Snatch (Blu-ray) (2000)

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Released 31-May-2010

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Featurette-Snatch Cutting Room
Audio Commentary-Guy Ritchie (Director) & Matthew Vaughn (Producer)
Deleted Scenes-Six scenes with optional Director's Commentary (8:57)
Featurette-Making Of-Making Snatch (24:42)
Storyboard Comparisons-Guy Ritchie (Director) & Matthew Vaughn (Producer)
Gallery-Photo-+/- Director's Commentary (6) (8:57)
TV Spots-Pikey subtitles
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-2
Web Links-BD-Live
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 102:51
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Guy Ritchie
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Brad Pitt
Jason Statham
Vinnie Jones
Dennis Farina
Stephen Graham
Case Amaray Variant
RPI $42.95 Music John Murphy


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Auto Pan & Scan Encoded English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (4608Kb/s)
French DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (1920Kb/s)
German DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (1920Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
French
German
Arabic
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
Hindi
Norwegian
Swedish
Turkish
English Audio Commentary
French Audio Commentary
German Audio Commentary
Dutch Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     After the success of Guy Ritchie's debut film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels in 1998, Ritchie and producer Matthew Vaughn were given the "go ahead" to make a similar British gangster-type film, only with a larger budget. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels was made for $US1.3 million and grossed about $US26 million worldwide; Snatch was made for about $US3 million, but the difference here was that A-list actors Benicio del Toro and Brad Pitt joined the cast and Columbia Pictures promoted the film because of its greater profile, resulting in a $US85 million gross at the box-office worldwide. The consequences of making Snatch as a follow-up film for Guy Ritchie has been that although the film has enjoyed a cult following since its release, Ritchie has struggled to repeat its success, making a string of poor-performing films, both critically and financially, with Swept Away (2002), Revolver (2005) and RocknRolla (2008). He was able to break the mould with casting the very-hot and in-favour Robert Downey Jr. for Sherlock Holmes (made for $US90 million, it grossed an incredible $US515 million worldwide). Producer Matthew Vaughn would go on to direct his own archetypal British gangster film in Layer Cake in 2004 and enjoy repeated success from very different films in Stardust (2007) and Kick-Ass (2010).

     The tagline for Snatch is "Stealin' Stones and Breakin' Bones" and this phrase encompasses the two main storylines which intertwine throughout the film. The first storyline deals with Frankie "Four-Fingers" (Benicio del Toro) stealing an 87-carat diamond from a gem merchant in the diamond capital of the world, Antwerp, Belgium and then travelling to London to pass on the diamond to Doug the Head (Mike Reid), the cousin of Franky's friend Avi (Dennis Farina). He is encouraged to buy a gun from Boris "The Blade" Yurinov (Rade Šerbedžija) by one of his fellow thieves in Antwerp; in reality Frankie's associate is Boris' brother, who plans to take the diamond for himself by involving two small-time pawn shop dealers, brothers Sol (Lennie James) and Vinnie (Robbie Gee). He offers the brothers £50,000 to follow Frankie and get his briefcase, not knowing what's inside (until later).

     The second storyline involves illegal bare-knuckle boxing matches and betting. Turkish, named after the airline his parents met on that crashed, (Jason Statham), and who also narrates the film, and his incompetent partner Tommy (Stephen Graham) want to get involved in the local underground boxing business. He has a good fighter in "Gorgeous" George (Adam Fogerty). He arranges to discuss matters with owner and head of local unlicensed boxing, "Brick Top" Pilford (Alan Ford), to add George's matches to the bets at his bookies. Brick Top agrees to promote Gorgeous George. However, when Turkish and Tommy arrange a deal to purchase a caravan from a group of local "pikeys" (or lower-class nomadic gypsies), Gorgeous George is put out of action by Mickey O'Neil (Brad Pitt), a champion bare-knuckle fighter. This leads to Turkish and Tommy been forced to request Mickey to take on the fight, but he must go down in the fourth round to avoid Brick Top looking like a cheat for substituting a fighter. The Pikey, as we find out later, always backs himself, and bets never go as planned.

