Tag Archives: Bruce Willis

Yippee Ki-Ay, Muddled Farmers!

 

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Oh, John McClane – what absurdity have your corporate masters wrought?

News reaches us today that Twentieth Century Fox, noted purveyors of the cinematic arts, have taken the proverbial low road and are releasing “A Good Day to Die Hard” with a 12A rating.  The BBFC, our film classification organisation, offered Fox an uncut 15 certificate – the closest US equivalent being the R rating – but Fox took the BBFC’s advice on the necessary trims to get the rating down to a level suitable for the UK’s sugar-addled tween boys to behold.

In related news, I’m bailing on this franchise.

I have no problem with reducing the level of violence in a movie – given the choice between thrilling adventure and bloody conflict, I’m fine with dialling back the gore – but I do have problems with a distributor lying to an audience about the actual tone of their film in order to make a double-dip cash-grab.  Remember the ‘uncut’ release of “Die Hard 4.0” on DVD and Blu-Ray?  Yep, pretty much the same film as the theatrical cut bar some more unfettered cursing and stupid digital blood.

We can only expect Fox to push a bogus, unexpurgated cut in due course which presents the preferred, definitive experience for cineastes – wouldn’t it be better to have the courage of your convictions and make an actual, honest-to-goodness, “Die Hard” movie again?  Or is that just a notion which boggles minds over at Fox?

I call reboot, people.  Free McClane!

 

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Like father, like gun…

 

If it’s Monday, I must be destroying large swathes of Moscow…

How can the same shizz happen to the same guy…five times?

Yes, after Len Wiseman‘s Die Hard 4.0 (“Live Free or Die Hard to folks Stateside) relaunched John McClane‘s cinematic adventures a few years ago, we’re due another go-round with NYC’s most lethal killing machine/proud pop.

Another tough day at the office…

And, indeed, it appears that this instalment of the “Die Hard” series is ‘take your kid to work day’, as McClane Junior is along for the ride and the proverbial apple

And here it is – the first teaser trailer for February 2013’s “A Good Day to Die Hard”, directed by bonkers Irishman John Moore (his previous work includes “Max Payne“, “The Omen” remake, “Flight of the Phoenix” and “Behind Enemy Lines“).

Things explode, young women are incapable of keeping their clothes on around him, Ode to Joy is playing all the time – it’s as comfortable as a pair of worn-in shoes, frankly.

See you down the front on February 14th (or thereabouts), fight fans.

 

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Kevin Smith – tough on airlines, not biggest Bruce Willis fan.

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I make no bones about being a Kevin Smith fan.  Even if “Clerks” had been the totality of his output and he had never made another film, one could make a case for his being an original and engaging cinema voice quite unlike any other.

Thankfully, he has made more than a few films well worthy of viewing – I regularly put “Mallrats” in for a viewing, love the hell out of “Dogma” as a statement on faith and think “Clerks 2” may be that rare sequel which is better than the original instalment in the series.

Even films like “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” get regular play from me – it isn’t big, it certainly isn’t clever but its profane warmth, Morris Day and The Time climactic dance number and George Carlin cameo make it worth checking out every couple of years.  And I like “Jersey Girl” without any irony whatsoever – I think it’s a charming and oddly truthful look at being an adult and trying to negotiate your dreams and balance far-fetched notions with the demands of family.

My issues with Smith’s recent output are shared by the director himself in his new book, “Tough Shit – Life Advice From a Fat Lazy Slob Who Did Good”.

He seems bemused and chastened by the failure of “Zack and Miri Make A Porno” – which I confess to having found not very interesting when I watched half of it a few years ago.  It’s still on my Blu-Ray shelf, waiting to be watched completely and probably isn’t anywhere near as annoying as I found it on initial viewing.

Reflecting on the fact that he somehow managed to end kindred spirit Seth Rogen‘s box office winning streak when they worked together, Smith is quick to note that by the time that “Zack and Miri” came around, his films were increasingly informed by cinema as an art form itself rather than any resemblance to real life and suffered accordingly for that disconnection from the audience.

Still, at least I own “Zack and Miri” – I have yet to find a copy of Smith’s subsequent major studio Bruce Willis vehicle “Cop Out” online which is cheap enough to persuade me to buy it.  I rented the film and made my way through twenty minutes before getting the distinct sense that A) Bruce Willis was phoning it in and B) That Kevin, if not quite at the phone booth, was certainly in the queue behind Willis and making ready to do same.

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Reading Smith’s new book, it’s a wonder that he made it through the shoot without giving the once and future John McClane a richly deserved kick in the unmentionables.

Diva antics like you wouldn’t believe, a refusal to turn up and y’know act, and a distinct sense that he stopped enjoying his work many years ago – Willis doesn’t come over well and this negative pen portrait is only enhanced by Smith employing the same degree of lacerating analysis to himself, so as to neatly sidestep any accusations of placing the blame for an underperforming film on its lead actor in a bid to excuse his own shortcomings as a film maker – short comings which Smith is only too keen to point out at regular intervals in the book.

It’s an enjoyable read and a neat spin on the traditional self-help/motivational tome which clogs up bookstores the planet over – Smith’s central thesis is that life is so unavoidably finite and essentially devoid of meaning that any minute spent doing something that you hate is a moment too long.

