The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Trailer

The Man from U.N.C.L.E is an upcoming spy action film by Guy Ritchie based on the 1964 television series. Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) plays the super spy Napoleon Solo, who is joined by Illya Kuryakin played by Armie Hammer, set during the Cold War, with Hugh Grant playing Mr. Waverly as the head of the spy agency U.N.C.L.E. The movie is set to release on August 14, 2015.Continue reading “The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Trailer”

Edgar Wright: Cornetto, Pints & Friendships

Edgar Wright
Edgar Wright

Edgar Wright is a Writer/Director from UK. Most of the average moviegoers might not know who he is,  but for some of us movie zombies he is a fresh meat,whom we can’t get enough of. Edgar Wright is one of the few geniuses who still makes movies which has immense repeat value (which rarely happens today wherein “One time watch” is the new motto for 100 crore success) just to make sure that you squeeze out every bit of fun. Most of his films are drugs that you feel blessed to be addicted to. It has so much to offer and every time you re-watch you tend to notice little nuances and references that you might have missed the last time.

Edgar Wright started his career with A Fistful of Fingers (1995) which in his own words is not the greatest thing that he ever made  and burst out laughing while confessing this. But learning what not to do while making  that confession ,he moved on to doing a TV series one of which is Spacedan absolute brilliant sitcom which paved the way to what will turn out to be “The Cornetto Trilogy“. The first of which is Shaun Of The Dead. Edgar’s storytelling style is fast & zappy. He is like Quentin Tarantino on crack. One of the reasons for the repeat value is the insane style of unveiling details because when you watch it you might miss something with all the multiple camera cuts & quick exchange of words. Even a simple bar conversation is not spared, it has multiple camera cuts and rapid exchange of words.  But it’s done with so much finesse that you will rarely be distracted by it and mostly you will be on track. What is credible is that despite the amount of multiple cuts that is used in a scene, you rarely miss a expression of an actor or a moment, every bit is captured. Also, the conversation seem so spontaneous but all of it is rehearsed 2-3 weeks before the shooting actually begins which makes it look all so easy.

His stories have a very unique way of unveiling always hinting about what it eventually is going be about. Like in Shaun Of The Dead the news broadcast, the man eating a bird while Shaun’s traveling in the bus, it is always teasing you. It generally takes the end of first act to say viola that’s the direction its going to go into. Be it in The World’s End which while at the end of first act you do fully realize that it is a alien’s invading, same is the case with Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End. This is one of the points that binds this Trilogy is well apart from of course friendship, pints cornetto & comedy which eventually merges the movies Shaun Of The Dead(Zom-Com) Hot Fuzz (Action/Comedy) & The World’s End (Sci-Fi/Comedy). He’s very old fashioned in a way that he keeps film-making very simple yet creatively it’s original, fresh and cool to watch without spending 250-300 million and yet technically it makes all the right noises.

To be frank, his movies are in a way a parody of different genres. Yet it is not  is insulting in anyway nor is it unintentionally

Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Scott Pilgrim vs The World

funny. He is always on the mark and the main reason for that is the Story/Screenplay which is tight and is slightly more tilted towards being a  homage rather than a parody. The guy has a  passion for Cinema & Pop culture and this  is visible in all his films through the homage and references especially in Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World . In fact, he is the  first to admit that he is influenced and inspired by a lot of movies and he watches a lot of movies before beginning the scripting process, yet what you see on screen is so Edgar.

What never ceases to amaze you is that, though his movie might have a high dose of humor but sometimes it hardly has any dialogues. By just looking at their antics you burst out laughing. The prime example was Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World , the films captions were funnier than the dialogues. It is easily one of the busiest film I have seen given the fact that there is so much happening simultaneously. That being said the emotional content is rare as they are still pitched out perfectly without it being jarring and forced resulting in some of the more memorable scenes. The scene of Shaun killing his mom in Shaun Of The Dead comes straight to mind. Creating an impacting emotional scene in a primarily a comedy film is risky,  it’s like you’re watching a scene where heroine is about to strip and the power cuts off as she’s about to drop her clothes. Where Edgar gets it right in terms of dark passage is that it he always builds it up from the start of the movie rather than just being a random scene to add that serious touch.

Shaun of the Dead
Shaun of the Dead

Be it his relationship with his mother & Nick in Shaun Of The Dead or the issues that Nick has with his father in Hot Fuzz, or Simon’s obsession of staying in the past in The World’s End. You always know that at some point in the turn of events this emotion will be unleashed and when it does, it is handled in such a mature and dark way that you almost feel you’re all of a sudden watching something completely different. One thing about Edgar is he doesn’t hold back for anything, if he does something he will make sure that it is laid out perfectly in terms of color tones, atmosphere and brutality.

