Rather than one of the numerous fantastic quotes from the movie, I give you this from the hilarious and surprisingly informative Writing Movies for Fun and Profit! (Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon):
“Tip #7 – Watch Die Hard. Many times. You’re not writing a novel. It’s a movie. Be succinct, and make it as good as Die Hard.”
Die Hard is the greatest Christmas movie of all time.
Now that that seasonal talking point is out of the way… Die Hard is also not only one of the best action movies of all time, it is a perfectly executed movie on every level. If you were going to show someone that had never seen a movie before and chose one film from each genre, Die Hard would be the definitive choice for Action. There is no wasted time in Die Hard. Everything happens for a reason. One of the reasons it works so well compared to the numerous imitators that followed was the time spent developing the characters before the first gun goes off. You know everything you need to know about John and Holly’s relationship in those first 15 minutes. While I can’t say I celebrate the entire filmography of John McTiernan, it’s pretty hard to top the back-to-back-to-back of Predator-Die Hard-The Hunt For Red October (coming soon to LTTM…). Fantastic cast, Willis at the peak of his powers, a genre-defining villain (with a great plan/exit strategy), kick ass action shot by Jan de Bont, and a Kubrickian-inspired score from Michael Kamen, and CARL FREAKING WINSLOW. Come on. It is insane that Laura hadn’t seen this movie.
Assuming she likes/loves this movie (and she better), definitely move on to the next two in the McClane saga (3 is especially good). Before the most recent, disqualifying installment, Die Hard was up there with Back to the Future and The Godfather in the discussion for Greatest Trilogy.
On a “WHAT?! You haven’t seen ______???” scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest level of shock, disappointment and sad): A yippee-ki-yay motherfreaking 10.
John McClane: Nine million terrorists in the world and I gotta kill one with feet smaller than my sister.
I guess I’ve never really been into action movies. Aside from the Christopher Nolan Batman movies and Star Wars… Speed is the only action movie that I ever really watched until this project began.
And yes, I love Speed. Don’t hate. It’s amazing.
In 2011, I watched Alien, Predator, Terminators 1 and 2, the three Indiana Jones movies and the Bourne movies. I knew that Die Hard was going to be an important movie to watch if I really wanted to experience the genre.
I LOVED THIS MOVIE. I loved the love story between John McClane and Sgt. Al Powell (except they skipped a kiss at the end). I loved Alan Rickman‘s bizarre German accent. In fact, I loved the idea of German terrorists in general. I even loved Holly and the scene where she punches the asshole reporter. And most of all, I loved the fact that John never managed to kill a terrorist with his size of feet.
There’s nothing wrong with Die Hard. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the movie and I mostly attribute my enjoyment the fact that the movie was extremely funny and also uncomplicated. And I finally figured out why people think Bruce Willis is attractive. He looks good cackling wildly with a gun taped to his back.
My traditional Christmas movie agenda has always included Christmas Vacation and It’s a Wonderful Life. Now I’m adding Die Hard to the list.
Face palm moment: I think I annoyed the world by live tweeting all of the celebrities I recognized from the movie (CARL WINSLOW). The one person I didn’t touch on was Theo, also known as Clarence Gilyard Jr. See, I may be late to the movies but I’m not late to my terrible 1990s television shoes. He’s the best investigator (Conrad) on Matlock and the best partner to Walker, Texas Ranger. I flipped out when I saw his lovely face.
Favorite part: NO ONE EVER TOLD ME ABOUT ARGYLE. He is the best.
The “I missed that in pop culture trivia” moment: I’ve seen the clips where the helicopter explodes and John jumps off of the building. Never knew that was from Die Hard. Also, it’s really nice to finally see Bruce Willis say “Yippee-Ki-Yay, mother f**ker.”
Regrettable tardiness scale (out of 10): A+++++++, WILL WATCH AGAIN.
PS – if you are not easily offended and love Stella, you can watch the Stella spoof of Die Hard here. It’s awesome and extremely NSFW.
- Twelve Days of Christmas Movie Scenes: Die Hard (media.gunaxin.com)
- Movie Review No.93: Die Hard (filmdump.wordpress.com)