Pop Rocks: Celebrate Bruce Willis' 58th Birthday With Your Favorite Bruno Flick

Categories: Pop Rocks

That hat is actually back in style.
Walter Bruce Willis was born on this date in 1955 in West Germany. A mere 30 years later, he was introduced to America as "that balding wiseass on Moonlighting," and the rest is mostly exploding history.

Since his David Addison days, Willis has become one of the biggest movie stars in the world. I won't claim much love for just about anything he's made since shaving his head and playing multiple variations of the "aging badass" character he should have trademarked in 2007, but the dude had plenty of quality films under his belt. Any of which would be perfect to enjoy while waiting to watch your tournament bracket implode.

In chronological order:

Blind Date (1987)
Willis' first leading man role didn't force him to stretch his abilities much. Indeed, Walter Davis might as well be the Blue Moon detective's less confident brother. Still, I love John Larroquette, and even back in '87, the movie felt a little out of place, with a more 1970s aesthetic. Small surprise it was a Blake Edwards film.

Die Hard (1988)
Well, duh. Not just one of the greatest action movies ever made, but possibly the greatest Christmas movie of all time. The original, and still the best (I rank the the DH movies 1. Die Hard 2. With a Vengeance 3. Die Hard 2 4. and 5., who cares?)

Hudson Hawk (1991)
History will prove me right in asserting this movie's sorry legacy is more a result of lousy marketing than actual, uh, sorry-ness. Pitched as an action flick so soon after the second Die Hard, the goofy musical numbers and obvious comedy touches fell flat. It's worth a second look. Seriously.

The Last Boy Scout (1991)
Between this and Hudson Hawk, people were actually writing Willis off as a had-been in 1991. I won't argue TLBS *isn't* misogynistic or flat-out mean-spirited, but what it is is a perfect snapshot of the moment '80s style action blurred into '90s hyper-stylized excess.

Plus: "If you touch me again, I'll kill ya."

Pulp Fiction (1994)
Everybody talks about how Quentin Tarantino resurrected John Travolta's film career (and not all of us were happy about it), but what gets overlooked is how Willis' fortunes also rebounded following his take no prisoners (and spare no gimps) performance as boxer Butch Coolidge.

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