Gangs of New York (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 21 Old 06-24-2008, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
Blu-ray Reviewer
 
Ralph Potts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 8,927
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Liked: 392
attachment.php?attachmentid=112070&d=1212605026
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

84






Studio and Year: Buena Vista/Disney - 2002
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 167 Minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: VC-1
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Uncompressed 5.1 PCM, English/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo Dicaprio, Cameron Diaz, Liam Neeson, Jim Broadbent, John C. Reilly, Henry Thomas
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Music by: Howard Shore
Written by: Jay Cocks, Steven Zallian, Kenneth Lonergan
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 1, 2008







"America was born in the streets"



Film Synopsis:



Gangs of New York chronicles a vivid period in New York’s history, when tensions among immigrant groups lead to a dramatic clash of cultures. After years of incarceration, Irish immigrant Amsterdam Vallon returns to lower Manhattan’s lawless, corrupt Five Po Section seeking revenge against the rival gang leader Bill “The Butcher” Cutting who killed his father. But before long, Amsterdam’s personal vendetta becomes part of an erupting wave of full blown gang warfare as he and his fellow Irishmen fight to carve a place form themselves in their newly adopted homeland!



My Take:

I missed this film during its theatrical run but picked it up the day it was released on DVD. Gangs of New York is powerful storytelling that leaves an impression. Martin Scorsese is a brilliant Director who presents the audience with a visually stunning depiction of 1860s New York when at the onset of the Civil War in Lower Manhattan’s "Five Points" district, a territorial war is raging. For a number of years the gangs of the "Nativist" faction (comprising those born in the United States from earlier English & Dutch Protestant immigrants) and the recently arrived, predominantly Irish Catholic immigrants have been at odds. It is about to come to a head in Paradise Square.

The story contains multiple layers that are slowly peeled away during the course of the film. I love the attention to detail in the sets, costumes and language from the period. Day-Lewis portrays Bill “The Butcher” Cutting who is a straight forward yet complex character who is as cunning as he is ruthless. Day-Lewis of course plays the part to perfection. Leonardo DiCaprio exhibits strength, intensity, and resolve as the redemption seeking Amsterdam Vallon. As is usually the case I find his characters to be believable and likeable. The surprise for me was how good Cameron Diaz was as Jenny Everdeane. I have not seen all of her movies but those that I have seen prior to this one and since she is not impressed me as a strong dramatic performer. The early parts of the film establish the relationships between these characters. This is done quite well which pays dividends later in the story. The ensemble cast which includes some notable actors including Jim Broadbent, John C. Reilly, Henry Thomas, Liam Neeson and Brendan Gleeson were all excellent in support of the primary players. The film is graphic in its depiction which some may find distasteful. I think that it tries to be true to the time period and circumstances which require a level of vivid detail to heighten the sense of realism.

attachment.php?attachmentid=113800&d=1214332466

At 167 minutes this is not a short movie but as I said earlier its layers are slowly uncovered but that is not indicative of it being boring or slow moving. It builds to a satisfying climax that in the end seems rather simple but in a full circle kind of way. I seem to like this film better each time I watch it. This is my third viewing and it was no exception.




Parental Guide:

The rating is for Strong violence, sexuality/nudity and language. This is not one for young viewers.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 90



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699



Video: 78


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692


attachment.php?attachmentid=113801&d=1214332466

Gangs of New York comes to Blu-ray Disc featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video with an average bitrate of 25 mbps and lossless uncompressed 5.1 PCM audio with a constant bitrate of 6.9 mbps.

