"I take orders from the Octoboss."


I’m sure most of you have heard about the retirement of the one and only Bruce Motherfuckin Willis – a.k.a. Bruno, a.k.a. Walter B – due to a diagnosis of aphasia, a disorder which interferes with the ability to comprehend speech. I saw a tabloid story quite a while ago which claimed he was struggling with early onset dementia, and it’s unclear to me whether that was a misunderstanding about this, or whether that was true and this is a further development. Either way, it explains some of what has been going on with him in recent years, which honestly people have been pretty unkind about. But now they know.

I don’t need to tell you what Bruce means to me and everything we do here, but here’s a brief summary: I idolized him as a kid because of Moonlighting, DIE HARD is kinda my favorite movie, my first Usenet post was about DIE HARD, many people are kind enough to associate me with DIE HARD and refer all DIE HARD related news items to me, Titan Books associated me enough with him that they got me to name my review collection after him, also there was a famous incident in the Ain’t It Cool days when Bruce himself unexpectedly logged in as a talkbacker to respond to my concerns about LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD being rated PG-13. To my left as I write I have a beautiful framed Thai DIE HARD poster that I look to for inspiration. Three days ago I bought The Return of Bruno on vinyl.

One of my favorite things I’ve written was the piece about DIE HARD from a little after my dad died. If you’ve read that you know how much my feelings about DIE HARD and Bruce are tied in with memories of my dad, who I lost to Alzheimers. I see alot of my dad in myself and fear inheriting his fate; also I have always looked up to aspects of Bruce and aspired to be like him. So obviously it hit me hard on a number of different levels when I first heard about this. Since I always believed the story it didn’t come as a shock to read the confirmation today, but the emotions came at me like a flood. And I know it’s the same for many of you.

I just feel for him and his family and I hope they’re able to enjoy their time together. Let’s all celebrate Bruce and send good thoughts to him and his family and friends. Also, which Bruce movies is it a shame I haven’t reviewed? I’ve done the big action ones, but surely there are some gaps.

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47 Responses to “Bruce”

  1. Man I remember that talkback and your exchange with him like it was yesterday. This sucks so much to hear but I knew we could count on you to speak on it pretty genuinely. I always wanted a review of TWELVE MONKEYS from you since it’s the first time Bruce starred in a modern Twilight Zone episode (THE SIXTH SENSE was the second) and played it so introverted and aloof which was a nice departure from his natural charisma and charm. Also DEATH BECOMES HER since it was the first time since super stardom that he got to tap back into that Moonlighting goofyness while holding his own against prime era Meryl Fucking Streep. Some excellent mega acting choices from him there that while broad are not overly corny comedically and has made that movie age pretty damn well.

    Lastly THE JACKAL not the best of the late 90s output by any means and Richard Gere just straight up sucks but it was nice to see him play the heavy after rocking the decade as a reliable leading man. Plus he gets some really cool wigs and disguises to fuck around with. This is really sad news but I’m glad he’s stepping down while he still can with some grace and at the least we still have Arnold and Sly holding it down for the Planet Hollywood trinity. Definitely looking forward to your future Bruce reviews. You’re still the only person on the net who approaches his work with some earnestness no matter what and I always loved you for it.

  2. This hits hard. Too young.

  3. This really hurts. Bruce is a big part of my childhood.

    Any THE FIFTH ELEMENT fans here?

  4. I kinda wish the announcement would’ve come out a day or two before the Razzies, just to screw with those dumbasses. But yeah, that’s a horrible thing and makes you wonder how many stories about “asshole Bruce who doesn’t give a shit” from the last 10 years were probably related to his health.

    Also I second the DEATH BECOMES HER request. It’s not just the most TALES FROM THE CRYPT-esque movie that has nothing to do with that show, Bruce gives a really great performance as comedic pathetic wimp here. Don’t think you’ve ever reviewed SUNSET, but that’s another good one too. Its bad reputation IMO comes from it being a Blake Edwards joint, that isn’t as downright comedic as the output you associate with him, so people probably expected something completely different from “The director of PINK PANTHER and S.O.B. makes a movie with the star of MOONLIGHTING about Wyatt Earp and Tom Mix teaming up to solve a crime in Hollywood.”

