Movie News

Alexandra DuPont's SNATCH has A HARD DAY'S NIGHT!!!

Published at: Jan. 11, 2001, 12:08 a.m. CST

Hey folks, Harry here... I'm in the process of writing up my own take on SNATCH, having seen it 3 times now in totally different situations each time, but I'll address one thing here. Alexandra DuPont draws a parallel that SNATCH is to LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELLS as CASINO is to GOODFELLAS.... And ya know, that's quite apt. GOODFELLAS is for me a brilliant film, but CASINO is the more entertaining for me. Which I am nearly positive isn't her take, as quite a few people hate CASINO like they do a reformed pedophile in a public park on Easter Sunday. I'll go into it deeper in my own review... as for A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, if you have never seen the film, then you have never experienced the brilliance of Richard Lester and THE BEATLES... An amazing film... the long lonely walks of Ringo in the film, sad and melancholy reflections upon the loss of anonymity and the respect of one's friends.... This film is HISTORY that you enjoy the hell out of. Hasn't aged a moment for me. Now, here's Alexandra DuPont...

Oh, how I loathe the holidays; it's perfectly potty to be back after a brief absence. Here are a couple of quick, capsulized reviews to help me "shake the rust out" or "blow the carbs," as it were. I also have some rather exciting personal news at the end of this dispatch.

*****

I. SNATCH

WHY IT MATTERS: The success or failure of this provocatively titled Guy Ritchie film will prove if the ersatz-Tarantino-Brit caper-movie genre has any legs. (It should: "Snatch" packs a wallop.)

PLAYS LIKE: Ritchie's earlier, marvelous ersatz-Tarantino-Brit caper movie "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels" -- only sleeker and quite a bit more ambitious structurally.

THE STORY: Remember the farcical structure of "Lock, Stock"? You know -- multiple criminal gangs with overlapping agendas pursue a bag of money, with everything tying together at the end as if you'd just watched an episode of "Seinfeld" directed by Sam Peckinpah? Well, take that basic plot frame; expand the geography; add a fist-sized diamond and rigged boxing matches in place of a money bag and a gambling debt; season generously with some exceptionally clever structural and editing tricks; remove some of the zest of seeing this sort of film for the first time; and you're starting to get the idea. All in all, not a bad night at the movies. Not bad at all.

FUN FACT: There's a Madonna reference, natch: "Lucky Star" plays on a car radio at one point. (Maybe that isn't such a "fun fact," actually. The info on Vinnie Jones' football career, listed below, is probably quite a bit more fun.)

THE UPSHOT: Worthy of its advance buzz. If "Lock, Stock" was Ritchie's "Reservoir Dogs," this is his "Pulp Fiction."

WHAT'S GOOD: I get into a few of my favorite scenes below, but I think my favoritest thing about "Snatch" was the rich, playful texture of its storytelling -- the utter confidence with which it plays with film language. Scenes are cut out of order and still make perfect sense; 20-odd characters are juggled with minimal confusion (though some variation in the buzz haircuts would have been nice); scenes are interrupted with footnote-like visual illustrations.... I should note that this movie also has one of my favorite depictions of semi-unconsciousness of all time; look for it during a climactic boxing match.

The performances are numerous and skillful; I'll name a few favorites. Brad Pitt takes supporting-role billing as a "pikey" (read: gypsy) boxer with a damn-near indecipherable Irish (?) accent. It's as if Tyler Durden had joined the cast of "Riverdance," and it's great fun. As nasty crime boss Brick Top, Alan Ford comes off like Jack Palance clad in bug-eye glasses, crossed with Albert Finney, and then morphed slightly in Photoshop. (You'll see what I mean.) Dennis Farina doesn't act; he behaves. And of course there's soccer star Vinnie Jones, a notorious member of Wimbledon's "Crazy Gang" and a "hard man" for other footy clubs, a man known in real life for his crunching tackles and vicious grabbing of Paul Gascoigne's nethers: As in "Lock, Stock," Jones plays a fearsome, charismatic enforcer -- only this time around, there no urchin sidekick.

