Tag Archives: bruce willis

A Good Day to Die Hard

Bruce Willis is back as John McClane in A Good Day to Die Hard, the fifth (and most unnecessary) entry of the Die Hard series. This time McClane is in Moscow to save his son who has been incarcerated in a Russian prison. It turns out that his son is an undercover CIA agent and McClane’s arrival has blown the mission. Needless to say, hijinks ensue. I won’t even discus the plot because the whole story is stupid. It starts stupid, it ends stupid, and everything that happens in between is stupid. The characters are stupid. The action scenes are stupid. The dialog is stupid. There is nothing good about this movie. It’s terrible and I hated every minute of it.

Die Hard is a great movie. A Good Day to Die Hard is a travesty. John McClane is boring in this film. It seems like Bruce Willis only did it for the paycheck. You can tell within the first ten minutes that it sucks, but you slog through it hoping that Bruce Willis will do something badass. He doesn’t. Jai Courtney is horribly miscast as Jack McClane. Sebastian Koch plays the villain and he pales in comparison to previous villains Alan Rickman and Jeremy Irons. Villains shouldn’t be forgettable and Koch definitely is. I’d rather stick my dick in a blender than watch this movie again.

Critically Rated at 4/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young


1 Comment

Filed under Entertainment

Planet Terror

            Planet Terror is a 2007 Robert Rodriguez movie and one half of the double feature experience known as Grindhouse. Now when I say that it’s a Robert Rodriguez movie, I really mean that it’s a Robert Rodriguez movie. He wrote it, he directed it, he co-edited it, he produced it, he did the cinematography, and he even scored it. That’s about as hands on as you can get in Hollywood. It’s a glorified B movie about zombies and a stripper with a machine gun leg.

Rose McGowan stars as a stripper named Cherry Darling and Freddy Rodriguez plays her ex-boyfriend, the mysterious El Wray. They bump into each other on a quiet night in a rural Texas town. Things don’t stay quiet for long. A deadly biochemical gas is released at a nearby military base and it’s turning the townspeople into zombies. It’s your classic zombie movie, complete with a ragtag group of survivors doing battle with the undead.

There’s a great supporting cast including Josh Brolin, Bruce Willis, Fergie, Marley Shelton, Naveen Andrews, Michael Biehn, Jeff Fahey, and Quentin Tarantino. The look of the film is pretty unique. They scratched the film to make it look aged and more like a ‘70s flick. At one point there’s a “missing reel” and the film jumps from a steamy sex scene to all hell breaking loose. Suddenly there are more survivors, more zombies, and shit’s on fire. They jumped from the second act straight into the climax and it still works.

I remember watching Grindhouse in the theater. It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had at the cinema. It had two movies from two of my favorite directors for the price of one ticket, and there were also bonus trailers for fake movies (some of which were so awesome that they turned them into real movies, like Machete). I felt like I went back in time. Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof is pretty decent, but Planet Terror is more entertaining and fun.

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

Sin City (film)

There are quite a few movies based on comic books, but Sin City takes it to a new level. It is a comic, but they used actors and Hollywood effects instead of paper to tell the story. Robert Rodriquez and Frank Miller co-directed this film translation of Miller’s Sin City and convert the comic into a cinematic masterpiece. This movie has it all: violence, nudity, honest cops, corrupt cops, hitmen, hitwomen, prostitutes, criminals, clergymen, and pedophiles. You probably wouldn’t want to watch it with your mom.

The movie starts with a mysterious lady (Marley Shelton) on a balcony overlooking the city skyline. She’s approached by a smooth-talking guy (Josh Hartnett), and they have a casually nuanced conversation, which ends with the guy shooting her. It turns out that he was a hitman and it’s implied that she hired him to kill herself. It was an indirect suicide. Welcome to Sin City.

The next story is about a cop on the verge of retirement trying to solve one last case. Hartigan (Bruce Willis), is pushing sixty and has a bum ticker, but he’s not gonna let a little heart problem stop him from rescuing the kidnapped Nancy Callahan. Nick Stahl plays the pedophilic perpetrator. He is a member of the powerful Roark family, and his corrupt senator father keeps the cops off his back. That doesn’t stop Hartigan from going after him and shooting his dick off. Hartigan almost dies, but Nancy lives. He reasons that it’s a fair trade.

The film jumps over to tell Marv’s tale next. Marv (Mickey Rourke) is a brute, a beast, a gladiator, and ugly as hell. A beautiful and sexy whore named Blondie (Jaime King) is in trouble and sleeps with Marv for protection. He wakes up to find her dead, and he is framed for her murder. He has to find out who killed Goldie and why. He begins following the trail and finds out that Cardinal Roark is involved. The Roark family sure gets around. Suffice to say, Marv kills a lot of people and avenges Goldie’s death.