Like those of you reading this I looked forward to this release in high definition. The DVD had a few issues that I had hoped would not be the case here. The opening sequence shot within the dark and shadowy confines of the tunnels where young Amsterdam and his father (Priest Vallon) reside looked very promising. Detail in their clothing, faces and the winding underground labyrinth from which they immerge had good visible texture and delineation. Once they enter the outdoor square where the battle takes place the image took on a different look. Detail within the buildings in the backgrounds and surrounding objects was negligible. As the Dead Rabbits took their positions the camera view opposite them offered little in the way of definitive sharpness and perceivable clarity. As the film progresses there were instances where the level of visible detail improved but not to degree where it had the three dimensional quality and reach out and touch feeling that good high definition can have. Fine detail appeared to be obscured. This was definitely the case in longer shots while close ups revealed an improvement in quality that was still lacking in transparency and depth. I wouldn’t describe the video as being soft but rather it looked overly processed and artificial at times. Contrast was boosted which made whites look too hot with no visible gradation. Blacks were solid and deep with excellent dynamic range. Shadow delineation was above average overall but was inconsistent in rendering the amount of visible detail in dark scenes. Colors were deeply saturated with bold primaries and rich vibrant textures. Edge enhancement was visible around objects in bright scenes. I would describe it as excessive and it contributed to the video’s artificially processed appearance. This video presentation is certainly an improvement over the DVD in terms of resolution, color reproduction and dimensional perspective. The problem is that it falls short of the level of quality that we have become accustomed to not just from Disney Blu-ray Disc but from the better high definition releases we have seen from the format. I suspect that some will be disappointed with this one.

The lossless uncompressed PCM audio was another matter entirely. This sounded superb right from the opening battle between the Dead Rabbits and the Natives. The battle is set to Peter Gabriel’s “Signal to noise” and delivered a rousing sonic presentation that was dynamic and detailed. This mix is wonderfully diverse as it needed to reproduce the many aspects associated within this film’s soundtrack. It didn’t matter if it was a crowded street, a multi-layered edged weapon melee, the confines of an office, or an underground cavern. At every turn I was treated to crystal clear audio that had a voluminous quality that permeated the room. Sounds could be heard emanating from multiple points around the soundstage which created a realistic and immersive atmosphere. There was a very good balance maintained between the front and rear sound fields so that information was not lost or drowned out. Dialogue was well articulated with refined texture and tonality. I would not describe the mix as aggressive overall but it had moments where it displayed characteristics of an aggressive nature. Bass contained within the mix was authoritative and controlled. It had solidity and impact when necessary and aptly handled the mid bass frequencies associated with Howard Shore’s great music score. The soundtrack on a film like Gangs of New York can be an important element in the telling of the story. This audio presentation delivered the goods in that regard and sounded great.



Bonus Features:



The bonus supplements offered were ported from the 2003 DVD release and are in standard definition. It looks at the film’s costume and set design which includes insights from Director Martin Scorsese and production staff. There are several documentaries which look at the location and characters depicted in the film from a historical perspective. The Director’s Audio Commentary is quite good and worth checking out. The U2 Video and two trailers round out the package.




  • Costume Design Feature

  • Set Design Feature

  • History of the Five Points Documentary

  • Exploring the sets of Gangs of New York Feature

  • U2 Music Video – The Hands that Built America
  • attachment.php?attachmentid=113802&d=1214332466
  • Discovery Channel Special – Uncovering the real Gangs of New York

  • Audio Commentary

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Teaser Trailer




Final Thoughts:



I am a fan of Gangs of New York and have been since seeing it back in 2003. I never tire of its gritty and deliberate story which whether historically accurate or not is excellent. Daniel Day-Lewis gave a compelling performance as Bill “The Butcher” Cutting which for me is a highlight when I re-visit this film. Disney/Buena Vista has brought this catalog title to high definition Blu-ray featuring video quality that will disappoint videophiles. It does deliver a powerful and enriching surround sound experience that has never sounded better. I appreciated the inclusion of the majority of bonus content from the earlier DVD release which was quite good as well. I enjoy this movie and right now it does not look or sound any better than this. While this may not be a perfect Blu-ray Disc release it has become part of my collection. ‘Nuff said.







attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


Sony VPL-VW50 SXRD 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BD30 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Marantz DV7001 Universal Disc Player
Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Outlaw Audio Model 7700 seven channel amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 seven Channel amplifier
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviews
AVS Forum
My Home Theater
My DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray Collection
Ralph Potts is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 21 Old 06-24-2008, 02:49 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Xylon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Liecheinstein
Posts: 7,380
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Video rating way too high.
Xylon is offline  
post #3 of 21 Old 06-24-2008, 04:08 PM
AVS Special Member
 
raoul_duke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,300
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 32
Have Disney actually used the same transfer as the UK BD? Sounds like the exact same problems.
raoul_duke is offline  
post #4 of 21 Old 06-24-2008, 04:52 PM
AVS Special Member
 
eric.exe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 2,340
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by raoul_duke View Post

Have Disney actually used the same transfer as the UK BD? Sounds like the exact same problems.

