Tag Archives: Bruce Willis

Glass (2019) Movie Review By The Movie Couple

Glass Review, Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson

Movie Couple here!  We saw Glass this weekend!  Remember we are just a married couple that loves movies!  We’re here to tell you if we liked it.  Film students we are not!  Just a quick reminder of our rating system.

Mrs. Movie Couple and I, rate films on whether they are worth the cash spent on a night out.  we use a 1-6 Dollar Bill system.  1-2 Bills equal a waste of both our time and money!  3-4 Bills equal Meh to Pretty Good, money well spent!  5-6 Bills equal Wow!  Well worth the price of dinner, movie and sitter!  Please take our money again!

We both are old enough to have seen Unbreakable in the theatre (you do the math on our age, yes we were together then as well).  As fans of that film we were eager for this installment.  I had seen Split and was as shocked as everyone else when it turned out at the end to be an extension of Unbreakable.  Mrs. Movie Couple, saw Split on demand at my recommendation.  Full disclosure, we both loved Unbreakable and were (no pun intended) split on Split.  I was a huge fan, my better half not so much.  So now that you have our history with M. Night Shyamalan’s “Trilogy” in the making, lets get to the review.

Glass picks up right where Split left us.  Bruce Willis’ David Dunn in pursuit of James McAvoy’s Kevin Wendall Crumb better known as The Horde.  Soon events bring the two under the care of a Psychiatrist Dr. Ellie Staple (like at the center of comic books?…) played by Sarah Paulson.  Kept under heavy guard as well as lock and key, Dr. Staple is convinced that they and many others suffer from a delusion that they are superheroes right out of a comic book.  She is a specialist in such areas.  We learn that she has been treating Samuel L. Jackson’s Elijah Price, the Title bearing Mr. Glass, sometime during his incarceration for his actions in Unbreakable.  She is here to help!  She seeks to cure them of this infirmary.

That is a spoiler free plot description.  This could have gone a long way to create suspense for us Unbreakable and Split fans, Is she right?  Are our hero and villains simply nuts?!  Unfortunately, M. Night has proven thoroughly in Unbreakable and Split that this is not he case.  Had we even for a moment in either previous film been left with doubt, this could have kept us guessing.  Had M. Night envisioned this as a trilogy from the beginning, I think that would have been the avenue he would have taken and it would have worked better.  Not to say this movie doesn’t keep us guessing, at least a little.  If you’ve seen the trailers, as Jackson’s Mr. Glass says the bad guys do indeed team up!  And for fans of the first two films it is exactly what we hoped for.

Anya Taylor-Joy returns as survivor girl, Casey Cooke, Spencer Treat Clark is also in tow as David’s now adult son, his “guy in the chair” if you will and Charlayne Woodard shows up as Mrs. Price all of them important anchors to each of the main characters.  Is Dr. Staple on the up and up?  Will the combined might of Mr. Glass and the Beast be more than a match for David Dunn’s Overseer (a nickname he has garnered on line for his vigilante activities)?  If that sounds like a comic book cover, it’s intentional!  All this gets answered and some other twists arise along the way toward our conclusion!   Mr. Glass longs for his life to become  just like the comics he read and worshiped growing up and this is his movie after all.  The conclusion to this film is not what everyone is expecting and some of the twists will have M. Night fans ecstatic and his detractors rolling their eyes.  The performance by McAvoy is a standout!  His portrayal of all the Horde‘s personalities is every bit as good as it was in Split and maybe even better.  His scenes with Taylor-Joy were a highlight!  I can’t praise him enough for his acting skills in this film.  He’s been just OK to us in other things we’ve seen, but here as in Split, McAvoy is a tour de force.

So here we go!

