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AMERICAN GANGSTER

AMERICAN GANGSTER

We saw AMERICAN GANGSTER this weekend and it was very good. Almost great. Denzel Washington was fantastic, as usual. I think he might be my favorite movie actor in just about every category – talent, nuance, charisma, sex appeal, you name it.

If Russell Crowe had been as good as Denzel, this movie would have been unstoppable. But he wasn’t, and I’ve decided that he just isn’t of the same caliber. When he first came on the scene, he was hot and edgy and interesting. What happened? The edge turned to mush in my opinion. I first noticed it in Master and Commander, and it’s been downhill since then.

But the director of American Gangster is still crazy about him as you can see from the movie. It’s just a matter of taste, I guess.

Anyway, I was probably influenced by the fact that we watched THE DEPARTED again on Friday night, and that movie – also about gangsters – had so many high-caliber performances and such crisp dialogue, AG had a tough act to follow.

The Departed did a good job of reminding us that being an undercover informant is not glamorous, it's stressful. AG did the same thing for the issue of drugs -- it didn't pull any punches when it showed how drugs deciminated communities and ruined the lives of those who got hooked on a particularly pure variety of smack. I love it when these films can draw us into that world without over-glamorizing it.

Bottom line: I recommend AG, especially if you’re a Denzel Washington fan. It’s a good movie and he’s amazing in it. In my opinion, it's important to see it on the big, big screen rather than waiting for the DVD.

Kate

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