  5. Extending my sympathies, Vern, as I know what Bruce has meant to you and this websight.

    It’s terrible that this is happening, but it gives some new light to the last few years, where I think Bruce was just trying to keep going and stay busy and lock in some more paychecks for his family while he had the time. One or some mix of those things. As opposed to the official narrative of the last few years of “Bruce Willis phones in / sleepwalks through another paycheck film where he is the whole budget and the production values and basic craftsmanship are embarrassing, has he no shame, etc.” This turn of events casts the last few years in a more noble, stoic, heroic kind of light as someone soldiering on through his toughest years, fighting the quiet fight. I find extra dignity and integrity and respect in him doing that even in the face of everyone assuming the opposite — that he has no shame and lost his integrity. It’s a paradoxical kind of thing, where what you are doing kind of takes on the opposite significance of what it first appeared — borderline Shyamalan-esque. Anyway, the whole thing is a shit sandwich, but it heartens me to see Bruce being something of a hero through it all, after all. You die a hero, live long enough to become Seagal, or you just play the hand you’re dealt the best you know how with some quiet dignity like Bruce. There is a third way, apparently.

    I struggled to think of a good recommendation that you haven’t already reviewed, but I agree that JACKAL and DEATH BECOMES HER are worthy suggestions. Both are against type, but in different ways, and JACKAL is worth it for the Jack Black scene alone. I never saw THE SIEGE, and I think the reviews were mixed to bad, but it’s high production values and Bruce and Denzel, it’s gotta be at least worth it? No? I’m also a fan of RED, which is just fun. I mean, the cast speaks for itself and is more than enough to make it worth a watch, though I’m honestly not sure what there is to be mined for a review. A fun watch though.

  6. Without meaning to use this very sad news as an excuse to be pious or get on a soap box, I think this is an example of how we, and I include myself in this, should be a little less harsh on, or perhaps more accurately less mean, to artists just for making not great work. It’s one thing to clown on someone who has fallen morally as well as artistically, like Seagal, but all Bruce has been doing (as far as we know, excepting stuff like the odd Kevin Smith-type feud) in recent year was making not great films that was easy to ignore and I’m sure some people liked. I always think about how people used to talk about Robin Williams vs how people talk about him now. I know these are big boy rich people who can take it, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t get frustrated with poor movies, but if you just finish typing a long screed of invective about DeNiro wasting his talent on THE WAR ON GRANDPA or how angry you are about Adam Sandler making another mediocre movie where he (gasp!) hires a lot of his friends and (leaping lizards!) was more interested in going to a nice location than refining the script and then found out they’d just passed away, you might regret it.

    Anyways, I third THE JACKAL, not the smartest film, but a lot of fun.

  7. Felix- I’m only a moderate fan of THE FIFTH ELELMENT, but I have a friend who considers it his favourite movie. I bought him the Corban Dallas action figure for his birthday a few years ago. Unfortunately, the Making of Book is much too expensive to gift.

  8. Yes, this is a blow, but does, as noted, cast the last few years of Bruce’s career in a whole new light.

    I’ll second the recommendation for SUNSET, which is interesting in terms of seeing early Bruce explore his screen persona, and because it co-stars James Garner, another star wiith charm who’d done good work on TV, and they have nice chemistry.

    Also gonna second RED and indeed boost RED 2, both of which are fun and also see a bunch of actors, including Bruce, playing with ideas around ageing and action movies. A counterpoint to THE EXPENDABLES movies and Bruce’s Mr Church in particular.

