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Tag Archives: Daniel Day-Lewis

Top Three: 2002

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3. Catch Me if You Can

I view it as a upbeat Shawshank Redemption. Or you could liken it to a thinking man’s Ocean Eleven. Or you could simply refer to it as Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio doing what they do best; and going head to head while they’re at it. Oh, you want another one? Tom Hanks as a Mad Men extra.

2. Gangs of New York

It’s violent, it’s grungy, it’s Scorsese. Obviously, ’02 was a good year for Leo, as this is his second appearance in this list. However, the star of GoNY is Daniel Day-Lewis. Quite frankly, he is Bill the Butcher and is able to pull off the handlebar mustache and top hat like nobody else. In my mind, it was the best performance of the year, and well worth watching.

1. Adaptation

Being John Malkovich made the list for 1999, and writer/director combo Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze do it again in 2002. It’s different and you have to pay attention, but there isn’t a movie like this in the world (at least not that I’ve seen). Even Nicolas Cage is bearable in it! Plus his hair adds him to the list of horrible hair in Spike Jonze movies alongside Cameron Diaz in BJM.

Honorable Mentions

LOTR: The Two Towers

Super Troopers

Spiderman

The Bourne Identity

The Pianist

Insomnia

Road to Peridition

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Review: Gangs of New York (2002)

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If you didn’t know it already, Daniel Day-Lewis is an absolute beast at this thing called acting. Bonus points for the viewer when you get him paired up with a legendary director and one of the most popular actors of the decade. We win!

We start out with Priest Vallon (Liam Neeson) gearing up for battle. Alongside him is his son Amsterdam (Leonardo DiCaprio). Against him, rival gang leader Bill “The Butcher” (Day-Lewis). After a bloody battle, Amsterdam is left fatherless and shipped to an institution. Several years later, Amsterdam is a young man, finding his way back to New York to plot his revenge on Bill. He finds his way into Bill’s inner circle, and tries to kill him from the inside. But the impending draft riots only make matters more chaotic. No doubt about it, there will be violence.

The opening scene, with the music, cinematography, and overall bloodiness set an early tone of what Gangs of New York would be. If you are a fan of violence, people fighting with axes, etc. Gangs of New York is definitely going to be one of your favorites. And while Cameron Diaz and DiCaprio give their usual good performances, Daniel Day-Lewis is completely mesmerizing as Bill the Butcher. Every scene he is in, you are completely drawn to him. One of his best roles, and that is saying a lot. Completely fits into Martin Scorsese’s filmography.

My Rating: A-

Review: My Left Foot (1989)

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Daniel Day Lewis, of There Will Be Blood fame, is a great actor. In my defense of that statement, I present My Left Foot as Exhibit A. If you are a fan of incredible acting, there is no way you want to miss out on this flick.

My Left Foot is based off of the autobiography of the same name by Irish author/artist Christy Brown. Christy, born with Cerebral Palsy overcomes not really having any control of his body (except for the aforementioned foot), and facing the world with the help of his family.

As you can see, the plot is kinda thin. Obviously, the thin plot only serves as a way to show off the rich acting performances. The family drama is both funny, hearwarming, and tear jerking. Led by Brenda Fricker as Christy’s mother, there are no bad performances in this family. And then there is not only Daniel Day-Lewis, but Hugh O’Conor as young Christy Brown, giving an eerily similar job of portraying the wheelchair bound artist.

My Rating: B+