Friday, July 4, 2014

The Directors Project: #41 - Guy Ritchie

Scene from Cinema Paradiso
With the many lists and essays written on the subject of film, there has been one thing that The Oscar Buzz has tried to understand: Who is my favorite of the film world? For 10 weeks this summer, I will be exploring this with a countdown of the Top 50 names based on a numerical ranking of ratings from various sources, the following is a list of directors who rank above everyone else. With occasional upsets, this is intended as both a discussion opener as well as a better understanding of me as a film critic and fan. Please enjoy and leave any comments you have regarding the entry's selection.


Years Active: 1995-present

Films as Director: 7

Oscar Wins: 0

Who: One of the most exciting and interesting British directors to reach prominence in the early 00's. After making his debut with Lock, Stock, and Two Smokign Barrels (which also gave us Jason Statham), he has gone on to make a phenomenal career out of stylized violence and energetic, fluid British slang. His films may at times rely more heavily on style than substance, but he has an enviable eye that makes this an excusable act. He is really good at forming ensembles and his films often have really iconic uses of soundtrack. Even if he has moved away from compelling, unique gangster films towards more franchise heavy flicks, he still manages to pack them with wit and power in ways that reflect a keen eye for fun and a voice that cannot be tampered no matter what the subject matter actually is. He may have a few duds to his name, but he continues to do interesting things, which alone makes him an exciting voice.

Scene from Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels
-- Snatch (2000) --

Flickchart Ranking: #201 (700 points)
IMDb Rating: 6/10 (60 points)
Perks: None
Total: 760 points

-- Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) --

Flickchart Ranking: #287 (650 points)
IMDb Rating: 7/10 (70 points)
Perks: None
Total: 720 points

-- Rocknrolla (2008) --

Flickchart Ranking: #445 (500 points)
IMDb Rating: 7/10 (70 points)
Perks: None
Total: 570 points

-- Sherlock Holmes (2009) --

Flickchart Ranking: #543 (450 points)
IMDb Rating: 6/10 (60 points)
Perks: None
Total: 510 points

-- Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) --

Flickchart Ranking: #987 (50 points)
IMDb Rating: 4/10 (40 points)
Perks: None
Total: 90 points


Scene from RockNRolla
While I have grown weary of his work on Sherlock Holmes, I do find that his style is something that is pure unadulterated fun. For the most part, his gangster films remain some of the most enjoyable, quotable films of the decade and with his brisk pacing, he is able to keep things consistently interesting. Most of all, his ability to form a great ensemble has allowed some actors to take on challenging roles and has even helped to launch some careers. While his more recent work is a little less interesting, he does have a kinetic style that keeps me coming back to him each and every time. Full of wit and fun, few directors have made films as purely enjoyable as Ritchie has and it is only a shame that he doesn't do it more often.

UP NEXT: The ultimate shocker of the list is someone who has made a career out of making blockbusters that have pushed technology forward and created iconic box office spectacle.

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