Seriously. I could go on and on. It's a true ensemble film, solid from nave to chaps.

FAVORITE SCENE: Hard to narrow down. There are funny and/or tense scenes at the gypsy camp; there's an extraordinary, temporally rearranged sequence involving discarded milk, a hooded man getting creamed by a car, and multiple auto crashes; there's a boxing match that, editing-wise, gives "Raging Bull" a respectable run for its money; there's Vinnie Jones comparing weaponry with a pack of poseurs; there's that bit with the squeaking dog; there's a botched robbery at a bookie den; there's the rollicking "dramatis personae" montage in the first few minutes.... You get the idea. Suffice to say, the movie's a dense collage of excellence -- a real meal.

FAVORITE LINE: Also hard to narrow down. Probably something unintelligible muttered by Brad Pitt in his "pikey" dialect.

WHAT'S NOT SO GOOD: Were this an SAT simile test, I'd argue that "Snatch" is to "Lock, Stock" as "Casino" is to "Goodfellas." Scorcese got an unfair amount of mixed reviews for "Casino" because it explored the inner lives of hoods using many of the same "Goodfellas" actors in similar roles -- and so was the Master accused of repeating himself. That charge has already been leveled against "Snatch" -- and it probably sticks better in Ritchie's case -- but, as with "Casino," "Snatch" is provocative, well-crafted entertainment when taken on its own merits. (Also, I won't hesitate to point out, "Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn" is essentially a remake of "Evil Dead." There IS a precedent for this being not such a terrible thing.) That said, to hijack a friend's post-film wisecrack, Ritchie had better adapt "Mansfield Park" or something next -- otherwise, he's going to be accused of being in the most intricately constructed rut in film history.

Also: I'd like to have seen more of the gloriously weird Benicio Del Toro. I didn't even get a chance to figure out his accent.

AUDIENCE RESPONSE: Enthusiastic; solid word-of-mouth predicted, though UK accents may be a bit thick for Joe Sixpack at the Kansas City Multiplex.. Film-snob friends in attendance said "Lock, Stock" was better, or at least nearly identical in structure and tone. They're not entirely wrong, but my dear relative the retired federal agent -- who hadn't seen "Lock, Stock" -- found "Snatch" incredibly entertaining. As did I.

WHY YOU, THE YOUNGISH AICN READER, SHOULD SEE THIS: Oh, you shouldn't: It's bloody and laced with profanity and makes criminals seem sympathetic.... oh, never mind.

*****

II: A HARD DAY'S NIGHT (remastered)

WHY IT MATTERS: Because this digitally restored print -- making the rounds of small theaters before it heads to DVD courtesy of Miramax -- is arguably the most important pop-music film ever made. Also, it's charming and funny and odd and merits study.

PLAYS LIKE: One of those silly camcorder movies you used to make with your friends in high school, only with a killer soundtrack and tight jump-cut editing and lovely black-and-white cinematography and a multi-million-dollar budget and with The Beatles as your friends.

THE STORY: Story? Well, um, The Beatles (playing themselves in a sort of Surrealist alternate reality) are making their way to a TV appearance. Most likely because the filmmakers weren't confident The Beatles could act, the Fab Four are accompanied everywhere by good cop/bad cop managers (Norman Rossington, John Junkin) and Paul's grandfather, a "right mixer," liar and all-around nasty rascal played to bared-teeth perfection by Wilfrid Brambell. En route to the TV appearance, the lads flirt with girls, get chased by fans and bobbies, spar cleverly with authority figures and play several songs you've heard a million times already, only in remastered digital stereo.

FUN FACT: Brambell played the patriarch in "Steptoe and Son," the British-TV predecessor of "Sanford and Son."

