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Posts Tagged ‘Snatch’

Sherlock Holmes – Starring Robert Downey Jr. & Jude Law, Directed by Guy Ritchie

Posted by the editors on Friday, 16 December 2011

Sherlock Holmes (2009) Directed by Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Snatch (2000), RocknRolla (2008)), starring Robert Downey Jr. (Chaplin (1992), Zodiac (2007), Iron Man (2008)), Jude Law (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997), A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), Sleuth (2007)), Rachel McAdams, and Mark Strong.  This action-mystery film, Sherlock Holmes, is an unabashedly entertaining take on the Holmes myth, mixing, as it does, some of Arthur Conan Doyle‘s Holmes with a contemporary somewhat irreverent, action-oriented take on things.  Though a bit overdone on the villain side, perhaps typically Victorian in its tone,  it’s rather sad, however, that the, equally Victorian, edgy intellectual side of Holmes, that is to say his cocaine addiction and marvelous deductive reasoning, have for all intents and purposes been left out.  On the other hand, it’s a pleasure to see Watson as something other than the rather clumsy, bumbling sort he was portrayed as in many of the earlier films, though, it’s true that, aside from looking quite the sharp dresser and being rather more active, Jude Law, true to himself, brings little more than a superficiality to the role.  Robert Downey Jr.’s  portrayal of Holmes is certainly an update as well with respect to Basil Rathbone‘s rather tight portrayals.  Downey’s Holmes though, aside from lacking the intensity of Conan Doyle’s cocaine-addicted sleuth, perhaps camps it all up a bit too much.  Nevertheless, Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes isn’t trying to be Conan Doyle’s Sherlock.  Here, the myth of Sherlock Holmes is used to create an exciting, quick-paced contemporary entertainment, which Ritchie, Downey and Law succeed in doing quite well, in fact.  Though not a must-see, in the sense of profound or important, the mix of Victoriana and contemporary makes Sherlock Holmes something you really are very likely to enjoy. (PR) (Note: The sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadowsis scheduled to be released today, 16 December 2011.)

See our previous posts on the films RocknRolla, directed by Guy Ritchie, with Mark Strong, Eros, with Robert Downey Jr., and the films Repo Men and Closer, with Jude Law.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com:

For amazon.com links to Repo Men, starring Jude Law, see here.

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RocknRolla – Directed by Guy Ritchie

Posted by the editors on Monday, 5 December 2011

RocknRolla (2008)  Written and directed by Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes (2009), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)), and starring Gerard ButlerTom Wilkinson (In the Bedroom (2001), Michael Clayton (2007))Mark Strong (Syriana (2005), Body of Lies (2008), Sherlock Holmes (2009))Toby Kebbell (Control (2007)),  Tom Hardy (Inception (2010), The Dark Knight Rises (2012, in post-production))Idris Elba (American Gangster (2007)), Karel Roden (The Bourne Supremacy (2004)), and Thandie Newton (Crash (2004), W. (2008)).  This sharp and quite witty crime film, in the mold of Ritchie’s excellent  Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000), is chock full of eccentric Brit gangsters (and the requisite Russians), loud good music, action, violence, humour, sharp dressing, some very good lighting, and, of course, Ritchie’s now patented directorial style.  There’s perhaps nothing new and exciting in RocknRolla, but it’s still a snappy entertainment (though not for the whole family, it should be noted). (PR)

See our posts on the films Syriana starring George Clooney and Matt Damon with Mark Strong, and American Gangster starring Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington with Idris Elba.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and BLu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library…  Here are links to amazon.com:

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The Pledge – Directed by Sean Penn, Starring Jack Nicholson