Admittedly, in Smith’s case, such vocational pursuits are usually studio films with a decent pay cheque attached but the point is well made – if you’re going to check out from this planetary orbit in thirty or so years, you may as well do so having spent your life engaged in things which make you happy.

Any ideas on how to turn wearing cargo shorts, liking unhip European metal bands and tickling my dog’s belly into a mortgage-paying career opportunity will be gratefully received.

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“Expendables 2” posters – It’s a milliner’s dream!

Toughness comes in many forms.  Some dudes like to present a visual image of intimidation and go the bulk-up route,  body-building their way to success.  Others follow the ‘quiet, inner strength’ formula and let the unspoken menace do the talking.  Others fight fire with fashion – “If you want to get ahead…”, as the saying goes, “…get a hat“.

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Yep, there’s a new bunch of character posters for the Stallone toplined, Simon West directed “Expendables 2”, which look unintentionally hilarious when viewed together.

How so?  Well, you’ve got Sly above. Looking appropriately grizzled and time-served, quite in keeping with the premise of the series.

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Nobody’s going to argue with Jason Statham bringing back his specific brand of cockney bad-assery to the franchise – nice facial expression, Jase, loving the grimace, very on-message.

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Dolph Lundgren – no argument from me.  Could he look any more 80’s action hero gone bad?

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Liam Hemsworth – one of these chaps is not like the others.

I’m assuming his casting (and puppy dog good looks) are a deliberate and plot-driven decision, as it’s hard to see the audience who fell in love with him in The Hunger Games being that motivated to check out a testosterone-driven action flick with a cast largely composed of blokes old enough to be their Dad.  I’ve been proven wrong before, mind you.

We’re still waiting for a decent trailer – apparently one was just shown behind closed doors to industry types attending this week’s CinemaCon in Las Vegas, and as these posters are now in the wild, it can’t be too long until we get to see what the mayhem looks like in motion.

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“G.I. Joe – Retaliation” gets new trailer, destroys the Big Smoke…

What is it with Hollywood and destroying London?

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No sooner had I put my feet up and begun to enjoy the latest trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation than I was confronted with merry old London town biting the big one again, via the intercession of some sketchy space missile thingy.  Not that I’m the biggest fan of our capital city – I only visit if I absolutely have to – but it would be nice for an American film to grasp the complex reality that there are other cities in the UK.

Yep, that's going to give Boris a few sleepless nights...

Is it too much to hope for a major Hollywood blockbuster to pick on Birmingham or Manchester for a change?  Surely Leeds needs to be rendered into ashes by a stray super missile?  Mindless destruction equality now!  Blow up some different places for a change!

But, I digress…

There’s a new trailer for this deliciously silly looking comic book action fest, which seems to be marking out its place on the calendar as an unpretentious and marked improvement on the unwatchable original entry in the series – I don’t have any history with the action figures, but this could be the daft action extravaganza which manages to erase the bad taste that the increasingly horrible Transformers films left in my mouth as that series veered ever deeper into the darker recesses of Michael Bay‘s ID.

It’s nearly the summer, I’m really going to want to escape the ad nauseam Olympics hype in the UK – what better way to do it than watch professional actors portray action figures and run away from cgi explosions?

 

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The Old Boys Club

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Now that we’re past that whole messy ‘Chuck Norris doesn’t do swearing’ controversy which threatened to transform Sly Stallone‘s The Expendables 2″ from a proudly retro, manic action slugfest into a polite and socially acceptable family fun farrago  – it’s still R-rated in the States and will probably again be 18-rated in the UK – we can get back to the important business of looking at pictures of elderly gentlemen shooting randomly at things.

In a break with tradition, you’ll notice in the MTV Movies Blog still above that our Chuck is rocking the Indigo-lensed sunglasses with his absurdly over-sized rifle – a bold fashion statement which contrasts nicely with his urban combat wear and charming baseball cap.  It’s a look, non?

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And – ooh, what a beauty of a picture.  Sly, Arnold and Bruce together again and shooting at things in the middle distance with a bunch of recently smashed glass strewn around them – it’s like old times, friends.

“The Expendables 2” kicks down your door, interrogates your cat and makes a general mess of your carpet on August 17th in the US and UK.

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“Looper” trailer arrives in time

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After a long week of teases and hints, the first trailer for Rian Johnson‘s time-travel crime thriller, “Looper”, is available online.

It looks like being an expectedly unexpected head trip – and one which, coming from the singular vision of the guy who brought you Brick and The Brothers Bloom“, promises a twisted temporal tale with a brilliant cast – Joseph Gordon Levitt, who’s appeared so far in all of  Rian Johnson’s films, is the lead, Bruce Willis is…well, that would be telling and Emily Blunt is looking decidedly haunted and in possession of a shotgun.

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Yeah, the picture above is a bit of a clue as to the relationship between Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis – and it’s the nature of how young JGL embodies the mannerisms of the older Willis which is making this movie of particular interest to me.

That's not going to end well...

Visual verve, timey-wimey confusion, sci-fi futurism, genre awareness and one of the most interesting directors working today – I’m really looking forward to seeing this film when it opens in the UK on 28th September.

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