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Surrogates

tn_surrogatesBruceSURROGATES is TERMINATOR 3 director Jon Mostow (plus the writers of TERMINATOR 3-4) doing another robot movie, this time free of the expectations and mythology (and budget, from the looks of it) of the TERMINATOR series. The only thing they’re chained to is the “graphic novel” the ads say it’s based on, which means a comic book. Luckily they don’t have to be too careful about adapting it because nobody ever heard of it until it was being made into a movie. You show me someone who has read it and I’ll show you the guy that did the copy editing. I was gonna say the mom of the guy who wrote it but I doubt she read it either. This is not some iconic one everybody knows like Alan Moore’s Watchmen or Garfield’s Big Fat Hairy Deal.

The movie takes place in a future where 98% of the world’s population sit lazily in chairs (with things over their eyes – looks just like the cover of THE 6TH DAY) operating beautiful looking robot duplicates that go out into the world for them. So it’s kind of like THE MATRIX, if everybody knew they were plugged in and did it willingly, and instead of being a computer simulation it was robots. Which if this were real would be kind of better. Everybody knows the old rides at Disneyland with the animatronics are better than the new ones with computer animation projected on stuff. But this is not real and this is no THE MATRIX.

bruce-billyjoelBruce Willis plays Greer, a cop. When he’s a robot he has hair, when he’s not a robot it must be said that he looks kind of like Billy Joel. Fortunately he doesn’t sing any Billy Joel songs, or I would’ve walked out. Greer is one of the cops on the scene for an incident at a night club where a couple surrogates (surries for short) were destroyed and their eyes exploded. It would be pretty much like some cars got trashed or something except that when he goes to talk to the operators it turns out they’re dead in their chairs, their brains turned to mush. Until now having a surrogate has not been like being in THE MATRIX or in a Freddy dream – the whole point was that you could put your robot into danger and not have to worry about it. Except I guess you sort of would because who can afford to buy a new one, and what with insurance rates and all that, I’m sure.

Basically he has to solve this mystery about a weapon that can kill people through their surrogates, which may be connected to a movement on “the reservation” where the last remaining people who don’t use robots live. The movie seems to agree with those people about the technology, but it still portrays them as ignorant fundamentalist nuts.

mp_surrogatesThere’s plenty of cool stuff in this movie. It’s not the breathless TOTAL RECALL sci-fi actionfest I was hoping for (or even TERMINATOR 3), but there’s a pretty good human vs. robot chase or two. Nothing as good as the bathroom fight or the truck chase from TERMINATOR 3, but fun. There’s a whole world of people with doll hair and digitally airbrushed complexions moving around stiffly and not emoting quite enough. There are little details to the world like how robots get high, that the people on the reservation string up dead robots to make an example out of them like pirates, a joke about what you look like when your surrogate is in the shop. And I like the image of organic Bruce Willis, his face covered in cuts and stubble, limping around this artificial world, getting used to what it’s like to get up off your ass and leave the fuckin house.

Obviously there’s a subtext here about this here internet and how much of our lives these days takes place from a distance through electronics instead of just a couple of people standing in the same place having a conversation. You’re definitely supposed to think about all these headsets and handheld devices and newfangled gizmos that me – and I gotta admit, most likely Andy Rooney – are suspicious of. And it has pretty good logic about what would happen after living through these things, that you could become very vain and begin to hate your actual physical form and not want people to see what you really look like.

But the movie is pretty underwhelming. The mystery feels both too convoluted and yet not complex enough. It gets a little hard to follow since different people are controlling other people’s robots (there must be something in the Bible against that) but at the same time it comes unraveled too quickly, there doesn’t seem to be much to it. And maybe this isn’t fair to Mostow, but the advertising kind of fucks the movie, because the trailer shows the ending. In the context of the trailer I thought “whoah, then what happens?” but the answer in context is “the end credits with a cheesy rock song.” So it feels anticlimactic.