THE UPSHOT: "A Hard Day's Night," crafted 37 years ago by director Richard Lester ("Superman II" and, alas, "III") is considered a landmark rock film -- and justifiably so -- but looking at it in the post-MTV era is both unnerving and instructive. Music-video-weaned brats will no doubt consider the movie a complete shambles: The "plot" is meandering at best; the comedy bits are often labored and anticlimactic; really, the whole thing's just damned silly -- particularly today, in an era when rock stars are more obsessed with looking "authentic" and cool than they are with looking funny and smart.

But I've seen this twice in the past six months, once on a now-defunct DVD release, and I have to say: Even though I respect The Beatles more than I actually like them, I simply can't withstand their mechanized charm assault. By the end of "Hard Day's Night," when the lads finally get on TV after chasing a glum Ringo around London, I just had a big, stupid grin on my face. Also, afterward, I began listening obsessively to that "Beatles 1" CD, damn it.

WHAT'S GOOD: The Beatles themselves, who are, to a lad, just appallingly clever and well-dressed and charming and sort of ugly-sexy (well except for Paul, who's pretty-sexy). Paul McCartney always looks like he's having fun; John Lennon gets all the best lines; Ringo can actually act; and George, though he looks like he's on a hunger strike, has my favorite scene (see below). I mean, really -- could you see U2 pulling this movie off? They'd stop in mid-chase and lecture their gasping teenage fans about the abuses of the Pinochet regime, then declare themselves political prisoners when the bobbies caught them.

Props also to Richard Lester for moving things at such a giddy clip, employing jump-cuts, marvy compositions and weird angles to great effect. "A Hard Day's Night," for all its minor flaws, is a lot like "Airplane!" in that its effect is cumulative: It quickly moves to the next diversion, surprising you all the while and building a sort of gleeful momentum; in the process, Lester's film captures the springtime joy of youth, friendship and early rock and roll.

FAVORITE SCENE: George Harrison wandering into the offices of a middle-aged marketing executive who thinks he's got his finger on the pulse of "what all the kids are talking about." Harrison's calm dismissal of the white-bread celebrities and clothes this yobbo promotes is priceless -- and timeless.

FAVORITE LINE: Reporter: "So, how do you find America?" John Lennon: "Turn left at Greenland."

WHAT'S NOT-SO-GOOD: Some clunker gags; the seemingly umpteenth time you've heard "She Loves You (Yeah Yeah Yeah)" (particularly the "Yeah Yeah Yeah" part).

AUDIENCE RESPONSE: Warm, sustained applause at the end. The Fab Four can still claim their victims.

WHY YOU, THE YOUNGISH AND PROBABLY UNINTERESTED AICN READER, SHOULD SEE THIS: Because you'll finally know what they were ripping off in the opening credits of "Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery."

*****

III. FUN LINK(S) AND SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: I'M A PUBLISHED CARTOONIST!

Still reading? God bless you. I've a rare personal anecdote.

The most profound advice I've received in the past year undoubtedly came from my bio-dad. We were chatting in his Spartan dwelling, a converted convenience store; on the table before him was (a) a piece of work from my "day job" and (b) a few pages from an aborted comic-book story I was showing to people in lieu of actually finishing it.

He put his hand on the corporate work. "You know," he said, "if you didn't do this, someone else would step in and do it instead." Then he put his hand on the aborted comic-book story: "But NO ONE's going to do this if you don't." A pause. "So THIS" -- the comic -- "is what you should be doing."

Too true. To that end, I am returning to my first love, cartooning, and have already scored my first gig: a five-page story in the back of the snazzy ODDJOB #6, to be published in a couple of months by Slave Labor Graphics. (If you want to learn more about ODDJOB, visit the comic's Web site at www.spiral-city.com.) Anyway, my tale's titled "The End of Oddity," and features the ODDJOB cast, only aged 20 years (and occasionally massacred). You can check out six preview images from the strip by visiting this address:

1313 Mockingbird Lane

An image or three may (or may not) be pasted below, as well.

Your humble and abiding servant,

Alexandra DuPont.

