47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lies, Cons And The Case
Ronin is, in my opinion, is John Frankenheimer's best film - even picked up a few awards along the way. Robert De Nero's take on Sam is excellent, and even Sean Bean does well in this, as the crazy gun toting Spence. The star of the movie has to be Natascha McElhone as Deirdre; desperate to get that case no matter what. Was really pleased to see Jean Reno in this, his...
Published on 13 Mar. 2008 by DL Productions UK
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great film but poor blu-ray
Ronin is one of my all time favourite films. I decided to replace my dvd copy with the blu-ray. Big mistake. I can't see any improvement in picture quality over the dvd. And the special features are inferior, lacking the 'making of' documentary.
If you don't have it, buy it by all means, it is a great film. But if you are thinking of upgrading from dvd I...
Published on 20 Oct. 2010 by Majick
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless,
I bought this DVD just because I wanted the film in the right ratio compared to when it's shown on television. Its average price is a fiver now but it's well worth it to have a 70s throwback of an action film with great car chases and other action and where the motivations of these lead characters aren't laboured over 45 extra minutes than the film requires.
It was great in the cinema and I'm glad I finally own it, though like another reviewer said, where did those ten years go?!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...If You Don't Mind...I'm Gonna Pass Out Now...",
This review is from: Ronin [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
For the first 20 minutes of John Frankenheimer's 1998 brilliant chase movie, you look at the BLU RAY box and wonder where the hell is the improvement? At the time they made it, they weren't of course thinking about future formats and their picture quality exposing limitations - they were just thinking about getting the mood right and setting up the plot. Filmed in a dark alley and then a dim French cafe at night, and staying there for quite a while - the opening clarity isn't great and I find that the BLU RAY format only accentuates this - the deficiencies of indoor lighting. But once you get to the daytime scenes that follow, then the fabulous city locations after that and especially to the close-up shots of the actor's faces, things improve dramatically.
And like that other genius caper movie of the Nineties "The Usual Suspects", not only could you not pay for such a stunning and diverse cast now - "Ronin" has admirably stood the test of time. It bears repeated viewing which of course makes it ideal BLU RAY replacement-fodder.
For the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed the picture improvements - Nastasha McElhone's gorgeously huge eyes - De Niro's mole - Jean Reno's stubble - Sean Bean's sweaty brow - it's all there and amplified. And those fantastic car-chases that "Bourne" surely aped... There's even an unintentionally funny moment when Stellan Skarsgard is in his car with a gun and silencer about to trade the silver case to some dodgy type - you can see the lipstick accentuating his lips - its looks comical. And then that famous De Niro scene where he instructs Michael Lonsdale and Jean Reno to surgically remove a Teflon-laced bullet from his stomach without anaesthetic so he can remain conscious throughout and direct them properly - is just priceless (the title of this review is the dialogue De Niro speaks after the operation is over).
But as other reviewers have noted, the big let down is the lack of extras - and especially the absence of the startling brutal alternative ending where Natasha McElhone's Belfast character 'Deirdre' is involved - it's missing - and many thought it a better ending than the one used in cinema's.
And worse than that - there's no insights? I mean if ever a film deserved commentaries and a more than a few making-of features - then it's "Ronin".
Still - a great film - now visually improved - and as wicked a movie as you remember it.
Despite its bare-bones presentation - it's recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent action thriller,
It's been a while since I last watched this and it was just as good as I remembered it. This is a top notch action thriller. A team of freelancers with different talents is put together and tasked with retrieving a case. As can be expected from a thriller things go pear shaped quite quickly.
The film does everything right, De Niro and Jean Reno work well together and pretty much steal the show, but everyone else does a good job in support. The weak link is Sean Bean, but he does provide some light relief.
The story unfolds at a good pace with some interesting twists and turns along the way. The action may be occasional and brief, but as with the rest of the film is well done. It also features one of the classic car chases in film through the streets of Paris.
It's also nice to see something like this not on the streets of a US city, it changes the dynamics quite a bit. The streets are narrow making for tighter action, the blend of nationalities also plays into the story.
This ranks as one of my favourite action thrillers and stills stands out in its genre.
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything short of seppuku,
Ronin (1998) is a first-rate thriller and not just nothing but a collection of car-chases as one reviewer felt. There ARE three car chases and the third one, set in Paris, is probably the best anyone's likely to see on film. The direction by John Frankenheimer is superb, the script tight, the photography and editing good and the `macguffin', as Hitchcock called the basic point of the story, in the form of a case is most intriguing. Certainly in the hunt for that case mayhem is inflicted on humans and cars alike. There's a whole series of twists, right up to end, as who's doing what to whom and why constantly alters.
De Niro has one of his best roles as Sam and the ever-reliable Jean Reno excels himself. Natascha MacElhone was new to me but proves to be both beautiful and a good actress. As for the roles of the villains, who tumble out one after another to play their part in this mad hunt for the case, they are all well-acted (especially Stellan Skarsgard and Jonathan Pryce).
