Tag Archives: Dennis Farina

Snatch (2000) Review

Time: 104 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] contains violence & offensive language
Cast:
Jason Statham as Turkish
Stephen Graham as Tommy
Brad Pitt as Mickey O’Neil
Alan Ford as Brick Top
Robbie Gee as Vinny
Lennie James as Sol
Ade as Tyrone
Dennis Farina as Cousin Avi
Rade Šerbedžija as Boris the Blade
Vinnie Jones as Bullet Tooth Tony
Adam Fogerty as Gorgeous George
Mike Reid as Doug The Head
Benicio del Toro as Franky Four-Fingers
Director: Guy Ritchie

Illegal boxing promoter Turkish (Jason Statham) convinces gangster Brick Top (Alan Ford) to offer bets on bare-knuckle boxer Mickey (Brad Pitt) at his bookie business. When Mickey does not throw his first fight as agreed, an infuriated Brick Top demands another match. Meanwhile, gangster Frankie Four Fingers (Benicio Del Toro) comes to place a bet for a friend with Brick Top’s bookies, as multiple criminals converge on a stolen diamond that Frankie has come to London to sell.

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Guy Ritchie is a director that I’ve noticed some people are a little mixed on, however most people can agree that his gangster movies are great (or at least his best work). His first movie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels definitely established him as a director to pay attention to. However, Snatch showcased the best of Guy Ritchie’s talents more than any of his other films. His writing and direction are just on point here to deliver on creating a great movie, made even better by the performances.

Guy Ritchie’s writing has never been better than with here. Snatch has a ton of characters with multiple intersecting storylines, and while I remember not being able to follow everything when I first saw it, on a second viewing I can say that they are all weaved together really well and the whole thing doesn’t feel messy or convoluted at all. The comedy here is really great, it’s a hilarious movie, and on the second viewing there was a ton of things I picked up that time. Snatch has some really witty and clever dialogue, so much of it is quotable as well. At an hour and 45 minutes long, it’s really entertaining throughout.

With the large amount of characters, there is a long cast list, but there’s some standouts. If there’s a lead character in this movie, it would be Jason Statham, giving one of his best performances. Statham is known for his action roles but he really excels here in a different role. Brad Pitt steals every scene he’s in as an Irish boxer. You’re definitely going to need to watch this movie with subtitles, because he does this very hard to tell accent (according to people who use this accent though, Pitt nailed it). The other memorable characters include Alan Ford as a ruthless gangster, Rade Šerbedžija as a Russian arms dealer, Vinnie Jones as a bounty hunter, Benicio Del Toro as a professional thief and gambling addict and Dennis Farina as a gangster-jewler. Really everyone does a great job in their roles.

Guy Ritchie’s direction was really good for Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, but he perfected it with Snatch. The whole movie is very stylised, however it’s done in a way that genuinely works and it’s edited perfectly. There are plenty of quirky crime comedies that try so hard to be stylish and fail, chances are they tried to replicate what Ritchie did with Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Snatch is definitely Guy Ritchie’s best movie. The style and direction that he brought to this film, as well as his exceptional writing just made the whole movie entertaining and hilarious from start to finish. On top of that, the talented cast play their unique and memorable characters perfectly. If you love entertaining, hilarious and stylised crime movies with dark comedy, Snatch is definitely a must see for you.

Manhunter (1986) Review

Time: 120 minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1]
Cast:
William Petersen as Will Graham
Tom Noonan as Francis Dollarhyde
Dennis Farina as Jack Crawford
Kim Greist as Molly Graham
Brian Cox as Dr. Hannibal Lecktor
Joan Allen as Reba McClane
Stephen Lang as Freddy Lounds
Director: Michael Mann

FBI criminal profiler Will Graham (William L. Petersen) is called out of early retirement to assist on a serial murder case involving a killer known as the “Tooth Fairy” (Tom Noonan). Graham enlists the help of imprisoned serial killer — and cannibal — Dr. Hannibal Lecktor (Brian Cox), who is the reason Graham took an early retirement. Soon, Graham and the FBI are entangled in a deadly cat-and-mouse game between the Tooth Fairy, Lecktor and an interfering journalist (Stephen Lang).