Dupont@DvdJournal.Com




















Readers Talkback

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  • Jan. 11, 2001, 12:13 a.m. CST

    First guy to blubber over DuPont and say precious shit like "Lad

    by Wesley Snipes

    What fighting style do you prefer? Definitely the style that tactician, Paul Varelens, helped to make so famous. Trap fighting. He traps the guy into coming in, then he absorbs heavy blows to the face and stumbles around until he bumps him with his gigantic elbow and passes the guy out. That varelens is such a cunning piece of work.

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 12:42 a.m. CST

    Ms. DuPont to Mr. Snipes: I'll hold them down if you'll hit them

    by Alexandra.DuPont

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 1:04 a.m. CST

    A Hard Day's Night is a goddamned classic.

    by vroom socko

    Unfortunetly, Day's Night is leaving my town before I'll be able to see it on the big screen. However, Cinema 21 is following it up with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, so at least I'll be able to see what all the fuss is about. Also, that comic art of Ms. DuPont's looks like typical Slave Labor fare. However, this is in no way a bad thing. I LIKE the typical Slave Labor stuff. (Really, Vroom Socko, what was the first clue.)

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 1:25 a.m. CST

    Hard Days Night is Ego Crapola

    by TalkingMachine

    I'm sorry, but to declare "A Hard Day's Night" a classic is like declaring you own feces a monument to world of art. I'm sorry, but HDN was an ego trip for a band film that faild to do much more than provide frat rats a distraction from Pink Floyd's the Wall.

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 1:56 a.m. CST

    Kid Koala

    by Toby O Notoby

    That last illustration looks eerily like one of the drawings from the book you get with Kid's "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome" CD. Huh. Here's hoping that Brad's Irish accent is better than Madonna's British one.

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 5:36 a.m. CST

    Anyone who puts down the Beatles as a band . . .

    by Sssnakepit

    Anyone who puts down the Beatles as a band obviously never listened to the Beatles collection of work. Talking Machine doesn't know what he's talking about. (Of course, a machine that talks had to have been programmed since they have no intelligence of their own.) HDN is simply one of the greatest films of its era. Richard Lester captured the essence of what it must've been like to be a Beatle. No time of your own, a rush of appointments, etc. When they break out of the studio near the end of the film it's like a breath of fresh air. I would suggest that Talking Machine's programmer should sit back and listen to the Beatles and how they evolved from album to album. Not content to keep re-doing the same old crap over and over like most of today's stagnant acts. HDN is great and the Beatles were, are and will always be the greatest thing that ever happened to popular music and culture!

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 5:58 a.m. CST

    Evil Dead II...

    by FusionAddict

    ...IS NOT A REMAKE OF THE FIRST FILM! Get it straight, chump.

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 6:23 a.m. CST

    So, "Snatch" is to "Pulp Fiction" the way "Lock, Stock..." is to

    by Smilin'Jack Ruby

    And here I was thinking that "Snatch" would be to "Lock, Stock..." the way "War of the Colossal Beast" was to "The Amazing Colossal Man"

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 6:42 a.m. CST

    SNATCH rocked

    by Stompin Tom

    Saw a screening of this last night, and though I think it now can be said that one of the main criticisms of both of Ritchie's movies are the "convenient" deus ex machina wrap-ups, I had too much fun watching this to really care. I came out of this wanting to rob a bank and make my getaway in a periwinkle caravan. I think the one thing that makes LOCK and SNATCH poignant is the great care with which Ritchie keeps his characters pristinely realistic. They come across as real East-Enders (some of them actually are), and it lends to their credibility. And something needs to be said about the sets, here (yes, the sets), as they truly set the mood, making you believe you are in a real makeshift illegal boxing venue, or a real gypsy camp, or a pig farm. And Brad Pitt was great -- as much as I want to pick apart his performance in every movie he's in (simple jealousy), he really surprised me here with an understated (and unintelligble) acting job. I thought the Hollywood pretty boy wouldn't fit in that well with such a rough-and-tumble cast, but he really shines here. Del Toro's accent is Israeli, by the way, and I wish his character was used a lot more -- but he's used to get the whole plot rolling. Vinnie Jones and Alan Ford carry this movie, though. They are menacing without being cheesy, and they lend a real sense of danger to the whole picture. Great stuff, will certainly put Ritchie firmly on the map, but he better come off with something quite different for his next flick or I fear he's going to exhaust this whole gritty London underground thing.