It also has that same problem from so many sci-fi movies where it always has to be about the most monumental thing that ever happened, something that affects the whole world and changes everything. Why couldn’t it just be a mystery that takes place in this world? I think that would be more meaningful. I’m sick of people having to save the fucking world. I mean that’s not exactly what this is, but it’s close. How ’bout we scale it down a little bit there, fellas?

And come to think of it I don’t think they even establish the world of the surrogates as well as they could. They go through a bunch of the history but they don’t really show you much of why people wanted to use these in the first place. The idea is that the world is too dangerous for a human to go into, but the robots don’t really take advantage of their safety. A guy jumps off a platform in a night club, that’s about it. Mostly they just go about their business. I mean you can’t tell me people wouldn’t be parkouring all over the place. They’d be doing whatever crazy shit they normally couldn’t. I guess it’s implied that the robots just go out and fuck stranger robots, but being PG-13 there’s not much elaboration. And there’s only a couple shots of weirdos on the subway to show that robots can have inhuman physical appearance if they want to.

This is not a criticism of the movie, but there are obviously lots of questions about what goes on here. They mention surrogates for kids, but you only see one and it’s controlled by an adult, so who the fuck knows where the kids are or who takes care of them or if they have to buy a new surry every six months. And you have to wonder what the protocol is with these things, where do you draw the line with using them? Do you sit in your chair to control your robot sitting in a chair to watch TV or something? Do surrogates jerk off, or does their perfect looks and flawless safe sex make porn obsolete? Do any humans like to fuck surrogates and vice versa? There’s gotta be some new fetishes developing in this world. Do some pervs have websites with spy photos of real women in their chairs? Are there even websites? Do surrogates sit down at a keyboard looking at a screen? If so do they recognize the irony? Do they have different outfits or just the one they sleep in? Does anybody have to iron those suits? If so is it through a surrogate or just some poor working class dude in that 2%? Are there aborigines using these things? Because 98% is alot of the world population. You have to wonder how it works in different cultures, how their histories and beliefs affect their use.

Also, how do you take a shit.

As for Bruce, of course he’s good, but this is not one of his better characters. He doesn’t get to use the charm and sense of humor much, but it’s not one of his deeper gloomy roles either. I like that it’s kind of about his relationship with his wife (Elizabeth Banks Rosamund Pike) and trying to reconnect without robots, but he doesn’t get a chance to mine the emotions of that too much.

Not bad. But not good. Not even as good as I, ROBOT, as far as flawed robot movies go. Better than DISNEY’S THE KID I bet, as far as Bruce movies. I haven’t seen that one though.surrogates-ad

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Friday, September 25th, 2009 at 1:48 am and is filed under Bruce, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

52 Responses to “Surrogates”

  1. I agree totally. Had some cool stuff… but it was just OK. I just saw it 12 hrs ago and I’ve already forgotten most of it.

    One thing tho – his wife wasn’t Elizabeth Banks, it was Rosamund Pike from one of the Brosnan Bonds. Banks just produced it, for some reason. Clearly when you need a producer for your lackluster robot movie, you go to the girl from every other comedy film from the past 4 years.

  2. I don’t really know anything about this (and if I do go, I’ll probably avoid all the trailers) but if 98% of the world’s population have these “surrogates” then wouldn’t the population be doubled, essentially? I mean, maybe the surrogates aren’t taking in oxygen and excreting, but that’s a hell of a lot more people about… and by the time we get around to making surrogates, the population will already be a lot bigger (I’d imagine). So is it a really cramped SOYLENT GREEN future with too many people and surrogate people and Will Smith and whatnot?

  3. I’ve read the comic, and I didn’t do any editing on this. The guy who wrote the comic really thought things through, that’s part of what I liked about it. First, nobody died from the unknown marauder, but we saw a fat construction worker who lost his expensive robot that way, and without his robot strength he was unable to do his job and thereby pay the rates, let alone buy a new robot. So it was more like how a society like this would really be. There were also lengthy essays about sex and sexism in the robot age – basically sexism was down, since anybody could be in a female or male robot, but gender stereotyping was up: no way not to have female stewardesses when men can apply wearing female robot skins.

