Snatch, Crime Can be Confusing

Snatch

Snatch is one busy movie. You have six criminal organizations vying after a single priceless diamond, making threats, mistakes, and murders. It certainly fits the bill for a crime thriller; rigged boxing matches, heists, robberies, kidnapping, murder… and dogs. It’ll be much easier to understand just what kind of movie Snatch is if you hear a little bit about the web of events.

Turkish (Jason Statham) and Tommy (Stephen Graham) are two fellows in a great deal of trouble. They’re meant to rig a boxing match for a notorious crimelord called Brick Top, who’s known for murdering useless lackeys and feeding them to pigs. When they go to a “pikey” encampment in an attempt to buy a better trailer, Gorgeous George, their boxer, gets his face punched in by Mickey O’Niel (Brad Pitt). So, they hire Mickey to fight the rigged fight. Only, he takes his opponent out in one punch instead of going down in the fourth. Brick Top is not happy.
SnatchAll the while, Franky Four-Fingers and his crew are busy stealing an 86-carat diamond from a jewelry store while disguised as rabbis. The heist is successful. Frankie contacts Doug the Head, a self-proclaimed Jewish man who’s known for moving gemstones. He tells his New Yorker friend Cousin Avi that Frankie’s got ice, and Avi wants to buy.

Frankie meets Boris the Blade, who convinces him to head to the boxing match and place a few bets. Boris knows that Frankie has a gambling problem, so he hires a few thugs to steal the diamond from him while he’s at the bookies. The thugs this time around are Sol and Vinnie, two pawn shop owners who have a lot of bad luck with crime. They manage to steal the diamond, but not before their getaway driver Tyrone shows his face to a camera.

Cousin Avi then wants to know where the hell Frankie’s gone off to, since nobody really knows that Boris shot him in the head and stole his briefcase. Since Doug the Head isn’t any help, Avi flies to London and employs the help of Bullet-Tooth Tony. Using one of his contacts, Tony finds out about the pawnbrokers and proceeds to hunt them down. Unfortunately, Brick Top already has his fingers in that pie.

SnatchAvi and Tony get to the diamond at Boris’s place first, though with Sol and Vinnie in tail. The former pair head to a pub to clean up, but not before Boris appears and ambushes Avi. Sol and Vinnie try to do some ambushing too, but their replica pistols don’t intimidate Tony. One clusterfuck with guns later, Sol and Vinnie make off with the diamond. Before they can get it to Brick Top, Tony hunts them down again.

Don’t ask how, but the diamond winds up in the belly of Vinnie’s dog, and in a panic, Avi accidentally shoots Tony. Crime is messy. That’s about all the plot you need to know in order to understand what Snatch is like; confusing.

So much as I enjoy the complexity and depth of the plot of this movie, it’s a little difficult to keep track of at times. Maybe more than a little difficult. You’ll meet a bunch of funky criminal characters, see most of them get their faces blown off, and probably have a laugh or two when Brad Pitt does his unintelligible pikey accent. Oh, and don’t feel bad if you don’t understand him. You’re not meant to. You are meant to watch this movie if you have a thing for black comedy laced crime thrillers, though, because this is a great one.

Joshua Tyler of CinemaBlend sees Snatch as a clusterfuck too, but finds that director Guy Ritchie drops the ball with his choice of dialogue. Also, the word “fuck” is used 163 times, so I suppose that accounts for the dialogue’s quality… Snatch is 104 minutes long, which means 1.5 “fucks” are said every minute. That’s quite a bit. But hey, there’s more to the review than profanity. Check it out: http://www.cinemablend.com/reviews/Snatch-95.html

Se7en – All He Wanted was One

Se7en

I never really saw Morgan Freeman or Brad Pitt as old-fashioned detective types. I mean, they’re probably two of the most adaptive actors I know, but even so, they feel a little out of place in Se7en. Unlike Kevin Spacey, whose acting as the serial killer John Doe is nothing short of beautifully morbid and morbidly beautiful. Maybe I’m just using sketchy mental references. After all, Freeman was in Dreamcatcher. That’s… that’s even more out of place. I’m going off on a bit of a tangent, so I’ll get back on track with a little synopsis action.