    Would also really recommend MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN, which really only has Bruce in little more than a cameo, but it’s quite recent (2019) and Bruce is well cast, and you get a real sense that he does still care and does still have it. The movie, I think, tends to get dismissed as Ed Norton chasing an Oscar, as a detective with Tourette’s syndrome, but it has a twisty sub-CHINATOWN story, and fine performances from great actors, including Bruce. Michael K. Wlliams embodies jazz cool.

  9. This has not been a good week for me, and I don’t think I have a lot of emotional reserves in the tank to really process this news right now, even if it doesn’t exactly come as a shock. I feel like we’ve all been saying the long goodbye to Bruce for the past decade, and many have been extremely unkind about it. If there’s a bright side to this announcement, it’s that the snark stops here. I hope this leads to a major reassessment of an interesting, far-ranging, and accomplished body of work. I hope those Razzie parasites take a good, hard look at themselves. I hope we all try to remember that we only ever really see the tip of the iceberg of what any given person is going through. We’re all walking around on broken glass with no shoes, hoping the terrorists don’t notice the pain behind our one-liners. And I hope we all appreciate the gifts we have in the time we have left with them.

    Next time you have a chance to kill someone [with kindness]…don’t hesitate.

  10. Oh, and I second SUNSET and DEATH BECOMES HER. Or just review THE LAST BOY SCOUT a third time because I feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface of that unassailable masterpiece.

    Also, Vern, thanks for the link to the Twitter thread that indisputably proved that our man Walt does NOT hate hip-hop despite the hurtful things so many of his characters have said about it. Schoolly D! The man’s got taste.

  11. We love Bruce!

  12. Schoolly D! The man’s got taste

    Wait, Bruce Willis is a Schooly D fan? Where does this come from? Did he name his kid “Code Money Willis” or something?

  13. Scroll down the Vern’s Tweets sidebar and clock on the one that says “Amazing story!” It will explain all.

  14. Granted, that “Dirty Cash” song is pretty fuckin’ wack. But still. Not bad for a 45-year-old white harmonica player.

  15. So Bruce loved Schooly D yet Schooly D doesn’t like rock n roll which is of course derived from Bruce’s precious blues. Tremendous. Makes me smile knowing Bruce was the more well rounded of the two genre wise.

  16. Since we’re on the subject of music, I would like to call attention to this track from Bruce’s sophomore album, IF IT DON’T KILL YOU, IT JUST MAKES YOU STRONGER, the subject matter of which I feel is appropriate to this occasion. BRUNO gets all the love/snark but the second LP is less gimmicky and probably closer to the kind of music Bruce wanted to make in the first place. It’s just some whiteboy boogie-woogie blues but the arrangements are dynamic and Bruce is clearly having a blast. He gets to play the absolute fuck out of his harp on this one, which is always a treat. Could have used a Schoolly D feature but other than that, it ain’t bad. Check it out.

    Bruce Willis - Pep Talk

    A great track taken from Bruce's album "If it don't kill you, it just makes you stronger". Bruce on Harmonica & Vocals, live from the Blue Cheese Lounge, on ...

  17. I don’t think you ever reviewed Breakfast of Champions. It’s a very unusual Bruce movie, but I think he’s awesome in it. Plus it’s based on a Kurt Vonnegut novel, so I enjoyed it quite a bit. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

  18. Here’s one that could really use Vern’s thoughtful attention: THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES. I’m not claiming it’s a misunderstood and maligned masterpiece, but I think if it wasn’t based on a supposed epoch-defining novel that everyone had pretended to read then we’d know it as an interesting De Palma movie with Bruce and Tom Hanks trying to stretch themselves at pivotal points in their careers. As it is, journalists jumped up to defend one of their own against crass Hollywood that had foolishly thought casting the guy from Moonlighting and the guy from Bosom Buddies was a good idea. However, I think the movie gets closer to the truth of the story than Tom Wolfe’s so elegant prose really could.

    I wish we could cure Bruce with all this love.