    And when you go to the toilet, the robot is idle, but you can buy an upgrade where you program some general routines your robot does so nobody notices.

    I liked the comic, I’d say it was one of the better ones, though not a great one

  4. Well that was kinda depressing. I had to endure a preview for in front of every single movie I saw this year and I was hoping it would be good because it seemed a lot like the crappy camcorder future-shock movie I was trying to make this summer.

  5. hilarious poster quote at the end, vern!

  6. I’d think sexism being down and gender stereotyping being up would be mutually exclusive situations. Is racism down too because everybody just chooses a white surrogate so that the cop-surrogates don’t tase them on routine traffic stops?

  7. Is it me, or is Bruce kinda phoning it in lately?

    I haven’t really enjoyed a performance of his since Unbreakable and Sin City(yes, I’m including DH4)

  8. I dunno. Willis seems like he’s been pretty hit or miss for the majority of his career. But yeah, he’s about run past that four year limit. (Bruce seems to have a few good roles every four years. Nicholas Cage has a seven year limit.)

  9. I would personally like to see a movie where Bruce stops the plot for a minute so he can do an a capella rendition of The Stranger, with harmonica solo.

  10. What about that one where Robert De Niro was a producer and Bruce Willis was playing Alec Baldwin? I can’t remember what it’s called and I’m too lazy to open another tab and check…

    (manages to overcome laziness)

    … WHAT JUST HAPPENED? I didn’t see it, but I heard it was okay. I think Bruce’s part was more of a cameo, though.

  11. What we really need is a feature length version of this-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HdiQXikS6s

  12. “I’m sick of people having to save the fucking world. (and the rest of your paragraph)”

    Dude, you’re going to so laugh at me, but that was my biggest gripe about that Dungeons & Dragons” movie (insert chuckle here) — and not that there was a shortage of gripes about that piece of crap, but that was pretty up there. We had “Lord of the Rings” coming out a few months later, with God knows how much money and talent hurled into it and these jokers make a Roger Corman (or for today’s kids, the Asylum) version of it.

    Why not just do a simple story of some adventurers hitting a dungeon for some treasure? Fit the story to the budget? Make it a simple, mindless action-fantasy movie instead of trying to be some big-ass epic that involves kingdoms, democracy and Jeremy Irons? In that regards it was like seeing an 8 year old girl dressing in her Mom’s clothes and putting on make-up, without being cute.

    Wow. I just wasted five minutes on a D&D gripe in a Bruce Willis film review thread. Is there an award for “best seague-way into a bizarre topic?”

  13. For every great movie Bruce Willis does it is followed by two that are almost unwatchable.

    I have no intention of seeing this movie in the theater because the trailer just looks like a mish mash of every sci-fi movie of the last 10 years. I see I Robot,A.I.,Minority Report, and others all being ripped off in the same 30 sec trailer and i dunno it just looks very un-original to me and your review only confirms my initial suspicions thats its just rehashed rubbish.
    It will prolly make it into my netflix que though as i’ve sat through The Whole Ten Yards, Hudson Hawk and Death Becomes Her.

    And to Stuntock mike I would agree with you if he hadn’t had the role in Planet Terror. I enjoy the shit out of that movie, missing reel and all.

  14. Patrick – it sounds like they had to dumb it down for the movie. Those seem like more interesting aspects of the world to explore than what they ended up with. I guess that’s usually what happens after a sci-fi story goes through the studio executive gauntlet. They do show that men can control female robots, but I took it more as a joke about “that horny girl you’re talking to online is actually a fat middle aged man.”

  15. I vote that Vern should close all future reviews (and maybe retcon all past reviews) with a pseudo-poster and blurb. (I know he’s done a few, but dang… I’ve had a pretty taxing day, and I was still smiling for a while after that one. {g})

    Vote now!!–Vote early!!–Vote often!! WHO… IS… _WITH_ ME!!??