Posted by the editors on Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Pledge (2001)(DVD)  Directed by Sean Penn, starring Jack Nicholson, with Robin Wright Penn, Benicio del Toro, Mickey RourkeSam ShepardPatricia ClarksonVanessa RedgraveHelen Mirren, Harry Dean StantonAaron Eckhart and others.  The Pledge, on the surface a good crime drama, is, in fact, an excellent portrayal of one man’s descent into obsession and marginalization.  That man, Jerry Black, is played by a superb Jack Nicholson, full of finesse, and few of his iconic grimaces and is captivating.  The cast, clearly, is a who’s who of wonderful, accomplished actors, and Sean Penn’s directing is strong, evocative, and inspired.  Benicio del Toro, though almost unrecognizable, as a retarded Native American, is magnificent, as are, in small, but pivotal roles, Mickey Rourke, Sam Shepard, Patricia Clarkson, Vanessa Redgrave, and Helen Mirren.  Robin Wright Penn as a down-and-out, single-mother, rural barmaid is exceptionally good.  The Pledge is not an easy film, it must be admitted, with its focus on serial child murder, and a number of gruesome scenes.  Nevertheless, it is an excellent, atypical, powerful and engrossing film and, honestly, a must-see. (PR) (See below for filmographies)

See our posts on As Good As It Gets, with Jack Nicholson, What Just Happened, with Sean Penn and Robin Wright Penn,  State of Play, with Robin Wright Penn and Helen Mirren, Whatever Works, with Patricia Clarkson, The Game, with Sean Penn and Straight Time, with Harry Dean Stanton.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com:

Filmographies (partial):

Sean Penn: As director: The Indian Runner (1991), The Crossing Guard (1995), Into the Wild (2007); as actorI Am Sam (2001), Mystic River (2003), 21 Grams (2003), Milk (2008).

Jack Nicholson: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Prizzi’s Honor (1985), A Few Good Men (1992), As Good as It Gets (1997), The Bucket List (2007), and many other excellent films.

Robin Wright Penn: Forrest Gump (1994), A Home at the End of the World (2004), What Just Happened (2008), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011, in post production)

Benicio del ToroThe Usual Suspects (1995), Traffic (2000), Snatch (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Che (2008)

Mickey Rourke9½ Weeks (1986), Buffalo ’66 (1998), Sin City (2005), The Wrestler (2008)

Sam ShepardThe Right Stuff (1983), The Pelican Brief (1993), Don’t Come Knocking (2005), The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

Patricia ClarksonPieces of April (2003), Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005), Whatever Works (2009), Shutter Island (2010)

Vanessa RedgraveIsadora (1968), Julia (1977), Howards End (1992), Atonement (2007)

Helen MirrenThe Mosquito Coast (1986), Gosford Park (2001), State of Play (2009)

Harry Dean StantonStraight Time (1978), Paris, Texas (1984), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Inland Empire (2006)

Aaron EckhartErin Brockovich (2000), The Black Dahlia (2006), The Dark Knight (2008)

top image: Wikipedia

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Inglourious Basterds

Posted by the editors on Monday, 5 September 2011

Inglourious Basterds, directed by Quentin Tarantino, theatrical release poster

Inglourious Basterds (2009)(DVD) Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs  (1992)Pulp Fiction (1993), Jackie Brown (1997), Kill Bill (Vol. I & II) (2003, 2004)) ; starring Brad Pitt (A River Runs Through It (1992), Seven (1995) Snatch (2000), Babel (2006) and many more), Christoph Waltz (The Green Hornet (2011)), Diane Kruger (Troy (2004), Goodbye Bafana (2007), Unknown (2011)) and others.   Tarantino has said, it’s my “bunch-of-guys-on-a-mission film. [It’s] my Dirty Dozen or Where Eagles Dare or Guns of Navarone kind of thing”,  and, quite rightly, it is, indeed.  Brad Pitt is, as usual, quite good, and Christoph Waltz, simply award-winning (Best Leading Actor, at Cannes,and BAFTAGolden GlobeScreen Actors Guild Award and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2009); Diane Kruger is just fine in the role of Bridget von Hammersmark.  Brutal, violent, funny and fantastical, Inglourious Basterds, may best be described as Anne Thompson of Variety did: “Inglourious Basterds is great fun to watch, but the movie isn’t entirely engaging… You don’t jump into the world of the film in a participatory way; you watch it from a distance, appreciating the references and the masterful mise en scène.” (PR)

image: Wikipedia

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