American Gangster: Two Tales

Featured
Updated
agtt_front
Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
Everyone is the hero of their own tale...
Original Movie Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2007
Original Running Time:
175
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
174
Time Cut:
1
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
Two Tales restructures the Extended Cut of American Gangster from one that inter-cuts the stories of Richie Roberts and Frank Lucas into one that is built around three distinct sections; Richie's story, Frank's story, and once they collide.
Intention:
This is not a fanfix! The theatrical (and extended) cuts of American Gangster is one of my favorite movies and is executed flawlessly with powerful performances by Academy Award winning actors, directed by someone who should have more than one but hasn't.

That said, while the bulk of Hollywood films traditionally have your A story, B story and so-on, American Gangster has two A stories, so since seeing it in the theater I was curious about what it would be like to see each of them be featured stories. This approach allows the viewer to really focus on each character's story, seeing it from their perspective; Richie's struggles with being principled cop at a time of rampant corruption and then gets a chance to make a difference chasing a mysterious new drug king-pin, then we get to watch Frank, a diligent enforcer who methodically builds an criminal empire. It's a fascinating alternative to the theatrical's inter-cutting approach.
Special Thanks:
thecuddlyninja for providing artwork without even being asked! Gatos, NJVC, Dwight Fry and ArtisDead for previewing then and now!
Release Information:
Digital
Special Features
None at this time.
Editing Details:
The basic process was to take the first two acts and cut them apart based on who's story it was and then stitch them together and then find the appropriate part to merge them together. There was much back and forth on how to get everything to line up just right but the basic approach was to tear it apart and resort the scenes as needed.
Cuts and Additions:
the only cuts were incidental moments at the beginning or end of a scene to allow for editing.
Cover art by L8wrtr (DOWNLOAD HERE)
image


Cover art by L8wrtr (DOWNLOAD HERE)
image

Trailer

User reviews

4 reviews
Overall rating
 
9.9
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0(4)
Visual Editing
 
10.0(4)
Audio Editing
 
10.0(4)
Narrative
 
10.0(4)
Enjoyment
 
9.8(4)
Already have an account? or Create an account
Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio 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! :)
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
(Updated: September 10, 2021)
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Gangster movies have always been one of my favorite genres. Scarface is my favorite movie of all time. Barely beating out Apocalypse Now and Blade Runner. Go ahead and laugh, I can almost hear you.

When I found out that the multiple award winning L8wrtr had blessed us with his return ("My man!") and his first project was going to be to finish this edit, my hopes were very high. Very very high. I was not disappointed. I was even fortunate enough to get to preview it. Hell yeah!

I won't spend time on the technical aspects, others more savvy than me already have and will. I think it's a flawless masterpiece. Everything flows like it was meant to be. For me...it was. I base my review on previewing the workprint and then the released version, a few days later.

I liked the original which was loosely based on the true story of Frank Lucas's rise and fall as a Harlem drug kingpin who started out as a small time hood falling into the footsteps of Bumpy (real name, seriously) Johnson. The protagonist (or antagonist? Depends on where you stand?) is Ricky Roberts a policeman on a drug task force hell bent on catching him. It feels like an excellent biopic and not really an action movie.

L8wrtr flips the script on that and takes their interwoven stories and ingeniously separates them into three individual yet smoothly consecutive acts. You are able to get to know each character intimately before their lives converge and reach critical mass in the final act.

It is an amazing well thought out narrative restructuring that causes the movie to unfold with a different vibe altogether.

Now it feels like a movie with an element of mystery and the unknown. A cat and mouse game, as it were. You play "cat" with Ritchie as he discovers and is perplexed by this mysterious new high quality heroin that is taking his streets by storm. You are with him as he encounters Lucas at the boxing match and later puts the pieces together. You play "mouse" with Lucas as he rises from Bumpy's footsteps as a criminal mastermind who figures out how to revolutionize the heroin trade. The assumed trademark name, "Blue
Magic" even seems more appropriate now. The "mouse" evades and outsmarts the "cat", the entire time schmoozing the mob while just as powerful. Finally, you are with both of them as the "cat" circles in on the "mouse" and pounces.

The stroke of genius on L8wrtr's part is that even though the acts are presented consecutively, the stories are still running concurrently until the climax that is the concluding act. It's a much better way to watch the movie-by far.

A stunning achievement from a long time missing master of the fanedit. A masterpiece for certain!

It's great to have you back! Your fans are very fortunate! Thanks for allowing me to play a small part.

You never answered me...is Frank a tragic hero?

Highly recommended!

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
(Updated: September 09, 2021)
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio 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
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio 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!
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 2 0