Guy Cry Cinema
Guy Cry Cinema Presents: Cry Hard

Firefilm | 15 Jul 2014 19:00
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die hard reginald veljohnson

The film is deceptively simple: a New York cop is visiting estranged wife in LA, at night, at a Christmas party (I said it was simple, don't think too hard), when bad guys break in and do bad things. Bruce escapes the hostage portion of the party and spends the rest of the film side-strafing and shooting. Wait, he doesn't have a gun? Oh, he should probably hide in the air vents then. Oh he does? Good.

Officer Carl Winslow was walking by eating junk food and decides he had nothing better to do than to become Bruce's lifeline on the outside (Kyle's Edit: the character is actually Sargent Al Powell, but the actor Reginald VelJohnson has played a billion different cops, so it's not a big mistake.) With no physical interaction possible (calm down, rule 43), Fifth Element and Urkel's neighbor have deep conversations about how this particular beat cop accidentally shot an innocent kid.

While the A-plot of this film is Hudson Hawk trying to kill Severus Snape, the B-plot is this cop's journey into his own self-worth. A little action, a few explosions, then we cut back to the FBI taking over the investigation and Carl (Al) once again feeling impotent. I say "again" because we find out that killing an innocent child has left him unable to "pull his gun." Actually there shouldn't be quotes there. It's literally his revolver he can't use.

die hard alan rickman

Fast-forward to the end of the film. Every flammable liquid and gas has been ignited, the guy from Unbreakable has saved...most of the hostages, and Metatron is a puddle on the cement. Bruce Willis prepares to shake the hand of Reginald VelJohnson (Holy crap, that's his real name?!) and then suddenly Alexander "Mountain" Godunov recovers from being strangled to death an hour ago and tries to shoot ol' Sixth Sense. Joke's on him, he was dead all along. (Kyle's Edit: Ahhhhhhh, burn!)

Luckily the goon is shot by a revolver that evidently has a subwoofer built into each bullet, yet we're left confused as to who is holding said Dolby Digital gun. As everyone looks around in slow motion, it's Carl (Al!) living out a fantasy of how to dispose of Jaleel White once and for all. The music swells triumphantly for a once-impotent cop (metaphorically and maybe-literally-I-don't-know-I'm-not-his-wife), saving the day and the protagonist. Getting back on that horse. Regaining his virility. Way to go...yay...why isn't anyone clapping?

The look on Reggie's face can only be described as haunted, as he slowly lowers his hand cannon. He's in full-blown PTSD-mode. Despite the victim not being innocent this time, there's absolute terror in his eyes and the only reason he just fired his gun was muscle memory. Using his gun was an analogy to sexual impotence and Carl (AL!!) basically just "got it up" to his wife kissing him after handing him divorce papers. Cause it was an automatic response...that he wished didn't happen...don't question my analogies! (Kyle's Edit: I'm going to go ahead and question that analogy.)

This was immersion therapy that resulted in someone dead, usually the warning sign that you're doing something horribly wrong. He didn't WANT to shoot anyone; he didn't even want to use his gun. Reginald VelJohnson has to go through soul-shattering immersion therapy in this movie, every Christmas, every year since 1988. His jovial attitude and positive demeanor is ripped to shreds like so many dashing terrorists thrown out the window of a skyscraper. This is a deep, powerful, emotional scene that hits you right in the feels.

Also he played a jail officer in Ghostbusters. Look it up. (Kyle's Edit: And Turner and Hooch. He was a cop in that one, too.)

Like what you see? Secure enough in your masculinity for more? Dan also works on No Right Answer, the weekly debate show that knows what's really important: Pointlessly arguing about geek culture.

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