American Gangster: Two Tales

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9.6 (5)
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5 reviews
Overall rating
 
9.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.4(5)
Audio Editing
 
9.4(5)
Visual Editing
 
9.4(5)
Narrative
 
10.0(5)
Enjoyment
 
9.4(5)
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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
S
Top 500 Reviewer 27 reviews
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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! :)
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(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
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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