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Posts tagged ‘bruce willis’

Film review: RED movie

Wherein Helen Mirren demonstrates how to fire an automatic machine gun, which is: TOTALLY wearing a white ballgown.

Now, when I first saw him in ‘Moonlighting‘, I was staunchly undecided about Bruce Willis. Mainly it was that self-satisfied smirk. What did he have to look that smug about?

Hindsight shows us that, evidently, Bruce knew something we didn’t. Possibly many things. That Demi Moore would find him irresistible, or that hair would prove over-rated.

Unlike Harrison Ford or Rupert Everett, Bruce just improves with age. Ok, perhaps the first comparison is a little unfair, given that Harrison’s thirteen years older. However, I seem to recall that in Six Days Seven Nights (1998), Harrison was giving the famous Ford pop-eye to Anne Heche who was precisely half his age at the time. I would now express myself with a moving range of flatulence had I had the personality of a 15 year old teenage boy. Let’s all be thankful I don’t.

Anyway, we like Bruce (that’s the royal ‘we’). He’s just the type you want around when hitmen are dropping into your garden from a hovering helicopter. Or when you need to defuse a bomb under your kitchen. Let’s face it: there will never be a circumstance under which you wish Tom Cruise were handy (I can point at things quite adequately myself). Or Brad Pitt, because I can’t spare the hairdryer and, happily, my husband has more raw sex appeal and if you doubt me let me just refresh your memory.

What’s that you say: biased?

Who, ME?

Ok, well . . . SO?

Wanna start a Thing?


Now, over the weekend we saw Bruce’s latest vehicle ‘Red’ at Top Town Cinema. So, um, I suppose it could best be described as a comedy action thriller with some romance.

Actually, ‘loud’ would probably have covered it.

Bruce stars as Frank, a retired ex-CIA black-ops employee, whose life revolves around pointless press-ups, growing an avocado plant, and tearing up his pension cheques so he has an excuse to call the Customer Service Rep. This is Mary Louise Parker, who – I’ll be upfront about it – ranks at the Jolie end of the scale i.e. (for those who are not familiar with my Tyler/Jolie Scale of Unbearableness) annoys the crap out of me, yes, even in ‘Weeds’. Anyway, in ‘Red’ she plays another annoying character, one who is more interested in having telephone sex with OAPs than doing her fucking job yet sees no irony in bemoaning her lacklustre love-life.

This state of affairs all changes when a squad of hit-men break into The Bruce’s house to rub him out. Bruce dispatches them all within about three seconds of screen-time by strangling them with his dressing gown cord.

Stopping en-route to pick up a protesting Mary Louise Parker for her own protection (thankfully he also duct-tapes her mouth shut, presumably for the viewers’ protection), Bruce goes on the run. On the way, he attempts to figure out who’s trying to retire him permanently, the answer to which involves many interested parties including big business, politicians, and the good old CIA; and so complex as to make virtually no sense whatsoever.

Bruce also finds some spare time to get his old team together, all of whom are also classified RED – ‘Retired, Extremely Dangerous’. If the baddies had only done a little due diligence and watched Diehard with a Fucking Vengeance, they would have realized how ED Bruce Willis is.

In fact, this constitutes one of my main issues with the film. Bruce and his cohorts – John Malkovitch, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren – are apparently inviolable, which is nice for them, but doesn’t make for much in the way of dramatic tension.

Even when Bruce breaks into the impregnable CIA HQ, how about a bit of decapitation or something to demonstrate how dangerous it is? I don’t want to be TOLD it’s a suicide mission, then watch Bruce strolling around smirking at trained CIA operatives who want to kill him if they only knew it.

The other thing was, the movie should have been MUCH funnier. So much potential, but the jokes all seemed tired – in fact, exhausted would be a better word. For example, Bruce chatting up MLP on the phone, who mentions she’d like to travel, go to Chili; she asks if he’s ever been and what it was like.

