Tag Archive: Bruce Willis

good day to die hard 2Please put up with me with this review, to me Die Hard could be a classic franchise, the studio just needs to step up and make it a classic instead of just making average attempts to make action movies. I love John McClane and I love Bruce Willis. Frankly I enjoy pretty much every movie in the franchise, problem is the movies are sliding towards average instead of awesome. This is the fourth sequel to Die Hard and somehow they still just can’t get it right. Now I’ll give them credit this film is a lot more fun than the last attempt. The plot is rather simple, John’s son Jack is a covert CIA operative. They have not spoken in a long time but when John hears that Jack has been arrested in Moscow he takes a flight over to Russia to save him. John has no idea his son is wrapped up with some bad people and when bad guys attack the Russian court house Jack is being tried in, John gets wrapped up in his sons mission. The plot is fine, and there is a twist towards the end that is actually pretty fun, problem is it never really feels like a Die Hard movie and it’s over before you know it.

Now the first Die Hard is one of the best movies of all time, no debate necessary here it just is. John McClane is perfect but the one thing they really got right was the location and the bad guys. Hans Gruber of course is a classic villain, but the thing people don’t realize is that his henchmen stood out too. You knew every single one of them. They each looked different most even had a line or two. The sequels have never realized that this is an important factor. In A Good Day to Die Hard John McClane cuts through henchmen, most are wearing face masks so you never even connect with them. They have turned Die Hard into a video game. Just the lead shooting down endless, faceless bad guys.

Die Hard 2 gets hated on because the plot kind of mimics the first, frankly that’s what should happen. I want Die Hard to go back to its roots. I want bad guys taking things over, not McClane running around a city blowing shit up. DH2 had a simple plot really, rogue military douche bags take over an airport. They got a lot right more than they got wrong. As time goes on I think people have noticed that it’s the best sequel.

Die Hard 3 or Die Hard with a Vengeance took things in a different direction. They made McClane a mess, hinted at him being a racist, then when the city is rocked by a terrorist named Simon, McClane runs around the city and finds out it’s not about terrorism it’s about money as usual. This movies problem is the script was originally written as a stand alone action film, not a Die Hard sequel. So the movie never really feels right. McClane is too angry, he kills a man who is begging him not to fire in German. The bad guys were almost too sympathetic, they went out of their way not to kill people. The movie just never made any sense really and never had the punch the last two did.

Years later we got Live Free or Die Hard, which was rated PG-13 and it just never set things right. It had the pieces to be good, his daughter was involved, he teamed up with a super geek. Problem was the rating never let McClane be his character. They also had terrible villains. I didn’t mind an uber geek being the main villain, but the choice of having his gun men be French mercenaries never made any sense. It sucked really.  The main villain should have had ruthless assholes at his side, men we would learn to hate, not men we could careless about. They also went into video game territory as McClane faced off with a fighter jet. None of it felt right even though if done a little differently it could have really worked.

A Good Day to Die Hard gets a lot more right than wrong. Jai Courtney is really great as Jack and he works well with Bruce Willis. The action is violent and there is a very fun(and long) car chase that just works. I don’t want to give away much about the plot but the stand out is that the villains are terrible. This is because they never have any solid amount of screen time. Hans Gruber dominated the screen. These villains have no real back ground and don’t do enough for us to even really get to hate them. It feels like they are close to making a good Die Hard film. Is this movie fun? Hell yes, and it’s much better than the last one. Still though it’s too short and still doesn’t feel like a Die Hard movie.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Movie Review: Looper

In the future where time travel exists but it is only used by criminals, a hitman from a crime syndicate is hired to kill people from the future. Problem is that the crime lords in the future of course don’t want witnesses. So when your job is finished you must kill your future self, that way you close the loop. So these killers are called Loopers, get it?

This review will be really simple and I’ll try and not spoil anything too much. Anything can happen though so I will give this warning… SPOILERS! This film is one of the strongest science fiction films to come out in a long time. Hell it is one of the strongest films to come out this decade. I like it so much because time travel can be a tricky thing to work with but this film just gives an explanation and allows the audience to either buy it or not. Sure there are elements from other films like Terminator but this movie dives so deeply into directions you won’t expect that it caught be my surprise.

