Guy Ritchie is the type of director who has made a name for himself with a couple of original, character-driven, uniquely shot flicks filled to the brim with witty dialogue and smooth editing. The two films being spoken of are Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, which both were released on Blu-ray disc December first, likely as tie-ins to his biggest release yet, the Christmas Day release of Sherlock Holmes.
Snatch is Ritchie’s biggest hit to date, and one that has given him the chances to work on the types of films he’s working on today. However, it was Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels that introduced his unique vision to audiences around the globe, and also caught the eye of A-list star, Brad Pitt, who called Ritchie up in hopes to work with him sometime in the future. What better time than the present? Ritchie snagged Pitt up to play the part of Mickey O’Neil, a pikey (gypsy) who doesn’t speak English, yet doesn’t not speak English; basically, they speak their own version of the language and we all become thankful that the disc comes with subtitles.
The signing of Pitt to play a part in this smaller British film definitely helped bring in more of an audience than it’s predecessor, and in essence, helped show this gem of a film to a much larger pool of people than the case would be had Pitt not been involved. What a shame that would’ve been, as not only is Pitt fantastic in his role, but the rest of the cast help propel this movie above and beyond with their natural delivery of Ritchie’s dialogue.
A few notables include Jason Statham (this was before he became the go-to guy for action movies, and only his second role, his first being in Ritchie’s Barrels), Benicio Del Toro, Dennis Farina, and Vinnie Jones – who plays “Bullet Tooth” Tony, a guy you call when you need someone found, and one of the most likable, memorable characters in the film. There are more, and it must be said again, that each character brings their own quality to the story, and each character is played perfectly by all involved.
The story is so complex, that even in “The Making of…” featurette when Statham asks Ritchie (the guy who wrote it) to explain to him what the movie is about, he has trouble doing so. That’s not to say it’s complex to the point of confusion, it’s just that there are so many separate instruments being played at individual moments, that only in the end, when they’re all playing together do things start coming together for the story. Even that may be a bad way of describing the story, as another way would be to explain that it’s one of those movies (the type that Ritchie excels at) where a whole bunch of things happen to a whole bunch of characters that inevitably set them on a path where their lives will cross at one point or another.
Another way would be to just say, if you haven’t seen Snatch yet, you’re missing out. Ritchie is the master of this type of flick, and his shots come together brilliantly, leaving the viewer with a fast-paced, incredibly funny jaunt through London with characters you won’t soon forget. Do yourself a favour and pick up this hidden gem at your soonest convenience.
This is a Blu-ray release, so likely people will want to know if the video transfer is worthwhile. At 1080p, this is definitely top-notch quality if you have the ability to view it. The transfer looks great, and is definitely the best way to view the film. The audio is also clear as day. The music pumps in at important parts and is almost a cast member in itself. It holds up with the rest of the cast as perfect in its own merits.
Making Snatch – This feature is likely the one that will catch the eye of most fans, or those who want to learn more about how Snatch came together. Coming in at almost 30 minutes in length, Making Snatch brings us behind the cameras, and into the shooting areas, and into personal discussions (and by this I mean mostly lots of jokes and chit-chat over in-depth analysis) between cast and crew. It’s a fun watch, and lots can be learned about the process of making the movie. It can also be seen just how much fun was had by the crew, outside of their cheap accommodations and lunch menu, as both Statham and Pitt bring it to our attention that they were fed “economy biscuits” and “potato sandwiches…if (they were) lucky.”
Director and Producer Commentary – Another big draw for those who haven’t bought the film previously is the director commentary. Ritchie is insightful, and it’s always a bonus when you can actually get those who created the work to come back and do a commentary.
Deleted Scenes – The deleted scenes come with option commentary, and as is the case with most deleted scenes, you find they were deleted for a reason. Sometimes you can find the rare one you wish was included in the film, but usually they’re ousted in good judgement to keep up the pacing of the movie, especially in a film where pacing is as important as it is in this one.
Storyboard Comparisons – This is pretty self-explanatory, as it literally is the storyboards shown beside the actual film itself for a few scenes. It’s quite interesting, and you see how much work actually goes into the pre-planning of a film, and just how perfectly things can come together with it all planned soundly from the start.
The Snatch Cutting Room – This is an intriguing addition to the special features of the Blu-Day, and something that some people will just do back-flips over if they’re into this sort of thing. The Cutting Room is a chance for the viewer to edit their own version of the film, complete with music where they want it, scenes where they want them, and additional sound effects to top it all off. They’ll then have a chance to upload their creations to BD-Live for others to see.
MovieIQ – This would be real-time, in-movie information about the cast, crew, music or pretty much anything you can think of that will be accessible if you turn it on before starting the movie. It’s connected through the internet, so it’s always up to date, and will answer the questions that may nag at people during a movie instead of having them need to get up to look it up themselves.
In closing, there’s not much more that can be said other than this is a must-buy for fans of Ritchie, and those who are looking for an entertaining change of pace. Ritchie put together his vision perfectly and created a fluent, intriguing, laugh-out-loud movie that is filled with memorable characters you’ll want to revisit time and time again. As for the extras, while there aren’t three extra discs of content, I’m not sure what else fans may have wanted outside of some of the cast coming back for a commentary, which would’ve been nice, but unheard of at this point. I guess some of the casting videos, but really, the making of featurette does a solid job of giving those who enjoy ‘extras’ enough to be satisfied with behind the scene images. Basically, fans should be happy with this disc and everything it has to offer.
Screen Gems presents Snatch. Directed by: Guy Ritchie. Starring: Brad Pitt, Jason Statham, Vinnie Jones, Benicio Del Toro. Written by: Guy Ritchie. Running time: 103 minutes. Rating: R. Released on Blu-ray: December 1, 2009. Available at Amazon.com
Tags: Benicio Del Toro, brad pitt, Guy Ritchie, Jason Statham