Snatch

snatch-posterBritish crime comedy from 2000.
Starring: Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Benicio Del Toro
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer: Guy Ritchie
Bechdel test: Fail

Exposition

Turkish, a promoter of unlicensed boxers, gets dragged deeper and deeper into the intrigues of the London underworld.

Reactions

This is kind of an old fashioned heist movie, only it starts with the big caper. It is the story of what comes after all the other big sting movies.

Turkish is the storyteller in the movie, and we follow him and his compadres in the London underworld for a week. There are plenty of misunderstandings, mix-ups, disputes and clashes through the whole week, and both his alleys and foes are crazy and eccentric oddballs, to put it mildly.

And that might be the heart of “Snatch”; the dramatis personae. They are all absurd and they have a variety of traits that defy reason. Put together they make up a circle of associates that are simply inconceivable.  There are blundering amateurs, Russian gangsters, unpredictable pikeys,  bent fight promoters and a general horde of hard men, each of them bearing a nickname as daft as a brush. They make the movie full of surprises and the unexpected. 

And I am happy to report that “Snatch” is a movie with tempo. The story is complicated with heaps of action, and it moves through the scenes with gusto and speed. A lovely change from some of the slower movies I have seen lately.

Contemplations

The acting in the movie is great, and that’s good, cause weak performances could not have pulled off all the strange character traits. The list of actors is impressive, and Jason Statham does a great job in the lead role as one of the few slightly more ordinary people in the movie. I think specially Benicio Del Toro and Brad Pitt succeeds in their performances of unusual roles.

The story is a complicated mess of entanglements and conflicting goals through this gallery of criminal men. Any retelling is superfluous and probably will not do the story justice regardless. Suffice to say; everyone wants the proceeds from the heist and no one is aware of all the other players. It is a delightful set of resulting high jinks.

The audio and visuals in “Snatch” is some of the most creative and appealing I have seen.  We see things through surveillance cameras, there is quick changes between angles in scenes, there is a kind of hurried montage, there is an old-style presentation of the characters (and their wonderful nicknames) and a masterly and strange filming of a fight that lets the viewer feel just how hung over one of the fighters is. And that is just a few of the unusual ways this story is presented.

Judgement

“Snatch” is memorable and funny and I liked it quite a bit. I would not mind watching it again.

Epilogue

I recommend “Snatch” to any adult for a great evening of entertainment.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “Snatch” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

54 movies down. 311 to go.

If you want to get “Snatch” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “Howl’s moving castle” (“Hauru no ugoku shiro”). Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

Gladiator

gladiator-posterAmerican action adventure from 2000.
Starring: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen
Director: Ridley Scott
Writers: David Franzoni, John Logan, William Nicholson
Bechdel test: Fail

Exposition

General Maximus leads the Roman army to victory over the Germanic tribes and conquers the empires last enemies. Now there is peace. Unfortunately he is caught up in the politics of Emperors and Senators, and seems to loose everything that matters to him.

Reactions

I have seen “Gladiator” before and was is awesome, then and now. I have the feeling I just watched a play written for stage by a great writer, only; all the action and war that often happens off stage was included. The drama and personal relations between characters effect a whole empire, and both the emotional development of characters and their resulting actions make sense. I was taken on a journey and it feels like a commentary on life and human character.

The look and feel of various locations in the Roman empire (modern day Germany, Spain, Italy and maybe Morocco) gave a feel and mood to each place that was unique and seemed appropriate for the time (180A.D.). The places gave the impression of being vibrant and living without giving a sense that the movie makers wanted to show off knowledge or cool props and buildings.

Contemplations

The actors were all marvelous but in particular Maximus (Russel Crowe), Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) and Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) were well played. The part of the story that can be interpreted to deal with human nature centers around these three characters and the story became powerful by these solid performances in these parts. (Though I was unconvinced by Maximus in one scene. The one where he speaks to his troops in Germany early in the movie. All the rest was excellent.)

I have started to notice how the camera goes from a large shot over a whole situation in to a focus on the person or persons the scene is about, and in this movie those openings of scenes were very beautiful. They also served their function well, and explained were the characters are.

The music was grandiose and befitting of the grand story. The pompous nature of much of the music accented the characters pompous nature and the central role they had in this enormous nation.

Judgement

I loved watching “Gladiator” again and the quote below still rings in my ears.

Below here there be spoilers.

My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.

Epilogue

I would recommend this movie to any adult, with emphasis on adult. There is quite a bit of raw violence and any potential viewers should be aware of this before they decide to watch “Gladiator”. But if anyone does decide to watch the movie, don’t be afraid to have expectations, it is amazing.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “Gladiator” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

23 movies down. 342 to go.

If you want to get “Gladiator” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “12 angry men“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

Cast away

cast-away-posterAmerican adventure drama from 2000.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Paul Sanchez
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer: William Broyles Jr.
Bechdel test: Fail

Exposition

Chuck Noland is in a plain accident and miraculously survives and washes ashore on a small, deserted island. Will he be found?

Reactions

I have seen “Cast away” before, and yet, I was entertained throughout. Portraying Chuck’s fight against the elements and loneliness demands someone with the rare combination of Tom Hanks’ dramatic and comedic talent. (I have to admit to being a fan of Tom Hanks, so this opinion might be a little colored by that.) It’s also nice that he is likeable.

I am usually not a fan of these “one man’s journey” or “one man against something” movies, but this has enough of that little extra to convince me. As a counterweight to my positive disposition towards Tom Hanks, I tried to imagine some other actor in the part, just some random male Hollywood stars, and I didn’t picture it going so well. But it is difficult to say what reality would have been like. I think this is a case of the right man for the part.

Contemplations

The story is not specially complicated and most of the movie takes part on the island with only Chuck and his companion Wilson the Volleyball. There are many funny little moments on the island and still there is no doubt that Chuck is suffering and it is unique that he can find solutions to problems like fresh water and food.

The visuals are strong and captures well the difficulties that the island offers to it’s sole inhabitant. The wind really seems to bend the trees and the waves really seems insurmountable.

But as mentioned, a large part of the reason I like “Cast away” is Tom Hanks. It is as if his performance tells a tragic story in hindsight with dark humor. (Even if it is really told in present time.) “Well, then I stranded on this island and luckily I met this really talkative guy. Wilson. He was a volleyball, but I’m not judgmental, so that worked out. We became pretty close.”

Judgement

Watching “Cast away” again turned out to be pleasant and I had completely forgotten about the humor and weirdness of the movie. Maybe watching it again in a few years will surprise me then?

Epilogue

I would recommend this movie to anyone over 12, I think. Enjoy the humor and maybe more importantly, the drama.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “Cast away” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

21 movies down. 344 to go.

If you want to get “Cast away” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “Boogie nights“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.