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Quinn + Tonik Vol. 74: A Rogues Gallery

Quinn + Tonik Vol. 74: A Rogues Gallery

First published to our newsletter recipients on March 3, 2019
This week Elon Musk successfully launched another leg of his quest for Mars. Big Pharma finally woke up to our microbiome and how important it is to health. Now they are lobbying to turn what is free into a regulated drug only they can sell. And some bright spark reported that if you can do 40 pushups in your twenties you probably won't die of a heart attack in the next decade.
While on the topic of life expectancy we decided now was an opportune moment to make a casual list of some of our favorite gangster movies. Sometimes they even dress well (gangsters that is.)


noun: gangster; plural noun: gangsters
a member of a gang of violent criminals.
"gangsters threatened to kill him if he did not cooperate in the theft"
synonyms:hoodlum, racketeer, bandit, robber, ruffian, thug, tough, desperado, outlaw, villain, lawbreaker, criminal;
In any event, we suggest you start at the bottom and mix yourself a cocktail, then settle in to read and ponder this week's installment of your Q+T.
Have suggestions for us? Please give us a shout...


going gangster: our list

We prefer to make love not war. But as a wise man once said, never take a knife to a gunfight. So it's always good to study and learn. So that you will never enter a battle you haven't already won.
The list below is not exhaustive. And misses out many obvious classics: The Godfather, Scarface, Legend, etc, etc. We deliberately chose things which may not be on your radar. So as to enhance and broaden rather than reinforce your knowledge.
Click on each title for the link.
Get Carter: When you're a London gangster and your brother goes missing up north of course you don't believe the story you are told about his untimely death. Tonik mohair suits, shooters, and some classic lines..."You're a big man, but you're in bad shape. With me it's a full time job. Now behave yourself."
Un Prophet: The US has the Italian mafia. France has crazy Corsicans. And a race problem with its ex-colonies. Mix the two in a pen and watch as a Malik learns from a master Corsican gangster. Some call this the French Godfather. As Cesar says, "I'm going to ask a favor of you, not because you work for me, but because I trust you. Understand the difference?"
Gangster Number OnePaul Bettany and Malcolm McDowell. Suits. Cocktails. Axe murders. All in a day's work in becoming Gangster Number One. "One day I'll catch up with you. You want a war? I'll give you a fucking war one arm tied behind me back. I'll shoot you - blow you to kingdom come. They'll need a dustpan and brush to scrape you off the walls. Make mincemeat out of ya. Pie and mash, puddles of blood."
Mesrine: Killer InstinctBy 2 November 1979, following his 20-year career of bank robberies, murders and kidnappings in six countries and three continents, four prison escapes, two compelling books and a dozen self-dramatising press interviews, the French state had had quite enough of Jacques René Mesrine. But this movie tells how this true story began...not how it ended. Our Metropolitan sunglasses were not inspired by this movie (and existed long before) but if you like how Vincent Cassel looks in his, you can get some here.
Layer Cake:  Before he was Bond, Daniel Craig was a cocaine dealing businessman learning the truths of life..."You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake son."
The Italian JobIt baffles us that no one has made a prequel to this spot of genius. Charlie Croker gets out of prison and while renewing his wardrobe and catching up with old friends gets a tip-off for a job that could make his name. The Italian Job. As he says himself, "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!"
Sexy Beast"Retired? Fuck off, you're revolting. Look at your suntan, it's leather, it's like leather man, your skin. We could make a fucking suitcase out of you. Like a crocodile, fat crocodile, fat bastard. You look like fucking Idi Amin, you know what I mean? Stay here? You should be ashamed of yourself."
Ronin"Forty-seven samurai, whose master was betrayed and killed by another lord. They became ronin - masterless samurai - disgraced by another man's treachery. For three years they plotted, pretending to be thieves, mercenaries, even madmen - that I didn't have time to do - and then one night they struck, slipping into the castle of their lord's betrayer and killing him." And also the best movie car chase since Bullet. In the south of France.
Oldboy: You've been kidnapped and jailed for 15 years with no explanation or reason. You are let out. You have five days to find out who your persecutor is. "Revenge is good for your health, but pain will find you again."
The Man From NowhereWhen a drug and organ ring pick up an innocuous orphan things start to implode quickly once her quiet next door neighbor decides there is no more time for Mr Nice Guy. As he says, "People like you live only for tomorrow. People like you get fucked up by the people living for today. I live for today."
City Of God: It was like a message from God: "Honesty doesn't pay, sucker." So said Rocket, the kid who grew up to photograph the gangland warfare and drug cartels of Rio de Janeiro's favelas. Based on his true story. And a gritty one at that.
Jerusalema: Baron Rothschild is credited with saying that "the time to buy is when there's blood in the streets." But when street urchins use their ill gotten gains to do the same people tend to get upset. Even if they are cleaning up urban decay. Based on the true story of Lucky Kunene on the streets of Johannesburg.
Eastern Promises: "Your uncle is fine, he is in Edinburgh, in a 5-Star Hotel. I was ordered to send him to Heaven with a bullet in his brain... instead I gave him a first class ticket to Scotland. He is old-school, he understands things... exile or death." Russian gangsters. Tattoos. And double crosses galore.


gangster accessories: the litany

We would like to think you are all gentlemen. But rogues also. Well mannered. Polite. Groomed in etiquette, custom and form. Able to sit at table and know which cutlery to start with. How to sabre a bottle of Champagne. Drink a martini or three. Drive fast. Make love slow. And generally win the game.
We're available to assist in all matters of manliness and wardrobe. From drinks recommendations, to where to take a date, and magic codes to open secret doors.
Make an appointment to come see us to discuss your spring wardrobe. And where to go in it. We may still have a trick or two up our sleeves.




cocktail: scotch

Hard times call for hard drinks. And although uisge beatha is the refined gentleman's short drink of choice, it also packs a punch. Sometimes fulled with life giving polyphenols as well as ethanol.
Our recent favorite has been Northstar. Needless to say our friend Nicolas Palazzi turned us on to this.
Get a rocks glass. Pour some into it. With or without ice. Inhale. Repeat as necessary.
Bottoms Up!

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