Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23
  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    9,605
    Liked
    151 times
    Comic Nihilism by Richard Alleva.



    Charles Dickens is alive and well and working as a casting director in the East End of London. Well, not really, but it was interesting while watching Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels to find that a Dickensian grotesquery in the look and sound of its villains could spice a modern gangster story. But, of course, spice is most needed when the meat of a story is not of the first freshness.



    Because, as far as plot goes, you might as well be watching a Frank Sinatra Rat Pack movie, such as Robin and the Seven Hoods. Four young lowlifes in the East End, desperate to pay off a gambling debt, snatch a pile of loot from dope dealers who are backed by Caribbean gangsters. This sets off a chain reaction of double-dealings which pits all the gangs in the neighbourhood against one another. This is really a black comedy about a feeding frenzy: The gangsters are sharks maddened by the scent of blood, and we get to watch them feast in a very small tank. Pauline Kael wrote of the villains of The Maltese Falcon that they were "so ruthless and greedy that they become comic." That's true here, too, and the comedy is abetted by writer-director Guy Ritchie's dialogue, which has a cockney pungency and wit that would do Sam Weller proud (if Sam had been a creep).



    But it is really in his casting and direction of the bad guys that Ritchie is truly Dickensian. I can't remember when I've last seen such a menagerie of animal-men: here, baldness and fat and cragginess and squinty eyes become manifestations of malice. If all the killings in the final reels are bearable, it's because we feel that a race of monsters is destroying itself so that humans (the four young hoods) may survive.



    But how human are the heroes? Ritchie means for us to sympathize with them because: (1) they're more physically prepossessing than the older thugs (but who isn't?); (2) far less brutal (but, again, who isn't?); and (3) they stole out of sheer desperation instead of sheer greed (but, then again, they're in debt because of their gambling, which itself was motivated by sheer greed). Actually, don't we simply attend the fortunes of these louts because we are stuck with them as protagonists? Like all protagonists, even the vilest of antiheroes, they lead us into the story and their ups and downs give shape to the plot. But I could have cared less whether they lived or died and, in fact, I could scarcely remember their faces two hours after I left the theatre, while the mugs of the old hoods have remained in my mind's eye for weeks. Though he disclaims the comparison, Ritchie has been hailed as a British Tarantino because, like the American, he uses violence for comic shock and his dialogue bops and zings. However, Tarantino's characters, though steeped in gore, can occasionally move you with their Hemingwayesque codes of loyalty and sudden accesses of compassion. Ritchie's punks stick together for no apparent reason other than they're the same age and they're used to drinking together.



    The New Yorker's film critic, Anthony Lane, sneered at the actor Tom Cruise for exclaiming during a screening of Ritchie's film, "This movie rocks!" But I think the remark works both as endorsement and stricture. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels shakes you up, slaps you around, and sends you out of the theatre agreeably rattled. But, two hours later, you've got nothing to hum. Really good rock 'n' roll songs are hummable precisely because they do more than rock.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    6
    Liked
    0 times
    Dickensian, Hmm.... the characters registered with the Brit filmgoers as realistic, the almost arrogant belief in the next 'job ' and the ability to ' think on the move', the use of street argot, 'standing there like 1 o'clock half struck' capture the essence of the east end characters. The group are bonded together by a greater cohesion than just drinking together and to over simplify this element reflects on the writer, the shared experiences, the buzz from the escapades, the cons and the willingness to overlook the frailities of the individuals reflects in the choice of actor and the developemnt of the film character. The 'market scene' clearly depicts the roles and hierarchy wihin the group. The Vinnie Jones' character with the silent dogged determination epitomises the lower ranking 'hood' and both gives and maintains comedic element of the story line.



    The problem for any one living in London, these characters are common place.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    2
    Liked
    0 times
    I really enjoyed the film ( and it's "follow up" Snatch) Probably because I am a Northerner who spent some months living "Sarf of th' river" and I found the characters very believable. But what got me was the fast pace of the twists in the story, great camerawork, editing and a superb soundtrack. I suppose all you have to do to ruin all these skills is to marry Madonna.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: UK
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    8,865
    Liked
    69 times
    Who did the narration for Lock Sotck and Two Smoking Barrels? Was it Lennie McLean?