Yep, the exact same master. I compared with screenshots.

I'd give the video 50/100. There's a few decent shots, and the DNR isn't on full blast the whole movie... but oh lord the EE is out of this world. There is seriously 1 inch halo around every edge.
eric.exe is offline  
post #5 of 21 Old 06-24-2008, 07:04 PM
Advanced Member
 
cnikirk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Bloomington, IN
Posts: 583
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xylon View Post

Video rating way too high.

Sorry Ralph, but I have to agree with Xylon. Most reviewers are ripping this one to shreds.
cnikirk is offline  
post #6 of 21 Old 06-24-2008, 07:37 PM
Advanced Member
 
1brokebrother's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Where the Mountains meet the Sea
Posts: 531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnikirk View Post

Sorry Ralph, but I have to agree with Xylon. Most reviewers are ripping this one to shreds.

some reviewers are like simon.. some are like paula
1brokebrother is offline  
post #7 of 21 Old 06-24-2008, 08:04 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Dave Vaughn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Vacaville, CA
Posts: 4,309
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked: 69
I haven't written my review yet, but I believe this to be the worst looking HD release I have seen. The EE is just as bad, if not worse than "The 40-year-old Virgin" and the image embarrassingly flat. Up to this point with HDM, my worst overall transfer was the first release of Full Metal Jacket, but this release is worse...hell, even the early BD25 MP#G-2 releases from Sony look better than this.

BUT, IMO, this is a master issue and not an encoding issue. A new master is needed without all of the artificial enhancements.

David Vaughn

Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer

Sound & Vision Magazine (Print & Online)

Dave Vaughn is offline  
post #8 of 21 Old 06-25-2008, 01:53 AM - Thread Starter
Blu-ray Reviewer
 
Ralph Potts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 8,927
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Liked: 392
Greetings,

I needed to correct one phrase in the review. It should have read this way and has been corrected:

Quote:
I would describe it as excessive and it contributed to the video’s artificially processed appearance.

Rather than this way:

Quote:
I would not describe it as excessive and it contributed to the video’s artificially processed appearance.


Sorry about that..


Cheers,

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviews
AVS Forum
My Home Theater
My DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray Collection
Ralph Potts is offline  
post #9 of 21 Old 06-25-2008, 05:06 AM
ugk
Member
 
ugk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 135
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
That sucks!!

This flick was in my top 5, I was looking forward to this.

So how long before the remastered blu ray hits?
ugk is offline  
post #10 of 21 Old 06-25-2008, 07:46 AM
Member
 
eYeKey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 48
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
why!!!???? This is my 3rd favorite movie......

Technology is a hell of a drug...
eYeKey is offline  
post #11 of 21 Old 06-25-2008, 08:36 AM
Member
 
eYeKey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 48
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
dvdtown gives the video a 9

Technology is a hell of a drug...
eYeKey is offline  
post #12 of 21 Old 06-25-2008, 07:06 PM
Advanced Member
 
cnikirk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Bloomington, IN
Posts: 583
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by eYeKey View Post

dvdtown gives the video a 9

Maybe if it's 9 out of 20
cnikirk is offline  
post #13 of 21 Old 06-25-2008, 07:07 PM
Advanced Member
 
cnikirk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Bloomington, IN
Posts: 583
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

I needed to correct one phrase in the review. It should have read this way and has been corrected:



Rather than this way:




Sorry about that..


Cheers,

Makes more sense now.
cnikirk is offline  
post #14 of 21 Old 06-26-2008, 07:45 AM
Member
 
bmk96a's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: LR, AR
Posts: 39
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Is this film in the VC-1 encode or is it MPEG-4 AVC. I have read different reviews with varying impressions on the video and state there are different encodes. Most say VC-1 is the encode though.
bmk96a is offline  
post #15 of 21 Old 06-26-2008, 08:00 AM
Member
 
bmk96a's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: LR, AR
Posts: 39
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
HDDVD.ORG has the title listed as AVC MPEG-4.
bmk96a is offline  
post #16 of 21 Old 06-26-2008, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
Blu-ray Reviewer
 
Ralph Potts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 8,927
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Liked: 392
Greetings,

Its VC-1...


