Bruce Willis

“Red 2″

July 27th, 2013 at 10:43 am by under A Look at the Movies

Two_Star

Rated PG-13

2 hours 10 minutes

 Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich

I’m afraid that the sequel to “Red”, the comedy thriller about retired, extremely dangerous ex-government assassins is really showing its age.

“Red 2″ is just a shadow of the original. The comic camaraderie between Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich, who miss their lethal work, just doesn’t seem as charming.

So, they’ve added a new character, Anthony Hopkins as a Lunatic Scientist.

Unfortunately, everyone’s favorite Hannibal Lecter didn’t have his heart in the role. And he just went through the motions in a very forgettable appearance, leaving it up to Bruce Willis to do the heavy lifting. Willis again gets to prove he’s twice as tough as killers half his age.

But the act has worn dangerously thin. John Malkovich seems least effected by the sequel’s decline.

The picture just can’t shake the unmistakable tell-tale signs of warmed over clichés.

They just don’t play half as well as they did originally.

Look, in a movie world dominated by sequels, “Red 2″ ran out of steam faster than most, and for lacking the staying power to keep us entertained, “Red 2″ went the way of most sequels with a disappointing 2 stars.

A generation ago, they’d say the script had tired blood.


“G.I. Joe Retaliation”

April 7th, 2013 at 10:30 am by under A Look at the Movies

Two_StarRated PG-13
1 hour 40 minutes

Dwayne Johnson, Jonathan Pryce, Bruce Willis

Have you noticed that Dwayne Johnson has become the Arnold Schwarzenegger  of this generation? Johnson’s got the bulging Biceps and the limited acting ability to measure up.
Johnson’s in command of the G.I. Joe’s, America’s most elite special forces combat crew.
But an evil presidential impersonator has just stabbed Johnson in the back by maligning the fabled warriors.
For those who don’t take this nonsense too seriously, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” is to be enjoyed for just what it is, sheer, empty-headed nonsense.
Johnson and his crack team of “G.I. Joes” seem to have overdosed on Steroids as they blast their way back into their country’s good graces.
The G.I Joe saga isn’t without its moments of inspired silliness. Here I was worried they’d have trouble working martial arts ninja’s into the plot.
And If you thought there was no way of working in a  Bruce Willis cameo. With the aging action hero worrying about his physical condition, think again.
But It’ll take more than a Bruce Willis cameo to save “G.I Joe: Retaliation”  from being drummed out of the theaters with 2 stars.
Would it have made a difference If Arnold Schwarzenegger also had a cameo. I guess, We’ll never know.


“A Good Day to Die Hard”

February 17th, 2013 at 10:54 am by under A Look at the Movies

Two_StarRated R
1 hour 40 minutes

Starring: Bruce Willis

It’s the 25th anniversary of the Bruce Willis action thriller classic, “Die Hard”.

The fourth sequel, “A Good Day to Die Hard’, is little more than a silly spoof of the original.

Willis comes to the aid of his son, a CIA spy, to rumble with the Russian bad guys in Moscow, where the dialogue is always over the top.

The running joke involves Willis winning the respect of his ingrate of a disrespectful son, who acts as If he’s not familiar with Dad’s back story.

Many of the scenes such as “Shoot the Glass” pay homage to the 1988 original. The father and son repartee carries cool to its most ridiculous extreme.

When junior asks if dad has a plan, Willis replies, we’ll just make it up as we go. And I suspect that’s exactly what the writers did, making it up as they went along. The film’s driven only by the desire to never apply the brakes to the demolition derby action scenes.

There’s always something visually going on to remind us of the original. A bad idea since everything in this woeful retread is strictly inferior. And the characters including the Icon himself are decidedly one dimensional. “A Good Day to Die Hard” is just a shallow shadow of the original. All the action in the world won’t win this sequel anymore than 2 stars. Bruce Willis has made one sequel too many.


“Looper”

October 7th, 2012 at 7:56 pm by under A Look at the Movies

Rated PG-13
1 hour 45 minutes

Starring: Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt

Bruce Willis is on a collision course with a much younger version of himself in the clever time travel thriller “Looper.” A lot of thought went into this futuristic science-fiction yarn, along with a lot of good actors.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an elite assassin who is very good at what he does. Gordon-Levitt’s target just happens to be himself in the person of Willis 30 years into the future.

