12 Films of Christmas (Part 11)

We are at the penultimate part of this silly series of mine. Have you enjoyed reading these? Because I’ve enjoyed writing them and would like to hear from you what you think. Anyhow, let’s get into the main event here.

Some say it’s not a christmas movie. And to those I say stop arguing against the truth… “Die Hard” is a christmas movie! John McClane (Bruce Willis) is a New York cop who has traveled to Los Angeles to see his wife (Bonnie Bedelia) and kids for christmas. However his visit gets a bit more troublesome when a group of terrorists led by the charismatic Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) attack the christmas party that John has found himself at. So now John has to take out these terrorists with nothing but a gun and his wits. And yeah, I fucking love “Die Hard”. Directed by John McTiernan, this 1988 movie is a masterpiece of action filmmaking. It’s exciting and tense, while still having a sense of fun to it. The movie has an almost claustrophobic feeling with John sneaking around in vents and elevator shafts around the Nakatomi building, trying to find a way to stop these terrorists. It’s also nice to watch a movie where Bruce Willis actually gives a shit about acting. His performance here is great as the beat and somewhat bitter New York cop who gets dragged into such a tense and scary situation, making for some really entertaining scenes. And rest in peace Alan Rickman, you were great as Hans Gruber, sir. One of the best movie villains of all time. Blood, cursing, guns, explosions, fun and interesting characters… “Die Hard” is an action classic and one of the greatest christmas movies ever.

What are your thoughts about “Die Hard”? And what’s your favorite of the sequels? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Yippe-ki-yay, motherfucker… I mean, have a good one!

Movie Review: Die Hard (1988)

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Christmas is just around the corner, waiting for the perfect time to jump out and steal your wallet. So I guess it’s time to start reviewing some christmas (or at least winter) related movies. And we are starting off with a bang… a big, loud bang. This is especially a good pick since I have never seen it before (I know, hate me all you want).

Ladies and gentlemen… “Die Hard”

John McClane (Bruce Willis) is a New-York cop who goes to the Nakatome Plaza in Los Angeles to see his wife holly (Bonnie Bedelia) and celebrate christmas with her and their kids. But while he is at the Nakatomi Plaza it gets taken over by a German terrorist group led by a man named Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman). So it’s John’s job to stop them… without his shoes. Now the premise is simple but great. And the execution is pretty great too. It was entertaining to see McClane get through the different situations the screen writers put him in. The story had some nice twists every now and then. Not as in “mindfuck” twists, but twists that threw me off a little bit… and I liked that.

The character of John McClane is probably the most relatable action hero ever. Yes he got all the badass of the majority of action heroes, but he also feels like a regular dude-cop-man. He gets his ass handed to him a lot but still comes out on top afterwards, that is pretty realistic. He also cracks some great lines through the movie which just improves on him a lot. I also think Bruce Willis gave a good performance in this movie. Nothing Oscar-worthy, but it was good for what it was supposed to be. The supporting cast was pretty damn good too. First off we have his wife who who good… even though she didn’t do too much. Then we have Reginald VelJohnson who talks with John over the Walkie-Talkie through the movie getting info on the Terrorists. Next is the scumbag reporter played amusingly enough by Walter Peck from Ghostbusters. And finally, the big man himself… Hans Gruber, played by Alan Fucking Rickman. He not only gives a great performance but he is honestly one of the best movie villains ever. He is right up there with the T-1000 and The Joker in how great of a villain he is. So the characters are interesting and the acting is good.

The score by Michael Kamen is pretty great. I am not saying it is too original since I heard a lot of things in it that I could recognize in the style from different soundtracks as well. But overall the original material was great. I also liked the few different versions of different christmas songs they used in the movie. But by god, the best track in this movie just might be Beethoven’s 9th symphony (Ode to joy). Not only is it in general a great song, but it was used in a few great ways, not gonna spoil how for you.

John McTiernan did an excellent job with the directing in this movie. Not only were the shots looking really good, but you could also see all the action (Halle-fucking-lujah!). The movie looked great in terms of camera work and action direction. Speaking of the action; It was pretty awesome. It looked great and was well-choreographed and was very fast-paced and visceral. This movie also had some pretty great lines in it, both in regular lines and cool one liners such as the always well-known Yippee Ki-yay Motherfucker. Or one of my personal favorites from the movie, I don’t know why it is but it amused me a lot; Now I have a Machine Gun Ho-Ho-Ho. I just loved that one.

This movie in it’s reception has become quite the classic. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic this movie has a 70/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2/4 stars, which is not a terribly high score. On imdb.com this movie has an 8,3/10 and is ranked #119 on the “Top 250” list.. The movie was also nominated for 4 Oscars in the categories of Best sound, Best Film Editing, Best sound effects editing, Best Visual Effects.

“Die Hard” got great action, a good story, good characters, good music, good camera work and Alan Fucking Rickman. So it’s time for The Final Score. And for “Die Hard” my final score is a 9,52/10 which grants it the *drumroll* “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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“Die Hard” is now reviewed.

Yippee Ki-yay motherfucker! Er, I mean… It’s the most wonderful time of the year!