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 7:03 a.m. CST

    Maybe the best thing to come out of England in the 1960's.

    by Stephen Dedalus

    A HARD DAY'S NIGHT is one of the most enjoyable stunts to come out of the 1960's. Just take it and compare it to the countless rip-offs made since (e.g.: SPICEWORLD) and its easy to see why the Beatles hold such a strong position in 20th century entertainment. Richard Lester had a taste for sight gags and offbeat humor, which would serve his career well (THE THREE MUSKETEERS) and not so well (A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FOURM). But he would never top A HARD DAY'S NIGHT. His documentary-style way of making the film, with gritty black-and-white photography and snappy editing, gave the viewer a "behind-the-scenes" feeling. The one-liners are great. And Wilford Brambell is a lot of fun as the uncle, especially in those great scenes at the gambling table in the hotel.

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 7:40 a.m. CST

    A Hard Days Night

    by Uncle Ben

    It should pointed out that Richard Lester invented the Music Video with the two montage sequences set to "Can't Buy Me Love".

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Of "Frat Rats", Beatles & Alexandra's Doodlings

    by mrbeaks

    I don't know how it is nowadays, but when I was in college, frat boys were far more likely to lay their glazed-over eyes on THE WALL than watch A HARD DAYS NIGHT. As for the 'toons..... nice work, Alexandra; although, you may want to think twice about accepting compliments from a guy who storyboards with stick figures.

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 8:26 a.m. CST

    A Hard Day's Night

    by spider15

    Still a great, great film. First, I agree with the best scene being George's confrontation with the teen marketers. First, it's someone ironic that George would have the standout scene all to himself. Harrison openly always had the least interest in acting in the Beatles (in spite of being the only real Beatle to appear in "The Ruttles"), and his "character" was always known to not make much of an impression on film; so much so, that he was the only Beatle not to have a Monkee indirectly modelled after him (the Mickey Dolenz "character" was considered to be a wild-card). Yet not only is the scene hysterical, but rather telling, as the Beatles were no doubt considered to be not only products of that mentality but perhaps the ultimate product of it, it shows how much they were about to challenge and just about nullify everything which had come before them. As for the so-called "young and uninformed"... they'll come on their own: I recentlly saw the film's theatrical re-release with my 19-year-old kid brother; going was HIS idea (although we both've seen it many times, I'm waiting for the DVD in March). Not to mention the fact that the Beatles have topped the album chart for the past month or so. Do you think "1" is being bought by people who already have every single song in probably three formats already? I'm willing to guess it's being taken home by teenagers and early-20's who're (finally) sick of boy bands and the like. So it's not necessary to try and drag younger audiences to the Beatles movie and music. They'll go one their own, as will many, many, many generations to come. Beatles Forever.

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 9:17 a.m. CST

    I know you'll find this hard to believe, but the post times are

    by WillardEisenbaum

    Other than that, all's right with the world, and I just read two terrific reviews. First, a spoiler-free review of Snatch that addressed evrything I expected it to: the similarities to Lock Shock, and the preponderance of coincidences that propel the action of both movies. Alex gave thumbs up to all the actors as I expected. I am thoroughly pumped up to see this movie. (by the way -- how anyone could deny that evil dead II is basically a remake is beyond me.) ** Second, a loving and wise piece praising the great Beatles movie A Hard Day's Night. you don't have to live and breathe the Beatles to like this movie. actually it's probably better for the passive Beatles fan, as opposed to the rabid Beatlemaniac who might pick it apart a little. Looks like most people agree -- not even the most pale-skinned basement-living action-figure-polisher would dare write in about how the Beatles suck. ** Then, on top of all that, Alexandra's pop gives her advice that just about made me cry. Holy shit that was a moving couple sentences. Break a leg Alex, I'll be rooting for you, and I'll hunt down that Oddjob future story. (And when ya see Evan Dorkin tell him I said World's Funniest ruled, but Milk 'n' Cheese has always, always sucked.) Love, W

