Not Retired and Extremely Dangerous Movie Dreams

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Red Retired and Extremely Dangerous Movie

Do you know when your big dream began?

As a young girl, I was smitten with the movies. I was mesmerized by a watching a story unfold on the big screen. It didn’t occurred to me that this piece of magic was someone’s dream. Their everything. From the very first inkling of an idea to the final credits. A project that would take years to make and many obstacles to overcome.

It’s a real testament to the many creative people, from the director to the editing team, to collaborate and create a movie, fulfilling the screenwriter’s dream. So, here’s a salute to the screen writing team of Jon and Erich Hoeber for penning “Red” and seeing their dream realized.

While the editing of my screenplay is on hold, I offer up for you this screenwriter’s movie review of RED –


This madcap, stunt filled zany movie is a much lighter version of the darker and more violent DC Comics graphic novel written by Warren Ellis and Cully Hammer.

There’s a definite comic vibe to it with witty wry humor and over-the-top action. RED stands for Retired Extremely Dangerous. It could also be called RED as a representation for the amount of blood that is splattered all over the screen.

Bruce Willis stars as a former CIA agent (Frank Moses), a black operative who struggles with living a quiet mundane life after being forced to retire. His greatest joy is tearing up his retirement check every month and claiming it got lost in the mail so he can continue to woo pension worker Mary Louise Parker (Sarah Ross). Sarah bored with her hum drum life lives vicariously through romance novels, and dreams about all the places she’d love to travel to.

One night, ninja assassins are sent to Frank’s house to kill him. Instead, Frank turns the table on them and they end up quite dead, leaving the job undone. He quickly surmises who is behind this and wants to find out why his former employer wants him dead.

Frank goes on the run and kidnaps Sarah convincing her that who ever wants him dead will want the same fate for her because of their twenty-two telephone conversations. She relishes the idea of being involved in dangerous situations.

Frank discovers that the government agency is hell bent on killing him and some of his associates after hearing about a reporter (who ends up being murdered) who leaked news of a government coverup of an incident in Guatemala in the 80’s.

He enlists the support of some of his former colleagues to break into the CIA headquarters to see who’s behind all of this. They are-

  • Morgan Freeman, (Joe Matheson) an ex CIA recruiter and his wise and trusting mentor.
  • John Malkovich, (Marvin Boggs) a former test subject (given daily doses of LSD for 11 years) who lives in a bunker and is paranoid in his belief that he is still under attack.
  • Helen Mirren, (Victoria Winslow) a Kalashnikov toting former sniper expert.

The brilliantly cast (kudos to casting director-Deborah Aquila-“Dexter”, “The Shield”) is further enhanced by: Richard Dreyfuss (Alexander Dunning), a ruthless financial overlord; Brian Cox (Ivan Simanov) a former Russian enemy of Franks who likes to seal any conversation with a few shots of Vodka, Karl Urban (William Cooper) CIA agent who ruthlessly pursues his “old” target and shows full character development throughout the movie) and a charming cameo by Ernest Borgnine (Henry), a documents specialist.

When they discover the Vice President is the man behind all of this, it’s assassination time. Get them before they get you.

“RED” scores from the comedy injected by the Hoeber brothers and director Robert Schwentke coupled with the visually tantalizing actions sequences courtesy of cinematographer Florian Balhaus. (“The Devil Wears Prada” and “Marley & Me”). It’s evident this heady cast had fun filming this movie and it’s infectious to the viewer. Sure, parts of the movie are implausible, but look past that and enjoy the wild ride.

Who knew Helen Mirren would look so sexy hot firing automatic weapons? Or the fact that you find yourself rooting for Marvin Boggs, the genius nut job gifted with the slickest one liners in the movie.

Only in Hollywood is someone seriously old at 55, but this is the underlying thesis of “RED” and it works like a charm.” Joe Morgenstern

Is this movie popcorn worthy? Definitely!

Have you seen any good movies lately? I’d love to hear your opinions.


Toni left 8 Women Dream in November of 2010 to work full-time on her screenplay and Club B.

  • Heather Montgomery, CEO & serial entrepreneur

    I look forward to seeing it on the big screen – I love action and comedy and this looks like it fits both perfect!

    Thanks for the details! – Heather

  • Toni Schram

    Thanks for the tip on “Catfish”. I had read a few reviews on it and it was lauded by the critics.

    Another movie to add to my ever growing list of movies to watch via Netflix.


  • Rayne

    I’ve been dying to see this movie so thanks for filling me in on the juicy details. I love so many “older” movie stars and it’s great to see such a fabulous group.

    I did see an amazing “little” film recently. It’s called “Catfish.” I really recommend it. It’s about what happens to a cute Facebook generation filmmaker when he falls in love with a gorgeous girl on line and on the spur of the moment decides to surprise her with a visit. OMG, it’s such a ‘your worst nightmare’ scenario. No, worse! WORSE! If you can’t find it in a local theater, do put it on your Netflix wish list. FINI.

  • Laurie

    I have to see this! I love Helen Mirrin. What about that old Bruce Willis? HOTNESS!
    Thank goodness for movies.

    • Toni Schram

      Bruce Willis hasn’t lost a damn step! That smirk and twinkly eyes get me every time!

      Oh, and Morgan Freeman, what can you say about that consummate actor? You can’t take your eyes off of him when he’s on that silver screen!

  • Remy G

    totally wanna see this! Im guessing this movie will open the door for this genre! COOL.

    • Toni Schram

      I hope “RED” will blow the damn door wide open and we’ll get to see actors (a lot of them already put out to pasture for being 55+) in the movies.

      I loved seeing 93 year old Ernest Borgnine-he really hasn’t lost a step. Maybe it’s got something to with his eternally young looking wife, Tova.



  • I love the idea of this movie and when I watched the trailer with Heather we both went, “HEY! It’s a baby boomer movie for Toni!” Was Hollywood listening to you?


    • Toni Schram

      The Movie Gods have answered my prayers! I loved seeing Helen Mirren taking on a comedic role. And John Malkovich, he was so crazy and endearing at the same time.

      Let’s hope Hollywood sees the success of this movie and starts making more of them.

      Come on H-wood, throw us a bone!

      Love ya-