ACTOR - Bruce Willis
[on Hudson Hawk (1991)] I always thought it was a little ahead of its time, a little too hip for the room.
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The First Deadly Sin 1980, R)
The Verdict 1982, R)
The Return of Bruno 1988, Unrated)
Blind Date 1987, PG-13)
There are moments where you can see Blake Edwards greatness but these are far and few between. Maybe the 80's was to blame as some how I can see this working in the 70's and with a completely different cast. The problem is that although the premise isn't bad, it gets completely out of control and it needed to be a lot more subtle. He's great at slapstick but Blake Edwards needed to get the script to a much higher level for it to have worked, that and the fact that the romance between the two characters is never evident or believable.
Sunset 1988, R)
Die Hard 1988, R)
The original ?Man in a vest kicks ass? action movie. The difference with this film is that unlike action movies of its kind that came before, Bruce Willis wasn?t a muscle-bound moron with no acting abilities. He was a just a nice guy with a good sense of humour. Classic action movie from the 80?s and great stuff.
In Country 1989, R)
Look Who's Talking 1989, PG-13)
Die Hard 2 1990, R)
Look Who's Talking, Too 1990, PG-13)
The Bonfire of the Vanities 1990, R)
Mortal Thoughts 1991, R)
Hudson Hawk 1991, R)
Billy Bathgate 1991, R)
The Last Boy Scout 1991, R)
I think it is somewhat unfair to just pass this off as another dumb fun shoot em' up. It's script is brilliant, Shane Black is a brilliant writer too, and this film is very funny but it certainly doesn't lack the all important occasional (and appropriate) exploding head here and there, the balance is perfect. A real dark comedy posing as an action film and Lots of good fun, my favourite Tony Scott along side True Romance.
Death Becomes Her 1992, PG-13)
National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1 1993, PG-13)
Striking Distance 1993, R)
Pulp Fiction 1994, R)
I've said it before but Quentin Tarantino is a thief. That said this is a very enjoyable swag bag and there is no mistaking his enthusiasm, energy and most importantly, his influence. He got a lot of people to pick up a camera with his impact in the early 90's which has done cinema a lot of good. I hate the script though, something he's always congratulated on but I can't understand. It's too inane to be cool, I enjoy the realism (His characters go to the bathroom, whoo hoo!) but his scripts are just awful. And so the love hate relationship continues..
North 1994, PG)
Color of Night 1994, R)
Nobody's Fool 1994, R)
Die Hard 3: With a Vengeance 1995, R)
This is my favourite of the 4 Die Hard films. The introduction of Samuel L. Jackson as a side-kick gave the film another dimension. I also liked the way John McClane was not longer trapped in one place like in the two previous films, here he really gets to spread his wings across New York, albeit with a headache. Good clean fun.
Four Rooms 1996, R)
Twelve Monkeys (12 Monkeys) 1995, R)
Bruno the Kid: The Animated Movie 1996, Unrated)
Last Man Standing 1996, R)
Beavis and Butt-Head Do America 1996, PG-13)
The Fifth Element 1997, PG-13)
The fifth Elements is to Besson, as Metropolis is to Fritz Lang with a bit of Scott's Blade Runner thrown in for good measure. Although it's definitely influenced by the two films, Besson has made a truly original futuristic film with the Fifth Element that, with the exception of Chris Tucker, is a near perfect action/adventure film.
The Jackal 1997, R)
Mercury Rising 1998, R)
This film starts with a clever premise and could have been an intelligent thriller but ends up being boring, formulaic and dumb. I feel the question of 'Who is the real good guy' could have been explored more intelligently as the subject of collateral damage is raised, typically, the bad guy/good guy is an asshole and gets kicked off a building. Are American courts empty?
Armageddon 1998, PG-13)
The Siege 1998, R)
Breakfast of Champions 1999, R)
The Sixth Sense 1999, PG-13)
The Story of Us 1999, R)
The Whole Nine Yards 2000, R)
The Kid 2000, PG)
Unbreakable 2000, PG-13)
Bandits 2001, PG-13)
Barry Levinson used to be a good director, I think Bandits was the beginning of his demise. Visually it's a good film, the story is solid and the editing is rather clever, it just lacks direction. The acting is not great, in fact the performances are really bad and quite annoying and the supporting cast are just plain awful. A real wasted opportunity I feel and definitely one to cross off the CV for everyone associated!
