Archives for posts with tag: Bruce Willis

In this fun, action-packed movie, Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, and John Malkovich are ex-covert government agents/assassins who are Retired and Extremely Dangerous.  Willis, happily retired in some nondescript, white bread neighborhood, finds himself the target for termination.   He crisscrosses the U.S. with his new girlfriend in tow (played by Mary-Louise Parker) trying to find out who is trying to kill him, and why.  Along the way, Willis enlists the help of fellow RED agents Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich (who I think steals the show with his terrific portrayal of the rightfully paranoid ex-agent).

One of my memorable, movie moments of “RED” is the scene when Richard Dreyfuss is tied up and being questioned by the RED members.  Malkovich already has clear plastic wrapped over his suit in preparation of the messy and painful interview should Dreyfuss remain uncooperative.  On top of that, Willis and Malkovich remove interrogation tools from a bag and discuss various body parts that they will use it on!  Ha ha!   If I was in the hot seat and saw all that, I would’ve admitted to anything you wanted, including shooting JFK, being an alien/human hybrid that will one day take over Earth, liking Justin Bieber…whatever you say, just don’t use those tools on my testicles!

Top prize for my most memorable, movie moment of “RED” is the scene when government agent Karl Urban — sent out to capture Willis — crashes his SUV into Willis’ stolen police car; and as the police car is spinning around, Willis steps out of his vehicle with his gun already drawn and starts firing at Urban as he walks forward and avoids getting hit by his stolen, spinning vehicle.   Willis goes from prey to predator in a split second, and this is the most jaw dropping moment of the movie.   You may want to replay this scene a few times when you get to it.

“RED” is a definite must buy on Blu-ray Disc when it goes down to $10 or below, as it is a fine example of the action/comedy hybrid genre, and loaded with some of Hollywood’s top talents.   Enjoy.

M

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Bruce Willis plays a tough cop in Pittsburgh.  Pittsburgh?  Huh?  Why are we there?  My guess is that the director — Rowdy Herrington — lives there.   So what haunts Willis in Pittsburgh?  For starters, his fellow cops hate him because he ratted out his partner/cousin, played by Robert Pastorelli.  Pastorelli has anger issues — I know, very strange for a cop — and he has put a suspect in a coma after a beat down.   Now Pastorelli is on trial for the beat down, and the main witness is Willis.   As if all this wasn’t enough, there’s a serial killer strangling women, then tossing them in the water bound in rope and a blanket (Willis thinks it’s an oink).  Plus, Pastorelli’s father is a high-ranking cop, and Pastorelli’s brother is a beat cop. The alcoholic beverage industry must make a killing off these characters.

Soon after “Striking Distance” starts, Pastorelli’s character commits suicide by jumping off a bridge.  The body is never found.  2 years later, Willis is working with the River Rescue police department; and he’s given a hot partner, played by Sarah Jessica Parker (before she physically hardened up for “Sex and the City” and started looking equine).   Parker falls for Willis, even initiating the first moves.  Hey, I get it.  All hot chicks go for middle-aged, balding, mentally anguished alcoholics.

The Willis/Parker romance gets strained when bodies of women start appearing in the water.  The victims are bound in rope and a blanket, but they are shot instead of strangled.  Oh, all the new victims are women Willis has had sex with.  For those thinking they know who the killer is, hold up.  Did I mention that Pastorelli’s ex-cop brother has disappeared for 2 years, and is now back in the city; and he also has violent tendencies, and used to blame Willis for Pastorelli’s suicide?  Did I also mention Pastorelli’s father framed another criminal for the strangulation murders, and seems to not want to entertain the idea that the real serial killer could be a cop?

Memorable, movie moments are hard to find in “Striking Distance.”   But I have to choose at least one, and so…my most memorable, movie moment of “Striking Distance” is the opening sequence when we see a toy, radio controlled, police cruiser moving about on a floor.  The toy vehicle looks very realistic, and I was thinking if engine sounds were added to the soundtrack, and certain camera angles were used, and the motion was slowed down a bit, the toy could pass for the real thing.  That’s the ex-indie filmmaker in me: always looking for ways to do a shot on the cheap.   Yup, that’s my most memorable, movie moment of this movie.  Not the acting, not some action scene, or dialogue that hits you hard in your soul…but a toy car.

