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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

5 reasons I’m psyched for ‘RocknRolla’

All this week! 5 movies I’m psyched for in October, and 5 reasons why. No. 4: RocknRolla [opens limited October 8, wide October 31].
1. Cute guys with British accents.

2. It’s about con artists, who are always entertaining. In the movies, at least.

3. Guy Ritchie. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch are two of the most purely entertaining films of recent years. There’s something to be said for movies that are completely inconsequential and yet deeply amusing at the same time. They’re like cartoons for grownups.

4. Did I mention Gerard Butler? He’s one of the cute guys with accents.

5. Cute guys with British accents. Yup, that’s pretty much the draw.



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  • weetiger

    Oh hell yeah! These are MY reasons too, with the notable exception that your #4 would be my #1. LOL

  • I’d be really, really happy if Ritchie could strike it big again… He’s had a pretty depressing career, really, always chasing that first film…

  • blake

    You can’t look forward to a film just for those reasons.I myself am a cute(ish) British guy, I might as well look into a mirror, that would have reasons 1,4 and 5 covered.Guy Ritchie is a one trick poney, I want to see him make a Disney film.

  • weetiger

    Hmmm blake…How cute(ish)? LOL kidding!

    Seriously…why can’t I look forward to a movie for those reasons? How many adolescent boys of all ages flocked to those three pieces of dreck known as Episodes I-III just because they had Star Wars attached to them?

    I happen to like Guy Ritchie’s films. Even Revolver. (I did not see Swept Away)I’ve seen the trailer for his latest and it looks, in a word, COOL! The presence of Gerard Butler is a BONUS.

  • blake

    If you like Gerard Butler can’t you watch 300 over and over again.

    I’m not just cute, I’m gorgeous.

    The statement above is not true–sadly…

  • MaryAnn

    You can’t look forward to a film just for those reasons.I myself am a cute(ish) British guy, I might as well look into a mirror,

    No one said these are *your* reasons for looking forward to the film. They’re only mine. Your mileage may vary.

    You guys also never seem to understand that “cute” isn’t just about looks: it’s also about creativity and intelligence. It’s a package-deal situation. Butler isn’t attractive merely because of what he looks like but because he’s *talented.* An idiot who looked exactly like Butler would not be attractive.

  • weetiger

    Amen sister.

  • blake

    “Your mileage may vary.”
    Every critic should put that on their reviews.
    I thought Supergirl was a great film, howerver, *your* mileage may vary.

    I couldn’t find anywhere to put this-
    The new series of Sarah Jane is terrific.

  • Hdj

    “RockNRolla” aint playing anywhere near me so it most not be good, thats all I can say, can’t blame it on bad publicity. Guy Ritchie can’t out do his first 2 movies ether. Theres only so many times you can do the english Mafia thing and tie it all together in the end thing.

  • MaryAnn

    RockNRolla” aint playing anywhere near me so it most not be good, thats all I can say, can’t blame it on bad publicity.

    It’s only in limited release in the U.S. at the moment — it goes wide on October 31.

    But since when does the extent of a film’s release have *anything* to do with how good it is?

  • Hdj

    Maybe it is good, I’ll see it when it goes wide. I do remember Memento was limited and that turned out to be good.
    Here’s the thing, Now the movie comes out on Halloween, call me sentimental but I prefer horror movies opening on such a day, not a Guy Ritchie caper.
    Which brings up this question why use Robert Zemeckis’s horror company Dark Castle pictures and have them release your non horror movie from a horror movie company on the granddaddy of all horror movie holidays HALLOWEEN, what the hell!?
    Speaking of Halloween , back in 2000 when Dracula 2000 came out, I did not know that was the 300 guy like when 300 came out I didn’t think to my self oh oh Dracula 2000. I don’t know if Butler didn’t make a impression on me at the time or the whole movie just sucked to the point of forgetting it. I was still in high school as well so I could of been baked.

  • drew ryce

    I have seen Rocknrolla and enjoyed it.
    I am a big fan of Switch and Lock, Stock but have been disappointed with Ritchies subsequent work.
    RR seems like a return to form. Not as good as his two best but you can tell that the same guy did the films and that he still has something (can the same be said for M Night?).
    Since the film isn’t widely released yet, I’ll refrain from saying anything specific about the plot that would be a spoiler.

    I will say though, that the film reminded me more of a Tarrantino film than Ritchies others. The refernces to older films were QTesque (there is a painting which is like the briefcase in Pulp Fiction, which is like the car trunk in Repoman, etc).

    Query: why don’t they just have some real fun and describe the painting as an early work of that famous artist Mack Guffin?

    Although I am straight (nothing wrong with that) I have to second MaryAnne on the Gerard Butler is cute comment. He is. And smart. And funny. And masculine. Don’t underestimate this quality as an attractor of the straight male audience. We like to see a character we can identify with. For us, Shia LeBeouf doesn’t cut it. Butler resides somewhere in the territory staked out by Steve McQueen and Russel Crowe. A lot of straight guys regularly buy tickets with leads like them.

