I don’t know Bruce Willis. He could be the biggest jerk or the nicest guy on the planet. When I see a baseball player retire – perhaps you get a highlight clip of their best plays on the Jumbotron and a standing ovation as the player runs the bases for one last time.
Unfortunately, with Bruce Willis – his time acting is done due to a disease that has apparently been getting worse over time, making it impossible to do his job.
I’m 46 years old. Both of my parents are deceased and I’m now at that age in my life where you start to see more and more of your childhood idles pass on. I wanted to spend a blog post here walking you all through some career highlights of his. Many of you know a lot of his more recent movies were shitty direct to DVD movies, but I’d like to think of that as a guy trying to hold on a little too long. You get a free pass for me on it. DeNiro and Pacino have made some shitty movies too, so Willis gets a pass for me – especially considering it seemed it was a poorly hidden secret which probably led to most of his better roles drying up.
I want to go WAYYYY back and start from the beginning and walk you through memory lane. At one point in my life, I believe I had seen over 3,000 movies. One thing that tells me if a movie is good is if I can watch it a second time. And, you might find many of the movies on this list you have seen more than once, or perhaps dozens of times.
1985 – Moonlighting
While I was not an avid watcher of the show being only 10 when it came on, it did save me from reading “Taming of the Shrew”. My brain cannot understand Shakespeare, no matter how many damn times I read it. Thankfully, they had a “taming of the shrew” episode which I saw in school at one point and got me to be a fan.
1988 – Die Hard
Launched him into orbit. My favorite Christmas movie!
1990 – Die Hard 2
To me, the weakest in the franchise, but this was setting him up to be a franchise star
1992 – Death becomes her
This was a fun movie. Not his greatest, but fun. I skipped over a few movies before this I didn’t see or don’t really have a good memory of. The Last Boyscout to me didn’t age well.
1995 – Pulp Fiction
This is probably one of my top 5 films. Mostly when I think of this movie, you think of Samuel L Jackson and then John Travolta (who also starred with him in Look Who’s Talking). Willis’ story in the movie was compelling but the film overall to me is a 10.
1995 – Die Hard With a Vengeance
1995 – 12 Monkeys
So this one starred another one of my all time favorites Brad Pitt – for another blog post – but man he had a hell of a 1995. This movie has a nice twist to the ending which gets you pretty good.
1997 – the Fifth Element
Another movie I’ve probably seen 2 dozen times. What a cast!!!
1998 – Armageddon
Look at this cast! “Talk about the wrong stuff!” Seen this also probably 10-15 times.
1998 – The Siege
Not a top film of mine, but man was he a cold, heartless bastard in this. Star studded cast and good popcorn flick with a twist ending.
1999 – The Sixth Sense
I see dollar signs. Sadly, the best M. Night Shamalan movie was his first one, but Willis stars in another of his later. This ending just blew everyone away.
2000 – The Whole Nine Yards
I was also an Amanda Peet fan back then – but this was a fun movie about a relocated former mob guy. Had a sequel for yet another franchise.
2000 – Unbreakable
This was not as good as the Sixth Sense from Shamalan, but had an interesting story to it. Again – Samuel L Jackson in a movie with him!
2005 – Sin City
After a couple of decent movies in Hart’s War and Tears of the Sun, this came out and blew me away. I’ve seen this maybe 3 or 4 times and I’m still confused. Wasn’t a Jessica Alba fan until this movie lol. Very interesting movie, although I still need to see it yet again to follow WTF was going on. Just a beautiful movie with the style.
2010 – The expendables
Let’s just put every action hero in a movie, create a silly plot, have lots of guns, and people will come to see it. Yup. That formula works.
2010 – RED
This is a movie I’ve seen maybe 10 times. Just a LOT of fun and silly.
In the list above, I let out a bunch of franchise follow ups over the last decade like Red 2 and Die hard 13 and some movies that he was good, but a minor part in an otherwise bad movie (GI Joe in 2013). I mean, WTF with Channing Tatum in that? I grew up watching GI Joe and if they do it right, they could get 4-5 really good movies out of it. Was hoping the 2013 one would then launch a new branch. Nope.
So there you have it folks. I’m going to miss the guy.