All in all `Ronin' deserves 5 stars. And as for what's in that case? Find out for yourself.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars cars guns and a briefcase...what more could you want?,
This review is from: Ronin (Two Disc Special Edition) [DVD]  (DVD)
anyone out there looking for a pure "action" film in every sense of the word will be more than mpressed with Ronin - the latest addition to my DVD collection.
Ronin is the story of 5 freelance killers, who are mysteriously employed to obtain a briefcase before it is sold to "The Russians"
fast paced, and well executed from the start, this film did a lot for me and would be the perfect accompanyment to any night when there is bugger-all on the telly.
DeNiro delivers a typically slick performance to go along with another from Jean Reno, which confirms what already knew - he is one of the best actors in the world.
i must say i was dissapointed with Sean Bean's character, not because of hs acting (which was brilliant) but with his character. Being English i took a little bit of offense at the insinuation that an ex-SAS soldier could be so inept, but maybe that was just me. i am afterall used to seeing Bean in roles such as Sharp from the TV series of the same name, so it seems wrong for him to be such a snivveling coward. if you have never seen Bean in any other role (have you been living in a cardboard box behind marks and spencer?) then you would never know his "action man" past; he performs so well in hs role in Ronin. it just goes to show that he is a talented and adaptive actor.
the highlight of the film is it's beautiful carchase in and around Paris.
all in all Ronin s a solid action thriller. it loses something in the plot and a few details seem to be skipped over quickly but this makes the film fast paced and action packed.
the 2 hours will pass all too quickly
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good thriller,
Only two big negatives. Sean Bean appeared (negative), but along with his equally useless character disappeared early on (positive). Before he spoke, I was scared we were going to have our ears assaulted by a YorkshIrish accent, but this we were saved from. Second, linking the ending to the surrender of Northern Ireland to the IRA.
However, to make up for that, an enjoyable plot, with a few twists and turns, but nowhere near as complex as has been made out.
Excellent, taut direction.
Great performances, particularly by Robert De Niro- clearly enjoying himself hugely- and the always engaging Jean Reno. Good work by Jonathan Pryce and everyone else.
Some of the best of relatively recent car chases, although a few too many pyrotechnics in the last major chase. Great scenery. De Niro's first wounding was hardly a convincing piece of ballistics, but nothing unusual for the genre.
Overall, a good, exciting movie. Well worth a watch.
5.0 out of 5 stars What's in the case?,
John Frankenheimer has been responsible for some great films; and this is one of them. The plot, set in France, concerns Deirdre (Natascha McElhone) who recruits and orchestrates a group of mercenaries in order to obtain a mysterious suitcase. The group includes Sam (Robert De Niro), Vincent (Jean Reno), and the rather sinister Gregor (Stellen Skarsgård). The cowardly Spence (Sean Bean) who unwisely purports to have been a member of the SAS is unmasked by De Niro, who really should have been advised that the headquarters of the SAS is pronounced Hereford and not, as he put it, `Heerford'.
But that's a small glitch; the action is non-stop and the impressive car-chase sequences are expertly coordinated by Jean-Claude Lagniez.
Be warned: the film's ending leaves lots of questions. Make up your own mind about the answers, sit back and enjoy a couple of hours of action-packed entertainment.
5.0 out of 5 stars Twenty five times,
I reckon I have seen this 25 times by now ... still working out what the scheme is, so it must be good, Skipp is excellent, Jean superb so I got another with him in it but French and the cost of some are out of my range for entertainment, brilliant production, lapses a little, the incoming De Niro and the outgoing Reno on the steps. Robert does his usual superb cool dude, Sean is as ever Sean to the best as with Sharpe, again which the wife loved the TV series, Jonathan Pryce is the terrible Seamus well acted, sneaky, I liked Sergei and Mikhi gives you the shivers and Stellan Skarsgård stunningly effective as the clever Gregor. Pity they all got shot but the UK spy chief at the end rounds it off well. I never heard of Natascha but did see her at an event before I saw the film, another dreadful portrayal of the IRA women. So I shall Carry on watching it for the next 25 times. Great scenery and angles.
5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy DVD - one of the Best,
By A Customer
This film suits Robert de Niro perfectly. He plays it spot on, not under or over-acted, although I'm not sure about the end of the 'bullet extraction' scene where he decides to pass out. The rest of the cast is also good. Sean Bean annoyed me intensly the first time I watched it but once I understood what his charecter was it made watching it easier. The action sequences and car chases were excellent. The suspense was well done (such as the gun meet alone the banks of the Seine)and the camera work was brilliant. Good extras on the disk too. The only down point was Jonathon Pryce as the baddie. I wasn't totally convinced and did think he hammed it up a little but this may just be because of the laid-back acting of the other main charecters. Had it a week and watched it two and a half times already.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars GOOD BASIC MOBILE,
If you just want to make calls and send texts then this phone fits the bill but reception can be poor - tends to break up when making calls in areas with not very good reception - Maybe good first time mobile for children, as cheap as chips.
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Ronin (Two Disc Special Edition) [DVD]  by John Frankenheimer (DVD - 2004)
Used & New from: £0.64