drug gangs that New York has ever seen.

 

Specifications

  • Universal
    2007, Color, Rated R, 2 Hr 38 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • English DD 5.1
  • English/French DD Plus 5.1
  • Directed by Ridley Scott
  • Starring Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Armand Asante
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Graphic
  • Sex: Explicit
  • Language: Terrible

Commentary

The movie is based on a true story, and 3/4 of the drug enforcement group in the New York City Police Department were indicted for their corruption.

Technical

The image and sound are terrific, but I wish the photographer had opened up the lens a bit more. The story uses the available light approach, and film does not have nearly the dynamic range that the human eye has, so a lot of the shots are just too dark.

Extras

These include an Unrated Extended Version of the movie, Deleted Scenes, Cast Interviews, and other things.