August 21, 2017

POLLitically Incorrect – The Bruce Willis Edition

Since Tom Danielson currently on an island somewhere that can’t be traced by radar, I thought I would take over his POLLitcally Incorrect duties for this week. Let’s not beat around the bush–I don’t know anything about college basketball outside of Iowa State, and to be honest even there I lack Tom’s expertise. So I’m going to mix it up a bit and talk about what I do know. And that is Bruce Willis movies. The following is a break down of the top 25 Bruce Willis movies as ranked by Rotten Tomatoes.  I could do research but I’ve basically seen every Bruce Willis movie three times so I’ll just wing it here. Let’s get on with the show.

  1. “Pulp Fiction”, 1994. Character: Butch (94%) – Pulp Fiction was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and is widely known for giving John Travolta a career renaissance. But we are here to talk about Bruce, and man does he deliver. As Butch, the boxer with a change of heart, this might be Bruce’s best role outside of the four times he played John McClane in the Die Hard films (yes I said four, that’s all they made, don’t tell me differently). I have no problem with Pulp Fiction being his top rated film. He might not be the lead but he has one of the best lines of his career: “Zed’s dead babe.”
  1. “Moonrise Kingdom”, 2012. Character: Captain Sharp (94%) – I only saw this movie once; it had some fun parts but I have never been a Wes Anderson fan. I know I’m in the minority here but the only film of his that I remotely enjoyed was “The Royal Tenenbaums”. And I also find people who only know of Bill Murray from those films annoying. And they wear those stupid Chive t-shirts. What the hell is Chive anyways? I am getting off topic, but this movie being number two is garbage. People only rated it so high because they thought they should. Be better critics.
  1. “Looper”, 2012. Character: Old Joe (93%) – This movie is absolutely deserving of its ranking. Directed by future Star Wars: Episode 8 helmer Rian Johnson, “Looper” is a incredible time travelling tale staring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a younger version of Bruce’s character. If we’re being honest, Johnson gets the best performance out of Willis in close to fifteen years. It’s no secret that Bruce has been coasting in films for a while now, but “Looper” is a triumphant return to form. If you haven’t seen this movie you need to check it out.
  1. “Die Hard”, 1988. Character: John McClane (92%) – What more can I saw about this masterpiece that hasn’t already been said? It’s an absolute classic; the best action movie ever made. It’s deserving of a number one ranking on this list, and it’s a crime that it comes in at four. If you haven’t seen “Die Hard”, do yourself a favor and go rent or download it immediately.
  1. “Nobody’s Fool”, 1994. Character: Carl Roebuck (91%) – This is the first of the films I have a foggy memory of. I think it stars an older Paul Newman as the local town drunk? Maybe? I do remember that Bruce plays an asshole in it. I think. And if there is anyone who plays an asshole well, it’s Bruce Willis. This movie feels like a west coast basketball team that everyone says is good, but by the time they play most people are either in bed or too drunk to remember watching. [Editor’s note: I’ve never heard of this movie and I think Ted is making it up. Let’s stick to real movies from here on out, Ted.]
  1. “Twelve Monkeys”, 1995. Character: James Cole (88%) – Two time travel movies in the top ten. That’s impressive, but even more impressive is how completely different but enjoyable they both are. Directed by Terry Gilliam, “Twelve Monkeys” offers a trippy look at a more post-apocalyptic type of time travel than “Looper”. Willis gives an amazing proformace here, and if I were doing the rankings this would easily be in the top five. As it stands, it sits just outside (freaking “Moonrise Kingdom”). Before I move on. I’d like to take this moment to advise you to watch the Syfy show based on this film. It’s outstanding.
  1. “The Sixth Sense”, 1999. Character: Malcolm Crowe (85%) – Do you see dead people? Made before the internet ruined every twist in every movie, “The Sixth Sense” joins the list of movies ruined for me by dumbasses. No joke–the day I went to see this movie during my junior year of high school, I had a weights class that morning. As I am doing the bench press some meathead above me says, “Hey I saw Sixth Sense last night, can you believe Bruce Willis is dead the entire time??” Thanks, dick. He joins the guy who screamed that they killed (SPOILER) outside of “The Force Awakens” on opening night as the only two times a movie was spoiled for me in real life by dumbasses. Before I forget–this movie seems properly ranked.
  2. “Grindhouse”, 2007. Character: Lt. Muldoon (83%) – Full disclosure, I don’t remember much of this movie besides being let down and Rose McGowen having a machine gun for a leg. For me, this was the point in which Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez movies, how do I put this, stopped being good. No idea how this is top 10, putting it here screams living off of past reputation. Basically the University of Texas of this poll.
  3. “Live Free or Die Hard”, 2007. Character: John McClane (82%) – This is going to be controversial, and I’m prepared for the blowback: I think this film is properly ranked. “But Ted, how can you have this as the second highest ‘Die Hard’ on the list?” Stay with me for a second. I both love and appreciate how great Die Hard with a Vengeance is. It should be ranked right after this film. At a later point I will write about how Matt Farrell is the best sidekick in ALL the Die Hard films (sorry Zeus). The main thing that makes a “Die Hard” film is John McClane being in over his head (which he is here going against computer hackers) and having family members in danger (which happens when his daughter becomes involved). Go re-watch this film and you’ll see that the tunnel scene ranks up there with the most intense “Die Hard” sequences. Yes, I know the jet plane scene is bullshit, but we give John and Zeus falling hundreds feet off a bridge in “Die Hard with a Vengeance” a pass so why not this? [Editor’s note: It took a lot of professional restraint to not re-write this entire paragraph. “DHWAV” is one of the greatest action movies of the 90s. @ me.]
  4. “Sin City”, 2005. Character: Hartigan (78%) – When I first saw this movie in the theater it blew me away. Visually it was like something I had never seen before. I’m sure it has aged like a fine wine, right? No reason to watch it again or its shitty sequel. Also it brought Mickey Rourke back into our lives, so for that reason alone it deserves to be in the top 10. Bruce is damn good in it also.
  5. “Over the Hedge”, 2006. Character: RJ (75%) – Willis plays a raccoon in this I guess, never saw it. How in the hell is this the ranked 11th? SAD! Moving on.
  1. “Beavis and Butt-head Do America”, 1996. Character: Muddy Grimes (72%) – I don’t think I’ve seen this movie since high school. I do remember laughing way too heard when Beavis(?) is trying to figure out what happened to the TV and keeps staring at the footprints that go back and forth from the TV to the window. Anyway, I think Bruce and his then wife Demi Moore play a married couple that Beavis and Butt-head are chasing or have been mistaken for or something. Young Ted gave this high praises; that being said I don’t think it deserves this high of a ranking.

