This won't be a typical movie review, as we already have a pair of very fine American Gangster analysis logged right here at this very blog. (Rocchi didn't like it as much as I did.) But since this very popular movie is hitting DVD in a 2-disc "extended edition," I figured it might be worth a brief overview, just so the fans know what they're in for.
As far as the film itself is concerned, I dig it. American Gangster is hardly the newest story under the sun, but it's got three really great things in its corner: It's directed by Ridley Scott and written by Steve Zaillian, it's based on a rather fascinating true-life story, and it stars big-time movie stars like Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. It tells the tale of (yes) an American gangster who (independently!) rose to power in the '70's New York drug scene; he did so by selling the finest smack on the streets, which came direct from Vietnam ... and was transported inside (occupied) coffins.
So while it's not exactly Scorsese, American Gangster is a fine crime film indeed. I'm a little surprised it only got two Oscar nominations, to be honest. I'm talking about the theatrical cut, which is a well-directed, visually impressive, and entirely captivating crime story. The longer version? Yeah. Not nearly as good, and I suspect its inclusion on the DVD was more a matter of marketing than anything else.