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Manhunter is a movie I’d been meaning to get around to for some time. What I knew was that it was the first adaptation of a Hannibal Lecter book, that being of Red Dragon, and that it was directed by Michael Mann. I wanted to check it out, I like most of Mann’s movies (the ones I’ve seen at least), and it was the only live action Hannibal Lector adaption I hadn’t gotten around to yet. I will admit that although it’s decent, it didn’t completely work for me, and I do have my issues. Nonetheless I don’t regret watching it, and I think it’s worth a watch.

It is worth pointing out that Manhunter came well before the name Hannibal Lecter (or the other characters) was a cinematic household name. With this movie, they took the story of Red Dragon and took it in their own direction, and I at least admire that they wanted to do their own thing with it. I won’t hammer in my problems with how it’s different, just the ones where I find the changes made the story less compelling. It seems much more procedural and less psychological, and with that it didn’t really interest me as much. For the most part across its 2 hour runtime, Manhunter is well paced enough, but at times it can feel a little drawn out. The most disappointing part of the movie was the third act. The climax is an incredibly simple fight, even putting aside the fact that it was much different from how the book handled things, it was much less compelling and was simplified. While most of the movie was a bit of a slow burn, the climax of just being this conventional fight scene just didn’t fit in with the tone for me and felt really out of place.

William Peterson plays Will Graham, I thought Edward Norton was good in the Red Dragon movie as Graham but Peterson really seemed to embody what I imagined him to be in the books a little more. He seemed like a troubled person who really gets inside the killer’s mind, and that really seemed to take a toll on him. I really liked a lot of the ways that they portrayed him in the movie, like the possibility that he could go over the edge and turn into one of the killers that he’s hunting down. Hannibal Lecktor (not spelt as Lecter in this version) is played by Brian Cox, who receives as much screentime here as he did in the Red Dragon book (if not less), which is to say not very much. While I still love Mads Mikkelsen and Anthony Hopkins’s versions more, Cox’s version is no doubt unforgettable and one of my favourite parts of the movie. If you were to ask me what a real life version of Hannibal Lecter would be, I’d say it would be this version. He’s not as overtly charismatic as you’d expect, he’s a fast talker, and seems more natural, yet incredibly intelligent. Not overtly scary but nonetheless chilling in how real he feels. Tom Noonan plays the main killer Francis Dolarhyde/Tooth Fairy, surprisingly you don’t see him until much later on in the movie. It’s definitely a much more eerie version than other versions of the character on screen, and Noonan plays the role well. Joan Allen plays Reba, a blind woman who becomes a love interest of Dolarhyde. I wasn’t really a fan of how the relationship was handled, it felt so underdeveloped and you really felt nothing for it, so there wasn’t even any tension throughout. The movie and mini series definitely handled that aspect better. It’s hard not to spoil it, but let’s just say that there’s less conflict with Francis in this version, and so overall I just didn’t find it as interesting. He seemed to be at the same stage throughout the story, and he ended up being more interesting offscreen in the first half than he was when he was on screen. To the film’s credit, his presence in the first half of the movie was very effective and that was an aspect that was handled very well.

Michael Mann’s direction was one of the standout parts of the movie. If you’ve seen any of his other movies, you can tell just from the cinematography that he directed Manhunter. Despite the great look to the movie, some of the sets and production design at time was a little lacklustre. I’m aware this is the 80s and I didn’t necessarily expect the environments to be particularly flashy, but some of the surroundings looked kind of bland at points. The score for the most part worked but other aspects of the music were just silly, especially towards the last act with some horrendous song choices.

Manhunter is pretty good for what it is. As for how I feel about it compared to Red Dragon (the 2002 adaptation), the latter generally sticks closer to the book and storywise does things I like more than Manhunter. With that said, Manhunter has a lot of merit to it as well. It is separate from the book and it really is its own movie, and you have to be aware of that going in, I was and I liked it mostly for what it was. It’s directed pretty well by Michael Mann, the cast is good, and it was certainly an interesting take on the source material. I definitely recommend at least checking it out, even if you still like the other Hannibal adaptations more.