Tag Archive: bruce willis


Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

We all need a bogeyman, something or someone to blame when life doesn’t go the way we want. But we also crave for a way to make life feel safe.

That is when certain movies are good for nothing more than setting up a villain and working to destroy him or her.

We all have some sort of action movie that is great for stress relief, that helps us see sometimes problems can be solved.

Bruce Willis Die Hard IMDb com

Bruce Willis as John McClane in Die Hard, picture from IMDb.com

I always felt that was the appeal of the Die Hard series. John McClane as the rogue cop always managed to take down the terrorists, the villain, the bad guy with smart aleck one liners and a profane cry to let his opponents know there was nothing he wouldn’t do to save his family.

We love it of course, as John McClane does it all by fighting the bad guys be it opportunistic journalists or foreign terrorists seeking to kill while getting away with the cash.

London_Has_Fallen_posterTo me, that is the appeal of London Has Fallen starring Gerard Butler. This movie is a sequel to Olympus Has Fallen in which disgraced Secret Service officer Mike Banning saves the life of the president and his son when terrorists attack the White House.

It’s two years later in London Has Fallen; Butler is now the personal guard of the president played by Aaron Eckhart. He goes along for every trip, including a funeral service for the Prime Minister of England. It looks to be a security nightmare that various agencies are working to prevent.

Until that is the worst does happen. Bombs explode on bridges, monuments, boats. Leaders from a variety of countries are killed. Many of the cops are not real cops but terrorists waiting to cause complete destruction.

I can’t tell you the number of things I could not believe Gerard can do. He hung out of a speeding car and shot at the other vehicles driven by the villains. He took over the driving when the other guy was shot while driving. He took on various enemy combatants and beat them at their own game. All the while, the personal guard of the President is doing everything he can to keep his charge alive. The nursery awaiting his child had six security cameras in it.

London has fallen 2Is this movie any good? Well, there are some great explosions as various buildings are destroyed. The unending supply of minions is humorous when you take the time to think about it. The movie is watchable with funny little moments thrown in, such as the president finding himself behind the wheel of an SUV after seven years of not driving and wondering if he can still do it.

I think there is an audience for this movie with some cheesy lines and an easy villain with whom we can relate. There is swearing and some bloody violence. It is not for the younger kids. My son wants to watch it and at 19, he is the perfect age for it. I have to admit, I will probably not look for this movie but if it shows up on cable, I will probably watch it.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Advertisements

Family Movie Night

Have you noticed more movies about people in their 50’s and 60’s?

Maybe it’s me not noticing till now or maybe there are enough aging Baby Boomers in Hollywood that still want to be viable or see movies featuring people like themselves.

Helen Mirren, Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman in "Red," Picture from IMDb.com.

This question comes to the forefront of my mind after seeing commercials all weekend for Red starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren as retired CIA operatives who come back together to figure out why they are being hunted.

This movie came out to the home theater market on January 25th and actually made money at the theaters when it was released back in October. I consider myself pretty savvy when it comes to the movies and do not remember this one at all. However, as it made $90+ million at the box office one can only assume that plenty of people did know about this movie.

Something about the trailer does give me a small thrill and I have put it on the “must watch” list because there is something about a decent action-adventure I truly enjoy. Not only that but I love it when John Malkovich gets off his high horse. He looks a little nutty, a little crazy and not his usual self.

Alec Baldwin and Meryl Streep in "It's Complicated," PIcture from IMDb.com

This past weekend when the husband and I could not watch The Social Network because it had been taken already, we went for It’s Complicated with Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. Instead of being impressed by a 26-year-old billionaire, I was impressed by a bunch of 50+ year olds being willing to explore love and sex at their age, with people their age.

Meryl Streep and Steve Martin in "It's Complicated," Picture from IMDb.com.

 In my opinion, the movie did not really take off until half way through. But there were searing honest moments between Meryl and her two suitors that wrenched my heart. Other moments, including the obligatory “togetherness” scene, were a lot of fun between Streep and Martin.