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Brad Pitt is a knacker/tinker

    by Gustav Niemann

    This whole thing about "Irish gypsies" is a romanticized version of what they really are: knackers. Or you can call them tinkers. That's what every Irish people calls them. When I first heard the term Irish Gypsy, I was like "what the fuck is an Irish Gypsy?" I call them trouble. Johnny Depp played a knacker in Chocolat, not a gypsy. I don't like this trend in write ups to gloss over what they are. And they do actually dress and act like Brad Pitt in Snatch.

  • Or, as the Onion terms it, "Yet another genius equating Christ and shit." Perhaps I'd care more if I knew anything about the cast of 'Oddjob', but I think I'd still rather read Orwell, or watch a Waters' film. The dvd reviews, however, are above reproach.

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Hard Days Night

    by Brianmacc

    Harry- I couldn't agree with you more that A HardDays Night is a landmark film. Really. I first saw it when I was nine years old and it blew me away! I even had a dream about it later where I was one of the Beatles and all the girls were chasing us at the train station. It was revolutionary (overused word) in many ways: the handheld camera, documentary feel to it, using the Beatles as real charcters, and the Marx Brothers script where anything could, and did happen. Every Rock and Roll movie before had been an obvious commercial ploy for selling some records and yes, the Beatles were selling the soundtrack, but I think alot of thought went into the script and this off-the-cuff movie. Alert!! There is a scene that contains a major mistake! Can you find it? No? The scene is where Ringo takes off by himself and runs into a boy by the river (THIS BOY plays in the background). In it, you can catch Ringo mouthing the kid's dialog while he waites for his cue to come up. I'm surprised Lester didn't catch it in the dailies! Oh well. Brianmacc

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 10:36 a.m. CST

    And what a fine SNATCH Alexandra DuPont has!

    by Batutta

    I couldn't resist.

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 10:41 a.m. CST

    David Spade's review of Casino--

    by Batutta

    "Casino?...Ca-seen-it! I liked it better when it was called Goodfellas."

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 11:25 a.m. CST

    The Beatles

    by marsyas

    One of the things that made the Beatles so great was that even though they experimented with their music to try to bring it to the level of art, it rarely if ever came across as being pretentious. The only exception that springs to mind is perhaps Revolution #9 (the trippy parts), but even that works if taken as a parody of Stockhausenesque musique concr

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 12:17 p.m. CST

    YO! FusionAddict ! Your WRONG!

    by Sigfrid_VonShrnk

    Bruce Campbell even admits evil dead 2: dead by dawn is a remake of Evil Dead. SO there it is your primitive screw head, right from the camels mouth! - Harkonen

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Beatles Rule!

    by EmperorCaligula

    TalkingMachine, trust me, you're already dead ;) Beatles sold 1 billion albums. No one came ever close to this, and you could bet it'll take a lot of time before anything as good comes here.

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 9:16 p.m. CST

    Ah, Paul Varleans, what a gem.

    by Nocturnaloner

    I also enjoy his tactic of taking multiple thai kicks to the thigh until it resembles a bloody side of beef..... but that's just because I'm sentimental.