  • weetiger

    HDJ: Dracula 2000 had some things going for it, namely a sexy lead in the form of Gerard Butler, and the interesting twist on the old mythology. Unfortunately, somewhere along the lines, the blood was sucked out of it. If you watch the dvd, make sure you check out the special features. If the deleted scenes were left in, this mess would not have been nearly so forgetable.
    As for Dark Castle, producer Joel Silver wants to take the shingle in another direction. RocknRolla is among the first projects to veer away from ‘strictly horror’ releases.

    drew ryce: “I will say though, that the film reminded me more of a Tarrantino film than Ritchies others. The refernces to older films were QTesque (there is a painting which is like the briefcase in Pulp Fiction, which is like the car trunk in Repoman, etc).” Both the PF briefcase and the Repo car trunk were actually references to the box in the noir classic “Kiss Me Deadly”. QT is nothing if not a slavishly devoted film fan. Ritchie may have been tipping his hat to that chain of references with the painting (although I like your Mack Guffin idea.) Ritchie is another who acknowledges his influences. It was obvious to me the first time I saw Lock,Stock and Snatch that he’s a fan of the definitive (IMHO) British gangster flick, The Long Good Friday.

  • drew ryce

    weetiger:

    “Both the PF briefcase and the Repo car trunk were actually references to the box in the noir classic “Kiss Me Deadly”.”

    Exactly so (and why I used etc after Repoman).

    While we are on the topic, my reference to calling him Mack Guffin was a reference to “Rider On The Rain” where the macguffin is a guy named Mack Guffin.

    Weetiger is also dead right about “The Long Good Friday”. There is a lot of that movie in RockNRolla.

    BTW, the actor playing Archie reminded me a great deal of Andy Garcia circa The Untouchables or Godfather3.

  • MaryAnn

    I have to second MaryAnne on the Gerard Butler is cute comment. He is. And smart. And funny. And masculine. Don’t underestimate this quality as an attractor of the straight male audience. We like to see a character we can identify with. For us, Shia LeBeouf doesn’t cut it. Butler resides somewhere in the territory staked out by Steve McQueen and Russel Crowe. A lot of straight guys regularly buy tickets with leads like them.

    Mmm, yes, I can see that many men would prefer to watch McQueen or Crowe or Butler to LeBeouf. But I think that’s because they’d rather be someone the world saw as McQueen or Crowe or Butler. I don’t think it’s that these male moviegoers actually identify with these actors, but that they *would like to be able to* identify with these actors.

    Also, men who don’t understand why women find LeBeouf irresistible are doing themselves a huge disadvantage when it comes to understanding women.

  • drew ryce

    Beyond question, we straight men (not that there is anything wrong with that) have a whole fantasy thing going on with McQueen, Crowe, Butler, Connery etc on the screen wherein we are he and he is we and we are all together (Sorry, just rewatched Across The Universe).

    Speaking for myself, I have understood the appeal of the Shias to girls/women since back in the days when they were called Davy Jones and Bobby Sherman.

    My only point is we alpha straight guy types (or as you point out, our cousins the wanna be alpha straight guy types)can’t get anything out of watching the Shias in movies where action is required.

    I simply can’t suspend my disbelief enough to accept them as my film universe alter ego.

  • MaryAnn

    not that there is anything wrong with that

    I didn’t say there was.

    I simply can’t suspend my disbelief enough to accept them as my film universe alter ego.

    Even though Shia is probably closer to the average male moviegoer than Butler is? :->

  • drew ryce

    MaryAnn, I apologise. Apparently I am being obscure.

    The “not that there is anything wrong with that” reference is to Sinefeld where every time being gay was mentioned they would all knee jerk that particular response.

    Since the posts were addressed in part to pop references I thought that my ironic reference was appropriate. It would never have occured to me that younger urbanites like yourself, or for that matter your more typical bloggers, would have any problems with gays.

    As for:”Even though Shia is probably closer to the average male moviegoer than Butler is?”

    Not just ‘even though’, but BECAUSE of this fact. I am paying to go in and see the actors on the screen. If I wanted to see the audience I could do that standing in line outside the theatre.

    Just to look at it from the woman side. Audrey and Katherine Hepburn are huge icons for women (also, but less so, for men). I have been going to movies for close on to 50 years and I have yet to sit in an audience where either could have been described as average.

    I see Butler as akin to Diane Lane. Highly attractive to the opposite sex but also someone their own sex can view as a fantasy role play. I would probably pass on a Shia/Diane Lane romance movie but would be there for the same film with Butler et al paired with Lane.

  • MaryAnn

    I thought that my ironic reference was appropriate.

    I guess it was so ironic that I missed it. :->

    Not just ‘even though’, but BECAUSE of this fact.

    Well, then it’s like I said: it’s not that you actually identify with an actor like Butler, it’s that you’d like to be able to do so. You actually identify with an actor like LeBeouf — you just don’t want to. :->

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