Mack is almost frightened to see Guy Ritchie’s new movie, Rocknrolla.
Guy Ritchie has a special spot in the Mack’s heart.
After Mack had a vasectomy (gazing over at my three boys, Mack decided: “My work here is done”), I lay in bed pressing a bag of frozen peas to my aching minerals, watching Snatch over and over again, to try to get my mojo back.
It worked. Mack popped out of bed Monday bigger, faster, smarter, meaner, tougher and sexier than ever. If anything, Mack’s mojo was supersized.
Snatch and its predecessor Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels are the ultimate guy-flicks. Don’t talk to Mack Daddy about Judd Apatow and Seth Rogan: the characters they portray are not men, are never men, they’re just big, fat baby boys. “Arrested Development” indeed: that could be the title of every Judd Apatow movie.
Ritchie’s characters are “lean, fit, serious men” (as he describes them in my dog-eared copy of the Snatch script). They aren’t fooling around. Apart from the odd cameo, there are no women in either movie, if you notice. It’s just men: punching each other, shooting each other, gambling, drinking, hitting each other with baseball bats, insulting each other, stabbing each other, trying to rip each other off and screw each other over, paying for things by peeling bills off of huge toilet-roll wads of cash, talking tough and dressing sharpish.
It’s glorious. They are probably Mack’s two favourite movies– because they’re funny, too. They changed not only the face of British cinema, but also the gangster film, and blew just about every other indie film-maker including Quentin Tarantino out of the water.
Also Mack’s heart goes out to Guy Ritchie for being referred to as “Mr. Madonna.” Mrs. Daddy is a TV news reporter/anchor, one of the “queen bees” of her newsroom, and the summer Mack worked as a writer at her TV station many scurrilous journalists referred to the Mack as “Mr. [Her.]”
Totally unfair: Mack had his own career, numerous (well, two) books under my belt and so on and so forth. But in that world and I suppose in the world in general, Ms. Daddy is much more famous and a bigger cheese.
So far. And yes, of course, Madonna is a much bigger and much more fragrant and aromatic cheese than Guy Ritchie. But ladies and gentlemen: in Mack’s view she is not worthy to fill his inkwells. Sure, she’s written a few catchy tunes, and I guess at this point her psychotic workout frenzy has made her body (which Ritchie has described as “like that of a 22-year-old Olympic athlete”) a work of art in and of itself, but I’m sorry a) she’s a freak b) she blows.
Mack has never understood the enormous popularity of Madonna. She seems horrible: humourless, self-obsessed, angry and just awful. Her music is empty, just so much fluff and nonsense, aimed at her natural audience, little Madonna-wannabe bubble-headed tweenies.
Anyway, enough about her, except one last comment that after meeting her my hero, Guy Ritchie, went into a horrible tailspin, artistically.
It was just shocking: all his fans were waiting for his next film, and he makes…Swept Away.
Mack has not the words to describe his feelings while watching this film. I am such a fan of Guy Ritchie’s I actually went to see it. Here and there you were reminded it was actually a Guy Ritchie film, thanks to some clever visual touches, but otherwise…
Never has a fan, I don’t think, been more crushed by disappointment in his hero. Mack almost broke down and wept into his popcorn. It was a portrait of an artist destroyed, defanged, and emasculated, making a gooey puffball of nothingness. Madonna pranced horribly around on the beach and nothing happened, it was awful.
Mack was so crushed I didn’t even check out Revolver, his next film (and I have Snatch memorized), but everyone was so unanimous about that one there was clearly no point.
But all will be forgiven if Rocknrolla rules.
But the reviews are all over the map! Some say it’s a return to form and maybe even his best film yet; others have called it “his third turkey in a row.”
If the truth is somewhere in between, I’ll live. Perhaps his masterpiece lies yet in the future. He’s abundantly talented in so many areas– pacing, camerawork, and particularly writing: he writes wonderful dialogue and the stage instructions aren’t bad either. The Snatch screenplay has repaid several re-readings for the Mack.
He’s only just forty– just entering his prime.
I know it’s a nasty thing to say, but Mack hopes he does divorce that sex-obsessed, cone-breasted disco-diva freakshow (she eats vegetable soup for breakfast, for God’s sake, she’s so obsessed with her body being a temple: but you can’t outrun time, Madge, your only hope is to try to create some work that lasts).
It’ll be sad for him, of course.
But I guarantee his films will improve.