Cheers,

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviews
AVS Forum
My Home Theater
My DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray Collection
Ralph Potts is offline  
post #17 of 21 Old 06-29-2008, 11:12 AM
Advanced Member
 
Paul.R.S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Hollywood, California
Posts: 762
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Ralph (or anyone with the DVD and BD):

Quote:


I appreciated the inclusion of the majority of bonus content from the earlier DVD release . . .

Just want to make sure I'm reading its absence from your bullet point list of supplements ported from the DVD correctly: Is the "The Five Points Study Guide" (including "Luc Sante Introduction" and "Five Points Vocabulary") not on the BD? Is there anything else that was on the DVD that is not on the BD in terms of supplements?

Thanks.
Paul.R.S is offline  
post #18 of 21 Old 07-01-2008, 05:24 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
guitarman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: The Bay Area San Francisco.
Posts: 12,966
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 16
It's allot better than the DVD, plenty of shots with sharp high detail, rich color which looks natural, blacks are dark, detail in the blacks are open, the sound is punchy. Worth the $16.99 price after the $10 rebate for sure.

You know I try to hold back, after now watching the whole movie I'll go on to say the experience was superb. These nay sayers can really screw it up for potential purchasers of this fine HD version of the movie. Pick it up

Tom/guitarman
VideoDementia

Are you twisted also?
http://www.videodementia.com/sales/TomWithWires.jpg
guitarman is offline  
post #19 of 21 Old 07-01-2008, 05:42 PM
Advanced Member
 
Paul.R.S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Hollywood, California
Posts: 762
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul.R.S View Post

Ralph (or anyone with the DVD and BD):


Just want to make sure I'm reading its absence from your bullet point list of supplements ported from the DVD correctly: Is the "The Five Points Study Guide" (including "Luc Sante Introduction" and "Five Points Vocabulary") not on the BD? Is there anything else that was on the DVD that is not on the BD in terms of supplements?

Thanks.

Answering my own question after e-mailing Josh Zyber after his review went up at High Def Digest, the "Five Points Study Guide" is missing from the BD. Also be aware that the ability to use your remote to get 360 degree views of the set at certain places while Marty and Dante Ferretti are "Exploring the Sets Of Gangs Of New York" has been eliminated as well.
Paul.R.S is offline  
post #20 of 21 Old 07-24-2008, 10:08 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Kram Sacul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 5,257
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarman View Post

It's allot better than the DVD, plenty of shots with sharp high detail, rich color which looks natural, blacks are dark, detail in the blacks are open, the sound is punchy. Worth the $16.99 price after the $10 rebate for sure.

You know I try to hold back, after now watching the whole movie I'll go on to say the experience was superb. These nay sayers can really screw it up for potential purchasers of this fine HD version of the movie. Pick it up

I just have to say that's hilarious.

How does this disc which has the equivalent of roadkill for video get a 78?
Kram Sacul is offline  
post #21 of 21 Old 03-12-2013, 12:45 PM
Member
 
iballin88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 70
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
ummm i big time messed up buying this one over the newer remaster.... I own a 55 inch plasma and... wow horrible.... surprised noone mentioned the banding on the left and right... the insanely noticeable see threw bars on each side makes me wanna snap the disc in half ....that alone made me turn it off in the first 15 min, not to mention its unevenly sized .. the trim inside the bezel is discustingly uneven on each side...and i know its not my TV , because soon as i poped in another blu-ray it was gone.. so.. they should take this crap off shelfs ...and leave only the remaster to buy... cause im unimpressed.. i know now to check reviews before buying blu-rays now.. sucks cause im a impulse buyer and like to go grab like 10-20 blu-rays at a time... wont be doing that anymore
iballin88 is offline  
Reply Official AVS Blu-ray Disc Reviews

Tags
Blu Ray Movies , Gangs Of New York Blu Ray
Gear in this thread

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off