  16. epoc (and others), since I’m too lazy to type the shit up, I scanned the pages in, and yes, racism, too *g*:

    http://www.p-pricken.de/uploads/temp/surrogates25.jpg
    http://www.p-pricken.de/uploads/temp/surrogates26.jpg
    http://www.p-pricken.de/uploads/temp/surrogates27.jpg
    http://www.p-pricken.de/uploads/temp/surrogates28.jpg

    Now, you can say that’s unrealistic, and I it just might be, but it’s still a sign of thought being put into it.

  17. Hmm… it seems my comment didn’t go through; if Vern finds it, maybe he exchanges it for this one or something. Basically, I scanned the pages of the comic that deal with racism, sexism et al, that basically set the stage. It’s 4 pages, the first being here:

    http://www.p-pricken.de/uploads/temp/surrogates25.jpg

    and the other ones then 26, 27, 28. I think having 4 links made my comment go poof, so I rely on you being able to change the url manually. Fairly lage images, too, roughly 2 MB, but I didn’t want to tone down the size and make it unreadable, it’s already black on blue text.

  18. dieselboy, too true. I also loved Planet Terror. He wasn’t the main guy though. Same as What Just Happened. He was the only good thing about that.

  19. Actually I dunno about Bruce in PLANET TERROR. He’s in it so little and his character is such a cartoon they could have gotten anyone to play it, and he seems to be acting like he knows that. He is the lynchpin of WHAT JUST HAPPENED, though, and absolutely fucking great.

  20. I don’t know Mr. S, there’s something about his delivery in that sequence that is completely Bruce. No one else would just spit out that entire mountain of dialogue the way he does. Technically, you could’ve stuck anyone in that scene and it would’ve been OK, but he spun it into that movie’s best scene, bar none.

  21. Brendan – presumably you’re referring to the SPOILER SPOILER “We killed Bin Laden” bit… glad you were into it, to me it just felt like a kinda lazy delievery. Like most of the movie, it just seemed too jokey to take serious, but not quite jokey enough to stand on its own, and ended up feeling a little flat. Glad it does it for you, though, because I really wanted to be into it. On the other hand, I guess you’re right that just having Bruce be the one to deliver it gives it automatic gravitas, no matter how into it he is. I mean, would we even be discussing SURROGATES if it starred, say, Michael Douglas? Even when Bruce doesn’t seem to be trying too hard, he’s still BRUCE.

  22. I think I remember you getting into it with Majestyk in some other talkback about Planet Terror so I’m not going to push the topic. But yeah, that’s the scene I was talking about, and while I think Planet Terror as a whole is a little to wink-wink with itself as a whole, that scene hits its tone and pitch perfectly, and it’s all because of just how Bruce delivers it.

  23. I may be the only one, but the scene where Shelton snaps her wrist in the car door handle is unwatchable, just brutal. I don’t know what it is, the rest of the movie I can laugh at (even the kid’s death) but that, I don’t know I just can’t look when it happens.

  24. That was you? I thought that was RRA.

    So many battles, so little consequence…

  25. It’s quite interesting what you say about most sci fi films being about some “grand” event like saving the world or such.

    It’s kinda true; if you look at the ostensibly sci fi films this year – Transformers, Terminator, Surrogates, Watchmen – they all follow the pattern you say. They’re all big budget studio juggernauts though. As soon as you look at indie sci fi this year – say District 9 and Moon, they are a lot more small scale (and, in my opinion tonally much closer to what I counside good sci fi books

    Do you think it’s really a sci-fi thing though? I think if you look at most big budget blockbusters, they tend to be about large scale, world changing events. I wonder if the sci fi films you are talking about are like that not because they’re sci fi, but because they’re big budget studio films. I think once you get outside of big budget studio stuff, sci fi films are just as likely to be small stories (A Scanner Darkly, Pi, The Fountain, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind).

  26. Majesytk it might have been RRA, it might have been Subtlety, I really couldn’t say. No one fought to the death (that I know of) so it’s no big thing.

