Tag Archives: Bruce Willis

Earth Day Cage Match: Al Gore v. James Cameron

5 Nov

Al Gore versus James Cameron in a no holds barred cage match for defender of the Earth.  That’s how you celebrate Earth day.

“Forty years after the first Earth Day, the world is in greater peril than ever.” ! Just imagine the guy from movie trailers reading that in his dark and foreboding voice, while an image of the Earth burns in the background.  Then Al Gore appears, bearded, holding a copy of An Incontinent Truth out over his head like Moses with the Ten Commandments.

Cut to James Cameron smearing Na’vi war paint across his face while that annoying music from Avatar plays in the background. This thing sells itself.

The problem is that the tag-line for this environmentalist battle royale, isn’t as much a commercial slogan as it is the opening sentence to the Earth Day 2012 website.

That kind of dramatic language makes me thing that we’re going to need to call Bruce Willis. This thing is happening now! Somebody get Michael Bay, a spaceship and I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing on their Ipod!

There is of course, one problem. Global climate change isn’t exactly hurtling towards the planet at breakneck speed with only 48 hours to stop it. We’re talking about hundreds of years worth of data to show incremental changes in the normal ebb and flow of the Earth’s climate patterns.  The Earth isn’t in peril, it’s inching towards peril.

Basically, what I’m saying is that environmentalists aren’t wrong, they just need a new PR firm.  The green movement needs to be re-branded as the marathon that it actually is, rather than the short track race environmentalists want it to be for fundraising purposes. Re-branding the movement into a step-by-step approach to reducing our societies impact upon our climate is something I’m pretty sure that vast majority of people can get behind.

The problem is that every time James Cameron ties himself to a damn, (I think you mean dam) there is a large group of folks who just roll their eyes and ignore his point as just another fanatical environmentalist who wants to take my job at the coal mine. That guy needs his job at the coal mine to feed his lower middle class family and to pay his taxes, so he can get his government subsidized health care that won’t drop his pre-existing black lung. I’ve got the black lung pop.

The economy has begun to shift towards a focus on green energy production, but it’s going to take time. Environmentalists need to calm down and dig in for the long haul.  It’s going to take decades to build the necessary scientific infrastructure for more solar panel farms, wind turbines on sky scrapers and replace the 62 million gas powered cars on the road with renewable fuel driven hover-cars.

So how am I going to celebrate Earth Day 2012? By purchasing a drum of crude oil, and pouring it on Al Gore.

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RED: Unfinished Goodness

13 Aug

You really can’t go wrong having Helen Mirren play a machine gun wielding assassin alongside Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich. Add in Weed’s star Mary-Louise Parker and Star Trek’s Karl “Bones” Urban, and you’ve got a movie stew worth boiling.

Based very loosely on the short-run graphic novel by Warren Ellis, Red is the story of Frank Moses (Willis) a retired CIA assassin who has been ordered killed for reasons of national security. For fans of the DC comic- don’t get to attached to the story; screenwriters Erich and Jon Hoeber added a gang of fellow assassins and a subplot of national intrigue to go along with the basic one-man army versus story line.

The film though obeys rule #1 of adapting a previous work into a  movie: stay true to the primary themes of the book, play, TV show, whatever. In this case RED is all about killing. Ostentatious, over the top action that is simply entertaining. Despite the cast this isn’t a deep introspective look at the life of a retired CIA agent trying to cope with the boredom of a normal life, although that is the starting point of the film. However, as soon as the bad guys show up it’s just about kicking ass and taking names.

Basically what I’m saying is that just because Helen “The Queen” Mirren is in it doesn’t mean it’s going to be an Academy Award nominated film. Unless they add an action category. But there is something enjoyable about watching John Malkovich, who plays the LSD mind control experiment gone wrong -Marvin Bogs, hold a giant revolver to a woman he is convinced is following him, all the while grasping tightly to a stuffed pig. It’s just one of those things you never knew was on your cinema bucket list until it happened.