Mr. Movie Couple:  I loved it!  Yes, you may be able to see the twists and reveals coming a bit, but as a conclusion to what started in Unbreakable and Split it was perfect.  It had an ending that I didn’t see coming, as if the film was a relic of the 70’s cinema.  Can’t say why without giving much away, but I mean that in a good way.  Willis and Jackson were great, they slipped back into the roles of David and Elijah as if no time had past at all.  McAvoy for me was worth the price of admission alone!  He was simply amazing!  The ending felt open ended, as if M. Night could return to this ‘Universe’ should he want to, but it won’t be necessary.  If this completes the trilogy with no more to come I feel it was a job well done!  Reviews are mixed, but I enjoyed this film and recommend it highly!

Mrs. Movie Couple:  She liked it!  She really liked it!  Which quite frankly surprised me.  She felt it was a little slow, but felt the conclusion was perfect and surprised her more than she expected it to.  She was also highly impressed with McAvoy.  She couldn’t take her eyes off his performance was her exact words.  At first she didn’t care for the storyline between Taylor-Joy and McAvoy.  She could not understand the victim interacting with her attacker, But by the movie’s conclusion she felt it was her favorite part!  She loved how Casey had become almost Belle-like to Crumb’s Beast!  Again her words not mine!

We both talked about the actors, characters and the film’s conclusion many days after watching it and for us that’s a ringing endorsement.  I give it 5 Bills, the Mrs. gives it 4 Bills, So we give Glass a 4.5 Bills!  I say well worth the money spent on a night out!

So until we head out to the cinema again, which could be a while if the Government Shutdown continues, hard to justify movie tickets and sitters with no paycheck!  See you next date night at the movies!

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Death Wish (2018) Movie Review By D.M. Anderson

Death Wish

Director: Eli Roth
Writers: Joe Carnahan (screenplay by), Brian Garfield (from the novel by)
Stars: Bruce Willis, Vincent D’Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue 

A Blu Ray Review 

There’s a segment in the new Death Wish that may be the most creatively ironic sequence director Eli Roth has ever assembled.

Dr. Paul Kersey (Bruce Willis) is increasingly frustrated at the police’s lack of progress in catching the thugs who killed his wife and critically injured his daughter during a home invasion. After deciding to take the law into his own hands, there’s a brilliant montage in which Roth uses split-screen to show Kersey resuming his duties as an ER surgeon in a Chicago hospital, while teaching himself to fire and maintain an automatic handgun at home. As he’s removing a bullet from a gunshot wound, he’s loading rounds into a magazine, saving lives while simultaneously learning how to take them.

The original Death Wish was a both a cultural touchstone and a defining moment in Charles Bronson’s long career, but not such a sacred cow that remaking it is out of the question (one could argue Hollywood’s essentially been doing that for years, anyway). Granted, considering our current cultural climate, the timing couldn’t be worse, but it seems fitting that re-imagining original’s incendiary premise would be placed in the hands of someone with the audacity of Eli Roth.

Considering his torture porn reputation, Roth actually shows a surprising amount of restraint. Death Wish is still brutal-as-hell, but never descends into depravity. In fact, Roth actually pulls most of his punches during the initial home invasion sequence, a key scene that remains extremely difficult to watch in the original. Whether or not this is a positive point depends on your level of fondness for Roth’s usual brand of brutality.

Elsewhere, this is not your daddy’s Death Wish, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The original film may be iconic, but did tend to glorify vigilantism (and author Brian Garfield absolutely hated what they did with his novel). Kersey never hunted down the punks who took his family away; he simply snapped and started walking the streets to lure muggers before shooting them. But in the new film, Kersey actively seeks out specific criminal targets…car-jackers, drug dealers and, through circumstances that are both clever and inane, the very thugs who killed his wife. Like the original, he becomes a media sensation, which this version amusingly presents through talk-radio programs, YouTube and internet memes…a sign of the times.

None of this makes Death Wish better than the original. It’s bigger, louder, gorier and more skilfully crafted, but far less memorable. Despite some clever modern touches – such as the aforementioned montage – this version is mostly content to be a straightforward action film with little substance beneath the surface. Though it’s the best film he’s appeared since Looper, Bruce Willis doesn’t really reach beyond his comfort zone to bring anything new to the Kersey character.

