Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Willis’

Always In The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time

Thus sums up the life of John McClane the anti-hero of the four action packed Die Hard films. The latest (I can’t believe I have not seen it before now) Live Free or Die Hard could as easily gone with its working title of Die Hard 4.0. NYPD senior detective John McClane (played as always by Bruce Willis) is aided by a twenty-something computer genius to stop the evil plans of a cyber-terrorist group to totally disable the nation’s computer infrastructure. Led by another computer genius (Timothy Olyphant) with a chip on his shoulder, the villains succeed in taking control of much of the East Coasts transportation, finances, and utilities. This is a three-pronged plan called a “fire sale.”

Next to the original, this is the most interesting and action-packed episode of the bunch. There is a mixing of the old school philosophy of shoot ’em up and pick the bad guys off one by one with a snide one liner (McClane’s signature line “Yipee-ki-yay, _____ is muffled in a key sequence). However, the addition of the detective’s reluctant assistant (played by Justin Long, the “Apple Guy”) brings a touch of new school action as the duo attempt to stop the nefarious scheme.

While the first two films centered the action around Christmas, this adventure takes place on the 4th of July holiday, convenient when most of the government is off. Speaking of the government, it always seems that in these movies, the federal agents are portrayed as nitwits who always call in the local law enforcement to handle the catastrophe at hand.

The best thing to me about the series is that there is no hiding the fact that Bruce Willis ages between films. He is no longer the spry actor he was when he saved his estranged wife from the huge skyscraper in the original Die Hard. He is bruised and battered but still keeps ticking especially when something personal is at stake.  McClane is not disposable and not needing to be replaced with a fresh face every other film.

The action pieces are not bad, either. There is sooooo much going on this time that not two minutes go by when along comes another cliffhanging moment. Cars flying at you in a tunnel, seemingly defeated villains popping back up for one more slug-fest. My favorite involves a police car doing battle with a machine-gun firing helicopter. Not to mention the antagonist’s frustration at McClane’s apparent immortality.

So, action fans should not be disappointed in the latest installment of this entertaining series.

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Believe It…Or Not

In almost every film made, there are casting issues. The actors seen in the final product are not necessarily the people originally chosen to fill the roles. Well known to most trivia buffs, Shirley Temple possibly would have been Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz had she not been under contract to MGM rival Fox at the time. Buddy Ebsen was cast as the Tin Man until he discovered that he was allergic to makeup used in the costume.

-Imagine how different Gone with the Wind would have been if Lucille Ball had been cast as Scarlett O’Hara or Groucho Marx as Rhett Butler.

-Moving forward a few decades, the Bruce Willis starring action movie Die Hard was originally planned as a sequel to that fine Arnold Scharzenegger masterpiece, Commando. However, after the Governator turned the role down, the film was changed and eventually starred Mr. Willis after four other casting attempts.

-Speaking of Ah-nuld, could you possibly imagine O.J. Simpson as The Terminator? Seriously, it could have happened.

-Bill Murray was considered for the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in the 1989 film. Has Mr. Murray ever done a non-comedic movie? Or maybe, the movie was originally supposed to be lighter in tone and closer to the ’60s television show. Robin Williams was considered for the role of the Joker in both the original Tim Burton directed movie and also for this summer’s The Dark Knight (which will be Heath Ledger’s swan song).

You can view other possible casting choices for your favorite movies at notstarring.com.



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Who’s Got Even More Talent?

So….. yet another reality show has come and gone…. this one lasted only one episode and for good reason. “Secret Talents of the Star” attempted to pit stars from various outlets against each other in order to show their dreams beyond what they have already accomplished. Haven’t enough celebrities attempted to go beyond their day jobs and persue other avenues. Michael Jordan retired from basketball (the first time) to persue a second career are a major league baseball player.

While he was on the television series “Moonlighting,” Bruce Willis recorded a rather forgettable album entitled “The Return of Bruno.” Whoever Bruno is and from where he returned is a question better left unanswered. A good thing Mr. Willis stuck with his acting gig and action films such as the Die Hard quadrilogy.

In the category of should have known better, George Takei tried his hand at country singing on the celebrity reality showcase. The actor who played Mr. Sulu on Star Trek obviously failed to hear his captain’s rendition of “Rocket Man” which may or may not have been one of William Shatner’s many attempts at self-parody.

I am sure there must be a few examples of performers who found limited success in more than one outlet. Anyone care to share any or name other attempts? Was it Garth Brooks who tried to go from country superstar to Major League baseball player…. even creating a new persona to do so?