Hart's War 2002, R)
Hart's War really burdens itself with sentimentality and trying to tell too many stories at once. The performances are all good, as are the intentions I'm sure, but the situation and story just doesn't work, add in the court room element, the who done it and the race issue, it just comes across as a contrived mess. There is enough there to enjoy but it is very difficult to take too seriously, which is a shame and a bit awkward, given the setting.
Grand Champion 2002, G)
Tears of the Sun 2003, R)
Rugrats Go Wild 2003, PG)
Charlie's Angels - Full Throttle 2003, PG-13)
The Whole Ten Yards 2003, PG-13)
Ocean's Twelve 2004, PG-13)
Hostage 2005, R)
Sin City 2005, R)
Alpha Dog 2007, R)
I hated this film immensely. The characters are very unlikable, I guess they're meant to be but without a protagonist or anyone to get behind it becomes a tiresome wait for the end credits. I know it is unfair to compere someone to their parents when they're parents were so successful but I'm going to anyway because I really think Nick Cassavetes is cashing in on the family name. He's roped in all his Dad's mates for starters - all are horrible in his films because he can't direct (or write) for toffee. The direction on this film is horrible. I think Ben Foster probably came out best in this mess but over acting is at least acting. If I could unwatch any film it would be this one. No redeeming features. Don't get me started on Sharon Stones fat suit...
Lucky Number Slevin 2006, R)
16 Blocks 2006, PG-13)
Over the Hedge 2006, PG)
Fast Food Nation 2006, R)
The Astronaut Farmer 2006, PG)
Grindhouse 2007, R)
What a great idea, make two films back to back in the old grindhouse style. It could have been awful but luckily it wasn't, its very good! The fake trailers were very well done although Rob Zombie's effort is a bit weak compared to the others. I'd love to see Machete made into a real film! I think Planet Terror is much better for being cut down in its original print than the extended release but i think, and it looks as if I'm the only one, that Death Proof is much better in its extended version. Still, they could have both been extras on the DVD, why the producers decided to separate these films is a mystery to me, dumbass producers!
I think this film suffers from being separated from its intended twin as part of the Grindhouse experience. Although i enjoyed Planet terror, it is no way near as good as some of the films it tries to mock. Still, there are some original ideas here that I have to applaud, its just a shame that the years coolest poster turns out to be for the years most disappointing film! (Not the worst, just the most disappointing)
Perfect Stranger 2007, R)
Live Free or Die Hard 2007, PG-13)
Nancy Drew 2007, PG)
Assassination of a High School President displays the worst attempt at satire I have ever seen. It's suppose to be a noir style alternative high-school satire and it fails miserably at each one. The Big Heat it ain't. It is predictable, cliched, poorly written, has the worst script I've heard for many years and has performances to match. The DVD cover on the version I watched shows Bruce Willis holding a gun. At no point during the movie did Bruce Willis hold a gun. Just goes to show how desperate the producers are to get people to watch this worthless and utterly awful film.
What Just Happened? 2008, R)
An inside Hollywood film for people inside Hollywood films. There is a lot of in-jokes and back patting here and I'm afraid I generally have no sympathy for the average Hollywood film producer but I found this film very easy to watch. Barry Levinson is a good director, he's got a mixed CV but generally you can depend on him. For me it was all about the performances though, I loved the whole 'The dies story-line', good on Sean Penn for getting involved and Bruce Willis makes amends for his horrible self-cameo in Oceans 12. Almost anyway. Every one does well, De Niro is totally watchable but for my money, Michael Wincott steals the show, his is a great performance. I really thought this film was ok, I'm not really sure why it's got all the hate on it.
Surrogates 2009, PG-13)
Surrogates is a sci-fi thriller very much in the style of Phillip K. Dick but is much better than most of the films based on his work, certainly the ones of recent years anyway. It's had a lot of bad press, most of it unfair in my opinion. Maybe many felt let down because of the low budget vs. huge potential but then I think you can spoil a story like this with overblown budgets and for me the balance was just right. Many people still haven't forgiven Jonathan Mostow for Terminator 3 but then again, I also didn't think that deserved the bad press it received. It's better than most of the garbage Hollywood churns out in trying to master this genre. Low budget = high creativity 98% of the time.
Cop Out 2010, R)
The Expendables 2010, R)
Considering the cast and the hype it is a little bit of a let down but as a set up for a franchise I think it has longevity. All they need to do is learn from their mistakes, turn those cameos into bigger roles and get a better script writer in and they should be alright. As it is it's nothing special, old-school meets new-school in mutual respect but all the problems are coming from the old-school. It could be something wonderful, let's just wait and see, at the moment it's a bit of a let down though to be honest.