The only problem with seeing the first cut of a film, almost 2 months before its release date, is that it’s very unfinished and clearly missing a few important scenes. The film jumps from Willis’s house in Cleveland being destroyed in a hale of poorly aimed gun fire to Mary-Louise Parker’s apartment half way across the country, where he lays out several aspects of the story that were unexplained in the transition.

Director Robert Schwentke took a Guy Ritchie-esque approach to the shoot-em up scenes that quickly transition into witty banter and plot development. The scenes cut quickly from location to location as Willis attempts to uncover who ordered he and his friends  dead, while keeping Sarah (Parker), the love interest, alive.  One moment Victoria (Mirren) is clipping flowers and making lunch, the next she’s having “girl time” with Sarah (Parker) with a high-tech scope on her M16.

Clearly, some of the fast paced scene movement is part of the intended style and at first you just think you missed something when you looked down at your popcorn.  Then you realize that the crosses in the rear window of the car chase scene are left-overs from the green screen, and it all comes together. But that doesn’t detract from what is on the whole a very entertaining action-comedy flick that is definitely worth looking forward to.

Directed by Robert Schwentke from the script written by Erich and Jon Hoeber, based on the graphic novel by Warren Ellis. Starring: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Mary-Louise Parker, Hellen Mirren, Brian Cox and John Malkovich with appearances by Ernst Borgnine and Richard Dreyfuss. A DC Entertainment production.

The Expendables: The Ocean’s 11 of Action Heros

10 Aug

Bloood, gut and cheesy one liners, the Expendables gives you back the summer action movie. We’re not talking about the Michael “I make things Awesome” Bay explosions and racist robots kind of flick, this is a good old fashion guns and gore killing the bad-guys action movie.

Sylvester Stallone stars as Barney Ross the mercenary whose growing a heart with a lovable band of killers that comprises the “dream team” of action heroes,  including: Jason Statham (The Transporter), Jet Li (Lethal Weapon 4), Mickey Rourke (Iron Man 2), Terry Crews (that guy from all those action movies) and Dolph Lundgren (Rocky IV); with appearances by the two greatest action stars – Bruce “Save the Planet” Willis and Arnold “The Govenator” Schwarzenegger. If that wasn’t enough the supporting cast includes current 4-Time and defending UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture and the WWF legend Stone Cold Steve Austin. The only biceps left out of this august group of screen actors is the man, the myth the legend – Carl Weathers.

At the press showing last night the crowd hooped and hollered at each name of the opening credits, except Terry Crews. But that’s what happens when you spend your career playing “that guy”. Not the main guy, the bad guy or the funny guy, but that background guy. The audience recognizes you right away,  saying “oh it’s that guy”, but they never know your name. Tear.

The absolute great thing about this movie is that everyone knows it’s the Ocean’s 11 for action heroes, so they don’t take themselves, or the movie, to seriously. Stallone and his motley team of black clad, beret wearing, knife throwing, gun slingers basically trot around the world pulling off undo-able military jobs for money. Why are the called the Expendables? They never really explain it or delve into Stallone’s character feelings on being expendable, because everyone is too busy using giant shotguns to blow guard towers up. Just the way we like it.

It’s over the top action that is both graphic and totally ridiculous, but in a fun and entertaining fashion. The fight scenes are long but dotted with quality take downs and knocks, that keep you into the movie and not worrying about the physics of blowing a man’s whole torso backwards. Oh and it’s graphic, very graphic.

The plot, as you would expect, is really just an excuse to gather this group of actors together to kill the bad guys and it’s really not worth going over. Except to say that there is a fascist regime, a pretty girl and a small island nation desperate to be freed from tyrannical and possibly CIA funded mad man. Basically, everything you could ever want from a 90’s action movie.

Stallone wrote and directed the film, but let’s just say this wasn’t the Academy Award winning effort that he put into Rocky. The action is awesome from start to finish, and the dialogue is hammed up to satisfy audiences for there desire for campy one-liners. Example:

Dan Paine (Stone Cold Steve Austin):  Who sent you?
Barney Ross [to the bald Stone Cold]: Your hairdresser!