  1. “The Fifth Element”, 1997. Character: Korben Dallas (71%) – This has been described as “Die Hard in Space” and you know what–I’m okay with that. What I am not okay with is this movie being outside of the Top 10. Directed by Luc Besson (who also directed the masterpiece “Leon”), this movie needs to be seen in blu-ray or on a huge screen. Willis awesome, he is joined by Chris Tucker, who I know from the Rush Hour films, and a pre-“Resident Evil” Mila Jovovich. In short, this ranking sucks. [Editor’s note: Ted has never seen “Friday”. Our HR department is currently reviewing our bylaws re: staff suspensions.]
  1. “Red”, 2010. Character: Frank Moses (71%) – “Red” is a lighthearted film in the same vein of the “Ocean’s 11” movies where main characters crack jokes during life or death situations. I enjoyed it but at this point of the rankings a lot of these films start to blend together. I do remember the scene from the trailer in which Bruce steps out of the car doing a cookie while shooting, that was pretty cool. Feel like this should be lower on the list.
  1. “In Country”, 1989. Character: Emmett Smith (70%) – I have never heard of this movie, had no idea it existed until today, holy shit his name is Emmet Smith, also here is a trailer. HOW IS THIS TOP 15?!!

  1. “Die Hard 2: Die Harder”, 1990. Character: John McClane (69%. Nice.) A lot of people crap all over the second “Die Hard”. Those people are wrong. This movie might not be a masterpiece but it is damn good. It’s probably the meanest in spirit of the four Die Hard films; crashing that plane took it a little too far. This is a good spot for it, right outside of the top 15.
  1. “Unbreakable”, 2000. Character: David Dunn (68%) – I saw this one in my early twenties right when it came out and I didn’t enjoy it. But it gets a lot of love online, so I kind of feel like I need to give it another try (it’s always seems to be listed in the top superhero films whenever they’re ranked). Samuel L Jackson co-stars in this film, putting salt in the wounds of the “Die Hard with a Vengeance” fans out there. Trust me it will show up in these rankings somewhere. If I had to peg a spot for this I would put it lower but I know a lot of people would put it higher. Screw it, this is a good spot.
  1. “The Expendables 2”, 2012. Character: Mr. Church (66%) Somehow “The Expendables 2” joins the ranks of other classics like “The Godfather Part 2” and “The Empire Strikes Back” as sequels that have a higher rating then the original. Not going to sugarcoat it, I saw this movie once after bars closed on a random Tuesday night. It’s not good. I thought I could enjoy it, after a night of heavy drinking: NOPE. In fact, as bad as the first Expendables is, it’s better than this. No idea how this movie is ranked in the top 25 and films like “Armageddon” didn’t make the cut. Total fraud of a ranking.
  1. “Bandits”, 2001. Character: Joe Blake (64%) Going to keep this short and sweet: the world needs more Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Therton team ups. Good fun movie, probably needs to be a bit higher.
  1. “Harts War”, 2002. Character: Col. McNamara (60%) This movie was about prisoners of war doing a trial to distract the Alt Right Nazi’s so that they could try to escape. Also, Bruce gets shot at the end and dies. That’s all I remember from this film, really. If we are going to have films in which Willis dies on this list can those films at least be “Armageddon”? Drop this film out of the Top 25 please. [Editor’s note: Like many of our readers at this point, I’m struggling to understand Ted’s “Armageddon” obsession.]
  1. “Look Who’s Talking”, 1989. Character: Mikey (58%) Anyone else’s high school biology teacher show the first 3 minutes of this movie in class? Please tell me my class wasn’t the only one to get the pleasure.  I think 21 is the proper ranking for a talking baby film.

