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American Gangster 2-Disc Collector's Edition

Frank Lucas is the right hand of Harlem crime lord Bumpy Johnson. When Bumpy dies, he sees his chance and figures out a unique way to import narcotics from the far East into the US. This way he can supply the streets with better quality drugs at a cheaper price and before long he’s the main man in New York, with the maffia supporting him in exchange for a piece of the cake. Meanwhile, due to the high quality of the drugs, more and more junkies are dying from an overdose and the government decides to set up a team of “untouchable” cops, lead by Richie Robert, that have to find the source of the new narcotics and make sure it’s shut down.

Sound and Vision:
Nothing bad to be said about the image quality. The contrast, level of detail, sharpness, … it’s all good and you won’t be disappointed. We didn’t spot any compression errors and also grain or edge enhancement weren’t obnoxiously present.

The sound nicely fits the atmosphere with all channels being used in a perfect way without interfering with each other or the movie.

Extras:
– Deleted Scenes
– Case Files
– Fallen Empire: Making American Gangster: this 85 minute making of covers just about everything on the making of the movie and is very interesting to check out. A great extra!

Conclusion:
The 2-disc collector’s edition brings us an 18 minute longer version of American Gangster and we always love extended cuts.

Based on a true story, Denzel Washington plays the charismatic crime boss Frank Lucas and it suits him well, just like playing Alonzo in Training Day. Russell Crowe meanwhile plays the “untouchable” and driven cop Richie Roberts with similar ease and the two nicely get it off. However, it all feels a bit automated and at no point does the movie truly put you at the edge of your seat. Don’t get me wrong, American Gangster is a very good movie with a decent amount of atmosphere and good acting, and clearly links to Serpico and Goodfellas. However, it never manages to reach the level of those titles.

Ridley Scott has been changing movie genres like his underwear and American Gangster is his take on the crime movie and although he does a decent job on it, we’ve seen better. The fact that this is one of the best movies to come out on dvd lately says more about the overall quality of movies these days than it does on this movie.

Universal’s 2-disc collector’s edition doesn’t come packed with tons of extras, but who’s interested in that if you’ve got an 85 minute documentary that tells you all there is to know about the movie? Universal delivers quality, not quantity and that clearly was the best choice here. Good one!

Our Score:
7.0

posted in: DVD, Reviews, Universal
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