Thoughts on Bruce Fest and Pagford


Bruce Willis as "Joe" in Looper. Actually, Old Joe. From www.eonline.com.

Bruce Willis as “Joe” in Looper. Actually, Old Joe. From http://www.eonline.com.

Bruce as the police chief in "Moonrise Kingdom." from moonrisekingdom.com.

Bruce as the police chief in “Moonrise Kingdom.” from moonrisekingdom.com.

Well, I had an odd “Bruce Willis” night Friday.

I can’t say I’m a huge Bruce Willis fan. “Die Hard” is not my cup of tea, but I am old enough to appreciate him from “Moonlighting” on TV.

Audrey and I decided to celebrate the end of the 2-day week 1 of spring semester with movie night. I suggested “Moonrise Kingdom” and “Looper,” two recent movies that I had not seen in the theaters, but vaguely recalled getting decent reviews.

Then our daughter called, and Audrey went for a walk at the mall with her, while I watched “Looper.” After she returned, we watched “Moonrise Kingdom.” When I rented them, I totally didn’t know I was also doing a Bruce fest.

Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman as Ssuzy and Sam in the movie "Moonrise Kingdom," image from moonrisekingdom.com.

Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman as Suzy and Sam in the movie “Moonrise Kingdom,” image from moonrisekingdom.com.

I found both entertaining, in their way. I definitely liked “Moonrise Kingdom” better, because I find repetitive violence tiresome, even in a mildly clever scifi setting. Anyway, Moonrise captured a bit of the mood of actually being a child in the 1960s, which few movies do. Hmmm. Have not played “Jacks” in many moons.

And Bruce is a pretty good actor without a gun in his hand. Moonrise had an ensemble feel to it, which was very nice, and the young stars, especially Kara Hayward as Suzy, stole the show.

So much for my Bruce fest. I also just finished JK Rowling’s adult novel, “The Casual Vacancy.” I actually really liked it because it felt true to small-town life, even though it’s set in a village in the UK. It really could have been Iowa, I think. It was a classic tragedy, with a heroine you grow to love who is fatally flawed—it felt a little Shakespearean, to me.

So, I recommend all three. Especially the Bruce fest. Rent Looper, which will pleasantly blow your mind a little, and then watch Moonrise Kingdom to detox and return to the real world. It reminded me of the weekend long ago when my sister Cate and I had a ‘Nam weekend because we watched “Hair” and then “Apocolypse Now” back-to-back at a movieplex in Moline, Ill. Story for another time, I suppose.

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