  19. So Bruce loved Schooly D yet Schooly D doesn’t like rock n roll

    Not to be that guy, but Schoolly never stated that he didn’t like rock and roll, rather it’s time was over. Which, considering what the genre was currently producing (and what it was going to produce, apologies to the Nirvana fans, but they never did much for me) he certainly had a point…

    But props to Bruce for probably initially thinking “Fresh Prince”, but then thinking better of it.

  20. I can’t imagine how scary and upsetting this must be for Bruce and his family. But he seems to have a lot of love around him. I wish him well. And I hope he gets to enjoy a cappuccino once in a while.

    I also really hope it was Bruce’s plan to pump these movies out to build up a nest egg for his family, and not unscrupulous types taking advantage of a bankable star in declining health. The LA Times article out today heavily implies some unethical dealings by geezer-teaser movie producers and Bruce’s managers and associates, and relates some unsafe moments on set. It also quotes Jesse V. Johnson and others about Bruce’s condition.

    Concerns about Bruce Willis' declining cognitive state swirled around sets in recent years

    In interviews with The Times this month, nearly two dozen people who were on set with the actor expressed concern about Willis' well-being.

  21. Nice to see that the dudes behind the Razzies have rescinded the award they gave Willis this year, given the news:

    “If someone’s medical condition is a factor in their decision making and/or their performance, we acknowledge it is not appropriate to give them a Razzie,” co-founders John J.B. Wilson and Mo Murphy said in a statement March 31.

  22. There is absolutely no fucking way those Hollywood schmoozers had not heard rumors about his medical condition before now. Nevertheless I have decided to give them the world’s smallest humanitarian award. To collect it they have to jump into a volcano.

  23. Two things:

    1. Vern, I think you were a bit harsh on LAST MAN STANDING in your 2007 mini-review. I’m not asking for a new review or anything. Just sayin’.

    2. Treat Williams tweeted about a ‘really fun’ game of paintball he once had with Bruce, and I can’t stop wondering about the details. When? Where? Who else was playing? Can I travel back in time and participate? If so, can we blast Michael Kamen’s DIE HARD score while we play?

  24. Sad news indeed. My and my far better half are huge fans of DEATH BECOMES HER, so I would like to see a review of that. And I second Ernest’s BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES suggestion. SUNSET, and a new look at LAST MAN STANDING, would also be interesting. I think Bruce’ mini cameo in LOADED WEAPON 1 pretty much sums up what kind of guy he was. Hey Vern, how about a BRUCOLOGY – THE ASS-KICKING MOVIES OF BRUCE WILLIS?

  25. Would like to throw in another vote for Death Becomes Her and Bonfire Of The Vanities.

  26. Something I’ve always found interesting. On the commentary for 12 Monkeys Gilliam relays a story about how during the filming Bruce had to leave for a few days to do re shoots for Die Hard With A Vengeance. I’m assuming it was shooting the ending as it is now instead of the original tracking down Jeffrey Irons and killing him with a grenade launcher ending. Anyway he said he and Bruce struggled to get him out of John MacLaine mode once he got back. It’s the scene where Cole is looking for answers and violently shoving boxes over when they won’t stay up. I guess I just want to give an example of how he really did really throw himself into his roles. I really do wish him and his family the very best.

  27. Is Bruce Willis the last blue collar actor? It seems like everyone who made it big after him came from wealthy families or parents involved in the industry. And this isn’t a “kids these days” complaint. There are plenty of younger actors who got big thanks to nepotism who I actually like. But none really have the sense that they come from working class families.

    I think people also forget what big risks Bruce took when he got big. He wasn’t afraid to make himself look silly or foolish. I mean, look at Hudson Hawk and Death Becomes Her.

  28. Am I the only one who’s gonna go to bat for DISNEY’S THE KID?

    Okay, I haven’t seen it in like 15 or so years, but it seems like an interesting companion to LOOPER.

  29. In further Razzie news, they also rescinded their Worst Actress nomination for Shelly Winters in THE SHINING, basically saying that the performance wasn’t her fault because that was the performance Kubrick wanted from her.

