Showing posts with label Bruce Willis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bruce Willis. Show all posts

Saturday, 16 February 2013

A Good Day to Die Hard

Twenty-five years since the beginning of the terrific Die Hard trilogy and nearly six years after the quite frankly terrible Die Hard 4.0 (you know, like computers) John McLane (Bruce Willis) is back for a fifth instalment of Dying Hard but not actually ever dying ever. As with a lot of tired, out of ideas sequels, Die Hard 5 takes place outside the US and finds our hero in MosCOW on the trail of his wayward son Jack (Jai Courtney) who he learns is due in a Russian Court on a murder charge. What John doesn’t realise however is that Jack is in fact a CIA Agent, working undercover to protect a political prisoner (Sebastian Koch) who has a highly sensitive file on a high ranking Russian Politician.

A Good Day to Die Hard tries its best to construct a story worthy of the original trilogy and even springs a surprise twist but nothing can mask that fact that this movie is boring. Dull, dull, stare, drive, BOOM!, guns, dull, talk, father-son, dull, driving, radiation, BOOM! BOOM! Hahaha, end. There is an incredibly tortured father-son relationship thing which gets dragged out for far too long and some stuff about Uranium but for the most part Die Hard 5 is just another run of the mill action shooter with far too much money to play with and not enough inventiveness.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Pulp Fiction

Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece of postmodern pulp cinema burst off the screen in 1994. His second Directorial film, it was made for just $8 million but went on to take over $200 million at the box office becoming one of the most financially successful independent films of all time and has since become one of the most critically successful films as well. Nominated for seven Oscars and winning one for Best Original Screenplay, Pulp Fiction has found its place in cinema history as one of the greatest cult films of all time and reinvigorated not only the fortunes of some of its cast but made Hollywood sit up and take notice of small time, independent cinema.

Tarantino often makes use of a non linear storyline but here it is not so much non linear as circular. Pulp Fiction features three interconnecting storylines which are sometimes told from different angles and always out of sequence. The effect is that it builds the story as the film progresses in quite a different way to a traditional narrative but one is never lost of confused. The script is amongst the best if not the best I’ve ever seen and is dense, meandering and full of great dialogue and pop culture references. It is a joy to listen to and the tremendous cast deliver each line with great aplomb.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Die Hard

One of the most iconic action movies from the decade of the action movie, Die Hard made a movie star of TV actor Bruce Willis and has thus far led to three sequels with a forth on the way. A critical hit upon its release and an enduring cult hit, Die Hard has been immortalised in popular culture thanks to its lone hero central character, gritty action and signature quote “Yippie-ki-yay motherfucker!” Even a quarter of a century on I’m able to watch Die Hard with the same joy and enthusiasm as it was first greeted when I was a mere toddler. The story is simple. New York City Cop John McLane (Bruce Willis) is on his way from New York to L.A to be with his estranged family at Christmas. He is dropped off at his wife’s Christmas party in the Nakatomi Plaza building but soon finds the office has been taken hostage by a group of mostly European terrorists lead by the masterfully camp Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman). With just his wits, a vest and handgun, McLane must take back the building, save his wife and save Christmas.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


I was lucky enough to get to a preview screening of Looper a full five days before its UK and USA release and boy was it worth getting in early. Looper is a smart and twisting Science Fiction thriller which plays with the ideas and rules of time travel to create a tense film which leads you down unexpected alleys, confounding your ideas and expectations.

It’s 2042 and in thirty years time travel will be invented. Although immediately outlawed the machines are used by the mob to send people back in time for execution thus destroying all evidence of murder. The people who carry out the killing are called Loopers. One of these Loopers is Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who conducts his job with the utmost professionalism despite a few personal issues. One day though to his shock, he looks up at the tarpaulin ready for the arrival of his next victim when the man who appears in front of him is the older version of himself (Bruce Willis).

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Expendables 2

After battling Central American rebels in the popular but critically mixed 2010 film The Expendables, old school action stars Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture and the gang are back for some more noisy, mad and blood splattering fun as CIA Operative Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) enlists Stallone’s group of Expendables in tracking a downed Chinese plane inside Albania. The plane was carrying a valuable cargo which the CIA want but it is taken by international criminal and arms dealer (and I’m not making this bit up) Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme) and his mercenary group of caricature Albanians. Stallone and his team must try to get to Vilain before the plane’s cargo leads him to some highly combustible merchandise.

Although first film had its fun and crazy moments I wasn’t really a fan. I’ve never been a big action movie guy and don’t really like Stallone. This time though a lot of the problems of the first have diminished slightly and it is improved with a better story, great cameos and improved special effects.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

"What kind of bird are you?"

It’s 1965 and pre teen pen pals, Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Heyward) agree to run away from home and meet up a year after meeting for the first time. While the two of them head off into the wilderness of Suzy’s twelve mile long home island a search party that includes Island Policeman Bruce Willis, Scout leader Edward Norton, Suzy’s parents Bill Murray and Frances McDormand and Sam’s fellow Scouts set about trying to hunt the eloping children down in the days preceding a huge storm.

I should say from the outset that I am a huge Wes Anderson fan and have absolutely loved all of his films with the exception of Fantastic Mr Fox so I went in expecting great things. My expectations were matched and even perhaps exceeded. I loved this film. Anderson sets up Suzy’s home life in a fantastic opening sequence which features some exquisite tracking shots through the family home. Before anything is said it is already obvious to the audience that Suzy is a loner who longs for something bigger, something more. Her parents do not get on and are never even seen in the same room, let alone talking to each other. She has three younger brothers who appear to get along very well. Her house is large and well furnished, indicating wealth if not happiness. All of this is established in one long sequence of beautiful camera movements which last no longer than a couple of minutes. Sam’s life with his Scout troupe is shown in a similar manner although it soon becomes apparent that he has already escaped in search of his love, Suzy.

Friday, 18 May 2012

The Expendables

"First of all, I don't feel comfortable talking business with a giant carrying a shotgun"

The Expendables are a group of mercenaries led by Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) who are sent by CIA Operative ‘Church’ (Bruce Willis) to overthrow a Latin American Dictator, General Garza (David Zayas) who is in reality a puppet of ex-CIA man James Munroe (Eric Roberts). Joining Ross on the mission is ex SAS man Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Martial Art expert Yin Yang (Jet Li), sniper Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), weapons specialist Caesar (Terry Crews) and demolitions expert Toll Road (Randy Couture). The team may be a little long in the tooth but they still pack a punch and the fate of a country is in their hands.

I’ve been watching a lot of 80s films recently so it’s quite apt that I’ve watched this which although made in 2010, is well and truly grounded in the 1980s. Most of its stars made their names in the action movies of the period and they are joined by the action heroes of today. It’s an impressive action movie cast, a bit like a corny version of The Avengers only with fewer superpowers and more muscle.