Willis intentionally puts himself in harm’s way, which only intensifies Gordon-Levitt’s worsening identity crisis. Trying to decipher the mysterious characters who appear along the way helps create the element of intrigue.

What role does Emily Blunt play in this people puzzle of alternate realities? And can Bruce Willis survive being assassinated by the younger version of himself?

You should know that “Looper” doesn’t provide any easy answers to its maze of mystery. The more you get into it, the more complex the picture becomes. The fun is all in the unraveling of this intricate adventure.

For all of it’s mind-bending, “Looper” deserves a cerebral 3 stars. No matter how complicated things become, “Looper” is always entertaining.


“The Cold Light of Day”

September 29th, 2012 at 8:36 pm by under A Look at the Movies

Rated PG-13
1 hour 35 minutes

Staring: Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver, Henry Cavill

I always find that confusing tales of International Intrigue can usually attract an audience, as long as there’s enough shooting and car chases that fill the gaping holes in the story.

Bruce Willis’s family suddenly disappears during a European vacation, and this super secret agent for the CIA owes his son, Henry Cavill can explanation for being such a shadowy character.

Willis beats the living daylights out of anyone who gets in his way. The confused Cavill spends most of the movie in a quandary trying to rescue his family. He’ll discover that renegade agent Sigourney Weaver’s not to be trusted. You can trust your judgment that the shadowy plot involving a top secret missing briefcase is much too confusing.

The action adventure with the exotic Spanish setting plays out as generic as they come. Hardly anything distinguishes “The Cold of the Day” from dozens of other high Octane thrillers, where high speed chases and cliffhanging as no substitutes for cleverness and originality.

So prepare yourself for an action packed hour and a half that never quite convinces you that “The Cold of the Day” deserves more than a lukewarm 2 stars.

You too will give this film a chilly reception.


“The Expendables 2″

September 29th, 2012 at 7:42 pm by under A Look at the Movies

Rated R
1 hour 45 minutes

Staring: Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis

Advancing age has only made “The Expendables” more ruthless and kill crazy. Sylvester Stallone leads his muscular, middle aged mercenaries through the highest body count carnage in action hero history. Just don’t take any of it too seriously and you’ll have a fine time re-living the golden age of big bicep bloodletting.

You know the blood will flow when Bruce Willis gives the Expendables their marching order, to make certain a shipload of mass destructive material doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Since all of the vintage heroes can’t be good guys on the same side, Jean-Claude Van Damme wound up on the side as the snarling, vicious villain.

Considering real life events, the shoot ‘em up in a crowded airport was less tasteful than anticipated.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s in rare form providing comic relief.

“The Expendables 2″ takes a breather only long enough for the action effects team to steal the show. Stallone and friends just aren’t happy unless they’re mowing down the enemy. Either that or winking at the audience by recalling past glories from thirty years ago.

And they’ll be back! There’s still enough life left in “The Expendables” for at least one more sequel. Especially since Becker surrenders to this sequel with three stars.

Which means Stallone and Schwarzenegger for all their wrinkles, aren’t quite ready for their rocking chairs.


“Moonrise Kingdom”

September 29th, 2012 at 5:18 pm by under A Look at the Movies

Rated PG-13
1 hour 35 minutes

Staring: Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Ed Norton

I couldn’t wait to tell you that “Moonrise Kingdom” is such a lovable dark comedy filled with whimsical surprises. Eccentric characters come out of the woodwork when two precocious 12 year old runways shake up the grown ups with their sexual puppy love, without regard for the consequences.

“Moonrise Kingdom” fills the screen with enough one of a kind lunacy to make you realize you’re seeing something special with a style all of its own.

And the casting couldn’t be more off-beat. Imagine Bruce Willis playing it straight as a bumbling small town Police Chief.

“Moonrise Kingdom” is independent whimsy at its best. A total joy where an inventive director like West Anderson can do just as he pleases and actors get to play eccentric roles they wouldn’t find anywhere else. Just ask Frances McDormand and Bill Murray.

“Moonrise Kingdom” will lift your spirits like few other films this year. It’s funny, it’s touching and it’s completely original. Like I said a one of a kind, and in its own way rather daring. What else can I say except let’s give “Moonrise Kingdom” four stars. In many ways this movie is an enchanting experience.