Blu-ray: Recommended
3.5 Stars out of 5
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Release Date: December 1st, 2009
Movie Release Year: 2000
Release Country: United States
COLLAPSE INFO -

Snatch

Review Date December 6th, 2009 by
Overview -

Guy Ritchie, writer/director of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, delivers another awe-inspiring directorial masterpiece, SNATCH - an edgy and hilarious film about a diamond heist gone wrong, a colorful Irish gypsy-turned-prize fighter...and a very temperamental dog.

In the heart of gangland, two novice unlicensed boxing promoters, Turkish (Jason Statham) and Tommy (Stephen Graham), get roped into organizing a rigged bare-knuckle fight with local kingpin/villain and fellow boxing promoter Brick Top (Alan Ford). But all goes wrong when wildcard Irish gypsy boxer One Punch Mickey O'Neil (Brad Pitt) starts playing by his own rules, and the duo find themselves heading for a whole lot of trouble.

Meanwhile, Franky Four Fingers (Benicio Del Toro) and his stolen 86-carat diamond have gone missing in London. Head honcho Avi (Dennis Farina) hires local legend Bullet Tooth Tony (Vinnie Jones) to find them, launching everyone into a spiral of double-crossing vendettas and events, most of them illegal.

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  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs: Blu-ray,BD-50,Region Free
    Video Resolution/Codec: 1080/AVC MPEG-4
    Length:103
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):1.85:1
    English Descriptive Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1,French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1,Portuguese: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1,Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
    Subtitles/Captions: English,English SDH,French,Portuguese,Spanish,Pikey
    Special Features: Commentary with writer/director Guy Ritchie and producer Matthew Vaughn
    Deleted Scenes
    Making Snatch
    Storyboard Comparisons
    Video Photo Gallery
    Trailers and TV Spots
    Movie Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
    Release Date: December 1st, 2009

Story Review Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

3 Stars out of 5

'Snatch' is sort of the ultimate Guy Ritchie movie.

After the moderate critical and commercial success of his razzle dazzle debut 'Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels' (to those charmed enough by his directorial/editorial flourishes to forgive its post-Tarantino blandness), Ritchie had a lot of clout and a bunch of actors who should have known better begging to be in his next movie.

Well, his next movie was a lot like his first movie. Actually, most of his movies follow the formula of 'Lock, Stock…' - there's an object (in 'Lock, Stock…' it's the guns, in 'RockNRolla' it's the painting etc.) that gets passed around a kind of cartoonish Dickensian cabal of underworld thugs. People have names like "Bullet Tooth" Tony (funny names stand in for character development) and curse and shoot each other. A lot of calamitous stuff happens and whether or not you understand it (or it makes sense in the larger context of the film), well, that doesn't matter much.

In the case of 'Snatch,' the object-in-question is a fist-sized diamond that gets bounced around the London underworld. Since the plot is a wild jumble of shoot-outs, hold-ups, double-crosses, and underground boxing matches, I'm going to go ahead and skip that bit of unpleasant business. If you have seen 'Lock, Stock…' you know what you're in for - lots of flashy camera moves, ratatat editing flourishes, and long shots of dudes walking down hallways. It's about the journey, more than the destination. And in that fashion, it may not add up or make a whole lot of sense, but it's a lot of fun anyway.

The colorful characters who inhabit 'Snatch' include Turkish (Jason Statham), a small-time hustler; Mickey (Brad Pitt), a gypsy hustler and underground boxer; Cousin Avi (Dennis Farina), a Jewish mobster from New York; Frankie "Four-Fingers" (Benicio del Toro), a thief; and "Bullet Tooth" Tony (Vinnie Jones), a very bad-ass man. They're all vying for this giant diamond, and the various twists and turns that that path takes is what keeps 'Snatch' motoring along.

I'm not crazy about Guy Ritchie's oeuvre (although I do think he got too much grief for 'Revolver'). He's pretty one-note and none of his movies mean anything besides the airy 100 minutes you spend watching them. But that said, he does what he does fairly well and seems genuinely committed to the comic book world of London gangsters that he's created.

'Snatch' is snappy, I'll give it that. And it gave us a peek into the Brad Pitt's mind frame, as an early step in his eventual conquest of being the world's greatest character actor. Also, the soundtrack is phenomenal, and everyone seems to be having a good time. You could spend your time watching a far worse faux hip tough guy movie (hello, 'Boondock Saints'), with far less style or visual oomph. It's just that I couldn't help but think how weird it was that Ritchie's former production partner, Matthew Vaughn, would go off and direct his own British gangster movie, 'Layer Cake,' and improve on the Ritchie formula in every way, delivering a stylish movie that has the one thing that Ritchie's movies don’t: weight and a twinkle of emotional insight.

  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    Blu-ray,BD-50,Region Free
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    1080/AVC MPEG-4
    Length:103
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    1.85:1
    Audio Formats:
    English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1,French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1,Portuguese: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1,Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
    Subtitles/Captions:
    English,English SDH,French,Portuguese,Spanish,Pikey
    Special Features:
    Commentary with writer/director Guy Ritchie and producer Matthew Vaughn
    Deleted Scenes
    Making Snatch
    Storyboard Comparisons
    Video Photo Gallery
    Trailers and TV Spots
    Movie Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
    Release Date: December 1st, 2009

Video Review

3 Stars out of 5

'Snatch' comes equipped with an MPEG-4 AVC 1080p transfer (maintaining its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1) that is fairly vigorous. It's just that 'Snatch' wasn't a particularly pretty movie to begin with, so when talking about this upgraded transfer, it's hard not to feel your hand seesawing. How, exactly, does one rate a decent looking transfer of a lousy looking movie?