     Snatch on Blu-ray provides Region 4 fans of the film an opportunity to own the film with the extras that were included on Disc Two of the Collectors Edition DVD. This release was quickly out-of-print and replaced with a single-disc DVD in early 2001.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Snatch on DVD was never a reference quality image transfer and the same applies for this transfer on Blu-ray. This was the intention of director Guy Ritchie. The film was made to present the look of the seedy side of the East End of London, which is a rough and dark place in the 'world' of Snatch.

     The aspect ratio of Snatch is 1:85:1, 16x9 enhanced.

     Snatch is encoded with a MPEG-4 AVC 1080p transfer. The Region Free ABC Blu-ray disc takes up 36.6 gb of space. As mentioned, the look of the film is dark; in line with the lower budget of the film, it does not look glossy. Instead Guy Ritchie makes up for the lack of gloss by utilising dutch-angles and quick-cutting, effectively intertwining fast-paced shots with energised soundtrack offerings. The Blu-ray transfer does highlight the extra detail in Frankie's fake nose, or the close-ups of Brick Top's eyes through his glasses.

    The look of the film is also intentionally muted, with brown, greys and greens predominant. Snatch has a natural look to it, hence the very subtle film grain in the transfer that was not removed by Sony (thankfully – directors’ creative intentions for their films should always be honoured) when it was released on Blu-ray.

    Subtitles are generously provided for viewer enjoyment of the main soundtrack and the audio commentary. The main soundtrack is subtitled in English, English for the hearing impaired, French, German, Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hindi, Norwegian, Swedish and Turkish. The audio commentary is subtitled in English, French, German and Dutch. Heck, you can even choose to watch the film with "pikey" subtitles, highlighting Brad Pitt's indecipherable dialogue when he speaks in the film.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Snatch really impresses with this DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. The excellent surround channel mix of the DVD is carried over to the Blu-ray in this audio transfer.

     The main audio soundtrack is an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track encoded at 4070 kbps. The French dub DTS-HD Master Audio track is encoded at 1969 kbps whereas the German DTS-HD Master Audio track is encoded at 1939 kbps.

     Dialogue is mainly clear, except for when Brad Pitt speaks in his "pikey" accent. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels was criticised for its indecipherable dialogue at times from the main characters, so Guy Ritchie and Matthew Vaughn decided to write a character into Snatch who deliberately could not be understood, not only by the audience but also by the characters within the film!

    The music soundtrack is distinctively British, supporting the fast-paced action of the film. Golden Brown by the Stranglers and Dreadlock Holiday by 10cc are instantly recognisable, whereas Massive Attack's Angel has become iconic in the arcade beating scene and the caravan burning scene, as has Oasis' F***in' in the Bushes for the final fight scene. Personally, Disco Science by Mirwais which is used in the hare coursing scene juxtaposed with Brick Top's henchmen John and Errol catching Tyrone and putting him into their trunk of their car is my favourite and most memorable.

     The surround channels get a good workout here, with 'whooshing' sound effects, gun shots, car accidents and soundtrack music mixed well. The surround effects have a habit of muting to support dialogue and starting again; this effect feels like the film alternates from time-to-time in its pacing to 'slow down' for important plot points before 'quickening up' again to emphasise the action.

    The subwoofer supports scenes such as Bullet Tooth Tony's (played by ex-footballer Vinnie Jones) .50-caliber Desert Eagle pub scene with Sol and Vinnie and the final fight scene, as well as making an impact with the aforementioned car accidents and gun shooting scenes.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

The Snatch Cutting Room

    This featurette even comes with a choice to launch it, or find out "what is the Cutting Room?" My suggestion to Sony, as they have included this on a number of their Blu-ray releases now, is to drop this feature because I don't think viewers would want to opt to cut scenes from their favourite movies and upload them to the world wide web via BD-Live. In my opinion, this extra is best skipped.