    I have…thoughts.

    1. After 40 years of being the self-appointed arbiters of taste and skill in filmmaking, it’s nice that they finally figured out what a director does. Turns out actors don’t just show up on set and do whatever the hell they want. Have you heard about this? The director…directs? Is that right? Am I getting this right? He directs them to do what he thinks the movies needs? Shocking, I know, but what, were the Razzie guys expected to actually KNOW anything about their chosen topic before making their fucking living spouting off at the mouth about it? Where’s the fun in that?

    2. Notice how the wording indicates that they still think her performance–the entirely believable and human heart of this notoriously chilly film, which wouldn’t work with just about any other performer in the part–is bad; they just don’t blame her for it. The word “heroes” gets thrown around a lot…

    3. They’re still going with their assertion that THE SHINING–arguably a top-ten all-time horror movie by just about any distinction–is one of the worst movies of 1980 and that Stanley Kubrick was one the year’s worst directors.

    4. Let’s repeat that one. Stanley Kubrick. For THE SHINING. Worst directing of 1980. More than four decades later and they’re sticking with that one. You could call that integrity, I suppose. Sure, they might be a bunch of spiny-toothed remoras who have grown fat and bloated from sucking the lifeblood from the asshole of the creative instinct, but at least they’re consistent.

    Will Smith went to the wrong awards show is what I’m saying.

  30. Hey, you gotta give them that. Their dedication to being wrong and assholes about it is admirable in a sick, sad “God, please kill me if I become like them” way.

  31. It’s not like I’m wishing for their deaths or anything. That would be insane. But let’s just say that I am VERY MUCH looking forward to hearing what the industry actually has to say about them once they’re gone and no longer have any of their utterly unearned power. I’m betting the schadenfreude will be off the charts.

    Also their graves should have outhouses built over them. For reasons.

  32. I think we already knew the ship had sailed on another Die Hard, or even another Glass or Looper, but still the confirmation of no more new Bruce hits me. I actually think Death Wish could’ve been a great late stage Bruce were we not living in a world with so much gun violence that it was just unpalatable. Sort of like his Unforgiven trying to stay out of violence but violence following him anyway.

    I love Bruce’s cameo in the Emma Roberts Nancy Drew and I find him really sympathetic in The Story of Us. I second The Siege and Death Becomes Her.

  33. Thinking about the nastiness, it’s also apparent that the general public thinks actors have a lot more choices than they do. Outside of his own franchises and directors who sought him out, Bruce wasn’t getting offers like the ‘80s and ‘90s. Part of this is due to Hollywood being fickle. The industry has also changed the types of movies they make. Perhaps in better health he could’ve done a streaming series.

    We all supported Nicolas Cage’s DTV work here but not everyone was so kind and he even said after Sorcerer’s Apprentice Disney stopped calling. And that was part of their live-action remake of a classic cartoon formula.

    Maybe Tom Cruise and Leonardo DiCaprio can still get what they want made, maybe Will Smith until just now. DeNiro is the greatest but Hollywood only wants him for gangster dramas or dumb comedies, which aren’t the worst options. Even Clooney probably has limits on who’s willing to finance his politically themed projects.

    Actors aren’t sitting around deciding what they get to do. And I haven’t even mentioned women who have it even harder.

  34. That’s so true.

    I look at Bruce as someone who has had what appears to be an incredible and incredibly fortunate life, so, while I don’t like the hatorade people poured on him, I like to think he could take a punch and just keep it going. Comes with the turf of celebrity. I think the key is to commit yourself to the work and your values and then know that a lot of the outcome is out of your hands, there’s just your contribution to it. I can’t feel too bad for Bruce that he wasn’t continuing to get A-list roles: He had an amazing career. I would have liked to see him more in a Denzel / Liam Neeson mode (sort of what DEATH WISH was a glimpse of), but I don’t think anyone can be mad at the life and career he’s had.