Detective William Somerset (Freeman) works in an unnamed city plagued with crime and urban decay. A stoic man with a grim philosopy, Somerset wants to quit the force and leave the city as quickly as possible. He takes on Detective David Mills (Pitt), an emotional married man, as a partner while working a case involving the murder of a particularly obese guy. When a second murder pops up, centering around the word Greed and a dead lawyer, Somerset returns to the scene of the first murder and finds Gluttony written in grease behind the fat man’s fridge.
Se7enThat’s when Somerset realizes that the killings are connected, and postulates that the killer is going to kill five more people based around the seven deadly sins. Still on the list are Sloth, Lust, Pride, Envy, and Wrath. The progression of kills continues smoothly until they move past Lust, when Mills accidentally cues Somerset to try to link the killer to the library books he’s checked out.

Right on the money, they stumble onto John Doe’s apartment. After a close encounter, the killer passes up a chance to kill Mills and makes a successful escape. For his next kill, he carves the face of an esteemed model and glues a phone and sleeping pills to her hands. As she is his target for Pride, I’m pretty sure you know how this one goes.

That’s when things get funny (not haha funny, I can tell you), though. John Doe turns himself in, shocking both Mills and Somerset. He sets up an ultimatum: either they accompany him to the location of the remaining bodies, or he pleas insanity across the board. That’s when one of the greatest twists in murder mystery history hits, and Brad Pitt makes the best set of facial expressions I’ve ever seen. No spoilers, though. Sorry.

Se7enSe7en’s a morbid classic that you can always go back to. It binds curious interpretations of faith and morality into a darker, consolidated theme that makes the viewer ask questions after watching. Whether it comes off as thought-provoking or not is irrelevant in the long run; it’s one hell of a good movie. Great acting, great tone, satisfying finish. Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, and Kevin Spacey pull their roles off admirably, resulting in a story that keeps you intrigued until the end.

Nick Venable of CinemaBlend… Holy CRAP that was a lot of puns. This guy’s credible in my book. Seriously though. Se7en’s one of those murder mystery movies you don’t want to pass up. Regarding tone, I couldn’t agree more. The bleak, disillusioned city that the sin murders takes place in feels all too perfect for the scenario. Regarding the Blu-Ray content and extra features… you’ll have to check this one out:  http://www.cinemablend.com/dvds/Se7en-Blu-Ray-4872.html

12 Monkeys: What the Hell, Brad Pitt?

12 Monkeys

Here’s a thought: Have you ever wanted to see Brad Pitt’s ass in the same movie as Bruce Willis’s ass? Trick question, you shouldn’t have to suffer through that. Don’t get me wrong, I love Brucey baby, but that right there’s some cinematic material I could have gone my entire life without seeing. Tell you what, in light of these monkeyshines (ha ha ha), let’s move on and look at what exactly 12 Monkeys is about.

The bigger picture: Earth’s surface is tainted by a virus that wiped out 99% of the human population while leaving all other species unharmed. Prisoners held for dire crimes are used as “volunteers” for surface recon, being forced to gear up in hazmat and attempt to collect residual samples of the virus. The science team in control of these operations also appears to have crafted a time machine that can drop people off in the past, then instantly pull them back into the present.

12 MonkeysJames Cole (Bruce Willis) gets the full runaround, as he successfully returns from a surface expedition, and is then deemed capable of searching for information regarding the virus in the past. Due to the unstable nature of the time machine, Cole touches down in 1990 and is sent to an insane asylum after raving about the global plague. It is here that he meets Kathryn Railly (Madeleine Stowe), a psychiatrist who remembers him for some reason or another. Though she thinks Cole is insane, some part of her believes him.

While he’s stuck in the institution, Cole meets a- well, he meets Brad Pitt playing a batshit insane son of a world-famous virologist. This Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt) sounds like a drooling, crazed version of Tyler Durden, and I’m not playing around. When he starts ranting about consumerism and modern brainwashing, I had a moment where I just wondered, “Damn, what movie is this? Is this Fight Club?” Maybe 12 Monkeys is how he got the role. I digress.