Marv Sin City

Clive Owen headlines the next segment. He plays Dwight, a do-gooder who gets himself involved in a war between the Old Town prostitutes and the mob. Jackie Boy (Benicio del Toro) hits Brittany Murphy and makes her cry. Dwight decides he doesn’t like that and he doesn’t like Jackie Boy. So he follows him to make sure that he doesn’t hit any more girls. Jackie Boy goes to Old Town where the prostitutes are and pulls out a gun when his charms don’t get a girl into his car. The prostitutes kill Jackie Boy and then they find out that he’s a cop. The prostitutes freak out because a dead cop means that the truce between the cops and whores would end and then the mob could wage war for Old Town. Dwight has to get rid of the body before that happens. And he does.

Next we return to check in on Hartigan. It’s about eight years later and Hartigan has been stuck in jail, framed for kidnapping and raping Nancy Callahan. He finally gets out and goes to make sure that Nancy is safe. Not only is she safe, she’s Jessica Alba now, and she’s a stripper, and she’s totally in love with him. The only downside is that Roark Junior is back, and so is his dick, and now he’s yellow and smells like shit. This time Hartigan might be too old to stop him. He’s not though, and he kills that yellow bastard and saves Nancy’s life again. Then he shoots himself in the head so no more Roarks will go after Nancy. He dies, but Nancy lives. He reasons that it’s a fair trade.

Hartigan and Nancy

The last part of the movie deals with Alexis Bledel’s character getting shot by Josh Hartnett’s hitman. The movie comes full circle and you are anxious for the sequel. It should come out in 2013. That’s been way too long.

The movie is in black and white except for what they choose to show in color. Everything that is depicted in color is shown in color for a reason. Sometimes it is a siren illuminating the character, sometimes their eye color is highlighted, and it always important. Everything that is in color is significant. You just have to figure out why.

Sin City is the ultimate comic book movie. It is one of the first films that depicts truly and tastefully what a comic book translation is capable of. This isn’t a movie, it is a comic come to life.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

The Fifth Element

The Fifth Element is a cult sci-fi classic starring Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, and Chris Tucker. French director Luc Besson started writing the script when he was still in high school, so the film is a bit of a passion project and you can see the love and attention to detail despite all the plot holes and action flick clichés. Seriously, how many times does Bruce Willis have to save the day?

Every 5000 years, the Great Evil comes to destroy life, because that’s what you do when you are evil. There’s only one way to destroy the Great Evil, and that a collection of four magic stones that represent the four elements: Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water. When you combine the four elements with the Fifth Element you unleash the Divine Light that defeats the Great Evil. Obviously.

Bruce Willis plays Korben Dallas, a down-on-his-luck cab driver and former soldier who lives in New York City in the year 2263. One day a half naked chick falls into his cab and he decides to help her out for some reason. The half naked chick calls herself Leeloo (played by Milla Jovovich). Not only is she described as a perfect being, she also happens to be the Fifth Element and the only thing that can save our planet. Dallas takes Leeloo to Priest Cornelius (Ian Holm), a guardian of sorts who knows all about the Fifth Element and how to save the world.

A group of evil shape shifting aliens known as the Mangalores are working with a wealthy industrialist named Zorg (Gary Oldman). Zorg is working for the Great Evil and they are after the four stones. Zorg and the Mangalores have a minor disagreement that results in the Mangalores also trying to get the stones for themselves. The stones have been left under the care of a famous blue alien singer named Diva Plavalaguna.

Dallas gets recruited by the military to try to save the world. He and Leeloo win a rigged contest to go to a Diva concert. They get to hang out with Chris Tucker, and they also get attacked by the Mangalores, I can’t decide which is worse. But Dallas ends up with the stones.

The Great Evil unleashes a giant fireball towards Earth and Dallas and the Priest and Leeloo must find out how to use the stones and unleash the power of the Fifth Element. Of course they save the day and disaster is averted. And then Leeloo and Dallas have sex in tube in front of the President and a bunch of scientists. It might be one of the best endings of all time.

Luc Besson created a unique world that is instantly recognizable. Yeah, there are aliens and spaceships and flying cars and unrecognizable technology, but they also showcase how Korben Dallas lives. He lives in a tiny cramped apartment, but the space is utilized brilliantly. His bed slides into the wall. His shower and closet come down from the ceiling. He smokes cigarettes with super long filters. The technology doesn’t seem that far out of reach, it seems obtainable and practical.

