“Die Hart” sees Kevin Hart playing a fictionalized version of himself as he tries to become an action star. Die Hart is a classic meta-film, occasionally featuring meta-humor along with multiple actors playing fictionalized versions of themselves. The movie knows what it is and doesn’t try to be anything more than that. The jokes are surprisingly limited for a Kevin Hart movie, while the drama takes center stage here. Hart delivers a commendable performance as he shines in dramatic scenes as well as comedic ones. “Die Hart” doesn’t try to overextend its premise with unfunny jokes or high-stakes action; it sticks to its strengths and doesn’t overstay its welcome. Here are seven movies that are similar to “Die Hart.”
The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent (2022)
Directed by Tom Gormican, the movie features Nicholas Cage as “Nick Cage,” a washed-out actor who, after losing several key roles in multiple films, decides to call it quits on his acting career before he is offered $1 million by billionaire Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal) to be the chief guest at his birthday party. Like Die Hard, Nicholas Cage plays a fictionalized version of himself here, with jarring similarities between the character and his real-life counterpart. Cage has been on a redemption arc in the last few years, churning out a slew of acclaimed films, and this was one of them. Cage was phenomenal here as he brought his classic mannerisms but in a more low-key, refined way, and his bromance with Pedro Pascal (who was terrific here) was endearing to see. “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” is a dream come true for Nicholas Cage fans, featuring multiple callbacks and in-jokes about his previous movies.
Space Jam (1996)
When a retired Michael Jordan was sought by Bugs Bunny and his buddies (from Looney Tunes) to help them win a basketball competition against their captors (the Nerdlucks), he hesitated at first but eventually decided to help them anyway. The movie was a genius marketing strategy for a declining Looney Tunes. Who, along with a string of other brands, fully took advantage of the movie, rendering it more of a string of commercials than a film. Michael Jordan proves that he’s not as good at acting as he was in basketball, and his back-and-forth with the animated characters is cringeworthy, to say the least. But the movie does have some good animation, a bit of good humor from time to time, and a hilarious cameo by Bill Murray.
Being John Malkovich (1999)
Craig Schwartz (John Cusack), a failing puppeteer, stumbles upon a hidden door that portals him into actor John Malkovich’s mind, from where he can control Malkovich’s actions. Strikingly original, outlandish, and clever at the same time, “Being John Malkovich” is not a movie you come across very often. Apart from being wildly creative and thoroughly funny, the movie still finds time to have a bit of commentary on sexuality, existentialism, and incarnation, among others. The movie features great performances all around, including those from Cameron Diaz and Catherine Keener, along with a delightful cameo from Charlie Sheen.
This Is The End (2013)
Some movies feel like they were made as an excuse for the actors to have fun together. “This is the End” surely feels like one. Directed by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, the movie takes place almost entirely in James Franco’s new house as the group of friends (James Franco, Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Michael Cera, and Danny McBride, all playing fictionalized versions of themselves) get stuck inside after an apocalyptic event that pretty much destroys the outer world, leaving them fighting for survival. It is pretty evident that the script is not given much importance here, and the dialogues are free-flowing as we see these celebrities essentially goofing around with each other. But the charm and charisma of these stars mostly save the movie from a lackluster mess of a plot.
I’m Still Here (2010)
“I’m Still Here” is a bizarre film. After Joaquin Phoenix publicly announced his retirement from acting in 2008 to pursue a career in the rap industry, Casey Affleck decided to film Phoenix’s journey of becoming a rap star. Whether everything was a hoax or happened for real is still being debated, as Joaquin Phoenix maintained the persona of an actor-turned-wannabe rapper for 18 straight months, convincing the media and everyone else that he’s actually retired from acting. It is only after the movie’s premiere did Casey Affleck hop onto the stage to reveal that it was a mockumentary, a spoof and that everything was, in fact, staged. The movie was received with mixed receptions as some accused it of being too self-indulgent while others praised it for its unique take on fame and the media’s obsession over celebrities.
Cold Souls (2009)
Paul Giamatti plays a fictionalized version of himself here as an actor facing difficulty in performing the character of a Russian poet in a play. He reads a magazine article regarding a clinic that extracts and exchanges souls. In his desperation, he goes through with the procedure of exchanging his soul for the Russian poets to help him with the play. “Cold Souls” is praised for its clever concept, thought-provoking script, and an amazing performance from Paul Giamatti, considering that he had the difficult job of playing himself.
Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021)
More than 15 years after the original, “Space Jam: A New Legacy” puts current basketball sensation LeBron James in Michael Jordan’s shoes as he teams up with Looney Tunes for a basketball match to free himself and his son from virtual reality. While the original wasn’t a great film, it had a certain charm to it that helped audiences digest the occasional cringes. “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” however, has none of the charms of the original, along with an uninspiring lead in LeBron James, who is seen to be void of any of his real-life charisma. The studio’s dumping of IPs and product placements makes it all the more annoying to sit through the film. “Space Jam: A New Legacy” may be enjoyable for kids, but for adults, not so much.
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