The brutality of course comes from the heavily violent action set pieces. It is gory, bloody, messy but beautifully crafted on celluloid. Be it the tight shooting sequence in Hot Fuzz to the WWE kind of fight sequence in The World’s End or the most artistic and beautiful masterpiece kind of video games meets comic book meets Da Vinci kinda action sequence in Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World. They are constantly evolving in terms of action sequences as well and not surprisingly something new crops up.

There are elements of films that we love and the elements which we just can’t forget and the quick cut editing is something that is just signature Edgar Wright. Guy Ritchie was the dude who got us hooked to those quick zappy editing patterns. But, Edgar just seems to have made it his own. He uses it not just to make it funny and stylish but primarily to jump through narration and get the pace of the story going, but also uses it very effectively in a conversation.

The World's End
The World’s End

It is such an effective manner to move the story forward but if not done right it can feel unwanted. But the way it is done in Edgar’s film it is right on the mark and you wait for it to come in his films. It has become his signature of sorts in his films. Also it suits his style of filmmaking as it is always at a pace and the quick editing style gels together beautifully.

He bought back old school style of film-making with a modern twist where stories are still a core of a film, yet he has diversified technically, stylishly and manages to entertain us in very creative and unforgettable way. He has now moved on to bigger things after coming to Hollywood. Edgar’s next is supposedly Ant-Man but the one that has really caught my attention is a full fledged horror feature minus any comedy that he is planning with Bad”J. J. Abrams”Robot. Big industry and big studios comes with its own baggage and I hope that he won’t succumb to it and will manage to keep the honesty and creativity intact with which he makes his films.

Premium Rush ( 2012): A Classic Popcorn Movie

Premium Rush is an action movie that talks about the bicycle messengers of Manhattan. It shows us how they run traffic lights, hurtle down pavements, go into shops, get run over, get body bruises and deliver your package on time. All this for a lousy pay. Apparently these are the guys you call upon when you are in a hurry and FedEx and DHL can’t get the job done.

Premium Rush is your classic popcorn movie. It doesn’t aspire to be anything more and what it promises to be, it delivers. Premium Rush works because it doesn’t use any of the age old tried and tested methods of creating action. The novelty lies in the use of bicycles and the effective storytelling that David Koepp sticks to. Koepp usesContinue reading “Premium Rush ( 2012): A Classic Popcorn Movie”

Guy Ritchie : Underrated Genius

Intertwined storylines, crazy yet memorable characters, an ensemble cast, witty dialogues, a great OST and BGM, loads of attitude, hip and highly stylized direction are the hallmarks of a typical Guy Ritchie flick. In the midst there is always a tight screenplay with a kickass twist which weaves all these elements together so neatly that one is often left wondering how the hell does he manage to do that? A Guy Ritchie film is the perfection amalgamation of style and substance.Continue reading “Guy Ritchie : Underrated Genius”

Guy Ritchie : Underrated Genius

Intertwined storylines, crazy yet memorable characters, an ensemble cast, witty dialogues, a great OST and BGM, loads of attitude, hip and highly stylized direction are the hallmarks of a typical Guy Ritchie flick. In the midst there is always a tight screenplay with a kickass twist which weaves all these elements together so neatly that one is often left wondering how the hell does he manage to do that? A Guy Ritchie film is the perfection amalgamation of style and substance.

However compared to other film makers such as Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan etc. he is quite underrated IMHO. One will find a dozen blogs on Nolan, Tarantino etc praising their valuable contribution to cinema. But not many fanboy blogs or articles can be found on Ritchie.

One criticism often leveled against him is that his films  more than often centre around the London underworld .But then every director has a genre that is very dear to him/her and loves to dabble in it more than often which often results in some of their best works.

Here’s a look at the films which he’s gone on to make over the years.

Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Vinnie Jones as 'Big Chris'

Guy Ritchie made a smashing directorial debut with Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. The film centered around four low life protagonists ( Jason Statham & co.) who get entangled in a high stakes card game. Guy Ritchie uses  a rapidly paced narrative , multiple characters , great dialogues to give us a memorable movie . With this movie he established a definitive style of his, which he used to great effect in his other movies as well.

The card game which is the turning point of the film is brilliantly shot with a dizzying editing effect , aptly summing up the protagonist’s  perplexed state of mind.