    Ta Ta

    Marky B thumbs_u

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    792
    Liked
    0 times
    Alan Ford.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    70
    Liked
    0 times
    You can't beat a bit of Alan Ford!

    He never escaped his 'dodgy Cockney geeza' typecasting (even in a tint role in a BBC drama he was a Cockney barman with all the same attitude!) but what he does he does well.



    And 'Bricktop' is a genius creation and perfectly essayed.

  7. #7
    Artik2
    Guest
    Directed by Guy Ritchie.



    The other day I came late from work... real tired (2am and was up from 7.30am... about 19hs awake) I turn the TV on to see the news... and then I saw it... waiting for me... what it was??? this great movie... and I had to watch it... I can't sleep knowing that it's there... on the TV.



    Just amazing...

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    2
    Liked
    0 times
    I watched Snatch a few days ago, and if im being completly honest...i found myself cringing at certain parts...especially the dialogue! I know in the grand scheme of things it doesnt REALLY matter but still, i wondered if i had lost my love for the film and the genre!To test my theory i watched Lock stock the next night...and im glad to say i was wrong!!! There is a film that well and truly stands the test of time!I could honestly watch that film every day for the rest of my life!Evryone keeps calling it 'cult', especially overseas in Japan, which seems to regard the film as one of the greatest British cult films ever! Just wondered if anyone had any thought son why it might be cult and why it has such a big following!?



    Any thoughts are welcome

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2,652
    Liked
    77 times
    Quote Originally Posted by cdb07
    I watched Snatch a few days ago, and if im being completly honest...i found myself cringing at certain parts...especially the dialogue! I know in the grand scheme of things it doesnt REALLY matter but still, i wondered if i had lost my love for the film and the genre!To test my theory i watched Lock stock the next night...and im glad to say i was wrong!!! There is a film that well and truly stands the test of time!I could honestly watch that film every day for the rest of my life!Evryone keeps calling it 'cult', especially overseas in Japan, which seems to regard the film as one of the greatest British cult films ever! Just wondered if anyone had any thought son why it might be cult and why it has such a big following!?



    Any thoughts are welcome
    Am I alone in thinking Guy Ritchie is a poor imatation of Tarentino? I just couldn't engage with Lock Stock..... and Im british and have lived in London for 24 years, just couldn't relate to it at all, not that you have to relate to a movie to see its merits, I just hated the graphic violence and being asked to laugh at Vinny Jones smashing someones head in a car door, all made to look cool and trendy etc, didn't enjoy the film at all Im afraid and have avoided it since first seeing it at the cinema. I was dissapointed! I thought I would give Snatch a chance and I didn't enjoy that either! Whats wrong with me!! Im worried now! Everyone seems to love these movies except me! what am I missing or not understanding? Maybe its my age!! (46) Maybe Im too sensitive a soul for this type of cinema, I found "Casino" hard to watch and "Goodfellas"......mmmm.....maybe that says a lot!,though I found the cartoon violence of KIll Bill and "300" highly entertaining! Anyway each to their own,

  10. #10
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    29,732
    Liked
    418 times
    Quote Originally Posted by christoph404
    Am I alone in thinking Guy Ritchie is a poor imatation of Tarentino? I just couldn't engage with Lock Stock..... and Im british and have lived in London for 24 years, just couldn't relate to it at all, not that you have to relate to a movie to see its merits, I just hated the graphic violence and being asked to laugh at Vinny Jones smashing someones head in a car door, all made to look cool and trendy etc, didn't enjoy the film at all Im afraid and have avoided it since first seeing it at the cinema. I was dissapointed! I thought I would give Snatch a chance and I didn't enjoy that either! Whats wrong with me!! Im worried now! Everyone seems to love these movies except me! what am I missing or not understanding? Maybe its my age!! (46) Maybe Im too sensitive a soul for this type of cinema, I found "Casino" hard to watch and "Goodfellas"......mmmm.....maybe that says a lot!,though I found the cartoon violence of KIll Bill and "300" highly entertaining! Anyway each to their own,
    Maybe it does say a lot :

    The "Gangster movie" is a long established tradition (or even a genre) in films around the world. Lock, Stock was just reviving that tradition in British films



    Personally I think that Goodfellas is one of Scorsese's masterpieces and that's the one he should have won the Oscar for.