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 9:52 p.m. CST

    this review proves it: Alexandra DuPont is easily the best revie

    by crash_davis

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 10:43 p.m. CST

    A few Hard Day's Night Tidbits

    by TheYoungLion

    "A Hard Day's Night" wasn't a multi-million dollar film. Its budget was in the low hundred-thousands. It was done in black-in-white because the studio didn't want to spend so much money on the then-unproven Beatles. Though that decision turned out to be a excellent one, because I can't imagine this film being anything other than B&W. Also, John Lennon & Paul McCartney wrote the songs (arguably the greatest film soundtrack of all time) in only a matter of days, as they weren't given a lot of time to do so. AHDN was a very influential film not only because it single-handedly gave birth to the music video -- a few years back MTV gave AHDN director Richard Lester a special award and acknowledged him as the father of the music video -- but because it also influenced an entire generation of filmmakers (including Spielberg and Lucas, who have publicly ackowledged the film's impact on them). Aside from all that, it's as fun as anything you'll ever see. Still funny after all these years. One blurb used in the movie ads says "Life Affirming!" That's truer about this film than any other I can think of. Actually, this film has long been on my personal "10 favorite films of all time list" along with "Ikiru", "Godfather, Part II", "Seven Samurai", "M*A*S*H", and others.

  • Jan. 11, 2001, 11:18 p.m. CST

    Not that praising The Beatles or HDN will raise controversy, but

    by Sorcerer

    The film is most definitely a blast; the fact that there's no real story doesn't matter, in fact abandoning that pretense is what makes the film good. There's no attempt to force any of the characters into a contrived plotline; instead, a bunch of events are set up and the Beatles wade through them in a funny way. Also, for all the trouble celebrities usually go to in order to seem "real" or, to borrow Alexandra's phrase, "authentic", the Beatles almost effortlessly come off as just a group of cool guys. INCREDIBLY cool guys, mind you, with talent up the wazoo, but somehow unintimidating, unpretentious, just plain likable. Great songs, lots of laughs, lovely birds- there's really nothing that I'd bother to criticize. And don't worry about the kids of today- the audience I saw the rerelease with was composed of all age groups, all enjoying themselves, all staying through the end credits. What an experience.

  • Jan. 29, 2001, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Snatch-my glowing review

    by Bagggsladys

    Disorder. Humor. Absurdity. Style. And above all, that subtle little spark that few big name movies attain, that perfect blending of every cinematic aspect that inducts you deliciously into its center and holds you there, in spite of yourself. "Snatch" is a rapid, finely-tuned ride through the antics of a consciously and hilariously stereotypical cast of characters: our sardonic narrator, Turkish (Statham), his lovably inept parter Tommy (Graham), a Russian gangster (Serbedzija), a mafioso-ish diamond importer Jew (Farina), an eccentric gypsy fighter (Pitt), and many more, including the ultimate psycho-killer bastard, "Brick Top" (Ford.) Each role is expertly acted, and no one actor takes over the screen; the plethora of bizarre identities enriches the light, stylish flavor of the film. As for the plot, all the madness ensues from one glittering 84 carat diamond (hence the film

  • Jan. 30, 2001, 4:57 p.m. CST

    snatch

    by snatched

    Chaotic, witty, eccentric, and hip, Guy Ritchie's latest film "Snatch" is a visual bombast involving an eclectic array of intriguing characters. Ritchie takes us on a fast-paced ride through London, introducing us to a four-fingered gambler (Del Toro), a saturnine boxing promoter named Turkish (Statham), his lovable maladroit partner Tommy (Graham), a bullet-dodging Russian (Serbedzija), the wanna-be-jewish diamond dealer Doug the Head (Reid), the authentic jewish diamond dealer Cousin Avi (Farina), a marble-mouthed gypsy boxer (Pitt), and many other diversified characters. Each personality has it's own individualized mark which together form a melange of the bizarre. Set in London, the story follows what happens surrounding a much sought after 84 karat diamond. As the plot begins to unfold, the interlocking stories involving unlicensed boxing, stolen diamonds, and caravans are revealed to make for a witty nearly unimaginable ending. Ritchie's innovative cinematography including quick paced action-to-freeze-frame-cuts and split screens is captivating, stylish, zany, and full of frenetic energy. In addition to Ritchie's remarkable camerawork, his choice of music is not to be left unnoticed. Offbeat cuts like Klint's Diamond, Disco Science by Mirwais, and Massive Attack's Angel coexist perfectly with the skittish visuals. The music, cinematography, witty dialogue, and bewitching characters are only a few distinguishable features of many in this cleverly hilarious and entertaining comedy. Snatch is well worth the money, time, and energy.