Wednesday, August 1, 2007


A lot in common these flicks.

Both basically cartoons—highly entertaining cartoons.

Lots of laughs and adventure in both.

The heroes of each are aging bald guys, who perform unrealistically heroic acts, in part to save their relationship with one of their children, who had shunned them.

Both heroes are primitive guys, not big on the heavy thinking.

Both talk as if they don’t want to be bothered helping others and doing the right thing, but in the end can’t help doing it because they’re “that guy.”

Both are faced with pseudo-intellectual megalomaniac villains, who work, or recently worked for, the top levels of the federal government.

Both seem to be the only ones capable of saving the society they live in, but stand out from and don’t necessarily approve of.

The very survival of their city/country is in jeopardy until they save the day.

Which they both do, but only after receiving help from outsiders who have arcane knowledge that the heroes need to fulfill their destiny.

And both films leave you (or at least me and a few million other people) satisfied at the end, having had a perfectly mastered movie escape for a few hours.

Homer Simpson and John McClane (did the writers of the original really base the name on the war hero Senator?).

I used to know Bruce Willis, back before he became a TV star and then a movie star. He tended bar at an actors hangout on the upper Westside of Manhattan, a bar I used to call Grand Central because it was always so crowded and the name of the place reminded me of that name, so much so I can’t remember the real name.

He was a likable, funny, South Jersey guy and I was happy for his success, just sorry to see his rightwing politics later on (another example of how much of a myth that whole “liberal Hollywood” jive is).

This character, the hero of the DIE HARD franchise, is such a cartoon who performs,—especially in this latest flick—the most humanly impossible feats, but has such good one liners and Willis plays him with such cocky insouciance, you can’t help enjoying watching him.

Just as you can’t help but enjoy watching Homer Simpson as he refuses, or is incapable, of being anyone other than who he is.

Which is the real message of both these flicks. You gotta love these guys because they refuse, or are incapable of being anyone other than who they cartoonishly are. God bless’em, in gratitude for the great entertainment they provide.

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