Snatch Blu-ray Review
'Snatch' is presented in widescreen 1.85:1 with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p coding.
This movie is a strange one to score as the image quality was never great to begin with (on DVD) and exposed the low budget nature of the filming process. The image is largely dull and dour but this was a purposeful move by Ritchie to inject some grit and attitude into the presentation, with the director incorporating plenty of filters and unusual lighting choices.
The level of detail overall is very good indeed, with a lot more visible than I previously recall on DVD. For example, Franky's fake Jewish nose is blatantly obvious now (in the opening scenes), as is the floral pattern on his shirt. In fact, the detail on clothing is one facet of the presentation which really stood out, when compared to the previous DVD release. One of the most striking differences on this release are the facial close-ups, which are stunning on occasion; Bricktop's eyes are now wonderfully magnified behind his glasses (not to mention the discolouration of his teeth). The battered furniture of the various “gangster locations”, “gypsy-rubbish”, Mickey's tattoos and plenty of other grimy props now stand out with sharp definition. The majority of the scenes exude a pleasing depth but there are not many instances, aside from the aforementioned close-ups, where the image leaps from the screen.
The colour palette, as mentioned, is largely restricted to solid, yet dull, greens and greys, with even the outdoor scenes appearing distinctly muted and gloomy. Shadow detail has received a significant boost and all of the darker segments are now completed clear and visible. Some of the scenes can appear slightly muddy, such as in Bricktop's “dog pound”, which can add a level of indistinguishability to the picture at times (and I did not a few scant issues of banding); a price to pay for the stylistic nature of Ritchie's presentation I suppose. A few scenes are also out of focus but this is merely an observation and is actually pointed out in the commentary track. There is a gentle fizz of grain for the majority but this is always organic and unobtrusive.
While definitely not one to show off your system, this is a very solid presentation indeed and really is worth the upgrade. I can't justify giving this transfer a seven so it just sneaks into the low eight rating.
'Snatch' comes packed with a very pleasing dts HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track.
I've always thought the surround track on this movie was impressive. The improvement which the uncompressed BD track makes is evident as soon as the opening title theme pounds from the speakers. Front separation is spot on, resulting in a wide and expansive soundstage. All of the beautiful audio effects, such as the “revolver-roll” effect, subtitle transitions and the zinging of Turkish's arcade, are more pronounced and engaging than ever before, making full use of the surround channels. There are a couple of gunfights/crash scenes which really bring the surrounds and subwoofer to life. The bass presence is perfectly weighted for the duration, coming forth with force to add some gut rumbling thumps and thuds to all the fight segments. In the more subdued moments, this facet of the audio presentation has a beautiful, almost velvety quality. The various vocals are always crystal clear and never difficult to follow.
The score is absolutely superb and contains a wonderfully eclectic mix of contemporary tracks; with standouts including “Golden Brown” (The Stranglers) and “Dreadlock Holiday” (10CC). Some of the characters (such as Boris) are graced with their own theme, with Avi's “pop, ping and thud” travel to London snippet standing as a delightful highlight. The tracks are interspersed seamlessly with the on screen action and really suit to perfection (for the majority). The surround bleed and bass tonality are perfect for the duration.
Overall, this is a very impressive mix and makes several improvements over the DVD release. As such, it comes recommended and is the best that 'Snatch' has ever sounded.
'Snatch' comes with a respectable enough collection of extras, with the “Movie IQ” (basically IMBD on demand) and “Snatch: The Cutting Room” standing as the only available additional exclusive BD supplements.
There's a commentary track with Guy Rictie and Matthew Vaughan, which is very interesting and amusing. They go into lots of detail regarding the background of all the characters and the people who play them. There's plenty of banter between the two and they almost take pride in highlighting flaws with the production and filming aspects, as well as pointing out all the cameos that the crew (and Ritchie) make! They both expand on the locations, plot and the scenes which were cut, incorporating plenty of personal anecdotes as the movie plays. They do say “He's a good lad” too many times though and give poor Jason Flemming a hard time! About forty minutes in there's a break as Richie and Vaughan are handed a list of approved topics for discussion and delve into more of the more technical aspects of filming, but with the same level of banter and self depravation!
Deleted Scenes - Available here are five deleted scenes in unfinished quality; “The Pub”, “A Bigger Bully”, “Whoops”, “Fake Stone”, “Well Done Mullet” and “The Dawg”. All are available with an optional director's commentary, which adds valuable insight. Most are dialogue driven pieces and don't add much to the main feature, aside from Tony pissing in Harold's pocket, which is hilarious.
“Making Snatch” (SD 24mins) - The title says it all really. With tons of backstage/b-roll footage and a documentary camera following the cast and crew backstage on the set, this feature offers an interesting behind the scenes look at 'Snatch'. There are also interviews with the cast and crew and footage from the movie itself. Worth a watch, especially to see how to fight scenes are put together.
Storyboard Comparisons (SD) - This feature offers a side by side comparison of the storyboards and the finished scenes from the movie (as well as the storyboards in isolation). The following segments are included; “Introduction of Characters”, “Avi goes to London” and “The Big Fight”, along with accompanying audio effects. Worth a watch, once.
Video Photo Gallery (SD 5mins) - This feature offers a collection of photographs taken from the set of the movie, set to some funky tunes from the soundtrack.
Snatch TV Spots and Trailers - Three standard definition TV spots, one standard definition and one high definition trailer for the movie are available here for your viewing pleasure.
“Snatch: The Cutting Room” - This strange little feature allows you to edit together scenes from the movie and then add your own sound effects. These videos can be shared with your virtual friends, if you have any, or if you can actually be bothered to make a video! This is a BD Live related feature, which is also available on this disc, offering the usual slew of HD trailers.
Released in 2000, 'Snatch' was Guy Ritchie's follow up to his very successful first feature, 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels'. The plot centers on Turkish, an illegal boxing promoter/trainer, who gets mixed up with a gypsy bare knuckle boxing champion, an 86 karat diamond and a ruthless underworld crime boss. The central performances from Jason Statham and Brad Pitt are some of these fine actors' finest work to date. The rest of the cast, which includes performances from Benicio Del Toro, Alan Ford, Denis Farina, Vinny Jones, Rade Serbedzija and Mike Reid are equally as engaging. With strong characterisation, a wonderfully multi-layered plot, superb urbane direction from Ritchie and some of the funniest moments ever commited to celluloid, 'Snatch' comes highly recommended to all.
The image quality on this release, although hampered to a certain degree by the director's stylistic choices, is very solid for the duration. The continually active audio mix is wonderful and is really worth the upgrade from DVD. The extras portion is strong, with the commentary from Guy Ritchie and Matthew Vaughan (producer) standing as a highlight. This is the best that 'Snatch' has ever looked or sounded and this BD release comes recommended.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £17.95
Our Review Ethos
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.