  1. “The Astronaut Farmer”, 2006. Character: Col. Doug Masterson (57%) Yes! Another Billy Bob Thornton and Bruce Willis movie. This one is about a farmer who builds a rocket in his garage to go to space…holy shit how did this film get made? I mean, wow. Ok I tried being mean but I totally saw this in the theater and enjoyed it. But I can’t remember why. Would I rather see Hudson Hawk in the top 25? Yes, but I won’t complain too much.
  1. “16 Blocks”, 2006. Character: Jack Mosley (56%) I know I heaped lots of praise on “Live Free or Die Hard” earlier but this is the film I wish had been rewritten into a Die Hard. Willis stars as a down on his luck crooked cop who’s old, out of shape, and a drunk, but he decides not to look the other way when a prisoner played by Mos Def is set up to be killed. It’s light on explosions but big on smaller set pieces. A solid film that should be a bit higher on the list in my opinion.
  1. “Alpha Dog”, 2007. Character: Sonny Truelove (55%) A lot of people younger than me love this movie. I watched it once and I remember very little about it. I do know it’s based on a true story and Willis plays a gangster. I would drop this out of the top 25 for “The Last Boy Scout”, but that’s just me.
  1. “Die Hard: With a Vengeance”, 1995. Character: John McClane (51%) I’m at a loss for words. How the FUCK does this movie barely make the top 25? Not only a solid Die Hard film, but also a great action movie with great action beats. Even with the tacked on ending this movie should be top 20 if not top 15. Half of the people who reviewed this film didn’t like it, which blows my mind. As an added bonus I’ve included the original “too dark” ending to this film:

[Editor’s note: A movie in which Bruce Willis stars as a talking fetus is ranked four spots higher than the best “Die Hard” sequel. Rotten Tomatoes is canceled.]

Well I hoped you enjoyed me filling in while Tom is away on a tropical beach, and although you didn’t ask for it, I’ll end with my ranking of the top 25 Bruce Willis films according to me, Ted Flint.

  1. “Die Hard”
  2. “Twelve Monkeys (12 Monkeys)”
  3. “Looper”
  4. “Pulp Fiction”
  5. “The Fifth Element”
  6. “Armageddon” [Editor’s note: Really, Ted?]
  7. “Sin City”
  8. “The Sixth Sense”
  9. “Live Free or Die Hard”
  10. “Die Hard With a Vengeance”
  11. “The Last Boy Scout”
  12. “Bandits”
  13. “16 Blocks”
  14. “Red”
  15. “Hudson Hawk”
  16. “Die Hard 2”
  17. “Death Becomes Her”
  18. “The Whole Nine Yards”
  19. “Nobody’s Fool”
  20. “Last Man Standing”
  21. “Look Who’s Talking”
  22. “The Astronaut Farmer”
  23. “Unbreakable”
  24. “Beavis and Butt-Head Do America”
  25. “Striking Distance”
Ted Flint 94 Articles
Site Founder - "The Man With the Plan"

Ted's friends often refer to him as the “Angry Panda" because of his cuddly, teddy bear-like nature and his fierce loyalty to those close to him. He's also not afraid to bite if you cross him or any of his allies. Born and bred in small town, southeastern Iowa, Ted took his Iowa State degree and moved to Kansas of all places. Ted loves to hold on to those small town roots though, by refusing to acknowledge any music made after 2005. His major goals include making the internet fun again, seeing the Cubs win a World Series live, and having a beer with Jon Stewart. This website is a step toward one of those goals.

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