8:00 PM, 31st March, 2001
Snatch is the first movie from director Guy Ritchie (the "guy" who married Madonna) since Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. The distinctly different cinematic "feel" of Lock, Stock is replicated here, as is the multitude of characters with interweaving plots. Many of the same actors make an appearance - Jason Statham, Alan Ford, Vinnie Jones, Jason Flemyng. Many say that Snatch is in fact better than Lock, Stock, but people who know what they're talking about (David and Margaret as well as me) feel that Snatch is quite good, but it's a notch or two below Lock, Stock.
OK, I'll try to give a quick summary of the plot, without giving too much away. Turkish (Statham) and Tommy (Graham) are unlicensed fighting promoters who get pulled into match fixing by Brick Top (Ford). Unfortunately their boxer is put out of commission by Mickey O'Neil (Pitt). Meanwhile Franky Four Fingers (Del Toro) has stolen a rather large diamond and everyone wants their hands on it. The plot is fast and intertwining, the characters are interesting and hilarious (especially the dog that swallows the squeaky toy), the music is great, and Pitt is excellent as the hard-to-understand gypsy who knocks out his opponents with one punch. If you enjoyed Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, then Snatch is more of that good formula.
9:54 PM, 31st March, 2001
In this well-crafted, gritty, British gangster film, Michael Caine is Jack Carter, a small-time hood working in London. When word reaches him of his brother's death in Newcastle under suspicious circumstances, Carter leaves London to arrange his brother's funeral. While preparing for the burial, he becomes obsessed with learning who murdered his sibling and why. Refusing to accept the police report of suicide, Carter seeks out his brother's friends and acquaintances, but finds a wall of stony silence from the local underworld. It isn't long before the hunt for the killer turns nasty((mdash))very nasty.
Grim, violent, and stylishly directed, Get Carter is an interesting film that made an impact when first released. The violence is confronting((mdash))not the popcorn violence you see in today's action movies, but the powerful realism of good old-fashioned punches and kicks to the head. The main strength of the film is Caine's brilliant performance((mdash))sure the character is one-dimensional, but that is how it's meant to be. Carter is the uncompromising, ruthless killer who is the epitome of cool, even in the face of extreme violence and possible death. This is a harsh but powerful and enjoyable film, far superior to the recent Sylvester Stallone remake of the same name.