Afterwards, he smacks himself around in a horny orgy of self-loathing, for responding, “It was night.” Granted, it’s not the smoothest of responses, but there are worse. “I had Delhi-belly the whole time,” for instance, or, “Sometimes I think of you licking stamps and masturbate.”

In another scene, MLP reads ‘Forbes’ upside down in the CIA staff canteen. Now, if actors are paid seven-figure salaries, shouldn’t they be required to PROJECT distraction instead of resorting to reading a magazine upside-down? At this point, I’m convinced Forbes actually prints some editions with the cover on upside down so that actors don’t have to strain themselves.

Then we had Helen Mirren settling in for some girl-chat over an automatic weapon. “If you break (Frank’s) heart,” she threatens MLP, “I’ll kill you then bury your body in the woods.”

I suppose, coming from a career assassin, it was supposed to leap off the screen with a new twist, but it just . . . didn’t.

So, as to how many stars to award Red, I’m conflicted. No doubt, the film was above-average entertainment. But with that cast – which was so awesome I forgot to even mention Karl Urban – and the concept – it should have been SO MUCH BETTER.

The execution should have been a clean kill, but was sloppy and indecisive.

The action was over-crisp, yet under-cooked.

It hurts me to do this, but I wouldn’t be doing justice to either you or me if I didn’t deduct a star for the wasted potential. Trust me. The alternative would hurt A LOT more.



Husband: Would you like to see a tsunami?

Me: Would I like to see . . . a . . . salami, did you say? Why, is it an unusual salami? Can it do tricks-

Husband: No, a TSUNAMI!

Me: Oh. Mm. Really? Ok. Oh actually – wait. Did you say ‘TSUNAMI!’? Hey! That would be AWESOME! To be humbled by a raw, first-hand glimpse of the tremendous might of Mother Nature.

Me: <rolling internal mental footage of the final scene from ‘Deep Impact’ where Tea Leoni’s face melts off in the pre-force of a supersonic 3 mile high megatsunami caused by a comet striking earth because Bruce Willis wasn’t available and you can bet your ass Elijah Wood wasn’t about to pilot a spacecraft to the face of the comet, drill a hole and nuke the fucker moments before it is due to erase mankind forever>

Me: We’ll have to go to a beach with a really big hill-

Andrew: Well, it’s only a meter high.

Me: What? The TSUNAMI!? But- but that’s pathetic! I make bigger waves farting in the bath!

Andrew: And if we go to one a west coast beach, it’ll only be 40cm-

Me: 40CM? How are we expected to distinguish the TSUNAMI! from other waves? I saw the Queen Mother give a bigger wave from her deathbed! I make bigger waves doing the dishes! Your turn.

Andrew: Er. Mexicans give bigger waves.

Me: Yeah, well, um. Ok.

Yet an event like this does not happen every day, so we decided to drive to Piha to observe this natural phenomenon. Despite myself (I’ve seen bigger waves on a stale perm etc.) I was quite excited. As you can tell from the frequency of recent posts, our life rarely features exciting events (although you will be glad to hear we have no shortage of Magic Moments).

Immersing myself in the spirit of the occasion, I made coffee to go, packed snacks, the camera, and swimming togs. I would have fired commemorative mugs with a big roller and ‘Tsunami Simon’ inscribed on them except I ran out of time.

We arrived at the lookout point above Piha with plenty of time to spare, regardless of Andrew’s pessimistic predictions that we had ‘missed it’. And then we stood there staring intently at the sea for fifteen minutes, until around the time Andrew said it was scheduled to hit Christchurch.

So we didn’t miss it – not that we noticed.

So you might say, the TSUNAMI! was a wash-out, as limited to the metaphorical sense.

We went home.

Signs of co-dependency

Being vaguely middle-aged and definitely married, we don’t venture out much any more – apart from down to the wheelie bin at the end of the garage.


In the last few weeks we have had a few big events (I mean relative to putting out the rubbish).


