It’s the holidays…again…and in the midst of all the typical crap like breaking out the decorations for the house and erecting the false trees or buying the real ones and scrambling to get out the Christmas cards to people we don’t ever talk to anymore, we here at the Sewer are once again taking stock of the many gifts we’ve gotten from the movies over the years and celebrating them in the form of our own demented little Christmas carol we like to call the 12 Days of CHUDmas.
Over the next 12 days we’re going to be counting down – in reverse order, cause screw the original carol, counting up sucks – these gifts and tying in the entries with some gift ideas to help take the sting out of that last minute trip to the store to snag something for that cousin who decided to be a considerate douche and send you a present after five years of non-communication.
On the sixth day of CHUDmas my true CHUD sent to me…
“Five Minutes, Turkish.”
Movie: Snatch (1999)
Director: Guy Ritchie
There’s a lot of reasons Snatch is one of my absolute, hands-down favorite movies, not least of which is the throwaway humor that mixes in with the more obvious jokes, crackling filmmaking, and most excellent execution of a soundtrack this side of Tarantino’s ass. The perfect balance between the exuberant British thuggery of Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels and the batshit nuts places Ritchie went with Revolver, Snatch is a one of a kind comedy that is owed a lot of debt by beloved films like Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World that came later. At this point Ritchie found the right tuning for his spinning cameras, whip-pan editing, meta-textual structure, and foul-mouthed humor and now that he’s moved on to blockbuster/franchise filmmaking for Warner Brothers, I doubt we’ll ever see anything quite like it again (though Rock’n’rolla is well liked).
One of the greatest strengths of Snatch is its densely-packed cast of awesome characters, including Jason Statham playing Turkish. While it’s not quite the “born to play it” role for Statham like, say, Chev Chelios from Crank, this is still one of the few roles to really capitalize on Statham’s gift for straight man timing. I like seeing him kick ass as much as the next gentleman, but it’s a shame this side of him has remained so neglected the past decade. Following Statham is Stephen Graham in an early role for him. Along with his big break as Al Capone in Boardwalk Empire, Graham has done well in the last year or two grabbing a nice role in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, as well as exposure in bigger films like Pirates 4, Season of the Witch, and Public Enemies. Rounding things out you have Brad Pitt’s other amazing performance from ’99 as Mickey the Pikey, with his hilarious indeterminable accent (that he used in lieu of the Irish brogue he couldn’t manage to perfect). Finally, Alan Ford competes for the title of most memorable character as Brick Top, aging British Gangster Extraordinaire, who hands down has some of the best one-liners AND monologues of the film.
Be wary of any man who keeps a pig farm indeed.
Along with them are Dennis Farina, Vinnie Jones, Benicio Del Toro, Rade Šerbedžija, and Lennie James all playing roles that are, in some cases, the most memorable of their career.
One of these days I’ll get around to the detailed breakdown of the sound design of Snatch, which is absolutely the film’s secret weapon. I can’t wait to do so, as that just means I get to watch it again!
Enjoy Snatch and have a favorite quote or a fond memory of watching it? Let us know in the comments below, and look out for a few more CHUDmas entries ticking down till Sunday!
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