Man, it has been quite a while since I reviewed any movies on this here blog (or even wrote anything, SHUT IT). But! I have actually seen movies lately – gasp - in the theater even, so review I shall.
First up: The Last Stand. N and I were both very pleasantly surprised by this. Yeah, Arnold is getting old but he owns it. He’s not trying to still be the unbreakable action star, which is a smart move, since doing so can clearly result in accidentally becoming a sad, old, overly muscled caricature of one’s former self. (Arnie is aging gracefully unlike other stars of a similar age, AHEM Mr. Stallone, I AM LOOKING AT YOU.) At any rate, The Last Stand had plenty of action but also surprisingly witty dialogue. And although Johnny Knoxville received second billing in the ads, he was really only in it for maybe 15-20 minutes. Definitely an attempt to get a whole different demographic of moviegoers into the theater, because I’m sure your typical Johnny Knoxville fans aren’t generally busting down the door of a movie starring Old Man Schwarzenegger. They may have been disappointed at the lack of jackass, but I wasn’t – Knoxville is generally pretty obnoxious (duh) and I was glad his part was limited although he admittedly wasn’t bad. Overall, a really enjoyable movie. The villain was convincing, I always enjoy Forest Whitaker (who was totally upstaged by Knoxville in the ads, because I didn’t realize he was even *in* this until the movie started), and the whole thing was really well paced. It didn’t drag, the plot was actually decent, and the supporting cast was entertaining. Two thumbs up – one from me and my movie reviewer by proxy. N approved, so you know it is good.
A Good Day to Die Hard. Oh, I do love me some Bruce Willis. He may be old enough to be my father, but I have a special place in my heart for Bruce. We share a birthday after all, and anyone else who was born on March 19 is okay in my book. And the Die Hard series is, without a doubt, the set of action movies I love most. We all know I’m not a fan of sequels in general, but Die Hard has yet to disappoint and this was no exception. I would unfortunately have to place it second-to-last in the hierarchy, though (outranking only Die Hard 2, which is the weakest by a wide margin) (in case you’re keeping track, the order of my favorites is now Die Hard, Live Free or Die Hard, Die Hard with a Vengeance, A Good Day to Die Hard, and Die Hard 2) (I take my Die Hards very seriously) (also my parentheses) (okay, I’ll stop now). I think the main problem with this was the thin, thin plot. The action was plentiful, which is really all *I* need to enjoy a movie, but even I have to admit that the writers didn’t try too hard here. I imagine them sitting in a room saying “Well, we’ve done L.A., New York and D.C. so let’s put him in Russia this time. And just have a lot of stuff blowing up. That should be good enough.” And for me, it almost was. I was a little distracted by some of the beginning scenes – I retained just enough Russian from college to know that some of the translations are a bit questionable but eh. Overall, it was a really fun watch. Bruce Willis is thankfully more of a Schwarzenegger and less of a Stallone. He knows he’s aging and plays John McClane accordingly. I have no doubt that this movie was a total setup for a whole new slew of movies starring Jai Courtney as Jack McClane – Die Hard, The Next Generation or something. We’ll see how that goes, I guess. Oh, who am I kidding. I’ll be there opening weekend, I’m sure. N was less entertained but I think he liked it well enough. In sum, definite thumbs up!
**Totally unrelated addendum/request – I know I don’t post often enough to really warrant having regular readers, but I also know that I *do* have a few people who always read what I write. So if you’re here, can you do me a favor and comment? I love comments, and I love having them HERE, on the blog. Some people comment just on Facebook which is of course great too, but it is hard to associate them back to the post later on. My blog isn’t totally compatible with Facebook sometimes (probably because I never run updates or install plugins or anything but that’s a different story). So anyway. If you’re here, just say hi! I like to know who is out there!