Ritchie should also be credited for introducing us to two charismatic actors Jason Statham and ex-footballer Vinnie Jones. Vinnie Jones is particularly memorable in his role as ‘Big Chris’ the hitman who takes his son ‘Little Chris‘ for some on the job training. The film also features a host of other shady characters who represent a part of the seedy London underworld.

The film boasts of some great lines

Sample these

Jason statham and his cronies while planning a robbery

Eddie: “They’re armed.”
Soap : “What was that? Armed? What do you mean armed? Armed with what?”
Eddie : “Err, bad breath, colorful language, feather duster… what do you think they’re gonna be armed with? Guns, you tit!”

When Eddie(a mob boss ) threatens Harry (one of the protagonists)

“You must be Eddie,

J.D.’s son.

You must be Harry.

Sorry, didn’t know your father.

Never mind, son.

You just might meet him

if you carry on like that.”

It is moments like these that make you want to watch the movie again and savour all of those moments.

Snatch (2000)

No write up on Guy Ritchie can ever be complete without the mention of Snatch. This was the film that showcased the true genius of Guy Ritchie. Once again it featured a number of crazy characters who are somehow connected in the common pursuit of an 86 karat diamond . Their numerous parallel storylines are interlinked beautifully. Adding to the chaos was a cute pint sized pug who also plays an important role. The film also showcased the signature slick slack editing patterns & visual wizardry of Guy Ritchie in full glory.

The film features two loser protagonists Turkish (Jason Statham) and Tommy ( Stephen Graham) who are illegal boxing promoters and somehow get stuck in the midst of all this chaos. The film features some of the funniest, eccentric, colourful and memorable characters ever witnessed on screen. Who can forget Franky four fingers ( Benicio Del Toro), Bullet Tooth Tony ( Vinnie Jones), Boris the Blade, Brick Top (Alan Ford), Tyrone and the greatest of them all Mickey ( Brad pitt). Of course, equal credit must also be given to these actors who perform their parts with utmost efficiency.Alan Ford  is especially noteworthy as Brick Top who is subtly yet sufficiently menacing.

Brad Pitt steals the show as the incomprehensible boxing champion. Ritchie also uses the husky baritone of Statham to great effect who doubles up as the narrator for the film. As per the trivia section of IMDB , one of the DVD version of Snatch features subtitles only for Pitt’s character as a deliberate ploy to enhance the fun quotient of Pitt’s character.

This film once again boasts of great dialogues in typical Guy Ritchie tradition

Like those given below

Turkish And Tommy’s introduction by Turkish

“My name is Turkish.

Funny name for an Englishman, I know.My parents to be were on the same plane when it crashed. That’s how they met.

They named me after the name of the plane.Not many people are named after a plane crash.

That’s Tommy. He tells people he was named after a gun, but I know he was really named after a famous 19th century ballet dancer.”

Mickey’s introduction by Turkish

“There was a problem with gypsies You can’t understand what’s being said.

Not Irish, not English , It’s just Pikey”

Turkish to Tommy referring to two boxers ‘Mad Fist’ and ‘The Gun’ who are dead

You aren’t exactly Mister Current Affairs are you, Tommy? “Mad Fist” went mad, and “The Gun,” shot himself.

But some of the best lines are reserved for Brick top

Brick Top to Tyrone and his cronies while threatening them

“Do you know what “nemesis” means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent. Personified in this case by an horrible cunt… me”

Turkish to Brick top

Turkish : You take sugar?
Brick Top : No thank you, Turkish; I’m sweet enough

Turkish to Brick Top referring to Gorgeous George a Boxer who has been knocked down by Mickey

Tommy: We’ve lost Gorgeous George.
Brick Top: Well, where did you lose him? He ain’t a set of fucking car keys, is he?

Quite deservedly Lock, stock and Snatch find an honourable mention in the IMDB top 250 list. A unique thing about Ritchie’s direction is that he creates great humour resulting from  the misfortune of the characters. You feel sorry for their plight however it is hard not to laugh at their misfortune. The one thing I really like about British Comedies is that despite being very subtle it is damn funny. And this style of humour is also visible in Ritchie’s films.

During his marriage with Madonna, Ritchie also made a film with her in the lead called “Swept away”(2002) which  apparently was a love story. It opened to extremely poor critical and audience reaction. Due to this extreme negative reaction, it didn’t even receive a theatrical release and was released directly on dvd. Not having not seen the film at all till date, I will refrain from further commenting on this movie.