  27. Yeah, I think I remember it being Mr M vs RRA on PLANET TERROR. I was a bit disappointed in it, but liked it well enough to enjoy it. And I would certainly never try to argue a movie out of casting Bruce Willis, that would just be foolish. Fergie, perhaps. But add Bruce to any random movie and you get something a little more watchable. Didn’t think he was too memorable in PLANET TERROR but he got the job done well enough. And hey, who’s gonna be able to compete with the glory that is Jeff Fahey? Nobody, thats fucking who. Even Bruce knows better than that.

  28. You gotta love Bruce’s first line, though: “Where’s the shit?” That’s one of those lines like “What about the girl?” and “What’s happening to me?” that get used so often that they should come on a rubber stamp.

  29. Also, I seem to remember battling someone to the death over Planet Terror (the crowd gave him the thumbs down, what was I supposed to do?) but I guess that was another sight. Maybe the AV Club. The snark is so sharp over there it rends flesh.

  30. Also also, to those who say Bruce phoned it in, I think that might have been on purpose. He’s basically in the John Carradine role, i.e. the established actor who gets hired to give the movie legitimacy but they can only afford to shoot with him for one day so he’s never actually in the same shot with anybody else in the movie. I love how bored and phony he seems. It’s just perfect. It;s exactly the way Cameron Mitchell would have done it.

  31. Mr. M — yeah, that’s the feeling I got too, like he was possibly trying to parody the one-big-name-in-the-picture who wants to get through it with the minimum possible work, while still making sure he or she gets the spotlight. As such, I think he nails it. Um, or, he just WAS the one big name in the picture who wants to get through it with the minimum possible work, while still making sure the or she gets the spotlight. Either way, kinda a funny parody, but not quite enough to make up for the fact that its not exactly a real performance, either, at least to me.

  32. I don’t know. Considering how natural Bruce usually seems onscreen, I would say acting fake constitutes a performance. Whether or not that performance works, though, is completely up to you, of course. I’ve shed enough blood over this movie.

  33. Bloodshed … over. Ah, I still love ya, bro. We’ll always have HUDSON HAWK.

  34. Can you fucking believe it?

    I feel a duet of Swingin’ on a Star coming on…

  35. Robert Rodriguez says on the director commentary that he directed Bruce to act exactly the way you guys are describing his performance. They shot his scene in one day, against a green screen in Rodriguez’s living room.

  36. Plastique – it’s true. I had the same complaint about the Hellboy movies. I think it would be cool for someone to spend money to create the world but not have to come really close to destroying the world. It could still be worthwhile. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of it Blade Runner is a good example – it’s a big event but not earth shattering. It affects the characters involved but not the whole world.

  37. The second HELLBOY had the same big Save The World Thing, but I reckon it worked a lot better than the first one.

  38. Yeah, when you create great characters and an interesting world, its usually enough fun just to let them kind of run around and play in it. It’s not that big epic stories are exactly a bring-down (hey, STAR WARS is centered on pretty big events, although interestingly EMPIRE isn’t really) its just that its kinda hard to keep thinking of new interesting ways to threaten all life. And even if you do think of an interesting one, the stakes are pretty much the same whether its a nuclear holocaust or, say, a giant vagina-squid from another dimension/our deepest subconscious fears. So they all play out kinda similarly and usually don’t get to have as much fun with the world itself as smaller stories.

    For all their faults, I think the focus J.K. Rowlings puts on the everyday world in the HARRY POTTER series is a huge part of their appeal; those have big events in them too, but most of the books and movies is just about day-to-day life, which she fills with cool detail. And, of course, it’s also much more relatable.

    Which isn’t to say that the stakes are necessarily low; I would argue that something like MINORITY REPORT would qualify, even though the events of the movie would alter the world quite a bit, but really most of the movie is about one man’s story and at the end he SPOILER really only “saves” three people who just get to live in a house instead of a tank of water. So I’d call it a smaller-scale story.

