Archives for posts with tag: Jonathan Pryce

At the end of “Ronin” (1998), spy/hitman/something-or-other Jean Reno becomes narrator and utters, “no questions and no answers.” Well, I have questions and would like some answers. If anyone other than John Frankenheimer had directed, could a post-Cold War espionage flick starring Robert De Niro have possibly been as pointless and opaque? And what is Frankenheimer’s obsession with assassination attempts at big events? And how do you have a seemingly endless car chase through Paris and encounter only one cop? There’s willing suspension of disbelief and then there’s willful ignorance of reality. Is that what was in the secret case?

People who only know Whoopi Goldberg as the old black lady that runs her mouth on talk shows are missing out on the fact that she was once a pretty good actress. A prime example is how she rescues the dopey “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and turns it into a halfway decent, escapist romantic comedy. A great example of making chicken salad out of chicken poop (or as Whoopi would say, motherfucking chicken poop). The plot involves spies, lonely women and a 1986 version of instant messaging that will make you feel really old if you remember computers with green screens.

It is sooo trite to refer to a movie that takes place in 19th century London as “jolly good,” but “Hysteria” (2012) is. It really is. I’d also like to say it’s one of those “they don’t make movies like that anymore” kind of movies, as if there was a whole genre of movies about vibrators (well, there is actually, but that’s not the point). It’s a romantic comedy hiding inside a period piece on wacko medical advancements in the late 1800s. You see the climax coming (pun intended) from a mile away. Maggie Gyllenhaal is in it. Jolly good!