Tag Archives: Die Hard

Brian’s Review – A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

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A Good Day to Die Hard

Directed by John Moore

2 out of 10

John McClane travels to Russia to help out his seemingly wayward son, Jack, only to discover that Jack is a CIA operative working to prevent a nuclear-weapons heist, causing the father and son to team up against underworld forces.

Bruce Willis ought to be ashamed of himself for having the audacity of inflicting this piece of shit on the public and then having the nerve to call it a Die Hard film. This is as bad a cash grab I’ve seen from an actor in recent memory. All of the charm and fun from the earlier entries in the series feesl like a distant memory and they’re replaced with an experience here that feels cold, boring, distant, incomprehensible, and ugly. Why in the hell did Bruce Willis make this? He’s certainly not hard up for cash after being one of the top paid actors for the last quarter century.

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So, why do a sequel to a beloved series that isn’t of very high quality? I’m not here to try to convince anyone that Die Hard is high art or anything but they were slam band action films that were fun and contained a realistic hero in unrealistic situations. The John McClane character is among the most loved off all time in the action genre and easily Bruce Willis’s most iconic screen role. This film shows a complete disrespect for the earlier work and Willis himself is largely to blame. My criticism are as follows:

  1. There’s no discernable story here. If there’s no story then the audience has zero reason to care.
  2. As with #1, there’s no characters that are remotely interesting…including John McClane!!! If you don’t care about the characters, you don’t care when they’re in danger and therefore there’s no suspense.
  3. This film is photographed horribly. The entire thing is way too dark and smothered in dark blues and smeary reds. It creates problems as a viewer because when you mix that with the shaky cam effect, it makes an already impossible film to follow even murkier.
  4. Bruce Willis acts old and tired. He puts no effort in to create any dramatic weight and looks utterly bored.
  5. John Moore is a schlock director. Did anyone see Max Payne? I rest my case.
  6. You won’t have any clue what’s going on from one scene to the next. There’s no flow. I was confused and yet too bored to put in any effort to figure it out.
  7. The villian sucks. He has no backstory and very few lines.
  8. There’s double crosses by characters who have almost no screen time. If I don’t even know who these people are, why would I care if someone betrayed someone else?

I could go on and on but I’ll end with this. This isn’t just the worst Die Hard film but my pick as the worst film so far of 2013.

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Top 5 action movies of all time

The action genre, perhaps more than any other, is full of throw-away, direct-to-DVD titles, like “Universal Solider”‘ and “Need For Speed 25” — or whatever iteration they’re on now. This is a segment where once in a while you get an action movie that stands above the rest. Defining an “action movie” was tough. Our definition is an “action movie” is one where the action is the focus and featured element of the film.

Brian

5.  Die Hard: This adrenaline pumping movie came out of nowhere and established Bruce Willis as a household name and box office draw.  It’s by far the best film of its kind because we believe in John McClain.  Unlike Dirty Harry or Rambo, he’s a normal guy who has the odds stacked against him.

4.  Dirty Harry: Before Dirty Harry, Clint Eastwood was known primarily as the man with no name in Sergio Leone’s terrific spaghetti westerns.  The story is simple but because his character is so engaging, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.  Also, Andy Robinson is perhaps the best action villain of all time.

3.  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: I’m throwing this into the action genre because it contains some of my favorite gunfights in screen history.  3 men on the trail of $200,000 worth of gold.  Who will get it?  Well, get ready to have a blast finding out.

2.  The French Connection: The winner of 1971’s Best Picture has the greatest car chase in screen history.  William Friedkin attached cameras to the hoods of the cars and the effect it created felt like you were in the car.  Ever since, countless films by every major director copied and re-copied it to great effect.  Oh, and Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider are fantastic too.

1.  Raiders of the Lost Ark: George Lucas took a character inspired from the 1930’s serials that he loved and handed the directing reigns to Steven Spielberg to create the greatest action film ever made.  With barely a moment to catch your breath, from snakes to plane crashes, to chases through the desert, tarantulas, rolling boulders, and historic artifacts, this movie gives you your money’s worth and then some.

Matt

5. The Seven Samurai: Akira Kurosawa is a master filmmaker and storyteller. This is an epic focused around the simple story of a poor farming village terrorized by bandits. They hire samurai to protect them and train them to fight. The imagery is wonderful, the landscapes exquisite, and there’s action aplenty.

4. Enter the Dragon: Wrap a spy movie and a martial arts movie together and add Bruce Lee, and you have a kick ass action film with lots and lots of action. This was the first Hollywood-produced Kung-Fu movie.

3. French Connection: William Friedkin did everything right with this film, from the excellent cast with Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider to the groundbreaking car chases. It may feel dated, but there was no CGI back then. Everything was real.

2. The Matrix: In the words of Keanu Reeves, “Whoa.” I remember disregarding this movie because it had Reeves in it. That was a huge mistake. This movie was both intellectually challenging and visually stunning, with fight scenes that have to be watched several times to digest. All in all, an awesome, classic action movie that will stand the test of time.

1. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: This was the most ambitious martial arts film ever. There is no CGI. Period. It’s seems almost impossible when you watch it, but this film broke ground in a major way. Academy Award winning director Ang Lee is a master. His epic may never be surpassed. It drips with history, honor, tradition and wraps beautiful love stories and action around a tremendous cast. This is one of my favorite films of all time.