Audio Commentary by Director Guy Ritchie and Producer Matthew Vaughn

    This is the same commentary that appeared on the previous DVD release. Ritchie and Vaughn discuss the background of all the characters and the people who play them, point out flaws and cameos, discuss locations, deleted scenes and incorporate plenty of personal anecdotes as the movie plays. Jason Flemying's role that was created after he visited the set for autographs is mentioned, as is Brad Pitt's fight scenes and that difficult dog! This track is both funny and full of self-deprecation as both men do not take themselves that seriously.

Deleted Scenes (8:57)

    Six deleted scenes are presented in a full-frame standard definition transfer, not 16x9 enhanced; “The Pub”, “A Bigger Bully”, “Whoops”, “Fake Stone”, “Well Done Mullet” and “The Dawg”. These are available with an optional commentary from Guy Ritchie and Matthew Vaughn, which adds valuable insight. I suggest you play this extra with the commentary, which can be followed with subtitles. These scenes do add background to some plot elements from the movie, but they were ultimately trimmed to maintain the fast-pacing of the main feature.

Making Snatch (24:42)

    Jason Statham begins this featurette by interviewing Ritchie and Vaughn. There's plenty of footage and 'behind-the-scenes' camerawork on the set, as well as interviews with the cast and crew (who all seemingly have no idea what the film is about! - very funny) and footage from the movie. This extra is worth looking at to see how scenes were constructed.

Storyboard Comparisons

     This extra gives the viewer two choices; to watch a split screen comparison with the storyboards on one side and the final movie footage on the other side or to just watch the storyboards alone, which isn't as effective in my opinion. There are three sequences in this section - "Character Introduction" where each character is introduced at the beginning of the film, "Avi Goes to London", which looks at Dennis Farina's Atlantic trip and "The Big Fight" highlighting the bare-knuckle brawl that climaxes the movie.

Video Photo Gallery (5:16)

    Photos, taken from the set of the movie, are played with background music, like a home video.

TV Spots

    Three TV spots are presented, all in full-frame standard definition transfer, not 16x9. These are all 32 seconds in length.

Theatrical Trailer

    The teaser trailer (0:54) and the theatrical trailer (2:02) are included in high definition and enhanced.

Trailer

    This is a promotion for Blu-ray entitled "Blu-ray Disc is High Definition!". It runs for 2:19 and is a common feature found on Sony's Blu-ray releases.

Web Links - BD-Live

    For those viewers who have their Blu-ray player connected to the internet, you can access MovieIQ as you watch the film, which is like getting facts from IMDb as you watch the film.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Snatch on Blu-ray has been released with the same identical specifications and Region FREE ABC video transfer as other Regional releases in the United States, France, Germany, Hungary, Spain and the United Kingdom. The only difference between the releases is variations in audio dubs and subtitling options.

Summary

     For a film about an 87-carat diamond, or maybe 86-carat or 84-carat, depending on which character mentions it in the film, we don't actually get to realise as the audience that this gem, the size of a child's fist, is worth about $US4 million uncut. With that knowledge at hand, you can now better appreciate those absolutely crazy things that the characters get up to in this film.

     I watch a lot of movies in my role as a reviewer for Michael DVD, some for reference purposes and some for enjoyment. This film is one I can watch again and again and still find new things in it; it never fails to entertain or be funny. Maybe this explains why it is currently ranked no. 132 on the IMDb top 250 films database list.

     For those fans who missed out on the extras of Disc Two of the Collectors Edition DVD of Snatch, you can finally find them here on the Blu-ray.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Stivaktas (I like my bio)
Monday, June 14, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S550 (Firmware updated Version 020), using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA46A650 46 Inch LCD TV Series 6 FullHD 1080P 100Hz. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-K1000P. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationSony HTDDW1000
SpeakersSony 6.2 Surround (Left, Front, Right, Surround Left, Surround Back, Surround Right, 2 subwoofers)

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