    Examples of great smaller-scale sci-fi pics (besides the ones Plastiquehomme correctly mentioned : STRANGE DAYS, THE THING, ALIEN, STAR TREK 2 and 3 and kinda 6, eXistenZ, BRAZIL, DARK STAR, GATTACA, MAD MAX (all), PRIMER, ROBOCOP, MINORITY REPORT (kinda), SOLDIER, SOYLENT GREEN (kinda), A CLOCKWORK ORANAGE, and um, WATERWORLD. Well, they can’t all be zingers.

  39. Actually, in The Thing, they make a big deal about how if the thing gets to the main population it will conquer the world in under a year, so that’s what motivates them to isolate themselves and become so obsessed with killing it. Just saying.

  40. Could you argue War of the Worlds? Yes, that whole movie has global scale implications, but not anything the main characters. The movie isn’t about creating some super weapon and figuring out a strategy to use it, but is instead about cowering in a basement terrified, hoping the nutjob who’s in the basement with you doesn’t get you all killed.

  41. Very interesting premise, but not explored well enough.

    For example they never really explained why 98% of people have chosen to use surrogates. The thing is, I believe most people would like to use the robots occasionally for work or for fun, but all the time? That’s a bit hard to take, especially since the world otherwise is 100% contemporary.

    The film also never adresses how human bodies are kept functional and healthy, as they seem to spend all of their time lying still with no nutrition or water coming in. You would end up in terrible shape in just a few days like that.

    And how do humans make children, when people date surrogates, and fall in love with surrogates, never actually meeting the actual person behind the robot?

    I think if you want to sell a premise like this, you really need to get the details down. Otherwise at least for me it’s hard to truly believe in the reality of the world the film is showing. And if I don’t believe in that reality, I feel emotionally disconnected, which is what happens here.

    The two action scenes were fun, but the film could have had more. Too much talk, when you consider that mostly the dialogue wasn’t very good.

    But Bruce I thought gave a very committed and good performance. He wasn’t phoning it in here.

    So all in all it’s pretty good, but nothing to write home about. Better than Transformers, but not as good as I Robot, which I really enjoyed as popcorn scifi (I’m not comparing it to Asimov’s novels in any way, as I feel that would be pointless).

  42. my favorite end of the world/large scale disaster of the last few years has actually been Danny Boyles Sunshine and i think mostly because it focused on such a small group of people and left all the scenes of panic back on Earth up to your imagination. You know that shits prolly hitting the fan back on Earth but the director knows you know that and focuses on the details of the different characters relationships instead. In the end good characters and flushed out relationships are better than a few scenes of extras rioting in the streets for food or seeing all the worlds large cities frozen over or some long speech from the President about humanity banding together or whatever.
    So yeah large scale event movies can def be good but shit focus on developing some characters i can relate to first.

  43. Tuukka – excellent points, I hadn’t even gotten around to wondering about the reproduction. But it’s almost like that movie CARS, it really leaves you wondering how this all could possibly work. Now that you bring it up, I think if they had shown that the surrogates carry a sperm and egg and mechanically create some sort of test tube baby without the parents ever meeting I would’ve thought the movie was a must-see.

  44. mebbe its in Children of Men world and there dun be no children so that’s why you don’t see them and no-one cares about reproduction. cept unbeknownst to them Clive Owen is racing across UK to take Joy to Europe and bring new hope to the world. In US everyone uses surrogates to try live as long as they can since for them, this is all that’s left and everyone wants to be the last few left alive like Omega Man but without the zombies. Question is, will they be happy when they discover the second chance the world has – will they abandon their surrogates , or will they be like WoW addicts and never get it? This movie sounds prity good for a sequel, i think i will catch it next weekend, ta for review.

