Archives for posts with tag: J.K. Simmons

My cynical take on “Patriots Day” (2016) is movie producer Mark Wahlberg gave movie director Peter Berg money to do what Peter Berg does best, which is to make movie star Mark Wahlberg look like some kind of everyman hero. However, Berg is such a masterful storyteller he makes Wahlberg practically superfluous despite making him ridiculously ubiquitous. Seriously. You could have cut much of Wahlberg’s screen time, reduced the film by 20 minutes and ended up with an indy-style Boston Marathon bombing film instead of an emotionally exploitative, big-budget cliche. Sorry if that makes me a bad American, but it’s true.

It’s tough watching a spy thriller like “The Jackal” (1997) 16 years after it comes out. You lose interest in the ripped-from-yesterday’s-headlines espionage and focus on oddball crap that isn’t central to the plot. Russian mafia, Irish Republican Army, blah, blah, blah. But dude, did you see Jack Black? Bruce Willis totally blows his arm off! It was so gross, yet so cool! And what about Richard Gere’s Irish accent? It’s weird hearing a bad actor sound so awesome. And what about Sidney Poitier’s voice? Does he always sound all Shakespearean like that, even when he’s ordering at the drive-thru?

I feel sorry for the 16-year-old girls who chose to see “The Words” that weekend back in 2012 when “House at the End of the Street” was sold out. (“Let’s just see that thing with Bradley Cooper. OMG! He’s so gorgeous!”) Figuring out this film is a lot harder than any of the politically correct cryptofiction they’re force fed in their high school American lit classes. Hard, but good. It’s a story about a storyteller telling a story about a story. At the end, the movie gives you the finger and sends you off to figure it out for yourself.