But admittedly, I’ve always enjoyed watching Willis kick-ass. Death Wish may not be another cultural milestone, but it is a lot of vicious, violent fun. And if nothing else, the film is a hell of a lot better than the godawful sequels Bronson finished his career with. Keep your expectations in-check, enjoy the mayhem and apologise to yourself later.

Death Wish (2018) Movie Review By Stephen McLaughlin

Death Wish

Director: Eli Roth
Writers: Joe Carnahan (screenplay by), Brian Garfield (from the novel by)
Stars: Bruce Willis, Vincent D’Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue, Camila Morrone and Dean Norris

Vigilante films have been a mixed bag over the last decade or so. Death Sentence starring Kevin Bacon was more a revenge film than  vigilante and Jodie Foster’s The Brave One which I felt was more in line with a vigilante storyline both came out in 2007 and are probably the best of the genre in recent times. Death Wish the original film starring Charles Bronson was the first film of it’s kind that I can remember watching and experiencing some satisfaction watching Paul Kersey the New York architect transforming into a one man vigilante after his wife is murdered.

This version starring Bruce Willis as Paul Kersey or that should be Dr. Paul Kersey an experienced surgeon who spends his life saving others. After an attack on his family leaving his Wife (Elizabeth Shue) dead and his Daughter (Camilo Morrone) in a comatose state, Paul sets out for his own brand of Justice. The plot to this version is similar to the original and to be fair the Kersey character is realistic to a point and Willis plays the role as an ordinary straight down the line type of family man and his portrayal from the beginning of the movie is a likeable character and you see this early on in the opening scenes where he helps his Brother played by Vincent D’Onofrio out financially in a very small scene to show he would do anything for his family. After the attack on his family he also tries to do the right thing by letting the police do their job. 

Bruce Willis surprised me on how well he acted in Death Wish. This isn’t me trying to sound condescending towards the actor. My assumption was that he was going to go all John McClane on everyone “Welcome to the party pal” but instead has truly crafted his character from a quiet and torn man into a focused killing machine. But what impressed me was his transition wasn’t forced or rushed. 

His transition was well balanced and in the beginning of the movie we where allowed to witness Willis act in a natural way. His sorrow and witnessing his mourning was the correct way to handle this broken character and allow us to understand and sympathise with Paul.

Dean Norris as Detective Kevin Raines and Kimberly Elise as Detective Leonore Jackson are worth mentioning as a couple of Detectives who are inundated with unsolved crimes that are mounting up and the interactions with Kersey and Raines shows that although they will do their best to find the gang who attacked his family there were no guarantees. This scene is the one that sparked the transformation in Dr. Paul Kersey and made him realise to take the law into his own hands and along the way stopping random crimes and unintentionally grabbing media attention.

Death Wish (2018) was up against a lot of bad publicity during it’s promotion. The SJW’s were out in force against the overuse of weapons in this movie and it’s tone at a time in the US were the debate of owning firearms within the public domain was a sensitive subject due to the recent unfortunate tragic mass shootings throughout the country. Coupled with this I used the word “promotion”, there was hardly any of this and I think the latter had a lot to do with this and the decision from the studio I can only guess was to go into this as low key as possible. Also, Eli Roth is more notably known for the Horror Genre and I think the perception was that the Director was stepping out of his comfort zone to tackle this project and perhaps unfairly judged before it’s release.

Kersey’s introduction into the darker world reminded me of Marvel’s Luke Cage introduction to his neighbourhood and the attention he was grabbing, even down to the hooded zipper as his disguise. I felt the director managed to balance action and drama well and more importantly asks the question, what would you do in Kersey’s position? Overall I felt this remake surpassed my expectations and I honestly went into this film just to be entertained (which I was). Death Wish reminded me of how old school action films used to be made and I think Willis should be commended for his portrayal of a realistic character and Roth for nailing the tone of the film. Recommend.