Revolver (2005)

Guy Ritchie returned to direction with ‘Revolver’ which once again featured Jason Statham in the lead. The story is about Jake Green ( Jason Statham) who enters a deadly gambling game with an aim of taking revenge on casino tycoon Macha ( Ray Liotta).

The storyline may sound simple. But in terms of execution, this was a complete departure from Ritchie’s previous two films. He tried something really different with this film. A complete departure from Ritchie’s earlier works,  this was quite a dark and complex thriller. This can be inferred from the opening monologue of the film by Statham

“One thing I’ve learned in the last seven years:

In every game and con,

there’s always an opponent, and there’s always a victim.

The trick is to know when you’re the latter, so you can become the former.”

Perhaps audiences and critics alike were not able to decipher the dark tones of the film as a result of which the film was unfairly panned and flopped at the box office. But a second viewing of the film should change all those perceptions. It took me two viewings to fully understand the film and appreciate the misunderstood genius of Ritchie.

Rocknrolla (2008)

Leaving behind the successive failures of his past two films, Guy Ritchie made a smashing return to form with RocknRolla.  It featured Gerard Butler and an ensemble cast featuring Thandie Newton amongst others. The film revolves around a bunch of shady characters vying for a valuable piece of real estate in Central London.

With a fast pace, snazzy music, uber cool characters, the trademark editing patterns of Ritchie & a cool twist towards the climax it enjoyed great success at the box office helping Ritchie regain his lost glory.

The opening scene of the film is one of the best I have ever seen. The dialogue,BGM and the stylish opening titles & VFX makes it one of the most kickass opening scenes ever seen on the screen.

If there was an award for the funniest and quickest sex scene , this film would win it hands down. Watch the love making scene between Butler and Newton and you’ll exactly know what I mean.

Sherlock Holmes

In 2009, Ritchie directed the latest on screen adaptation of Sherlock Holmes featuring Robert Downey Jr as Holmes & Jude Law as Dr Watson – Holmes trusted aide. The selection of Guy Ritchie as a director for the venture & casting of Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes was quirky and raised a lot of eyebrows.

Purists and fanboys of the novels were bound to be displeased. After all the latest cinematic avatar of Holmes was anything unlike the iconic creation of  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock indulged in bare knuckle boxing matches, cross dressing,tom foolery and yes it also included the signature slick editing patterns employed by Ritchie. The new age Sherlock Holmes was very much macho but very intelligent too.Despite the setup being faithful to the novel, the overall tone of the film was slick , glossy ,stylish & contemporary yet smart.

Despite the various changes made in Holmes’s character by Ritchie & his team , one cant deny that the new Holmes was very much fun to watch. Robert Downey Jr & Jude Law’s (As Dr. Watson) made the franchise more memorable thanks to their fantastic chemistry & great performances. Downey Jr employs his goofy charm and makes Holmes all the more endearing.

A notable feature about the production was the depiction of the popular Tower bridge which was unfinished in 1891 i.e in the year in the which this movie is set.

Ritchie followed this up with Sherlock Holmes : A Game Of Shadows in 2011 which was equally enjoyable.

Despite all the criticism leveled against him of style taking prominence over substance and his films being repetitive, one just cant deny that his films are hugely entertaining and also a visual marvel and make for memorable repeat viewings.

Chaalis Chauraasi Movie Review

When you have bumbling robbers,guns,cops, a heist involving lots of money,confusion,mayhem etc, it often results in a good heist flick. Ask Guy Ritchie who has made a career out of helming such heist flicks(Lock Stock and two smoking barrels, Snatch) that have become iconic over they years.

Chaalis Chaurasi or 4084 also has a similar template.  A gang comprising of  a pimp Bobby (Atul Kulkarni), a car thief Albert (Kay Kay Menon), a retired English professor Sir (Naseeruddin Shah) and a drug peddler Shakti( Ravi Kishan) team up to pull one large heist  without a plan and dressed as cops as that would help them to escape easily. But as expected things do not go smoothly resulting in chaos.  Director Hriday Shetty makes a largely enjoyable flick which could have been even better if not for some shortcomings.Continue reading “Chaalis Chauraasi Movie Review”

Sherlock Holmes : A Game of Shadows- Trailer

After the smashing 2009 film Sherlock Holmes, based on the character of the same name created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, director Guy Ritchie returns for the sequel- Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.Starring Robert Downey,Jr. as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Dr.Watson once again, the film also has Noomi Rapace ( of the Millenium Series fame ) and Jared Harris ( as Prof.Moriarty ) in the cast.Continue reading “Sherlock Holmes : A Game of Shadows- Trailer”