I had an errand downtown Saturday, but alas, the block I was trying to reach was closed off. Parked police cars with lights flashing sat at either end, and in between were what appeared to be either soldiers or the baddest-ass SWAT unit in the tri-state area. Bomb scare? I thought, but only for a few seconds. Because lo, we are in Michigan, and Michigan is Hollywood’s sugar daddy (for the time being).
At first I thought it was more “Red Dawn,” which is seemingly everywhere these days. The “police station” is still wearing its wardrobe:
The red star with the whatever-it-is Chinese character is a logo throughout the film. If anyone speaks the language, I’d be interested in knowing what it means. Probably “tax incentives.”
Ah, but this is the conquered America of Barack Hussein Quisling Bow-down Obama, so this police station is well-fortified against the people it protects and serves. Street level:
And just in case you wanted to know what city our fair one is standing in for, the front door:
I tried to take a shot of the set that was working Saturday, but alas, the iPhone has no telephoto function. And I don’t think it was “Red Dawn.” The Guardian building is where they’ve been shooting this Wesley Snipes actioner, “Game of Death.” Imdb synopsis:
After a botched assassination attempt on a Diplomat, everyone from the Diplomat and his bodyguards to the group of assassins behind the attempt ends up at the same hospital where they fight it out.
Someone I know is working on this production. She calls it, “‘Die Hard’ in a hospital,” which is either the ten-thousandth or ten-thousand-and-first “Die Hard”-in-a-(fill in the blank) thumbnail. Did the people who made “Die Hard” v.1 know what they were doing? Maybe. I still stop to watch it, and all of its sequels, when I surf past them on cable, if only for a few minutes. Wouldn’t be the movie it was without Bruce Willis, of course, but he was well-served by the various British straight men they threw up against him, particularly Jeremy Irons. When Alan Rickman quotes Plutarch to the Japanese industrialist before busting a cap in his ass, well, that’s a moment that sticks with you, too.
But the genius of it was to simply ask the question everybody with half a brain asks when suffering through most action movies: Wouldn’t it hurt to pound someone in the skull with your bare fist like that? Bruce Willis stops from time to time to say “ouch” — that’s the ground broken by “Die Hard.” So simple. So successful.
That’s about the end of the verisimilitude*, however, and “Die Hard” was the beginning of action-movie loot hyperinflation. The first installment was about the theft of $600 million in bearer bonds, whatever those are. (Bearer bonds were very big in ’80s/’90s action movies, and that link explains why — they’re popular for money laundering — but I think their popularity is also tied to the alliteration of their name, as everyone from Alan Rickman to 50 Cent can sound cool saying “bearer bonds.”) By the third “Die Hard,” Jeremy Irons was plotting to steal all the money in the world, or at least all the gold held by the Federal Reserve in lower Manhattan; he had to carry it away in a convoy of dump trucks. This raises so many questions in the mind of even a half-bright moviegoer — how does one launder a dump truck full of gold? (Bearer bonds!) Hell, how does one even get it out of North America? — you could even forget that this is a summer movie and you’re not supposed to think about it.
But it was too difficult to top, and by the last “Die Hard” I don’t even remember what the bad guys were after, only that Bruce brought down a helicopter with a fire hydrant, and it was awesome.
* My personal quibble with action-movie reality: The noise factor. People are always firing machine guns or having explosions happen five feet away, and no one ever stops to say, “I can’t hear you! My ears are ringing from that explosion!” I spent one measly hour on a firing range Friday, wearing foam earplugs and earmuff protection, and every round above .38 caliber still made me just about jump out of my skin.
Oh, well. Monday bloggage? Sure.
Lots of blogs are reading “Going Rogue” so you don’t have to, but few are striking the perfect tone that Lawyers, Guns and Money is. They’re up to Chapter 4 now, but it’s all on the main page, still, so just scroll down and work your way up. I was interested to read this note about Chapter 3, which calls out the She-Who/Lynn Vincent casualness with her chapter epigraphs:
So far as bungled epigraphs go, the third chapter is arguably the winner so far, attributing this nugget of wisdom to the renowned former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden:
Our land is everything to us…. I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember than our grandfathers paid for it — with their lives.
Now, if that’s not the sort of thing you’d expect a hall of fame basketball coach to say, that’s because, of course, he didn’t. Students of American Indian history might recognize that passage as belonging instead to John Wooden Legs, the post-WWII Northern Cheyenne tribal leader who — though a contemporary of John Wooden’s — was not the same guy.
Yes, yes — it’s absurd to expect much from Sarah Palin, but imagine if these sorts of gaffes had appeared in books by Hillary Clinton or Obama himself.
Exactly. Confusing John Wooden, the basketball coach, with John Wooden Legs, the Indian? That’s funny.
Ah, Monday. Police rounds, Russian lesson, followed by abs/glutes class in the evening. My life is sometimes indistinguishable from Paris Hilton’s.
Which reminds me of a story I forgot to blog, about a team of teenage burglars in Hollywood, who broke into various stars’ homes when they knew they’d be out partying. Among the victims was Paris Hilton, hit on multiple occasions, aided by this killer detail: She keeps her house key under the mat. No kidding.