    I also have trouble buying the narrative that he was basically being elder-abused into doing those movies, because by all appearances, his family is very dialed into and protective of him, and I don’t think they would knowingly exploit him that way or allow others to do so — otherwise that’d be some diabolical shit. I believe he wanted to stay busy or stay earning, and this was what he could get. Along with some of the more lurid gossip, I’ve read about a number of different people saying he was an awesome and giving kind of presence. In other words, he had his reasons, such as staying busy and generative, even if that was just in mentoring others or giving them some kind of platform while squirrelling away some more nuts for his family. I like the Nic Cage philosophy that seems to be along the lines of, even if the movie is bad or the material is weak, I can still elevate it or bring my me-ness to it.

    I think that’s enough. Bruce’s career was a lot of more than enough and maybe a little of just enough, but I think there is a lot to celebrate and have gratitude for. Though far be it from me to rush anyone through the grieving process, beause it is sad and heavy, and certainly would be preferable if he were kicking ass and taking names well into his Clint years. I choose to see a glass pretty full. My dad died at 65, mowing his very modest lawn, still working full-time as a machinist. There are no schools named after him or great novels he wrote that are still in print, but I think he led a good life that mattered. Mattered to me, at least. So, that puts things in perspective. Bruce has one more tough bad-ass role to play, and I know he’ll soldier on like the bawse he has been. Like he supposedly said in one of those heart-breaking articles: “I’ll do my best.” And that will be enough.

  35. Gonna put in a nom for a review of Nobody’s Fool–yeah, Bruce is semi the bad guy, but a very likable and charming one; and Paul Newman is one of the more badass characters in an indie comedy-drama ever (and that’s just the tip of the crazy talented cast).

  36. I remember in late summer 1985 ABC was promoting the hell of its fall lineup, and they were pushing Moonlighting hard. I was 13 and wondering what the fuck that show was supposed to be. That was also the year that my parents decided I was old enough to stay up til 11 on school nights. So, I watched the first Moonlighting by myself after my parents and my three younger siblings went to bed, and that became my show. Week after week, David Addison was the big brother or Uber-Uncle I always wanted. I loved that show.

    And then of course Die Hard is at least in the top three action adventure movies of all time, alongside Raiders of the Lost Ark and Terminator 2. There have been a lot of other great action movies, obviously. I love my Star Warses and my Marvels and my Lord of the Ringses, but the three best, purest action adventure movie experiences ever are Die Hard, Raiders and T2, because of the pure, pound-for-pound density of the awesomeness they deliver inside of 120 minutes +/- (whereas the MCU, Star Wars, Tolkien and so many others get a lot of their juice from the weight of a long journey over many films). I can’t pick a favorite of the big three, but the indispensable element that makes Die Hard sing is Bruce. We all know the history how that it began development as a sequel to the Sinatra movie The Detective, and it’s a miracle that they didn’t cast more of a traditional hard ass like Clint or Stallone in that movie. Whoever decided Bruce was the guy for it deserves a prize. I hope he’s able to have some peace and good years in retirement.

  37. I see nobody mentioned them yet, so let me just throw IN COUNTRY and LAY THE FAVORITE on the possible future reviews list. I saw both a long time ago, and don’t know if they hold up, but I enjoyed them at the time and they definitely made an impression.

    IN COUNTRY is sorta like Mel Gibson’s THE MAN WITHOUT A FACE for me, in that I saw it really young and throughout most of it I was having my mind blown that Bruce is apparently not gonna be shooting any bad guys in this.

    And LAY THE FAVORITE is probably underrated. Rebecca Hall and Vince Vaughn are pretty funny in it. And I think it’s the first Bruce & Grillo collabo.

    Also I checked the wiki and there’s this ‘Himself’ fellow on Bruce’s credits list. It’s a fictional character that he played almost as much as John McClane. He showed up in OCEAN’S TWELVE and, the above mentioned, NANCY DREW. And I think he gets most screen time on WHAT JUST HAPPENED, so that one would also be a good pick for a review.

