American Gangster had the misfortune of being released on HD DVD the same day the format war died, and will probably serve more of a reminder of why red lost, than an example why it deserved to go on. Coming on an HD DVD / DVD combo disc extends compatibility, but expands the price beyond that of the far more extensive 3 DVD special edition set. Also apparent casualties of the combo are the unrated directors cut of the film (found only on the DVD side), standard-def extra features,and any TrueHD audio track. The audio and PQ present aren't bad, but don't meet the "reference quality" standards a film like this aspires to. Even HD DVD's HDi interactivity can't save it, with a picture-in-picture track described as a "slim afterthought" by HighDefDigest, and online downloads that aren't specific to this movie, this might make a good souvenir for HD fans, but most will want to wait for the inevitable Blu-ray edition.

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