The first ever post on this site was Quick Thoughts on Iron Man 3 and since then I haven’t written about any other movies. The reason being is that I dislike watching movies unless they really really interest me. I’d be hard pressed to spend $10 or even hour and a half on a movie when I could be doing something else. But at the start of this weekend in the shower of all places I decided I wanted to watch a British gangster movie like in The Getaway. One thing lead to another and now I had four movies under my belt after 72 hours.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
Director: Guy Ritchie
I never remember director’s names; after all its the actors that we look at and remember the faces of. But I am no stranger to Guy’s work, being a fan of the Sherlock films. This however was a more entertaining beast. I loved everything about this movie. Ok, some of the main characters could have been fleshed out more like Jason Statham’s character Bacon who I can only assume is a casual pot smoking hawker. The films lived and breathed seedy underground Britishisms from the cockney slang spewed by the bartender requiring subtitled translations to the rivalry between North and South England. The highlight of the film is the interweaving of all the different characters. It starts off with a daunting amount but 2/3rds through the film you understand their motives and part they play in the story.
Director: Guy Ritchie
The same way Mallrats is the bigger budgeted brother of Clerks, Snatch is to Lock, Stock. Making everything bigger and someways better, Snatch is a less of an underdog story and more of a comedy of errors and misunderstandings. Whilst watching Snatch I was struck by media deja vu; the opening of Snatch is very similar to the opening of Baccano; objects scene cutting to new characters still framed with their names displayed. The chase for diamonds, gangsters, and independent groups being mixed up with the whole operation is similar to the Grand Theft Auto IV Trilogy. Out of the two films I’d recommend Lock Stock because of its humble beginnings. It was Guy’s first film and people can appreciate a good underdog story. Snatch has a bit too much Hollywood on it that makes it difficult to differentiate from other films.
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Brad Nicholson loves Robocop and never passes up a chance to talk about it whenever he is on a podcast. Curious, I added it to the ‘movies to watch list’ and finally I am able to strike it off. Action films are the epitome of popcorn flicks. Turn my brain off, eat up the gore and explosions then ride the epinephrine high for ninety minutes. Robocop has some deeper meaning behind the violence so I am told by Mr. Nicholson and various critics, but its hard to focus on them when you have Robocop shooting a junkie in the crotch through a woman’s dress.
The Princess Bride (1987)
Director: Rob Reiner
I’m often hesitant to watch children films about fantasy. Common tropes and horrible costumes or animatronics turned me off movies as a child and as an Adult I’m happy not sitting through another Hook-esque adventure. But The Princess Bride was different. Its a movie I could have enjoyed as a child and now as an adult. Everything that came out of Wesley’s mouth was charming, I loved the three trials set up by Vizzini, and the blade work featured in the movie would make any fencer envious. From an older point of view I appreciated the jokes and humour throughout the movie especially from Miracle Max near the end. The violence was also spot on. Tame enough that kids wouldn’t go to sleep with nightmares but enough so they would know the dangers of wielding a knife. It took a while to get going but the execution and pacing of the story was excellent.