  38. I remember Lay the Favorite being fun but I think that was another Harvey meddling situation none of the filmmakers or cast were happy with.

  39. Breakfast of Champions

    Granted I haven’t seen it since the theater, but it has Bruce (in a rare haired late ’90s performance), Nick Nolte, and Albert Finney. Based on the Kurt Vonnegut book.

  40. Weird, the link underlined, but doesn’t actually link..

    Lets try this

  41. I did watch BREAKFASE OF CHAMPIONS back in the day. It was weird. I don’t remember liking it, but it was yet another very against-type Bruce Willis performance and differently so from the others (though perhaps closest to DEATH BECOMES HER Bruce).

    Speaking of Kurt Vonnegut and Nick Nolte, roughly around this same period, MOTHER NIGHT came out, which I remember being quite good but dark and weird as shit, including a really inspired use of Frankie Faison and also of Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer). No idea how it holds up, but I remember finding it pretty out there in a good way.

  42. Aw shit, how could I forget BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS! (Michael Jai White is even in it for a moment!) Don’t know why that one is so widely disliked either. (4.5 on IMDb? Come on!) I guess it’s too crazy for normal audiences and not pure enough for Vonnegut purists, but as a movie that tries really hard to capture the spirit of an unfilmable book, it fully succeeds IMO.

  43. Yeah, put me down as a Vonnegut pursist on BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS, but I haven’t seen it in a long time. I think MOTHER NIGHT may be the best Vonnegut adaptation.

    Another one I haven’t seen in a long time is Alan Rudolph’s other movie with Bruce, MORTAL THOUGHTS, but I remember liking that a lot, and it has Demi in it too.

    It’s off topic, but I feel Rudolph went through a period in the ’80s where he was making movies just for me. I’d love to see a Vern review of TROUBLE IN MIND, which is set in Rain City (Seattle, I believe). The last time I watched it, it seemed to’ve aged badly, but hey, Kristofferson and Divine!

  44. Have you watched NOBODY’S FOOL (1994, also starring Paul Newman) or THE PLAYER (1992) ?

  45. Bruce could add character to his performances even with terrible material, usually. I have seen HUDSON HAWK 4-5 times not because it is good, but because Bruce is just watchable even in a nonsensical Trainwreck of a movie. Also they used to show it every other day on cable, but still. I can’t really imagine anybody else in that role. He couldn’t save the movie but he was at least entertaining to watch. That was the case in most of his movies, good or bad, he was still an entertainer and he worked hard to put on a show.

    His last 10-20 movies are such a sharp contrast. It is no surprise that the rumors turned out to be true, and it makes these later movies somewhat noble in retrospect. Good for Bruce.

    I haven’t seen any of them, but I watched RLM’s coverage and they show a pretty long take from one of his latest ones where another actor has a few lines of dialog and then it is Bruce’s turn, and Bruce goes “yeah!”. Then the actor says some more lines, and repeat. Even just saying “yeah” the guy has that sad charisma from SIXTH SENSE, and it is heartbreaking.

    Live long and take it easy, Bruce.

  46. I’m also gonna mention the fantastic film NOBODY’S FOOL from 1994. Peak late stage Paul Newman and Bruce perfectly cast as a sleazy but charismatic small town jackass. The scenes of him and Newman together just shit talking are hilarious and just brilliant. This is one of the 90s greatest overlooked films – a perfect slice of life look at crumbling, small town America – full of assorted folks just looking to survive with some dignity intact. It also features a magnificent performance from Melanie Griffith and a bit of early, berserk brilliance from Philip Seymour Hoffman.

    I think Bruce is at his most perfect in this performance.

  47. Here’s wishing Mr. Willis the best. Die Hard is one of the greatest… if not the greatest action flick ever made in the eighties. (That and Terminator, and Robocop… and every other action film I’ve forgotten –Mad Max 2, for instance.) And I love Hudson Hawk. Cheers.

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