Blog of a Million Dreams

Sunday, July 20, 2008

American Gangsta'




I saw the movie American Gangster for the first time this weekend. It was based on a true story.

First, Denzel Washington is great!

He was a guy named Frank Lucas who made over $255 million in the '70's selling heroin. He didn't just sell it though, he shipped it in from Vietnam via coffins of dead soldiers.

He went from a drug lord's driver to owning all of New York, including 3/4ths of the New York Police force.

The Italians didn't like him too much, seeing as he pretty much put them and all of the other drug dealing gangsters out of business by supplying high quality heroin at cut rate prices.

He was a violent but impressive businessman. Donald Trump had nothing on him.

Also, Russell Crowe was pretty good too! He was the womanizing, good cop who brought Frank Lucas down.

There was a point in the movie, though, that I thought would've have happened quite differently today.

Scene: 1970's New York

Russell Crowe's character, Richie Roberts, ends up getting divorced from his wife.

Robert's Wife's Lawyer: Judge, you should give custody of the Roberts 5 year old boy to his mother because Richie Roberts is a womanizing, violent cop who lives in the projects with junkie friends and a chaotic and crazy life.

Robert's Wife (to her husband, Richie): We are getting a divorce because you have never been there for me or for our son and he deserves a consistent and happy home. You are never around. You bust dishonest cops, yet you are just the same as them because you won't be honest about how your lifestyles makes you an incompetent parent.

Richie Roberts: You are absolutely right. Judge, I withdraw, grant custody to my ex wife.

***********************

Scene: Today, Santa Clara County Family Court

Russell Crowe's character, Richie Roberts, ends up getting divorced from his wife.

Robert's Wife's Lawyer: Judge, you should give custody of the Roberts 5 year old boy to his mother because Richie Roberts is a womanizing, violent cop who lives in the projects with junkie friends and a chaotic and crazy life.

Judge: How dare you portray this wonderful man who wants to be a part of his child's life as being anything but a saint! You should be ashamed! He obviously cares about others and is a caring father! How he has treated women is irrelevant, it only counts if he treats people badly!

Robert's Wife (to her husband, Richie): We are getting a divorce because you have never been there for me or for our son and he deserves a consistent and happy home. You are never around. You bust dishonest cops, yet you are just the same as them because you won't be honest about how your lifestyles makes you an incompetent parent.

Judge (interrupting before Richie has a chance to answer): Mother obviously has an anger issue and needs counseling! Custody to the father!

Robert's Wife: But he is sleeping with his own lawyer! And he lives in the projects and has drugs and alcohol lying around!

Judge: Mother should pay all attorney fees and must complete a minimum of 2 years counseling before being allowed any visitation with this child! Wait, Richie Roberts, if you are living with your lawyer, let's just have the boy call her mom...in fact, put that in the court order and specify that father is not a danger to child and is a loving and caring man! And put in the order that Mom has anger issues. Bailiff escort that wacky woman out.

*****************

And that is the difference between a 1970's courthouse in New York and a 2000's Courthouse in Santa Clara County.

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