Red 2 (2013) Movie Retro Review by Darrin Gauthier 

RED 2

Director: Dean Parisot
Writers: Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
Stars: Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich

Plot:  Retired C.I.A. Agent Frank Moses reunites his unlikely team of elite operatives for a global quest to track down a missing portable nuclear device.

Running time: 1 hour 56 minutes

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 43%   Audience 63%

Why I watched it: The cast and I actually enjoyed the first one.

Thoughts: Going in even though I enjoyed the first one I didn’t see any sane reason for a sequel, the first one was a fun all-star cast silly movie but it didn’t leave unanswered questions and really did leave anything open to sequel about.

What I liked: If you’re being kind this film can be called a romp, a silly time waster and if you’re not kind then it’s a mess.  I’ll be kind today this is for the most part a harmless film, the big selling point is the cast, lots and lots of names, granted some have very little to do but they’re on screen for our enjoyment.  I really liked John Malkovich in these movies and this one he goes further and he’s clearly having fun and just playing and he’s very funny and really he’s the only thing funny here.  I have a soft spot for Mary-Louise Parker she’s likeable and she’s cute here she’s those things but her character is paper thin.  I also liked Byung-Hun Lee he’s younger and he brings a different energy to the film and helps pick up the energy level. This is a fine popcorn film, it hurts that it’s a sequel cause really it comes off as a knock-off of the first one but it’s pleasant enough, the action is over the top and the film did make me smile a few times.

What I didn’t like: The running time, good lord why is this film almost two freaking hours, it drags badly in the middle and the pacing is pretty much off for the whole film. I’ve almost given up on Bruce Willis, does he have it written in his contract that he can’t enjoy himself while he’s earning a paycheque, I would call this sleep walking but that’s an insult to those that do that.  Almost everyone else knows what they’re in and seems to be giving it a go, just having a laugh at it look at Anthony Hopkins, I liked half his performance then he started playing to type and then he bored me.

All lot of the actors are wasted they have nothing to do and they do it.  Helen Mirren has nothing to do here but she’s Helen Mirren so I’ll leave her alone. The biggest weakness of the film besides the script is that the main villains are very weak, calling them stock villains doesn’t do it justice. Also the twist they throw in is so obvious you could call it by reading the credits, you see the name and go i bet they’ll turn out to be a bad guy and you would be write.  This is a harmless film but it doesn’t mean they could have put some more effort into it.

Final thoughts: It’s not ambitious enough to get me to hate it, it was just one of those “it was what it was” take it at face value and enjoy.

Rating: 5/10

The Prince (2014) Movie Retro Review by Darrin Gauthier 

THE PRINCE

Director: Brian A. Miller (as Brian A Miller)
Writers: Andre Fabrizio, Jeremy Passmore
Stars: Jason Patric, Bruce Willis, John Cusack

Plot:  When his daughter is kidnapped, a retired assassin is drawn back into the life he gave up. To rescue her, he must confront his former rival.

Running time: 93 minutes

IMDB Score: 4.6

Why I watched it: The cast, this is a pure B-Movie and for Willis and Cusack clearly a paycheque movie but still doesn’t mean it’ll be bad.

Thoughts: This is another made for DVD or I guess now made for On Demand Movie with names but clearly they’ve seen better days.  The one thing I thought was odd was Jason Patric who doesn’t do a lot of these kind of movies, I wouldn’t call him an action guy that’s for sure. Also the title and the poster are both very weak, at least put some effort into it.

What I liked: I really like Jason Patric, I always thought he should have been a bigger name and here I like his take on this character he’s a former hitman and from the sounds of it he was a head case so of course he got out and got married had a family and left his old life behind.  Now this film is a Taken knock off, guy’s daughter is taken and the father has to use his skills to get her back but in this case he’s a former hitman and a nasty guy and what I like is as soon as Patric goes back to his old haunts he’s that guy again, basically what the movie is saying is that people don’t change they hide.

