Magnolia is Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1999 tale of nine peoples lives and how they intersect on one day in the San Fernando Valley. Similar to his pornographic epic Boogie Nights Magnolia is an expertly made group character study that follows a fantastic cast of unique and interesting characters. Allow me to run down the characters that this movie has.
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Welcome to Part two of the Guy Ritchie Double Feature!
If you missed the first part, my review of Snatch, just look at the previous post.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows:
I am going to make this review very brief so I’m going to just get to the point much quicker than the one for Snatch. First of all this film focuses on Holmes discovering the motives and later actions of his nemesis and intellectual equal Professor Moriarty. Rather than the first film which focused on sorcery this focuses on the politics of the villains decisions and it makes for a much more intriguing story line than the first in my opinion.
When you throw two of my favorite actors together in the same movie it’s most likely going to be a good film with good performances all around. That is exactly what is done here. Robert Downey Jr. is back and better than ever as the brilliant detective Holmes, and Jude Law is back as his friend and side kick Dr. Watson. Both of them play the hell out of their parts and the result is great. You have the same hilarity as the first when it comes to their interactions, and that humor is well balanced with the actual story side of it. Accompanying them are a few new characters including Jared Harris as Professor Moriarty and Noomi Rapace as the gypsy Simza Heron. Along with them is the one and only Stephen Fry. I get that I said Downey and Law played the hell out of their parts but Fry took it to the next level and you can tell he enjoyed it. Great performances all around.
Back to Guy Ritchie. To anyone who has seen the first Sherlock Holmes film the scenes that you most likely think of are the analysis scenes of Holmes’ fights where he goes through, step by step, and explains what he will do. Those scenes are back and better than before in this new installment. In fact, along with being great simply by his explanations, the way Ritchie utilizes them in one of the final scenes is nothing short of brilliant. The master Storyteller is at it again.
Solid Film. If you like Ritchie you’ll love the film and if you like the actors you’ll love the film.
Hello everybody. Today I am going to be reviewing two Guy Ritchie films that I’ve seen in the past two days, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and Snatch.
Lets start out with Snatch:
Let me start off by saying that I love Guy Ritchie films, with my favorite of them being Snatch. Snatch has a large variety of very interesting and unique characters who are written and acted to perfection. Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Benecio Del Toro and more start in this beautifully crafted crime thriller.
Where do you start when trying to explain Snatch? There are so many aspects of this film that deserve to be recognized, so lets start off with a summary of the very hard to follow plot. As I said above, all of these characters are perfect, both from the standpoints of writing and acting they are executed brilliantly. Late begin with the two that are closest to being the main characters: Turkish (Jason Statham) and Tommy. These two are business partners who work in illegal boxing which is how they are introduced to all of the other characters and how the plot progresses. Their part of the film begins with Tommy going to purchase a caravan from a group of Pikees. Pikees in this film are basically gypsies who live in campsites. When Tommy arrives at the site he is ripped off by Mickey O’neil (Played by the always brilliant Brad Pitt) and agrees to a bet. If Tommy’s boxer Gorgeous George can beat Mickey in a fight then they’ll get their money back. After getting in the ring George hits Mickey a few times until Mickey hits him once and hospitalizes him. With George out of the picture Turkish and Tommy need a new fighter unless they want to get into trouble with the clearly psychopathic Brick Top(Alan Ford). They get Mickey to replace their fighter but he doesn’t throw the fight like he was supposed to so he has to fight again. For their part of the story line that is where I am going to stop the summary.
I am going to make the other part of the story very brief considering the length of what I just wrote. Franky Four-Fingers (Benecio Del Toro) is a diamond thief who stole an 84 karat diamond that he is transporting from London to New York so he can sell it there. He is planning on selling it to Doug the Head and Cousin Avi but he is stopped by russians who are trying to get the diamonds for themselves. After realizing this Avi hires a hit-man to help him get Franky back.
That is all as the brief summary.
What makes this movie so excellent? Well, first of all, and I think this is the third time that I am saying it but the characters are so perfect in every way. The true standouts in the film are Brad Pitt as the vengeful, fast-talking pikee, and Vinnie Jones as the hit-man, Bullet-Tooth Tony: “Why do they call him Bullet-Tooth? He got shot six times, had the bullet melted down and put into teeth”. As for the rest of the ensemble they are all great as well. Not only are the performances great but the chemistry between characters makes it believable and hilarious.
Of course, behind all of the actors and the characters there is a master story-teller, and that man is Guy Ritchie. Guy Ritchie is a master of dialogue, subtle humor, and excellent, interesting ways to show scenes. A perfect example of this is the opening scene which has Benecio Del Toro and three other thieves dressed as old school jewish men. Their entire ascent from the time they walk into the building up until they enter the floor they rob is shown by having the camera go from screen to screen showing the vantage points of security cameras and it is so well done. Another thing that he does well is the ending. On my first viewing of it I did not see that coming at all and I loved it. The way all of the stories fit together at the end is perfect.
So good. Oh so good. Watch it right now. What? You don’t have access to it right now? Watch it anyway. It’s that good.
Look for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows In the next post.