On 20 June it was our anniversary and Andrew took me to the Ritz Carlton for dinner. We had gone to this restaurant the previous year and there were rose petals strewn across the table; we had great fun sticking them up each other’s noses and blowing them into peoples’ wineglasses. So you can appreciate my disappointment when we were shown to our table and there were no petals.


“Where the frig are the rose petals?” I hissed. “Did you not tell them it was our anniversary?”




“Did you ask them for rose petals?”


“No, but I didn’t ask for them last year – they just put them there.”




We were shown to our table by a waiter.


“My name is Henry and I’ll be waiting on you this evening,” he said, before providing a summary of his resume including hobbies and interests, political views and medical history.


After showing us recent bank statements, he moved onto the menu: “. . . here we have deep fried coconut encrusted prawns, which are prawns with a crust of coconut plunged into boiling fat; and the mushroom risotto is Arborio rice cooked with mushrooms and a little Parmigiano . . .”


Henry hovered anxiously, checking our wine glasses every thirty seconds and realigning Andrew’s steak knife whenever he jogged it with his elbow. He was terribly needy and displaying signs of co-dependency.


When our food arrived, Henry demonstrated what Job Satisfaction is all about: “. . . Madam, this is a white plate manufactured out of bone china, and here we have vegetable terrine, garnished with parsley – those are the green bits on the top, Madam – and here we have the polenta cake with leek, and this is potato au fondant . . .”


I felt like saying: “So, it’s what I ordered from the menu, then? Bonus. By the way, I can identify food, you know. I often EAT THE STUFF.”


But I couldn’t get a word in edgeways: “. . . and you can use a knife and fork – these implements here – the knife’s the one with the serrated edge – be careful, Madam, it’s quite sharp – or a spoon . . .


By the end of the evening, I had talked to Henry more than I had Andrew.


I was quite worn out with all this upmarket attention, so for my birthday Andrew caved under the pressure and brought me to see Die Hard 4: Live Free and Die Harder. I know I should make an effort with the high-maintenance so that Andrew will appreciate me more. I’m thinking of getting annual pedicures and I could take a lover, but the only guy I know is John down the GMC Workshop . . . well, I can always put the word around.


Anyway, what a movie. Bruce Willis is The Man. Around about the time he was balancing on the wing of a F-35 Lightening II fighter jet in a tail spin, I was convinced it couldn’t get any better (although if he’d been sucked into one of the jet engines and blown out the other side alive – THAT would have been way cool), but then when the baddie has him around the neck with the gun pressed against Bruce’s shoulder and Bruce shoots him through his own shoulder – awesome. Oh give me a break – if you haven’t seen it by now you weren’t about to.


It was one of the best nights I’ve had for ages – probably because Andrew and I were not required to talk to each other. It’s not that we don’t communicate, but we’d got through the daily quotient of words:


“How was your day, dear?”


“Meh. Yours?”


“Meh squared.”




On the rare occasions we did talk, Andrew agreed with everything I said, so in many ways it was the perfect evening.


Last weekend we went to Dubai Offshore Sailing Club for Mark’s 40th birthday. It was outside. After about half an hour, I camped in front of an outdoor A/C and defended my position with a broken bottle. I’m claiming heat sickness was the cause; I hadn’t had enough gin to explain it away with drunkenness.


The food arrived and I tore myself off the A/C. We were at a table when Andrew, evidently bored with the company, stuck his finger in an electric socket running up the side of a support beam.


Bless him, he didn’t make a sound, but leapt about two feet in the air and then sat there looking vaguely surprised, his eyes swivelling left and right.


“Did you get a shock?” asked Sharon – as if the wisps of smoke curling off his cranium weren’t a giveaway.


“Ah, a bit.”


“What were you doing sticking your finger in an electric socket?” I asked.


“Er, it looked like there was a loose wire-“




“There was, yes.”


I’m only pleased we don’t come across falling pianos that often, because there’s a fair likelihood my husband would hurl himself under them. As it is, we should really get our last will and testament sorted out.


By about 10:30 Andrew had a headache, possibly heat induced – we weren’t sure whether from the elements or the element – so we went home

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