Rocknrolla

Paul Yim Paul Yim: (paulyim-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2008-10-25 01:33:39

Rocknrolla - Rank A


Rock n' Roll is a kind of music that derives as much of its power from style as it does from substance. Elvis – often dubbed the "king" of rock n' roll – was no different than the crooners that came before him (Sinatra, Bennett, etc.) in substance, but it was in the way that he delivered his lyrics that made him a rock star. It is this sense of style and delivery – so elusive to so many – that only a handful of filmmakers actually get right, and Guy Ritchie is one of them.

If you hate Ritchie then you'll remember him for Swept Away - the movie that nearly ended his short career. On the other hand, if you love the man, then you'll remember he's the guy who did Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. Snatch is the movie that rocketed him to fame and fortune. He even enjoyed something of a cult following, like Rodriguez and Tarantino. Film students all over town made it their life's goal to either make a film like Snatch or Christopher Nolan's Memento. After Swept Away, starring his wife Madonna, his star plummeted and was nearly lost in that black vacuum known as "One Hit Wonders" or its lesser known sister vortex "Flash In The Pan". Lucky for us - like a phoenix rising from the ashes of obscurity and a job as a mall security guard - he's back, like a true rocknrolla.

Rocknrolla is one of those rare movies that actually lives up to its really cool trailer. Its pace is akin to an all-night, coke-fueled orgy with dialogue as sharp as the razor you used to cut the blow. Very few people making movies today truly understand how to use a rock n' roll soundtrack for proper effect. I've already mentioned Rodriguez and Tarantino, but you can't overlook the work of David Chase. And in the same breath, if not in the same sentence, Guy Ritchie gets an exuberant nod in that category. I once said to a couple of friends that a movie is merely a series of good or bad choices. In the case of Rocknrolla shot selection and music direction come together like Abbott and Costello, like bacon and eggs, like…crack and whores. In all seriousness, however, Ritchie has a detailed eye for direction, an acute ear for witty dialogue, and a real knack for storytelling.

Since Rock's pre-teen years (the 1960s) the Brits have secured a firm foothold on that most unique of American cultural exports. Every decade has seen at least one or two British artists top the U.S. charts and the first millennial decade is no exception. For those of you tired of that whiny, weepy sound passed off as "American Rock" these days, tune your inner radio to the heirs of Rock n' Roll from across The Pond with the likes of The Subways and Kasabian - true rocknrollas.

The second link is the 2-disc Collector's version of the film, and the third is the Blu-ray edition.

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