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Clash Daily

McClane’s Profane; Dakota’s Naked. Hooray?

By Steve Pauwels

February 22, 2013 at 2:31 pm

America's economic implosion grinds torturously on. Sensationalistic murders capture our attention (Newtown, Dorner, Pistorious).Malign Iran is chasing nukes, crazy North Korea testing them. Lots of unambiguous crises, no doubt, to occupy hearts and minds. 

Don't lose hope, however! Scraps of buoying news are emerging from the quarters of moviedom: John McClane's full-throated, mother-violating profanity is back! And Dakota Fanning has “gotten nekkid" on film! 

In the Die Hard franchise's just released fifth installment (A Good Day to Die Hard), Bruce Willis' indelible title character, John McClane, dredges up from the first three films his signature "Yipee-ki-yay m***er-f****er". Obscenity-enthusiasts can jubilate: Willis' fictional New York City cop goes full-F-bomb-monty after, scandalously, managing only an amended version in number four's Live Free or Die Hard

Admittedly, while Good Day has opened to uniformly scorching reviews, some fans, apparently, take comfort in the unveiled resurrection of McClane's matriarch-referencing/cowboy-movie-yodeling/tough-guy-cussing mash-up.

"A Good Day to Die Hard  is not just a name, it’s a proclamation that this series is now ready for the graveyard," snarks Screenrant.com's Kofi Outlaw. "By the time Willis utters his trademark catch phrase, the movie’s action has jumped the shark, strangled it, and surfed it back to shore."  

If you've been out of the film-chat-room loop, you're likely unaware Detective McClane's bowdlerized, insufficiently explicit utterance in 2009's Live Free generated quite the foofaraw. That gripe, in tandem with the flick's slightly toned-down violence (qualifying it for a PG-13 rating), threatened Hollywood blog sites with a cyber-riot from those ticket-buyers who'll only take their John McClanes foul-mouthed and their Die Hard sequels hard "R". 

Well, GDDH presumably delivers both. 

All is well with the world. 

Still, if those Tinsel-Town tidings prove inadequately reassuring, there's more breaking, silver-screen news: formerly angelic child-star Dakota Fanning, previously dazzling in film's like Man on Fire (2004) and War of the Worlds (2005), in her upcoming Very Good Girls confirms she's all growed-up: enacting her first cinematic nude scene. Sporting the increasingly musty, "losing-one's-virginity" plot-line,  Fanning's latest offering reportedly features her in a graphic love scene with co-star Boyd Holbrook. 

The Sun breathlessly informs, "Dakota competes with a friend ... to bed Boyd in the steamy drama ... And she obviously won the battle -- stripping and showing off her bare bum as she romps with Boyd's character." 

So, will the former adolescent starlet hereafter be sold as "Dakota Fanny"? 

I suppose the nineteen year old's career turn shouldn't surprise, not too much. Things predictably, and grievously, unfold this way for movie-industry up-and-comers. Along the way, Fanning herself has sprinkled hints this kind of development was aborning. Observers have been prepared. 

A twelve-year-old Fanning's involvement in a dramatic rape scene in 2007's Hounddog stirred unwelcome attention. "Some critics and religious groups said she was too young to play a rape victim," writes ABC News’s Jennifer Abbey. Fanning dismissively defended the role,  “It’s not really happening. It’s a movie, and it’s called acting.”

More recently, the beaming blondette did a provocative stint for Marc Jacob's “Oh, Lola!” fragrance. The then-seventeen year old posed with a perfume bottle suggestively -- I would add clumsily -- positioned between her legs.

Phallic imagery? Foisted on a minor? No problem there. 

Elaborating on her latest, clothing-deficient outing, Fanning admitted, "I've never done that before and I'm very newly allowed to do that  ... I was newly 18, so yeah … it's kind of a sensitive thing, but it's a part of life." 

Some freshly-minted eighteen year olds mark that milestone by casting their first vote, a dinner out with friends, maybe registering for the draft. For her part, Dakota Fanning takes it all off for theaters full of male oglers. Sort of a clothing-optional cotillion?  

Moviegoers vexed by prospects of Miss Fanning's emotional discomfort, breathe easy --  The Sun further discloses, "She had plenty of moral support on set from co-stars Demi Moore and Ellen Barkin - who have both posed nude numerous times on film." Nice to see the seasoned, getting-naked-on-camera veterans helping along the rookie, isn't it!  (I wonder if Demi confided relationship tips and Ms. Barkin passed along her political insights to their young, birthday-suited charge?)

So: tepid efforts at de-coarsening the Die Hard series? Essentially reversed. Now nakedly official? Dakota Fanning is no longer film audiences’ favorite innocent. And all around? Both moves meet with nods of approval. 

It does help clarify: how killing unborn children could become a major American industry; why the perversion of marriage is widely met with indifference -- even ebullience; how majorities continue holding Bill Clinton(!) in high esteem; why otherwise competent voters would help install  Barack Obama -- twice! --  as America’s leader. 

Something is deeply, desperately out-of-whack at the core of American society.

What are decent people to do?

By all means, no fatalistic shoulder shrugging; do keep speaking up against this sewage boiling over in every corner of our entertainment-saturated environment. Will we be hazarding charges of “puritanism” or “uptightness“? Absolutely -- but I’d say the preservation of our civilization, currently spiraling into a cloacal cesspool, is worth it.

Withhold support -- our money, viewership, approval -- from this corrosive cycle. Then purposefully and unapologetically endorse those entrants into the cultural ambit which elevate participants and enhance what is best about our superior, Judeo-Christian-shaped way of life.

Raise our children to love God and country, and equip them to enter the marketplace equipped to excel and influence without compromising their noble principles for the sake of “success“. Tricky, challenging? You bet -- but possible. And essential. (See the prophet Daniel and his three Hebrew friends).

In today’s squalid pop environment, neither guts nor imagination are required to unfurl another F-bomb or lewdly wisecrack, nor to shake a little, unclad booty for the sake of “the craft”. Authentic courage, praiseworthy integrity, are found in stiff-arming the tawdry, lazy status quo; refusing to sell-out one’s values for a buck or the unreliable plaudits of the fashionistas.

Any standard short of that deserves an abusive, John-McClane-level epithet. It might be unprintable, but it would be accurate.

Image: Bruce Willis/Live Free or Die Hard premiere/ in London; source:http://flickr.com /photos/ caroline_bonarde/580687930/in/set-72157594501080666/;author:Caroline Bonarde Ucci; Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

Lower Image: Actress Dakota Fanning; 29 January 2009; source: originally posted to Flickr as dakota fanning push premiere; author: fashion photographer Anthony Citrano at http://www.zigzaglens. com/;Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license