“Striking Distance” is a decent suspense/thriller/action flick that you won’t feel upset about if you never watch it.  On the other hand, if you do watch it, you won’t feel upset about devoting 102 minutes of your life to this movie, either.  Kind of like eating a can of spaghetti and meatballs: you’d rather eat something better, but that can did fill your belly a bit; and now that it’s over, you move on and never give a thought about that can of noodles/ketchup/mechanically separated meat stuff anymore.

What comes to mind though, are all those radio controlled, toy cars my parents bought me when I was a child.   How cheap and simple and entertaining they were!  And all suffered from hair spooling up on the axles, eventually binding and overheating the motors.  As I write this, I feel like taking a drive to Toys R Us to treat myself to a more upscale, radio controlled car with a real, working suspension, and drive it on my cement backyard and driveway.  I love going to Toys R Us as an adult and being able to buy whatever I want, while I watch the snot-infested, rug rats have to beg their parents to buy them their toys!

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That’s me and my puppy back in the 90s.  See the radio controlled car in the lower, right hand corner?

M

God damn, I like this movie!   Most of my favorite, action stars of the 70s, 80s and 90s in one, big, loud, bloody movie!  What Stallone did for the first movie was a minor miracle; doing it again is just plain magic.  For those of you who make fun of Stallone and think he’s this big idiot, you’re wrong.  After seeing the making of documentary of “The Expendables” and “Rambo,” I highly respect this man as a director, producer, actor, artist, and human being.  He deserves all the success he has and will continue to get.

In “The Expendables 2,” we lose Mickey Rourke, but we get Jean-Claude Van Damme!   And yes, he still can’t act!  We get Chuck Norris.  And yes, he still has the charisma of a $4.99 plank of wood at Home Depot!  Who cares, they are both in the same movie with Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Arnold, and Bruce Willis!  Anyone growing up in the 80s watching these masters of destruction knows the relevance and improbability of all these men being in the same movie.  And I should just end my review here, as what I wrote should be enough to take your butts to the theater to watch this man movie.

But for those of you lacking testosterone, for those of you who still drink Zima, for those of you who think a broken down, old Honda Civic with a huge rear wing and fart can exhaust is cool, maybe a bit more explanation is needed before you ask your parents for money so you can pay for the ticket to see “The Expendables 2.”  Okay.  In this movie, the Expendables are forced to retrieve information that’s in a safe that’s in a plane that was shot down in some third world, European country.  Van Damme, playing the lead bad guy, robs the information from the Expendables; but he makes the mistake of leaving the Expendables alive — well, most of them.  Of course, the Expendables want some payback; and they are joined by Willis and Arnold to beat the hell out of Van Damme so bad that he might just start speaking English well.

It pains me to say that the first movie is better.  I know it’s rare for a sequel to be better than its predecessor; but I was hoping this would be one of the rare exceptions, if only for the bragging rights and financial boon to the aging, action heroes.   It’s still a very good, extremely entertaining movie.  Just not as awesome as the first.  Why?   I think it was the final action sequence, which was huge.  It seemed to me a bit unfocused.  It was also devolving into cartoon violence when Willis, Arnold, and Norris were in the shots.  You just knew those guys weren’t going to be in danger at all, whereas in “The Expendables” you didn’t know who was going to make it out alive.  The editing and unarmed combat was also better in the first movie.  Better how?  They were faster.  But I understand that most of these men are in their 50s and 60s.   You can’t keep running forever.

My most memorable movie moment in “The Expendables 2” is the scene where Stallone tells Liam Hemsworth (the youngest Expendable) to take point up a hill.  Hemsworth, carrying a large caliber, sniper rifle weighing maybe 50 pounds, runs up the hill like it was nothing.  The older Expendables stop and watch Hemsworth, amazed and slightly envious of the young man’s speed and energy.

Old age comes to us all…if we’re lucky.

M

 

 

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