First, the positive: There is noticeable improvement in the image quality from previous home video releases. Skin tones look good; detail is markedly better (in everything from fabrics to set dressing to hair styles); and black levels are solid if not bottomless. And there aren't any wonky technical issues or glitches to speak of. Everything looks pretty good.

Then again, it's kind of a lousy looking movie. Much of it takes place in dimly lit gangster holes. There are a couple of shots that are even out of focus (this is discussed on the commentary track!) It's quite clearly an inexpensive movie, with much more time and effort being given to how the filmmakers would manipulate the image in post-production (with various editing techniques, the addition of music etc.) than when they were actually shooting it.

So yes, while this is a much better looking version of the movie, the movie itself is still kind of sloppy and muddy looking. So if you're a super-fan you'll probably notice more in the way of improvements than I did. Still, it's quite solid.

Audio Review

4 Stars out of 5

The audio mix on this disc is presented in a muscular DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. 'Snatch' is a noisy movie, and this mix does a great job of representing that noise in a clear and efficient way.

Your surround sound set-up will certainly get a workout. Not only are there a number of scenes with gunplay, but there's an entire underground boxing subplot (with every punch rendered lovingly) and Guy Ritchie's over-cranked worldview makes it so that every cut, camera angle, and close up has it's own whooshing sound effect. Plus, there's that killer soundtrack, which you'll want to crank up to 11 because, really, it sounds that good.

Elsewhere on this track, directionality is good, as is ambience. Also, dialogue is reproduced exceedingly well. Every word sounds clear and crisp and is well prioritized. Even though you might not understand it, Brad Pitt's crazy gypsy language comes across well.

This track may lack subtlety or nuance but, hey, this is a Guy Ritchie film after all!

Other language tracks included on this disc are French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Portuguese: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1. Additionally, there are subtitles in English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Pikey (the pidgin Gypsy dialect Brad Pitt speaks).

Special Features

2.5 Stars out of 5

Most of the extras are reproduced from the two-disc Sony DVD from a few years back. None of them are all that interesting. Sony has also added a couple of Blu-ray exclusives, both of those aren't so hot. Also, there are some annoying "previews," but that's not much of a "special feature" is it?

  • Commentary by Guy Ritchie and Producer Matthew Vaughn This track is surprisingly dry. I mean - this is a guy who was married to Madonna for a number of years. Vaughn is pretty silent, except when correcting Ritchie (like pointing out that there's a hidden cut in the opening title sequence). Ritchie kind of just plods along, devoting a lot of time to stories about how the dog (there's a dog in the movie that swallows the diamond at one point) loved humping one of the actor's. Yeah, it's that kind of trap. You can easily skip this.


  • Deleted Scenes (SD) There are six scenes represented here, with optional commentary by Ritchie and Vaughn. What's strange is that none of these scenes are longer than about two minutes, but on the main commentary track, Ritchie talks about how the first cut of the movie was over three hours long. These scenes don't add much to the movie, and can be skipped.
  • Making 'Snatch' (SD, 24:42) This is a making of documentary that goes a little bit deeper than your average EPK. Lots of talking head interviews, with production members and cast members talking about working on the film. If you're a fan of the movie, then you might like this. Also, if you've ever wanted to see Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham play chess, this is for you. Then again, if you hated 'Revolver,' you might blame this chess game on that movie's extended chess motif.
  • Storyboard Comparisons (SD) This is a sort of interesting little cluster of videos. You can either watch a split screen comparison with the storyboards on one side, with the final movie footage on the right side. You can also just watch the storyboards, but I wouldn't advise that. There are three sequences in this section - Character Introduction (1:12) in which each character is represented by their title card. Yes, this is the type of style-over-substance exercise where the film has a title sequence and a "character introduction" sequence (lots of text). There's also the Avi Goes to London (:11) scene, which charts Dennis Farina's abbreviated cross-Atlantic voyage, and The Big Fight (5:29) the admittedly impressive bare-knuckle brawl that closes the movie.
  • Video Photo Gallery (SD, 5:16) It's promotional photos - in video form!
  • Trailers and TV Spots (mostly SD) In this section of the disc you get three TV spots (SD, :32 each), the British teaser trailer (SD, :53). I know it's British because it's really weird and inefficient and there are bare breasts. Then there's the domestic trailer (HD, 2:02), which is pretty cool.

Final Thoughts

'Snatch' is an okay movie. It's got plenty of style and a couple of cool sequences, but not much else. If you're dazzled by the chaotic, style-over-substance filmmaking of director Guy Ritchie, then you'll probably love this disc. It's got a nice bump in quality on the video spectrum and the audio is quite good. The extras (both those held over from the previous releases and the newly created stuff for this disc) are fairly lackluster, however, and the energy and excitement that once surrounded Guy Ritchie's sophomore film has waned in the years since its release. If you're a fan, go for it. You won't be disappointed. If you're not a fan of Guy Ritchie's single-minded oeuvre or are approaching this film for the first time in years, this is only recommended.

Sale Price $9.99
List Price $9.99
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3rd Party $4.00
Usually ships in 24 hours
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  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    Blu-ray,BD-50,Region Free
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    1080/AVC MPEG-4
    Length:103
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    1.85:1
    Audio Formats:
    English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1,French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1,Portuguese: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1,Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
    Subtitles/Captions:
    English,English SDH,French,Portuguese,Spanish,Pikey
    Special Features:
    Commentary with writer/director Guy Ritchie and producer Matthew Vaughn
    Deleted Scenes
    Making Snatch
    Storyboard Comparisons
    Video Photo Gallery
    Trailers and TV Spots
    Movie Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
    Release Date: December 1st, 2009