The world seems realistic, but some characters are absurdly outlandish. Gary Oldman is a great character actor, but his performance as Zorg is off-putting. He uses a ridiculous accent and you can’t take him seriously. Chris Tucker plays the annoying D.J.  Ruby Rhod. His character is a cartoon. An annoying cartoon that has no place in an action/sci-fi flick. He has little to no effect on the plot; he just serves as comic relief. But you don’t need comic relief in an action/sci-fi flick. There’s also that reoccurring and unfunny bit with Korben’s mom constantly calling and complaining to him. The less said about that the better.

The special effects are decent for the time, but they use body suits for the Mangalores and other alien species and it looks cheesy. Mangalores should be intimidating; instead they look like cheap Halloween costumes.

This isn’t the best sci-fi movie, but you should see it. It’s a little bit different than most blockbusters. It’s not a Hollywood movie. It was made in France with a French crew and French director… so when you see it you can pretend like you’re cultured and are watching a foreign film. They made a sequel to this movie called The Sixth Sense, and that film moved the franchise into the supernatural realm. It’s a very different movie in a lot of ways; it’s hard to say which one is better. But both are required viewing to be a film buff.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

Pulp Fiction

There are a few ways that men prove they are men. We light fires. We memorize sports statistics. And we quote Pulp Fiction. Quentin Tarantino is movie nerd and you can tell that he knows how to make a great film. He might lift things from obscure movies, but he has his own style and voice and he makes movies that you can watch over and over again.

The movie is non linear. There are three main stories that are somewhat self-contained, but certain events and characters are common in all the segments. The film starts with Pumpkin (Tim Roth) and Honey Bunny (Amanda Plummer) staging a robbery in a restaurant, before it jumps into the first story about Vincent Vega (John Travolta). Vincent and his partner Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) are two hit men working for Marcellus Wallace (Ving Rhames). Vincent and Jules make casual conversation before they kill off Brett, some fool who owes Marcellus Wallace money. Later Vincent has to take Marcellus Wallace’s wife out to dinner and keep her company. Vincent and Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) go to Jack Rabbit Slim’s, a ‘50s style diner and enter a dance contest and they win. They have chemistry, but there’s no way that Vincent can act on it. While Vincent is talking to himself in the bathroom, Mia finds his heroin, assumes that it’s coke, and overdoses. Vincent manages to save her life and his own in the process.

The next segment is about Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis), an aging boxer who agrees to throw a fight for Marcellus Wallace. He then bets on himself to win and beats the other boxer to death. Now he’s a rich man but has to get out of town before Marcellus Wallace finds him. His girlfriend forgets to pack his gold watch, and the sentimental value is through the roof, so he has to go back to get it. He gets his watch and nearly gets away, but he runs into Marcellus Wallace and they have one of those savage street fights where you end up trapped in a pawnshop by two sadistic rapists and their pet gimp. While Marcellus is getting some unwanted attention, Butch manages to escape, but comes back to save Marcellus from getting more raped.

The last part is about Jules, and the film jumps back to Vincent and Jules shooting Brett. After the kill him, a guy that was hidden in the bathroom jumps out and unloads his gun at Vincent and Jules but doesn’t hit anything. Random fact of the day: the guy that was hiding in the bathroom is Alexis Arquette, better known as the tranny Arquette. Jules is convinced that it was a miracle he didn’t get shot. And then Vincent shoots Marvin in the face and they have do deal with that. They have to get off the road and get cleaned up. And then they get breakfast.

They get breakfast at the same restaurant that you see in the beginning, and sure enough Honey Bunny and Pumpkin are robbing the place and the movie comes full circle.

This movie requires repeated viewings. It is just so dense, and the stories are so interwoven and integrated that you will always note something new. Not only will you notice previously neglected details, but also you will be able to absorb the dialog. The dialog flows like poetry. Christopher Walken’s cameo is his best monolog on film. Harvey Keitel stands out as the Wolf and has some great lines.

The soundtrack is amazing. Tarantino has a gift for choosing the perfect song to suit the scene. He doesn’t resort to using cheesy pop hits by popular artists, and that’s why the soundtrack still holds up today.

This is a great movie. It’s a cult classic and it inspired a bunch of copycat movies. Tarantino makes movies for movie nerds. He steals stuff from other movies and doesn’t hide it or deny it. And even though he takes stuff, he still personalizes it and makes it his own. He has his own style from copying from multiple genres and it works. He makes great movies, and if Pulp Fiction is a respectable favorite movie to have.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment