July 11, 2003

It's Amazing How Far One White Tank Top Will Get You

Now, PCC wants to make it clear that once upon a time Bruce Willis, aka former Mr. Demi Moore, held the much coveted spot atop PCC's list of actors she despised. He beat out Nic Cage (with the exception of Raising Arizona), Russel '30 Odd Foot of Grunt' Crowe, Tom Selleck, Tom Arnold, Eddie Murphy, Val Kilmer, Tom Green and the newest member, Irish bad-boy wannabe Colin Farrell. Willis' reign as most-despised-actor didn't stem from a particular role, or any insulting public statement or interview PCC read. No, there was just something about Brucie that made PCC recoil.

But times have changed and PCC has decided to reevaluate Mr. Willis. What prompted this reappraisal, you might ask. Perhaps it was the unseasonably warm weather in usually mild Portland that caused PCC to rent something mindless, violent and full of dirty white tank tops. And it was with Die Hard (though not Die Hard 2, which was awful) that PCC carefully dusted off her reigning king of hated actors and moved him to a new, more positive, mental shelf. Though Brucie has not yet joined the ranks of Adrien B., Giovanni R., Daniel D.L. et al, he's slowly making his way up the ladder. For those of you not familiar with the former Mr. Moore, PCC has compiled a list of Willis' 5 best films, in chronological order.


Die Hard (1988). From the producer of the fantastic Lethal Weapon series (PCC is completey serious, she adores Weapons 1-4), Die Hard is your basic shoot-'em-up action flick that's actually suspenseful. Bruce plays NYPD cop John McClane who must save a building full of hostages from the maniacal 'European' terrorist Alan Rickman. Lots of blood, guts and Brucie running around in a dingy white tank top with C4 explosives, as well as the birthplace of the useful phrase 'yippee-ki-yay motherfucker!'


Pulp Fiction (1994) For those of you who've had your head in a hole for the past decade and missed Quentin Tarantino's follow-up to 1992's Reservoir Dogs, Bruce plays struggling pugillist Butch Coolidge who kills a man in a fixed fight and, true to his man o'action form, spends the rest of the movie trying to avoid various violent people and briefly reviving the cinematic career of the samurai sword in American film (until its triumphant return this winter with Tom C. in The Last Samurai).


Twelve Monkeys (1995). Sans hair and paired with wacko Brad Pitt, Willis is excellent in Terry 'Monty Python' Gilliam's futuristic plague thriller. The constant shifting between the 'past' and the 'present' can get a bit confusing, but if you watch carefully, everything makes a modicum of sense at the end.


The Sixth Sense (1999) Despite not being a huge fan of horror films- or Mr. Willis, for that matter- the first time she saw M. Night Shyamalan's film, PCC was actually quite impressed. If you haven't seen it (please refer to Pulp Fiction's head-in-a-hole bit), PCC won't ruin the ending for you, and will only say that Bruce gives a wonderful performance as child psychologist Malcom Crowe who finally takes Haley 'I see dead people' Osment seriously.


And finally, 2001's Bandits. Go ahead and laugh, but PCC loves this film. The cast is perfect: Bruce as a slick ladies' man/bank robber Joe Blake, Billy Bob Thorton (though is a last name really necessary here? how many other Billy Bobs do you know?) as his uber-phobic partner Terry Collins and Cate Blanchett as the woman they both love. There's enough action to satisfy Brucie's Die Hard contingent, but also lots of quirky humor, thanks in large part to the hilarious interactions between Bruce and Billy Bob. A satisfying ending, as well as being filmed in Portland, make Barry Levinson's film quite an enjoyable two hours.

Posted by jordan at July 11, 2003 2:10 PM