  45. Just saw the movie and I’m going to have to disagree with Vern a little bit here, but I think the movie falls squarely in the ‘good’ side of the spectrum. I don’t know maybe the premise connects with me a little bit more, or I’m more forgiving of the (admittedly plentiful) flaws then he is. But I liked it much more than I, Robot. I would have loved this if this wasn’t attempting to have some kind of high-stakes doomsday scenario, and was instead just a regular movie set in this crazy world, Blade Runner being the precedent. But knowing that that is never going to happen, I am happy to have a movie that at least seems to have a brain and a soul. My favorite part being watching Bruce’s body language in the scene where he is first walking around unplugged, and he’s wringing his hands and freaking out whenever anyone touches him. Also SPOILER, I liked how the kind of used they played around with the technology for the mystery. Like how the partner character dies halfway through the movie, and then her surrogate keeps getting used, so no one is ever aware, or caring, of the fact that she died.

  46. Personally, I’s agree with the earlier post that proposes that “end of the world” scenario isn’t intrinsically flawed, it’s just that most directors are too ham-fisted and and most scripts too cliched. Take a thoughtful little film like LAST NIGHT: definitely apocalyptic but totally compelling due to strong character work and a refusal to pander to bombastic spectacles. Another great Cronenberg performance in that one, too.

  47. Cinematical is running an article making a case that Willis is a great actor. And by “great” I assume they mean Paul Newman Great or Marlon Brando Great. Or at least Steve McQueen Great.

    There are some fantasitc performances on the list.

    It’s at the following link:
    http://www.cinematical.com/2009/09/24/cinematical-seven-arguments-for-bruce-willis-as-a-great-actor/

  48. I always thought it’s weird that whenever Bruce makes a non-action movie, everybody is like “Bruce Willis wants to prove that he can be more than an action hero”, although it seems that less than 45% of his movies were action movies. I would even go so far and say that Bruce is the prototype of the modern character actor who stars in action movies.

  49. I’m pretty sure this is based on/ripped off a David Brin book called ‘Kil’n People’
    as to ‘why would people use them?’ i answer ‘why the hell not?’

  50. Interesting evisceration of Surrogates http://www.bigempire.com/filthy/surrogates.html

    I thought the wierdest thing about Planet Terror was Fergie. I mean why? I thought cool indie type stuff had cool edgy indie people or people who at least had talent. Can you imagine in the 80’s when they were making Siesta, they were like ok cool, Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum, Grace Jones, Jodie Foster, Julian Sands, Gabriel Byrne, Isabella Rosellini, Alexei Sayle. Wait wait, dudes – Debbie Gibson!!!! Genius!!! Call her people and give them whatever she wants.

  51. I just saw the movie last night and gotta say that overall i liked it. It was definitely better than the 37% on RT would have you believe. I think what would’ve made it better for me was more detail into the world of the surrogates, like Vern and others were saying, and also a little bit more action wouldn’t have hurt either. My buddy suggested having an intro scene where someone (via surrogate) tries to use their robot powers to rob a bank or something and then robo-bruce has to stop him, showing how some people abuse their surrogate privelages or whatever. Or ya know, just a more exciting intro, like in action movies where they have to do the initial setup piece of action to show you just how badass the main character is.

    I must say tho that Bruce, as an actor, keeps on getting better. I really thought he was digging deep into those scenes where he was trying to reconnect with his human wife but her surrogate form kept shutting him out. I felt pretty sad for him during those scenes.

  52. Jareth Cutestory

    October 1st, 2009 at 7:05 am

    Michael – I’m too old to know or care who Fergie is: I had to look her up on Wikipedia. When I watched PLANET TERROR she didn’t stick out to me at all. So it’s not like some superstar was interrupting the film.

    But yeah, maybe people who know who she is would find her distracting in the film.

    But this idea that popular stars hurt the credibility of an “edgy” film is silly. You pick the best person for the role, regardless of their outside work. I really don’t like Madonna, but she probably did a better job in DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN than most other actors would. And David Lynch made great use of Billy Ray Cyrus in MULHOLLAND DRIVE.

    Maybe ten years from now, when Fergie is lost in obscurity like Kim Wilde, it won’t be such a problem.

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