    Steve

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: England Captain Casper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1,017
    Liked
    0 times
    Both "Lock Stock" and "Snatch" are great examples of what you can do if you don't have access to massive budgets and 4 month shooting schedules. Some great, tight performances and truly comedic moments in the best post-Ealing tradition.



    Well deserving of a place in any Britmovie fans collection.



    Oh, and have to agree about "Goodfellas". Scorcese should have been Oscar'd to death with this. Spellbinding stuff and watchable every time its on.

  12. #12
    Member Country: England
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    59
    Liked
    0 times
    I love the lock stock films and have the soundtracks as well,even better are the spin off tv series following the 4 lads who own the lock pub and always have run ins with the crime boss miami vice.

  13. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    3
    Liked
    0 times
    Quote Originally Posted by christoph404
    Am I alone in thinking Guy Ritchie is a poor imatation of Tarentino? I just couldn't engage with Lock Stock..... and Im british and have lived in London for 24 years, just couldn't relate to it at all, not that you have to relate to a movie to see its merits, I just hated the graphic violence and being asked to laugh at Vinny Jones smashing someones head in a car door, all made to look cool and trendy etc, didn't enjoy the film at all


    Strange, I thought this was my all time favourite british film because you see the action from different sides, speeding up to become a total catastrophe. Never seen anything like it before, absolutely brilliant

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5
    Liked
    0 times
    Love this film. The humour is spot on.

    "Shit I've been shot"

    "Would everyone please stop getting shot"

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    7,898
    Liked
    202 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Leelondon
    Love this film. The humour is spot on.

    "Shit I've been shot"

    "Would everyone please stop getting shot"


    LOL!.......I liked that line by Frank Harper too!.......he played Keira Knightley's Dad in 'Bend it like Beckham' as well



    Great that this Movie was Vera Day's long overdue comeback too!

  16. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    3
    Liked
    0 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Leelondon
    Love this film. The humour is spot on.

    "Shit I've been shot"

    "Would everyone please stop getting shot"
    One of the best movies!

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: UK
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    151
    Liked
    0 times
    Quote Originally Posted by christoph404
    I just hated the graphic violence and being asked to laugh at Vinny Jones smashing someones head in a car door, all made to look cool and trendy etc
    Well, it's not really graphic violence, since you don't see his head getting smashed in the door, and also, you're not supposed to laugh at this bit. I think the nervous undercurrent of danger adds a certain energy to the film. While you're laughing at these guys, there's always the possibility that they will snap and do something very not-funny.



    I personally thought it was a brilliant film.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: UK
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2,044
    Liked
    1 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark O
    LOL!.......I liked that line by Frank Harper too!.......he played Keira Knightley's Dad in 'Bend it like Beckham' as well



    Great that this Movie was Vera Day's long overdue comeback too!
    Did you see him in the Football Factory?

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: UK
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2,044
    Liked
    1 times
    Lock Stock was a biggish hit, but I never really enjoyed it. The story was OK and it was directed reasonably well but the characters were not believable. There was a cartoon element to it all. To pick up on Scorsese he has all round strengths and one is making the people real.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Country: UK
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    465
    Liked
    0 times
    Quote Originally Posted by stevie boy
    Lock Stock was a biggish hit, but I never really enjoyed it. The story was OK and it was directed reasonably well but the characters were not believable. There was a cartoon element to it all. To pick up on Scorsese he has all round strengths and one is making the people real.
    Agree with this. I never really got on with it myself. Mind you it was the first time I ever saw Lenny "The Guv'nor "McLean on screen. What a frightening appearance .

    Him and Vinnie Jones made a great couple don't you think?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. More Anti-Smoking Laws on the way
    By GoggleboxUK in forum Off-Topic Discussion
    Replies: 121
    Last Post: 28-01-13, 05:17 AM
  2. Smoking on Film and TV.
    By Mortdecai in forum General Film Chat
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 23-01-11, 07:25 AM
  3. Stardom in Lock Stock, assistance required :)
    By Stearsy in forum Media Studies
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 20-04-09, 05:43 PM
  4. music from lock stock and 2 smoking barrels
    By thirdlady in forum Film Music
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 31-08-06, 08:21 PM
  5. Movies like.. Lock Stock and Snatch
    By 5abi in forum Ask a Film Question
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-10-03, 09:32 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts