American Gangster: Two Tales

Updated
 
9.3 (3)
 
10.0 (2)
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Faneditor Name:
Original Movie/Show Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2007
Original Running Time:
175 minutes
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
174 minutes
Subtitles Available:
Available in HD:
Synopsis:
Two Tales restructures the Extended Cut of American Gangster from one that inter-cuts the stories of Richie Roberts and Frank Lucas into one that is built around three distinct sections; Richie's story, Frank's story, and once they collide.
Intention:
This is not a fanfix! The theatrical (and extended) cuts of American Gangster is one of my favorite movies and is executed flawlessly with powerful performances by Academy Award winning actors, directed by someone who should have more than one but hasn't.

That said, while the bulk of Hollywood films traditionally have your A story, B story and so-on, American Gangster has two A stories, so since seeing it in the theater I was curious about what it would be like to see each of them be featured stories. This approach allows the viewer to really focus on each character's story, seeing it from their perspective; Richie's struggles with being principled cop at a time of rampant corruption and then gets a chance to make a difference chasing a mysterious new drug king-pin, then we get to watch Frank, a diligent enforcer who methodically builds an criminal empire. It's a fascinating alternative to the theatrical's inter-cutting approach.
Special Thanks:
thecuddlyninja for providing artwork without even being asked! Gatos, NJVC, Dwight Fry and ArtisDead for previewing then and now!
Release Information:
Digital
Special Features:
None at this time.
Editing Details:
The basic process was to take the first two acts and cut them apart based on who's story it was and then stitch them together and then find the appropriate part to merge them together. There was much back and forth on how to get everything to line up just right but the basic approach was to tear it apart and resort the scenes as needed.
Cuts and Additions:
the only cuts were incidental moments at the beginning or end of a scene to allow for editing.
Trailer

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agtt_posterwhite
agtt_bluray_coverart
agtt_dvd_coverart
Faneditor Name:
Original Movie/Show Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2007
Original Running Time:
175 minutes
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
174 minutes
Subtitles Available:
Available in HD:
Synopsis:
Two Tales restructures the Extended Cut of American Gangster from one that inter-cuts the stories of Richie Roberts and Frank Lucas into one that is built around three distinct sections; Richie's story, Frank's story, and once they collide.
Intention:
This is not a fanfix! The theatrical (and extended) cuts of American Gangster is one of my favorite movies and is executed flawlessly with powerful performances by Academy Award winning actors, directed by someone who should have more than one but hasn't.

That said, while the bulk of Hollywood films traditionally have your A story, B story and so-on, American Gangster has two A stories, so since seeing it in the theater I was curious about what it would be like to see each of them be featured stories. This approach allows the viewer to really focus on each character's story, seeing it from their perspective; Richie's struggles with being principled cop at a time of rampant corruption and then gets a chance to make a difference chasing a mysterious new drug king-pin, then we get to watch Frank, a diligent enforcer who methodically builds an criminal empire. It's a fascinating alternative to the theatrical's inter-cutting approach.
Special Thanks:
thecuddlyninja for providing artwork without even being asked! Gatos, NJVC, Dwight Fry and ArtisDead for previewing then and now!
Release Information:
Digital
Special Features:
None at this time.
Editing Details:
The basic process was to take the first two acts and cut them apart based on who's story it was and then stitch them together and then find the appropriate part to merge them together. There was much back and forth on how to get everything to line up just right but the basic approach was to tear it apart and resort the scenes as needed.
Cuts and Additions:
the only cuts were incidental moments at the beginning or end of a scene to allow for editing.
Cover art by L8wrtr (DOWNLOAD HERE)
image


Cover art by L8wrtr (DOWNLOAD HERE)
image

Trailer

Trusted Reviewer reviews

3 reviews
Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0(3)
Audio Editing
 
9.0(3)
Visual Editing
 
9.0(3)
Narrative
 
10.0(3)
Enjoyment
 
9.7(3)
Overall rating
 
7.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
7.0
Audio Editing
 
7.0
Visual Editing
 
7.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I'm a huge fan of removing extraneous elements from gangster films. Years ago, I tried to edit American Gangster to remove the police angle and focus on Frank. Every which way I tried, I couldn't get it to play in a way that I liked it. I even tried something similar to what L8wrtr pulled off here and failed miserably. What I didn't realize is that this film didn't need to be excised, it needed to be restructured.

Narratively, this edit is flat-out brilliant. Presenting one story, then the other, then connecting them right where L8wrtr did was perfect. It almost has a Tarantino-esque quality to it. The editing is flawless. I know just how tough this film is to edit and to see scenes and transitions I agonized over pulled off with an invisible hand shows you just how great L8wrtr is at this.

Technically, there were a couple of issues. This film has a wonderful 5.1 mix that was thankfully preserved in the edit, but there are a number of audio glitches in the LR and RR channels that pop up during the film. It is quite obvious at approximately 5:15, 17:40, 29:00 and another dozen or so spots throughout the film. It is enough to be annoying and really should have been corrected before release. The other issue is that, while the picture itself is great, the framing is off. The top and bottom black bars are very thin and the bottom bar is about twice the width of the top bar. It's one of those things where once you see it, you can't not see it.

But with that said, these issues do not detract from the the overall enjoyment. This edit improves on the original tenfold. Any fans of the genre should rush to watch this.

American Gangster was a good gangster movie. American Gangster: Two Tales is a great gangster movie.
Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Watched this epic with my lovely bride, who LOVES crime dramas.

While I have watched the original American Gangster multiple times over the years, my wife had not seen it since it's release in 2007, and admitted to having little to no memory of it. So her experience with this fan edit was slightly different from mine.

The concept of this fan edit is simple and brilliant. Take two intertwined character stories and segregate them into their own spotlight chapters. This allows the viewer gain a greater depth of understanding as they are fully immersed in that character's point of view and motivation. I loved this approach.

However, my bride found this approach in Chapter One - One Good Cop, which tells the story of detective Richie Roberts, to be a bit challenging to follow and connect with for two reasons. One, as great of an actor Russel Crowe is, his character is the least dynamic of the two, thus his regular joe day to day problems, even with the added element of good man in a corrupt system, plays a bit slow. And two, due to the style of this edit, Crowe's arc is mostly "Tell" rather than "Show", which is not always the most emotionally involving.

I, on the other hand, viewed chapter one as mystery investigation, which worked for me. But at the same time, I have to acknowledge, that I still remember the original movie plot very well, so all the names, photos and references that appeared during Robert's investigation, I already knew what they meant and thus made sense to me. But to someone who has never seen or remembers the original movie version before...?

Thus, I think Chapter One requires a bit of patience and faith on the part of the viewer, because once you hit Chapter Two, all the dots begin to connect and the narrative tension increases exponentially. And by devoting a chapter to focus on one lead character at a time, makes the final Third Chapter, more interesting and rewarding than how it played out in the original.

Technically, it looks and sounds flawless to me. Which is a major compliment, as the creative editing (particularly with audio) involved to create two separate story arcs would have been extensive and arduous.

American Gangster: Two Tales is a fascinating, creative and very successful re-imagining.

Thumbs Up! :)
Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
L8wrtr himself got it right: what's wrong with the official cut(s) of this movie? Nothing, really. It's a good one. But even that way, this version might surpass it. In some ways, it's an atypical fanedit: many of them tend to intertwine several stories together and cut back and forth between them. This does the opposite: it separates the two stories and have them play on their own before a joint third act. Think the reverse of, for example, Split Unbreakable Glass, or what it would be like if that edit was the theatrical version and Shyamalan's three films were the fanedit. And the narrative is in this case improved because it lets us evaluate each of the two main characters on their own right: since one is a (good) cop and the other is a gangster, it no longer feels like we're contrasting a hero and a villain (though Frank is way too complex, nuanced, and interesting a character to be written off as just a "bad guy"), but we're left to decide to what extent we like each of them, particularly Frank, without the "hero" reminding us that he's there all through. It feels fresher for that, overall.

Editing is extremely well realized, as expected from one of my favorite faneditors (so glad to have him back and active!) and video and audio are excellent. This review, though, is based on a workprint L8wrtr let me preview plus a clip of an improved tweak for the final version, so I can't currently swear by the finished render (glitches do happen and tend to behave like Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition anyway) but if anything, it has to look and sound even better than what I watched while content-wise being very much the same. While I await the promised further version that'll feature a faneditor commentary, I can't recommend this edit highly enough. Welcome back, L8, my man!
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User reviews

2 reviews
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0(2)
Audio Editing
 
10.0(2)
Visual Editing
 
10.0(2)
Narrative
 
10.0(2)
Enjoyment
 
9.0(2)
Overall rating
 
9.9
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
I'll start off this review by saying: Unlike all other fanedited/fixed movie I've seen on this site, I have not actually seen the Original film. Secondly, the editing here was flawless, there's nothing else to be said. 10s across the board, I noticed nothing. I feel like I saw this film in theatres for all intents and purposes.

I very much enjoy gangster and crime movies (I'm partial to The Departed) I've seen and enjoyed most of the major ones that everybody is "supposed" to see. However, I'm not sure why yet, but I didn't particularly care for this movie. I doubt it had anything to do with L8wrtr's approach, but I found myself pretty bored by a film that seemed to be pretty cookie-cutter for the genre. I felt like I was watching a NYC version of Goodfellas or Narcos (I know this came out way before Narcos) I can't help but wonder if the bi-linear narrative would have been more enjoyable for me personally, or if my lack of enjoyment was due to the source material.

In bionicbob's review he said that he watched this movie with his wife who had not seen it, while he himself had seen it many times and loved it. In my case, I think I will be watching the original film here in the near future with my wife and adjusting my review accordingly, due to what I've stated above.

All that being said, this was by no means a bad movie, a bad edit, or even a negative review! (Despite what it seems!) I think taking a bi-linear narrative and restructuring it into two independent POV chapters, and then keeping the bi-linearity intact for the third chapter is an ingenious idea, and deserves credit for taking such a fresh approach. This is not a negative review, you achieved exactly what you set out to do here L8wrtr, I think you did a spectacular job, and I hope you continue to bless us with many more edits and fixes in the future.

- Stromboli

P.S. If I watch the original and enjoy it LESS with the original structure, I'll absolutely be bumping my enjoyment rating up.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
(Updated: September 09, 2021)
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
In short: masterpiece, from my point of view.
I love the original movie but over the years my enthusiasm decreased for it as i found it more and more exhausting to watch the stories back and forth.
By seperating the two stories and telling each one as a whole L8wrtr did something i never thought about and it works perfectly.
Enough room for the characters to develop is created, although he didn‘t change the narrative of them.
The transition from Richie to Frank due to the observation and taking a photograph at the box event is perfect.
Great craftsmanship!
The only thing i’ve to „criticise“ is the overall quality of the file, as i’m a little bit of a perfectionist to have movies near bluray quality = higher bitrate ~15-20 mbps.

While watching, i thought: what would it be like if we where to explore Franks story first? As i still felt, i kind of saw Frank as a „villain“. But also realized that’s my perspective of a cop and society. It´s definetly the right decision L8wrtr made.

EDIT: L8wrtr stated that he´ll release a encode with bluray quality, so this edit deserves the full 10 out of 10

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 2 0