Red 2010, PG-13)
RED is a fun action-packed popcorn comedy, nothing more, nothing less. Although I would say it is one of the better of the genres. I can't really criticise it to be honest as I really enjoyed it. It's got a good cast too, I particularly enjoyed seeing good old Ernest Borgnine, he's hardly aged at all, not bad for a 94 year old eh! John Malkovich steals the show somewhat but everyone is on good form. I'm a big Warren Ellis fan too, I've not yet read the Graphic novel but I can definitely see enough of him in this film to be satisfied. Good fun!
Setup 2011, R)
Catch .44 2011, R)
Lay the Favorite 2012, R)
I liked the unpredictability of Lay the Favourite and I also liked the performances. I think people were disappointed that it wasn't over the top like the advertising might have suggested but I quite liked the story. It's bit of an anti-climax but I found it to be entertaining enough throughout. Rebecca Hall certainly stole the show though and not only for the 'pants dancing' scene. It's nothing special but pleasant all the same.
The Cold Light of Day 2012, PG-13)
Moonrise Kingdom 2012, PG-13)
Moonrise Kingdom represents the returning to form for Wes Anderson. I say returning rather than return because Moonrise is no where near as good as he can be, Mr. Fox aside, Moonrise is as good as The Royal Tenenbaums in story, that is it is nice but very overrated. I really like it but it's nothing special, it's the performances that really count. Here we have a big cast as usual but none of the big names really make a huge impact, this is left to the brilliant young talents of Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward and they are the ones that make Moonrise a great film. It's directed beautifully and it has a nice story but it is Anderson himself that has raised the expectedness of his films, I can only compare this film to his catalogue of films and rate it accordingly.
The Expendables 2 2012, R)
They learnt nothing from the mistakes that were made in the first film but thought a little extra Willis/Schwarzenegger screen time would make up for it but it doesn't, JCVD was ok as the bad guy but Chuck Norris's scene was embarrassing, it was a crap cameo just to get his name on the poster. Where the hell was Jet Li? This is a prime example of quantity over quality. This should have stayed as a 12 year old boy's dream rather than a reality. I hear Nic Cage is going to be in the 3rd film, yeah, that makes sense!
Fire With Fire 2012, R)
Looper 2012, R)
Looper wasn't as action heavy as expected, instead the vision of the future and the idea of time travel was intelligently handled and the great performances and clever writing were the big thrill. A satisfying and refreshing change. As well as the performances and story, the direction is very stylish, the pace, editing and originality was both engaging and exciting. However, I thought the ending was very weak indeed. *Spoilers* I'm not sure what the point of raising so many ideas and questions is when you have no real idea of where it's going or how to answer them. The ideas where fresh and original, the 'Martyrs death' we see at the end seemed like a cop out to me, an easy way out and lazy writing. The last thing we needed was martyrdom at the end of this film, a better story would have found a clever way of answering the conundrum rather than just pulling the plug. Talk about anti-climax.
A Good Day To Die Hard 2013, R)
I didn't think much of Die Hard 4 but compared to this it was a masterpiece. It couldn't have felt less like a Die Hard film if it had replaced Bruce Willis with Melissa McCarthy. There were big scenes but not the certain special scene that all the other Die Hard films had. Just when you think they've done something good, like the nod to the first film where they throw Hans Gruber out of a window, the bad guy gets unnecessarily chopped up by a Helicopter. A clear case of too much of one thing and not enough of what matters. Die Hard 5 is somehow my 6th least favorite Die Hard film.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation 2013, PG-13)
So just a couple of people decided to come back for the sequel and even then one of them doesn't stick around all that long and you know a film is bad when Marlon Wayans doesn't even want to be in it. Instead of writing a story they seem to have just written several action scenes and then tried to piece them together. I don't know, maybe that's action film practice but I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to be so obvious. Some of the action scenes are quite good and some of it is mindlessly cheesy enough to entertain but a masterpiece this ain't.
Red 2 2013, PG-13)
What made the original RED film so enjoyable is that it was something we'd never seen before, so obviously being a sequel, RED 2 suffers somewhat because we know what to expect. I still believe that RED 2 delivers more of what we all loved about the original, although it does wander into 'seen it all before, formulaic action film' territory in places. But so what, this is what we expected and wanted no? I think it's a shame that the film was panned on release, it's a fun action packed pop-corn film, above average and actually pretty funny.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For 2014, R)