Patric is the best thing in the movie and I like he doesn’t try to be a good guy and clearly he’s not, he’s a bad ass for sure but not a good guy.  The film  is gritty and dark and a hard R, lots of violence and it’s shot pretty well.  Just to let you know Cusack isn’t in it much but he’s pretty good, I like the fact that he’s helping Patric put it’s clear he has a mixture of hatred and fear for this guy. The film moves pretty well it’s short at just over 90 minutes and it doesn’t try to be anything it’s not, this is a B-Action movie and it acts accordingly.

What I didn’t like: There’s some sleeping walking in this film and the most guilty is Bruce Willis, man it’s clear he doesn’t give a shit.  He’s a boring bad guy and the funny thing is the character isn’t a bad idea, he has some shading and really could be considered an anti-hero but Willis puts no effort into it. Rain is just strange in this film and really he should have been used more.

The film is pretty by the book and I wished it had more energy and more style is darkly filmed, dark doesn’t mean stylish but many directors think it does.  The other weak link in the film is the daughter played by Jessica Lowndes, she’s not a character she’s a plot device.

Final thoughts: I didn’t mind it, I liked the fact that they made Patrick more of a bad guy and made the film a little meaner than most in this genre.

Rating: 6/10

Marauders (2016) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

MARAUDERS

Director: Steven C. Miller
Writers: Michael Cody, Chris Sivertson
Stars: Bruce Willis, Christopher Meloni, Dave Bautista

Plot:  When a bank is hit by a brutal heist, all evidence points to the owner and his high-powered clients. But as a group of FBI agents dig deeper into the case – and the deadly heists continue – it becomes clear that a larger conspiracy is at play.

Running Time: 1 hour 47 minutes

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 22%     Audience 31%

Why I watched It: It’s a pretty good cast for a direct to DVD action movie and the trailer actually showed some promise.

Random Thoughts: Bruce Willis seems to be in the “If they money is there I do not care” part of his career, he’s still a name and he also will attract other actors who respect him or just plain what to work with him to be in his movie, the thing his he doesn’t have that spark he once had and he seems to be playing bad guys who have little screen time but the part gets him top billing.  I will say this about this cast it lets some of the other actors do things they don’t do that often, Meloni is the lead here, Grenier gets to play an FBI agent and not play off his looks and Bautista plays a character that’s not solely based on his size he’s not playing a killing machine he’s just an FBI agent.

What I liked: I’ll give Marauders this the plot and the story is more layered than I was suspecting.  We get some decent fleshed out characters and some decent back story.  I really like Christopher Meloni, I like when a good character actor gets to play a lead, I know he’s done it on TV but he’s very good here, he has that rare gift to play tough, smart and vulnerable all at the same time.  This turns out to be more of a mystery, who’s robbing the banks and why it’s not so much a straight up action film, there’s some shot outs but there’s more drama than fights and gun play here.  The one thing I enjoyed is that almost every character is carrying around guilt, haunted it’s a cliche but it’s nice to see this kind of movie at least try.  This film goes deep on it’s roster as even Johnathon Schaech’s character has a sub-plot and it has a payoff.  Director Steven C Miller does a decent balancing act here as you can tell he’s trying to do a different kind of action film one with a little more soul and consequences.

What I didn’t like: I watch a lot of B-Movies and genre stuff and one of my big beefs is how cliched these movies are that it doesn’t seem that the people involved are even trying to do something different in the case of Marauders they might have tried to do too much, there’s twists and there’s so much backstory that it kind of bogs the film down.

I was really into the first third of the film, the bank heist scenes worked and it set up the tension and I liked some of the characters but it started to get itself up it’s own rear end, they went a little too deep and too really lost the story, by the end it seemed like a mess, some of it worked but it didn’t hang together, they tired too much in terms of story and it paid the price, it ended up different but it didn’t work and by the time we get to the finish he seemed way too forced.

Also it didn’t help that Willis doesn’t do much and really just phones it in, Grenier does try and it kind of worked but at the end he was miscast, he didn’t have the weight or the age for the role.

Final Thoughts: Not a great film but it was different and there was some things to like, I do think if you’re a genre fan or a fan of any of the leads it’s worth a watch.

Rating: 5/10