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Snatch

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I don't remember what it was specifically, but this movie didn't appeal to me at all from the previews.  Christy rented this.  I've never seen Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, but according to the commentary this movie is very similar in style.

The very opening is well done.  They start with views from a bank of six security monitors.  As these men walk in the building the camera slides from one monitor to the next, following their progress.

Then the heist begins and the editing gets incredibly annoying.  Quick cuts, camera tilts, spinning cuts, etc.  I know they were going for stylized, but somehow it came across as amateurish.

Luckily, that only lasts a couple of minutes.  Then during the opening credits it goes through a series of interesting transitions.  For example, at one point a character holds up the huge diamond and his credit comes up.  Then they go back to him and he puts the diamond into a wall safe, the camera dollies past the wall and it looks like someone is taking something out of a different wall safe on the other side of the wall.  That character's credit, then he throws down some money, the camera tilts down to follow, then tilts back up and we're looking at a third character.  And so on.  That part worked well.

And the point of all that is that the editing and camera angles were unorthodox.   They didn't keep up that pace through the entire film, but they threw in a lot of jarring transitions.  Like a guy jumping the Concorde for a flight across the Atlantic.  Closeup of the phone slamming down, a very high shot from behind of him throwing back a shooter, a half-second sped-up shot of the Concorde taking off and landing, and the bang of his passport getting stamped.  Boom, he's across the pond.   They worked for me.

The story is about some loosely connected groups of British underworld characters.   Some in the unlicensed boxing world, some in the precious gems world, a couple of pawn shop owners, and a group gypsies, etc.  There are a few examples of mutal acquaintances to finish tying them together.

The big heist at the beginning is one of two events that kick everything off.  The other is the attempt to buy a "caravan" (small house trailer) from the band of gypsies.  And hilarity ensues.

While the cinematic and editing style are definitely a character in the film, they don't overwhelm it.  The story itself is a lot of fun and moves along well.  All of the performances seemed very good to me.

On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, Matinee with Popcorn and Drinks.  I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.

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Last modified: June 14, 2004
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