I mean that kind of witty banter is what separates The Expendables from Matt Damon, George Clooney and Brad Pitt’s quick paced, smart and funny Ocean’s 11; but let’s be honest if you’re looking for a quality plot and dialogue from this group, you’re in the wrong industry. This movie is about things blowing up the old fashion way, with guns and grenades. Not Transformers, or Iron Men the Expendables is about getting back to being a guys-guy and blowing something up with your hands. Like god intended it.

Written, directed and starring Sylvester Stallone. Also starring: Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Terry Crews and Mickey Rourke. Millennium Films. Opens August 13th.

Trailer Thursday: Red

24 Jun

The A-Team, The Expendables and now Red…there is a new genre of movies emerging this summer, the buddy-comedy/team-action film. But this one’s got Helen “The Queen” Mirren with an uzi.

Back in November, aka the safe season for the melanin deficient, I wrote a post extolling the awesomeness of the graphic novel “Red” and how it was set for a film adaptation. See Bruce Willis Kicking Ass post. Now we’ve got our first look at the final product in a trailer that was released earlier this week.

But to review Red is about a retired CIA operative (Willis) fighting his way through a horde of agency assassins. It’s a gritty and graphic short run comic that has a 300 violent flavor, with a classic action hero story line.  Director Robert Schwentke (The Time Travelers Wife) and his writers seem to have taken it in a more comic direction, and after watching the trailer I don’t think anyone will be complaining, but with a cast that includes: Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, and Richard Dreyfuss, how could you?

Check out Red – Bruce Willis Kicking Ass and Taking Names

19 Nov

Imagine the Bourne Identity meets Taken, with Bruce Willis as the Matt Damon – Liam Neeson kick ass and take names character. That is Red.

Based on the Warren Ellis (GI Joe Resolute) written 3 issue comic, grittingly illustrated by Cully Hammer (Mallrats-artwork), Red is a collision of realist violence and good ol’ fashion whoop ass.  Willis will play Paul Moses, a CIA hitman in retirement trying to handle the horrors he’s done in the service of his country. Newly appointed CIA Director, uncast but most likely John C. Rielly (Step Brother), wants to clean house and Moses is at the top of the list. But when the first team of assassins fails, Moses goes Jason Bourne on the CIA, tracking them down and showing them the monster that was asleep for so long.

The story is a little thin, and short, but with alot of room to build on. When you read the comic you get hit with the whole story in under 76 heavily illustrated pages. It’s basic, but effective. Most of the characters are created in the illustrations and through the violence, rather than the see-spot-run dialogue. oh and there is violence, enough to make you think that this should be a  Quentin Tarantino movie.

But this is why you should be excited about Red’s prospects – Morgan Freeman, John C. Reilly, Helen Miren (The Queen), Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws), Brian Cox (The Bourne Supremecy and X-Men 2), Ernst Borgnine (everything for the last 50 years), Julian McMahon (Fantastic Four and Nip/Tuck) and Mary Louise Parker (Weeds) , headed by Bruce Willis under the Direction of Robert Schwentke (The Time Travelers Wife). By my count that’s 4 Oscar winners supporting Die Hard with help from a few Golden Globe/Emmy/Oscar nominees. Not to bad for a comic book adaptation movie, that’s whole premise is violence with more violence wrapped in violence.

The movie is currently pre-production, and is slated to start filming on January 11th, 2010; release date a year from now. I’m not saying that this movie is going to blow the doors off the oscars at all, but it’s probably going to be pretty awesome…but also good. Which is pretty rare these days. You either get Michael Bay’s awesome with a side of Megan Fox; or Daniel Day-Lewis on a four hour journey into depression.  Maybe this time we can just get a good ol’ fashion serving of whoop ass in between slices of quality film making.

Find Red at a comic store near you, if you live in Boston or Massachusetts go to the Comic Stop in Watertown, they are good people there.