If you want to make an omelette, the saying goes, first you have to make a remarkably unexceptional non-starter featuring Whoopi Goldberg as a tech whiz embroiled in an espionage scandal. Apparently people actually like Jumpin’ Jack Flash, judging by the surprising number of nostalgia-fueled pieces about Whoopi’s young comedy days, but apart from an amusement with her indomitable ‘tude I can’t imagine why. You can just watch The View if you’re into Whoopi’s ‘tude, right? Unless you prefer a different kind of supporting cast, essentially one made up not of has-beens but of not-yets.
One such not-yet was behind the camera in the form of Penny Marshall, one day destined to direct the likes of Big, Awakenings, A League of Their Own and more alongside her numerous TV credits. Jack Flash is the transition piece from the Laverne & Shirley days (she was Laverne) and also serves as her first real foray into feature filmmaking. As is the case with many such transitions, Jack Flash is really only noteworthy in a retrospective review of a one-day-great director. Another Happy Days-related alum leaps to mind in the form of Ron Howard, who would find great success behind the camera but not before making his first movie Grand Theft Auto.
Continue reading Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1986)
Like this season’s third episode “Maybe Tomorrow“, “Church in Ruins” did something important: it peeked out, briefly and with clear purpose, and tried to put forth something that we’d never seen from the series before. This is essentially the equivalent of inching the shower curtain open just enough to reach your arm through to grab your towel before the cold air comes rushing in — again: brief, purposeful, a foray into something different characterized with intent on avoiding that something different. I could continue to over-convolute this line of thinking, but, hey, if you’re entertainments of the more Byzantine variety, I give you True Detective.
“Maybe Tomorrow” was packed with humor, and it was the type of humor that ‘Tec had never engaged in until that point. “Church in Ruins” was a milestone of sorts, too, but far more difficult to pin down. Yes, there are way more going-ons in Season 2 as compared with Season 1 — cadres of tough-looking supporting characters in slim-fit suits, piles of dead bodies with/without eyes, hooker parties, gambling addictions, custody battles, missing blue diamonds, etc. etc. etc. You’d be forgiven for rewatching an episode or two out of confusion. But, really, the confusion one might have felt after “Church in Ruins” likely had nothing to do with what just happened and more to do with the weird way in which it all went down.
Continue reading True Detective 2.6 – “Church in Ruins”