 Directed by Nancy Myers, this is not her first time with ‘senior lovers’ but it is a better effort and a truer ending than Something’s Gotta Give.

Sylvester Stallone in "The Expendables," Picture from IMDb.com

 The last movie I must mention in this set is The Expendables. These movie stars Sylvester Stallone (who also directed) and Jason Statham as mercenaries hired to take out a South American trouble maker. But they get down to the country and find out the truth. Suddenly sides are getting switched and souls redeemed.

 The fun part of this movie is that it also stars Jet Li, Adolph Lundgren, Steve “Stone Cold” Austin and other action stars we knew from the 80s and 90s. There are even cameos from uber action guys, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. This movie is not meant to be taken seriously; there is not stunning dialogue or deeper characterizations. It is meant to be a love letter to those old movies. Sometimes you need to take a time out from seriousness.

 The thing you have to remember is that Stallone is 64 in this movie and he chooses to fight Austin in one scene. Guts or stupidity, I guess it is whatever it takes to make an entertaining flick.

 Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Signs of Spring

What was your first sign of spring?

For me it was seeing the tips of my Tiger Lilies coming out of the ground.

Then I looked over and saw green leaves popping out where my hardy mum are located. That is when I got excited. So I lifted up some of the compost that rests over the Tulip bed. Oh Yeah! They were coming up, too. I placed the compost back over the tender sprouts and skipped into the house. My plants are coming back and spring is almost here. This past Friday I was running around without my coat, just in my shirt sleeves.

Because I cannot really do anything in the garden, I get antsy. I want to dig and remove compost and put in new mulch. But it is not time yet. There are no plants at the garden centers yet and there’s still a danger of frost. I suspect next week anxiety will get the better of me and I will be out there with a rake.

The other signs have slowly made their appearance as well. Last week I heard Redwing black birds singing. Yesterday, I heard to shrill call of the woodpecker.

Better yet, our kids are running outside to play. Granted they are doing a lot of gun games that I do not like. But the kids are also skate boarding and riding bike. My daughter and I rode our bikes over to Casey’s to put air in my tires.

Now for the days that it gets too cold or too rainy to be out, I have some great movie picks. One of my favorites is Enchanted April (1992) starring Miranda Richardson and Josie Lawrence as two English women who rent an Italian Villa for the month of April to escape the rain.

Their housemates include Joan Plowwright, an older woman whose family were friendly with many of the literati; and Polly Walker, a socialite seeking solitude from the world and her broken heart. The beauty of the Italian countryside is transforming for the characters and for the viewers. This movie is best suited for older teens and adults in regards to context rather than anything particularly objectionable.

Two other more recent movies that have great scenery is Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) and A Good Year (2006). These adult treats feature Italy and Provence, respectively, and makes one yearn to have that ease, that comfort, that lifestyle of being totally completely happy while living on an estate. Plus, I like watching Diane Lane and Russell Crowe take on roles that are not as intense as their normal parts.

A movie with lots of greenery that is more suitable for children is The Secret Garden (1993). The story is about a young girl brought to Yorkshire, England from India after the death of her neglectful parents. Mary is sullen and angry but kind housemaid, Martha. gives her a jump rope and shoos her outside. Mary discovers a garden that has been locked up and neglected by her uncle.

With the help of Dickon, Martha’s brother, they bring the garden back to life. That same magic is used on Mary’s cousin, Colin.

Another good choice for kids is Over The Hedge (2006) which stars Bruce Willis as a racoon who has to pay back the Bear his winter stash of food. His plan involves using other woodland animals to get it. Unfortunately these animals have discovered a housing development in the place of half of their woods. And not all humans like furry forest animals.

My kids end up laughing and having a good time, even when some of the action sequences get a little hairier than I would like. However, even I can laugh when the villains get their due.

Until next week, see you in the movie aisle.

Let the world, or at least St. Anne, know your family’s recent selection by dropping a line to momgoestothemovies@sbcglobal.net. You can also ‘friend’ me on Facebook.