Acting wise the film brings the goods. Joseph Gordon Levitt brings it almost anytime he’s on screen but this is his best performance to date. He allowed make up use to change his face to make his look a little closer to Bruce Willis. Speaking of him this is his best work in a long time. Willis is a tortured sole and is brutal, he’s not really a hero at all in this film and it really caught me off guard. Emily Blunt shows up late in the film but I barely recognized her. Her accent is gone and she instantly made me believe she was an out doors farmer girl.

The film is beautiful and a scary look at the future. Nothing is very pretty, I believe we see Kansas City in 2044 and essentially everyone looks to be in a depression. Criminals high roll around the city on hover bikes and carry around high powered pistols and shot guns. The film isn’t as action oriented as the trailers would make you believe, don’t get me wrong there is a decent amount of gun play. The film does slow down several times though, which I enjoyed. My only complaint about the movie is there is a kid that shows up later on and is an important plot point. This child is freaky and speaks like an adult, I hate this in movies and I really disliked it here. Still that wasn’t enough for me to toss away how much in love I was with the rest of the film.

I avoided speaking about the plot and a lot of details for a reason, I kept myself in the dark when seeing this. I was blown away and I feel like you should go through this same experience. See it in the theaters. It’s a movie you’ll either love or hate but will love to discuss this I promise you.

Rating: 9/10

We all know what we’re getting here, if you go into this movie expecting a deep plot, great character turns and stunning dialogue, then I have no idea what you’re thinking. This movie is jammed packed with 80’s and 90’s action heroes with an action movie to thin you can drop a pin through it. If you love explosions, guys getting shot, people getting stabbed and truck load of one liners, then you should see this movie right now. The first Expendables was odd since it was a promise of 1980’s goodness and never really delivered. Half the guys on the team didn’t make sense and the villains sucked. Here that all changes and everything is kicked up to another level where the movie literally never stops to take a breath. It’s an action movie through and through.

The plot is real simple, Barney Ross(Sylvester Stallone) and his team of bad asses are sent in by a CIA agent named Mr. Church(Bruce Willis) to find a shot down airplane. They are made to bring a Chinese agent, Maggie(Nan Yu) with them to Albania. Once they arrive and find the plane they are ambushed by Jean Vilain(Jean-Claude Van Damme)… Yes his name is Vilain. After Vilain murders one of their team members and is off to find 6 tons of Soviet hidden plutonium the team tries to track him down to get revenge. From then on the movie is simply pure carnage and nothing more. The body count rivals any action movie you’ve ever seen.

Now the movie’s plot is not dense. As they add heroes like Arnold and Willis and even Chuck Norris, no one really gets a lot of screen time. One of the best moments is actually between Sly and new add on Chris Hemsworth who many will remember from The Hunger Games. They have several scenes that really work as a surrogate father and son moment. Really though the star of this movie is JCVD who really steals every scene he’s in. I’m sure he had to put his ego aside to play the villain here but he’s obviously having fun. The fight between him and Sly is so classic that it’s worth the price of admission alone.

The films main problem is just too many people in it. Arnold comes and goes so fast you can barely enjoy him hamming it up. Mostly everyone shows up to drop one liners and shoot a couple guys. The action has no weight to it what so ever. It’s like a video game. Still visually it’s a lot of fun and you will get smiles from at least some of the jokes. Jason Statham is regulated to side-kick again but his fight scenes are the best. His show down with a JCVD henchman played by Scott Adkins and the fight is a stand out. In the end the movie is just a really long shoot out. You know what you’re getting throughout but I will say I had more fun this time around than I did with the first.

Rating: 7/10

We know the title now, silly or not, you decide the film is called A Good Day to Die Hard. Rumor the plot is that Bruce Willis has to fly to Russia to bail his son out of jail, kid must be into some serious nonsense over there. Then while they are there a terrorist attack wraps them both into the conspiracy. Well now the rumors are flying on who will play the son. I will say who I want to play him is Justin Timberlake… I know most guys will have knee jerk reaction to that, but personally I think he could play a young man with a hard edge to him. After seeing “In Time” I think he could pull it off. His name isn’t really being mentioned. The leader right now is Liam Hemsworth who recently was in the film “The Last Song” and is a large charming guy and I’m sure he could pull off the role. Other names being dropped are Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad and James Badge Dale. The final name is D.J. Cotrona who I’ve never really seen before is also a finalist. I’m excited for this movie. I liked Live Free or Die Hard, but the film kind of lost its way. Die Hard films don’t need to be big and over the top. The first and even second Die Hard movies were kept in closed in locations. I’m hoping a Good Day to Die Hard will only be set in a Russian jail or something cool like that.

