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American Gangster (2-Disc... has been added to your Cart

American Gangster (2-Disc Unrated Extended Edition) by Universal Studios Home Entertainment by Ridley Scott

4.7 out of 5 stars 3,050 ratings

$63.18

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Product description

Condition: New, Format: DVD, Widescreen; Dolby; Dubbed; Subtitled; NTSC

Product details

  • Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 20.32 x 15.24 x 2.54 cm; 90.72 Grams
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ NTSC, Subtitled, Dubbed, Widescreen, DVD, Special Edition, Dolby
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01GWCEDMU
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 3,050 ratings

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
3,050 global ratings

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Mr. Laurence Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars An Engrossing Cops vs Gangster Drama With Notable Leads, BUT Blu-ray Presentation Is No Better Than DVD
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 January 2012
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4.0 out of 5 stars An Engrossing Cops vs Gangster Drama With Notable Leads, BUT Blu-ray Presentation Is No Better Than DVD
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 January 2012
This violent drama, from director Ridley Scott, is a modern production covering vintage subject-matter, namely the rise (and fall) of the New York real-life enforcer turned 'drug-lord' Frank Lucas from the late 60s to early 90s. To balance things up (and justify the near 3-hour running time of the extended edition) the biopic also follows, in almost equal measure, the progress of loner police narcotics detective Richie Roberts as juggles his attempts to bring to book those involved in New York organised crime with part-time educational activities in order to become a fully-qualified lawyer.

Whilst there are significant detail differences in the 'story', overall it is not unlike the earlier classic film 'The French Connection' in the sense that we have a policeman who becomes almost infatuated with tracking-down a single 'personality' in involved in local illegal drug dealings. It is certainly not like other 'gangster' movie classics such as 'Goodfellas' or 'The Godfather', despite many reviews mentioning them in the same breath as this film, if for no other reason than those other classics focussed entirely on the criminals and their personal lives.

The biggest similarity between this film and the FC is that the respective gangsters are both ruthless yet almost classy in their demeanour and the policemen are both rather shambling yet strangely effective; the one difference being that Richards is (almost) completely 'legitimate' and honest, as well us getting to know a lot about his personal life (eg failed marriage, law education), whereas 'Popeye' in the FC often transgresses and all we ever see of him is while he is 'on the job'.

I already owned the extended edition on DVD (which like the Blu-ray also allows you to see the original theatrical cut) in Region 1 form which comprised 3-discs (and a unique book casing+colour book); as far as I can see this Blu-ray replicates the disc content completely, so you get it all on just the one platter ! Unfortunately, whilst very acceptable in all respects, what you also get is the same standard of presentation with no perceptible improvement between playback of an upscaled DVD and this Blu-ray; I really could not detect any difference at all, which probably shows how good the DVD already was, as well the fact that it was not possible to improve.....

I've added a photo of the back of the box, which details the disc specification/extras, to the main Amazon page for this Blu-ray.

The film plot (to repeat, based on the real-life characters) essentially involves the evolution of Lucas and how he expands his power by virtue of a direct, novel, way of procuring/importing/distributing heroin to his local customers. What we also see is how Richards goes about his attempts to enforce the law, as well as how he ties in his legal credentials - ultimately a truly staggering way. Lucas is methodical and calculating - but so is Richards, but ultimately his honesty marks him out as being different from the majority remainder of the narcotics policeman (which the film also covers in some detail) who are corrupt and almost as bad as their prey; both Lucas and Richards are 'different' - one from the rival local Mafia and the other from his colleagues....

The depicted violence is often extreme, without being overtly gory but along with the portrayal of illicit drug-taking shows why an '18' viewing certificate is applied. The period production-values are excellent and perhaps suggests why the presentation does not come across as 'modern' in terms of sharpness/clarity. Finally, the lead actors (Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe) are, as more often than not, very good and convincing - Crowe in particular manages to let you forget the Hollywood personality he is and instead concentrate on his characterisation (which bares some similarity to his earlier marvellous performance in the similarly excellent drama (The Insider'). Scott, again as he usually does, achieves great success with his direction and production; the long running-time of the film never really becomes an issue as he crafts events to unfold and evolve in such a captivating way.

As mentioned earlier, after direct comparison between the two sources, as acceptable as the presentation is and comprehensive as the extras are nothing is better than already available on DVD. The picture is soft and grainy (intentional I'm sure) with a level of sharpness suiting the period be covered; the audio might get a 'boost' to English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 but the soundtrack didn't really need it. The Blu-ray is only an upgrade as the extras include those not on the UK 2-disc DVD, so I think that can be the only justification to move from DVD to Blu-ray. For first-time buyers who have an HD setup, getting the Blu-ray is an obvious choice but don't think you're watching the film a better way then DVD owners who can upscale playback ! The only proviso I have is that as I've yet to watch all the extras the Blu-ray "U-Control" picture-in-picture video commentary (Unrated Extended version only) may be unique to this disc, but Universal do have a habit of simply re-hashing the already present audio commentary+featurettes content to populate that feature so don't get too excited....

So, this film should not disappointment anyone who enjoys a good, but violent, drama; it is well produced/acted and is presented perfectly adequately on Blu-ray. The extended cut and extras make the package attractive but the HD presentation is no better than the DVD, so an upgrade is not really justified unless the small number of additional extras are really needed.
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Elleppi
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Scott's best films although the script and acting are far better than his direction
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 August 2015
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4 people found this helpful
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J. Giles
5.0 out of 5 stars American Gangster- Review.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 June 2012
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One person found this helpful
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Tahir Usman
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Masterpiece!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 May 2014
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One person found this helpful
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Justkeepreading
4.0 out of 5 stars 💓💓💓💓
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 June 2022
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