Several major things happen between that point and the end of the movie. One: Cole and Railly discover that Goine is the head of the underground group called The Army of 12 Monkeys. Kind of like space monkeys in Fight Club. Two: Brucie falls for the girl and starts to think that he is insane. Three: The girl realizes that he isn’t insane, and convinces him to continue his mission. Four: They discover that the 12 Monkey Army isn’t responsible for the virus; all they’ll do is release a bunch of animals into New York. The person responsible for the near extinction of the human race is actually one of Goine Senior’s close assistants.

12 MonkeysYou don’t get to know about that, though. It’s spoiler stuff. What I will tell you is that there’s an obscure and annoying flashback that directly related to the movie’s conclusion that Brucie constantly experiences in his dreams. That in itself is a spoiler, but only if you view the movie.

In all likelihood, I don’t think you will. Even though I have a love for Bruce Willis and all his movies, I wouldn’t call this flick one of his better works. You can’t connect to the characters, the plot is a standard “I’m not crazy!” routine, and despite the would-be intensity of everything… it gets kind of boring. In short, it’s a good movie if you’re in the mood for funky old movies with Bruce Willis in them.

James Berardinelli of ReelViews gives 12 Monkeys 4.5 stars out of 5, which I believe is just crossing the line of generous. I’ll stand by the fact that the plot was well thought out and culturally relevant at the time. It even managed to address the paradoxical nature of time travel without befuddling it like Terminator did. Check out his review here: http://www.reelviews.net/movies/t/twelve_mon.html

I Am Jack’s Review of Fight Club

IFight Clubt used to be that when I thought of Brad Pitt, I was reminded of the stoic, moralist creature from Interview With a Vampire. As for Edward Norton, he was always the magician from the Illusionist, calm, composed, ever in control. And then Fight Club came in and punched everything I knew and loved in the face. At that point, I came to know and love Fight Club. It’s the movie that has it all: Extremely developed characters, a solid plot, a mind-blowing twist, and Helen Bonham Carter, who I have yet to see play a role in a bad movie. Now that we’ve established the taste in talent, it’s review time.

Fight Club revolves around the life of a seemingly bland man who’s suffering from chronic insomnia. His desk job provides him with nothing but stress and frustration, and his boss does his best to do the same. A brief exchange with his physician leads to the conclusion that he A) will not be receiving any sleeping pills, and B) he should visit the testicular cancer group to see what pains are worse than insomnia. The transition between focusing on insomnia and focusing on the nemesis-girlfriend, Marla Singer, is flawless. When at first he begins to become a part of this group and others, and is able to cry with them, his insomnia vanishes. And then along comes a spider, a spider with a poor poker face that smokes. Her lie reflects his, and his insomnia returns.

Fight ClubIn a separate yet simultaneous timeline, he meets the enigma Tyler Durden on a business flight, and they exchange cards. A small, seemingly meaningless encounter in which the main character (due to the lack of an official name, called “Narrator”) discovers that both he and Tyler have the same briefcase. What begins as a small coincidence rapidly spirals into chaos as the Narrator’s apartment is later on destroyed by an explosion. Though he has Marla’s number from their compromise on who gets what group when, he decides to stay with Tyler. They head to a bar, have a few drinks, throw a few punches, and decided to make a habit of it. Then they start to draw a crowd. Thus, Fight Club is unofficially founded.

Fight ClubThat isn’t even half of the plot, or the quirks, or the draw, but when the Fight Club is turned in a completely different direction, when Tyler decides to step things up a bit too far for the Narrator to handle, shit gets real. Other Fight Clubs spring up across the country. The Feds get involved. Someone dies. His name is… Well, you’ll get to that. Out of sheer respect for the movie, and for the intricacy of the plot, there won’t be any spoilers. That might make for a shorter review, but perhaps a better buildup. Besides, the first rule of Fight Club is, you don’t talk about Fight Club. Not the spoilers, anyway.