I’m down for more Die Hard, frankly I think the first film is a hands down classic. The other three sequels and just solid action films. I’d rather they start working on the fifth film sooner rather than later. Bruce Willis is becoming a very busy man with a second RED film on the way and his role in the second Expendables is set to be much larger. So lock him up quick for one or hell make two more Die Hard films. A new rumor has another relative of Hans Gruber come after our favorite detective. If you don’t remember Hans Gruber was the German baddie from first film. His brother Simon was the bad guy in the third film Die Hard: With a Vengeance. I don’t know how I feel about another Gruber villain coming around. I mean is Bruce Willis really going to wipe out an entire generation of a family? I guess the negative reaction to Live Free or Die Hard has made producers go back to basics. Problem is I didn’t mind the fourth movie, I liked what they did with it. Sure they hit us over the head with the “old school vs. new school” over tones but still. I think I’d rather see a new terrorist group or villain threaten our guy and his family. I think it’s obvious they should bring back Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Justin Long back and might as well give us something new instead of another Gruber family member. Oh well as long as I get more Die Hard I won’t be so picky about the villain.

RED was hands down one of the biggest surprises this year. The movie was pretty solid with action and humor. What surprised me is what a big hit it was. People really liked the idea of old spies kicking ass again. The movie just hung around the top ten in the box office for so long. So it doesn’t surprise me that Summit studios is pushing for another film. Hopefully with an even bigger budget the movie can really go crazy with the plot and we can have some serious fun. RED also proved that action movies, if done right still have a major place in movies, it doesn’t always have to be block busters and kids movies. This film also proved a point for me that Bruce Willis needs to keep doing Die Hard films. The idea of doing prequels to the Die Hard franchise makes me sick. Screw that Willis can still beat terrorist ass. Just look how cool he was in this movie.

Late Movie Review: RED

Bruce Willis plays Frank Moses a retired assassin living a pretty boring life. He rips up his social security checks just to call the support line to chat up a beautiful woman played Mary-Louise Parker. Then suddenly his life becomes way more interesting when a “WET team” shows up and tries to kill him. Basically the “WET team” is a CIA hit squad. Knowing who they are Moses tracks down his long distance flirt and basically kidnaps her. From there he tracks down his old team mates, starting with the charming Morgan Freeman playing Joe and John Malkovich who plays an insane man named John Malkovich… I mean Marvin. Then later they find Helen Mirren who plays the awesome bad ass named Victoria. They are being tracked by unknown forces one of those being the amazing Karl Urban who after Star Trek can do no wrong in my eyes.

The film is essentially very basic, a bunch of spies being tracked down, so they piece together who wants them dead. Where this movie makes its mark is how amazingly charming it is. The movie is down right funny, Willis here seems to have new life. The movie mixes action with witty dialogue and frankly the balance could have easily gone wrong but here it doesn’t. The actors here just fluid work well and they just come off as old friends. The one performance that stands out to me is Malkovich who had a string of bad movie performances(Jonah Hex anyone?) but really threw every punch here and had me laughing pretty constantly.  Along with that the film is rated PG-13 but you don’t notice it. Some action films try so hard to work with the lower rating that it comes off badly and sometimes ruins the vibe of the film. Here you can never tell what rating the film has.

My only problem with the film is the lack of a real villain, sure some emerge towards the end but no villain stands out. Fun action movies like this give you liberties to have over the top bad guys. Look at The Losers that came out this year. A funny action film where the villain was so over the top bad but it just worked because the film didn’t take itself too seriously. RED is a different film of course but an over the top villain could have worked here, the lack of one doesn’t really hurt the film just the end lacks a punch because the villain kind of just pops up. Still RED hits a bullseye on almost every level, also nice to see an action film with actual adults in it and not teens trying to act adult. Also a breath of fresh air seeing Bruce Willis being back in action. I hope he sticks with this and if there is a Die Hard 5 I want this Willis to return.

Rating: 7.5/10