Tag Archive: Guy Ritchie

What fun! Seven Psychopaths is a topsy-turvy ride through a hysterical—and often bloody—funhouse where nothing seems quite right.  If you love Tatantino-esque dark humor as much as I do, you’ll enjoy this film.

The absolutely best part of this movie is its cast, here presented in the order of how brilliant each is in his role: Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Tom Waits, Colin Farrell, and Woody Harrelson. As I commented elsewhere, I could watch Walken and Rockwell read the phone book—they are absolutely inimitable—and writer/director Martin McDonagh does a magnificent job of sitting back and letting them run with it.

McDonagh, who made his major film debut with the fascinatingly fresh In Bruges, comes off as a lovechild of Guy Ritchie, Todd Phillips, and Wes Anderson. He’s definitely a filmmaker to watch.

The second-best part of this movie is the dialogue (and I wonder how much was ad-libbed, as it seems so spontaneous). Here’s an example of the twisted logic of the characters:

Hans: As Gandhi said…”An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” I believe that whole heartedly.

Bill: No it doesn’t. There’ll be one guy left with one eye. How’s the last blind guy going to take out the eye of the last guy left whose still got one eye left? All that guy has to do is run away and hide behind a bush. Ghandi was wrong. It’s just that nobody’s got the balls to come out and say it.

Final reason to watch: Colin Farrell’s hair is hilarious.

It took a while, but I finally saw the new Sherlock Holmes, and I had a blast!

Anyone who knows this Movie Freak is aware that I am partial to both Robert Downey Jr. and director Guy Ritchie.  However, some trepidation preceded viewing this film:  What if it turned the legendary Sherlock Holmes saga on its head?  Would there be too many anachronisms?  Or would it simply beat a tired horse to its final grave?

Reading the reviews didn’t help.  A few said that Holmes was just too buff, and the fight scenes would have Sir Arthur Conan Doyle turning in his grave.  Some reviewers claimed that the Holmes character just wasn’t what he ought to be, with the signature deerstalker and pipe, the reticence and haughty righteousness.  One even claimed that the characters of Holmes and Watson were sketched in such contemporary likeness of one another that all they needed to do was exchange clothes and props, and leads Downey and Jude Law could play each other’s roles.

Nonsense and poppycock!  (I’ve always wanted to say that.)

The writing and acting alike are brilliant, and the film is true to its mystery-thriller genre.  It’s a feast of rousing action, deductive reasoning, and camaraderie, perfectly peppered with comic relief.  (In fact, I came away with only one peeve—the character of Watson’s fiancée, Mary, played by the oddly twitchy Kelly Reilly, seems too dislikable, conniving a creature to be with the good doctor; no wonder Holmes is displeased.)

I admit I was skeptical about the action sequences after viewing previews, but they fit right in, and Holmes’ combat style did suit the character.  The wonderfully manipulated scenes of Holmes planning an attack, and then the audience seeing it in real time, depicted just how the genius tactician’s mind would devise the most efficiently method to take down an opponent.  Marvelous!

There was a sufficiently dark and menacing baddie (Mark Strong), a Holmes-has-met-his-match love interest (Rachel McAdams), and the introduction of Professor Moriarty—which sets the stage for sequels, of course.  And I, for one, hope there will be sequels.

In this humble reviewer’s eyes, Sherlock Holmes is a triumph in a sea of recent and upcoming disappointments.  If half the planned remakes and resurrections on film are as good as this one, count me in to stand in line at the theater more often. Unfortunately, I think this one’s a rare gem.

For more movie recommendations, check out my new book, A Book Full of Movies!

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