Monthly Archives: December 2011

Late to making fists with my toes! A review of Die Hard

Prologue by Ryan Stites:

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.

LTTM review:

John McClane: Nine million terrorists in the world and I gotta kill one with feet smaller than my sister.

Ho Ho Ho

I guess I’ve never really been into action movies. Aside from the Christopher Nolan Batman movies and Star WarsSpeed 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.


Late to Drinking Ovaltine? A review of A Christmas Story

Mr. Parker: Fra-gee-lay. That must be Italian. 

A quote from the Internet: “There is absolutely no way that anyone could ever say they never saw this film since it’s shown every Christmas, especially on TNT when they do the 24 hours of A Christmas Story, lol.”

JUST FYI, JERK– THIS CHRISTMAS ON TNT THEY PLAYED THE NBA ALL DAY (which I did watch this year, go Celtics [yes, I know they lost]). The special is on TBS, lol.

Ugh, I hate people who say that stuff though. I watch a ton of Christmas specials throughout the season, from Grinch to Mickey’s Christmas Carol to Rudolph to Frosty and Miracle on 34th Street and Scrooged and I end with It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve. I love Christmas movies and I’ve simply never, ever been interested in the Christmas Story marathon. But since I’m doing this blog, and tons of people claim A Christmas Story to be their favorite holiday-themed movie EVAR, I had to watch.

So… I do NOT get the love for this movie. A classic? Hm. It’s not a particularly charming or funny movie to me. In fact, I found it fairly boring and even awful at times. I wanted to turn the movie off after the scene with the younger brother acting as “mommy’s little piggy” but I was forced to watch until the end. The movie’s only redeeming quality was Darren McGavin and I really would have preferred the movie be about him on a vacation away from his horrible family.

I know that there will be people who will claim that I would have loved this movie if I had watched it at a younger age. I don’t think that’s the case. I have seen Christmas Vacation a million times and still laugh at Aunt Bethany’s jello and cat food mold or Margot’s investigation into why the carpet is, in fact, all wet (Todd). I have seen It’s a Wonderful Life a billion times and still bawl like a baby every time Harry toasts his brother, the richest man in town (and then I watch the SNL alternate ending). While watching A Christmas Story, I chuckled at a few scenes but generally felt annoyed and bored and not at all in the Christmas spirit.

Dear America, if you love this movie I suspect you have been played by TBS and their marketing team. Sorry.

Face palm moment: MOMMY’S LITTLE PIGGY.

Favorite part: I’ll admit that the little brother being wrapped up in that coat was hilarious. I definitely felt that way during the winters I survived in Chicago.

The “I missed that in pop culture trivia” moment: A Christmas Story is all over pop culture trivia (leg lamp, tongue to the flag pole, fra-gee-lay, you’ll shoot your eye out, fa-ra-ra-ra-ra ra-ra-ra-ra). In my case, I happened to figure out from years of quoting the movie or seeing the TBS commercials that all of these moments came from ACS. But what can I say. I am a genius.

Regrettable tardiness scale (out of 10): 1. Probs will not watch ever again.