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Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Willis’

RED –  movie review
RED (2010) is a movie series / vehicle for a number of aging actors (primarily Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker and Brian Cox) to star in a “semi”-comedic action / adventure spy movie (based on a comic book series of the same name).  Cox is a Russian agent.  Mirren is British.  The rest are Americans (mostly CIA).  Parker plays the odd person out.  She is not a former (retired) spy.  She just falls into the series as Willis’ character love interest.  He just wants to see if he could have had a “normal” life.  Parker’s character turns out to be an adventure junkie (as she would be).  “RED” is an acronym for “Retired, Extremely Dangerous”, and is how each of the former spies’ personnel folders are labeled.
In this first movie, the bad guys are trying to kill Willis and his old team because … who really cares?  Blah, blah, blah…  Humor, gunfights, explosions and car chases later, the bad guy is killed and everyone lives happily ever after.  Well, all except for Morgan Freeman, who gets shot dead.  Yeah, he was former CIA too.  Apparently, his death didn’t really count for the series because they make a point of telling us that he’s due to die from kidney disease in 90 days.  This way, they don’t have to draw straws later in a suicide mission moment.
Does the movie work and is it entertaining?  Yes and yes.  The movie is basically, “Die Hard” with a team, so it’s hardly a stretching role for Willis, but he’s okay with it and, as a fan, I’m willing to buy into it too.  The best character in the movie is Malkovich as the paranoid / crazy ex-spy.  He knocks it out of the park and pretty much steals all of his scenes.  All in all, final recommendation: strong recommendation.
RED 2 – movie review
RED 2 (2013) more or less takes up where the first movie ended.  Plot: more guys trying to kill Willis.  The team gets back together to locate and destroy a nuclear weapon placed in Moscow a couple of decades ago.  Once again, blah, blah, blah…  Humor, gunfights, explosions and car chases later, the bad guy is killed and everyone lives happily ever after.   Yes, there is the minor “thing” of a nuclear explosion just outside of London, but details, details…  Oh, yeah.  Did I mention this device was a “red mercury” warhead?  I guess somebody was a “new” Star Trek Nero (the bad guy / Romulan Captain) fan and they borrowed some of his “red matter”.
Again, does the movie work and is it entertaining?  Yes and yes.  The movie is basically, “Die Hard“(ish) with a team, so it’s hardly a stretching role for Willis, but he’s okay with it and, as a fan, I’m willing to buy into it too.  The best character in the movie is Malkovich as the paranoid / crazy ex-spy.  He knocks it out of the park and pretty much steals all of his scenes.  This time, Mirren is a much closer second best.  All in all, final recommendation: strong recommendation.  (And, yes I know that was a “cut-n-paste” from above, but, hey, the movie was too.)  Still, like I said, “Strong Recommendation”.  I am a fan of the genre and of the actors, so I’ll probably like numbers 3 and 4 too, when they finally come out.
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On This Day In:
2015 Cities
2014 Still
2013 Dare = Hope
2012 Check My Math
2011 Just Asking

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This review is for the fifth edition of the “Die Hard” series, titled: “A Good Day To Die Hard“, which should have been sub-titled:  “How my son and I shot-up and blew-up large pieces of Russia and lived to talk about it.”  Full disclosure: I am a Bruce Willis fan and I am the owner of the four previous movies in this series – so, I am completely un-biased.  Yeah, right!
Just to bring everyone up to date: one and two – wife in danger, kill bad-guys, blow stuff up; three – NYC in danger, hang around with some random black guy (co-star Samuel L. Jackson), kill bad-guys, blow stuff up; four – daughter in danger (and country, too) – kill bad-guys, blow stuff up.  Which brings us to this episode (5): son (Jai Courtney) in danger…  I’ll let you guess the rest.
Assuming you have little or no knowledge of the frailty of the human body or can set aside all reason – this is a terrific movie which follows the format to the “T”.  In this case, you know what you’re getting when you buy your ticket and Bruce delivers.  AND I am well known for being able to set aside all reason when watching this series.  Final recommendation:  Highly Recommended!
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On This Day In:
2013 Honest Doubt
2012 Choice
2011 Ownership Of Thought

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This week, I watched two movies – one old (on DVD) and one new (at the theater).  The old one was Die Hard #4: (officially) “Live Free Or Die Hard” (2007).  The new one was “Lincoln” (2012).
DH4 is the latest Bruce Willis super-cop fights terrorist bad-guys movie.  Basically, it follows the tried and true genre which DH1 (1988) created: lots of action, people in danger, lots of gunfire, lots of explosions (even fake explosions) and, of course, the indestructible “John McClane” (Willis).  Now, some will dispute my assertion that DH1 “created” the genre – leaning towards “Lethal Weapon” (1987) as the start of the genre.  I’d say you have a valid argument, but to me, LW is more of buddy cop movie, than the lone cop against the whole terrorist gang.  Now the interesting thing is that DH4 is not strictly a lone cop movie any more (okay, DH3 wasn’t either).  McClane gains an unwilling partner, but it’s still basically Willis against the whole gang.
DH4 is much better than DH2 and DH3, mostly because it has moments of humor which make it a much more entertaining movie.  It’s not simply a string of explosions and shoot-em-ups (but it is mostly that, so you get your monies worth of bang).  Anyway, I admit to watching this movie and DH1 every couple of years and they are both terrific.  Actually, all four are very good films and well worth watching repeatedly if you enjoy this genre (and I do).  So, highly recommended!
The second film, “Lincoln“, I went to see with my oldest daughter, Rebecca.  She lives away from home, now, so I don’t get to spend as much time with Rebecca as I would like and usually when we are together, we’re talking politics.  I think we were both looking forward to seeing this movie because of our mutual interest in history and politics.  The movie is about the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in Congress just before the end of the American Civil War.  Now in all honesty, despite Abraham Lincoln being one of my favorite Presidents, I knew almost nothing about the passage of this Amendment.  This is the Amendment abolishing slavery in the United States.
The movie is a fairly typical Steven Spielberg direction / production – in other words – excellent!  The music, the pacing, the color, the imagery, the attention to period detail are all superb.  It seems highly probable to me that “Lincoln“, Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln) will all be getting Oscar nominations and probably win.  I haven’t seen many great roles this year (or that many movies), but Day-Lewis is a lock (in my book) for the Best Actor nomination and award.
I found the vitriol in the House of Representatives to be amusing and interesting and certainly shed new insight into politics in our own life and times.  I also enjoyed the moments of humor, like when an exasperated cabinet member shouts, “Please, not another one of your stories!
If there are any criticisms of the movie, it’s that the movie ends predictably with the Amendments passage and with Lincoln’s assassination.  I guess there’s not much to be done about that though, as the movie is based on actual history and the Amendment did pass and the President was killed.  I guess Lincoln could have become a vampire slayer or something…  Nah!  Nobody would believe that.  (Or pay to go see it.)
In conclusion, this is one of the most enjoyable / educational movies I’ve seen in some time.  I walked away with even more respect for Abraham Lincoln.  Highly recommended!!
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