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ALEXANDRA DUPONT Says Yippee-Ki-Yay to DIE HARD - On Two Discs!!!!

I am – Hercules!!

“You want money? What kind of terrorists are you?”

“Hey babe, I negotiate million dollar deals for breakfast. I think I can handle this Eurotrash!”

”A hundred million terrorists in the world and I gotta kill one with feet smaller than my sister.”

“Ooooh, I'm very sorry Hans. I didn't get that message. Maybe you should've put it on the bulletin board. I figured since I've waxed Tony and Marco and his friend here, I figured you and Karl and Franco might be a little lonely, so I decided to give you a call.”

Takagi! Thornberg! Ellis! Gennero! The two Johnsons! Sgt. Al! Hans Gruber! John McClane! If there’s anything Herc loves more than “Die Hard,” it’s former Cameron Diaz stunt double Alex DuPont’s regular Sunday night DVD appraisals.

Thanks as always to The DVD Journal for the regular loan of the lovely, lovely Alex’s reviews.


Review by Alexandra DuPont                    


"It's Die Hard in a [vehicular transport or large structure]."

— Typical Hollywood concept pitch during the 1990s

"... Think of movies like
Fatal Attraction and Unlawful Entry and Die Hard I-III and Copycat, etc., where we're so relentlessly set up to enjoy the villain's bloody punishment in the climax that we might as well be wearing togas. (The formulaic inexorability of these villains' defeat does give the climaxes an oddly soothing, ritualistic quality, and it makes the villains martyrs in a way, sacrifices to our desire for black-and-white morality and comfortable judgment...I think it was during the original Die Hard that I first rooted consciously for the villain.)"

— David Foster Wallace, A Supposedly Fun Thing
I'll Never Do Again


I. THE SUBJECT OF THIS FAQ

The Die Hard two-disc "Five Star Collection" DVD, which streets this Tuesday, July 10. (Skip ahead to section VII. if you're only interested in the extras.)


II. BRIEFLY: WHY IS THIS MOVIE IMPORTANT?

[DIE HARD: FIVE STAR COLLECTION]Well — aside from the fact that 1988's Die Hard is terrifically entertaining action/suspense filmmaking — I'd argue that this flick (along with maybe Blade Runner) had more influence on '90s Hollywood filmmaking than any other '80s film.

People forget how silly Die Hard looked on paper in 1988. It starred an unproven comic actor from a faddish TV show; it was helmed by a junior director (John McTiernan had Nomads and Predator under his belt); and it had that stupid car-battery pun of a title. But Die Hard has strength of story on its side, not to mention a certain genius of fusion — it took the 1970s disaster film, pureed it with '80s action-movie tropes (typified up to that point by Lethal Weapon) and single-handedly resurrected the "siege film," a genre last visited around, say, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.


III. WHAT'S THE STORY?

I can't sum it up any leaner than DVDJ's own Greg Dorr, who reviewed the original, non-anamorphic single-disc release back in 1999: "New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) flies into L.A. on Christmas Eve expecting a tense reunion with his estranged wife, who moved west with their children when her career took off. Their reunion is more than tense: her corporate headquarters is besieged by ruthless international terrorists, and McClane must save the hostages, single-handedly and without shoes."

It's been argued that the above plot frame is nothing more than a patriarchal blue-collar fantasy — a less-educated white guy saves corporate doofuses and his overly assertive wife by conquering effeminate, high-class thugs in a phallus-shaped exploding tower. But while the class conflict is certainly there (and, let's face it, a big part of the movie's appeal), the story's too nuanced to serve as mere antifeminist propaganda. For one thing, over the course of the movie McClane loses his absolutist stance on his marriage — specifically, he gets it beaten out of him. For another, McClane's wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) is the only corporate executive to successfully tangle with terrorist leader Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman, in the icy, witty role that made him a bankable baddie).


IV. TYPICAL ELEMENTS OF THE SIEGE FILM, LARGELY CREDITED TO DIE HARD

  • Multiple characters, broadly and quickly sketched
  • A particular mix of bloody mayhem and wisecrack humor
  • A well-spoken, colorful, and/or Eurotrash villain, preferably played by a critically acclaimed actor
  • A blue-collar, vulnerable protagonist who gets the absolute hell beat out of him
  • A tightly controlled locale
  • Policemen and other officials cast as bumbling bureaucrats/hapless objects of ridicule



V. A PARTIAL LIST OF DIE HARD'S DIRECT (AND INDIRECT) SIEGE-GENRE DESCENDANTS, IN INCREASING ORDER OF IDIOCY

Speed, Under Siege, The Negotiator, The Rock, Executive Decision, Jet Li's High Risk (released in America as Meltdown), Air Force One, Con Air, Die Hard 2, Passenger 57, Die Hard with a Vengance, Under Siege 2, Sudden Death, Speed 2.


VI. WHAT MADE DIE HARD WORK, WHILE SO MANY OF THOSE MOVIES FAIL LIKE THALIDOMIDE?

Well, I think Hollywood took the flashiest, easiest lessons from Die Hard — co-opting its comedy, squibs, and large-scale blowings-up, often to boffo box office. But Die Hard endures because it also paid attention to the fundamentals. The movie juggles a large cast of quickly sketched characters with the skill of a 1940s comedy, for one thing. For another, the plotting is incredibly tight: Every bloody confrontation adds a new wrinkle to the plot — MacGuffins are seized, enemies learn something new about each other, stakes are raised. In other words, unlike so much of today's ADD-addled action cinema (hell, unlike its own sequels), the film actually earns its suspense.

Finally — and this is crucial — we get to know everyone before we blow them up. A full 18 minutes elapse before the movie's first gunshot; 23 minutes elapse before the terrorists meet their hostages and send McClane flying up the stairs barefoot. During that period, McTiernan and co-scenarists Jeb Stuart and Steven E. deSouza establish a firm sense of time and place; show us that the McClane marriage is on the rocks; credibly strip McClane of his shoes and socks and shirt, making him vulnerable; demonstrate that the terrorists are well-organized; introduce a devil-may-care chauffeur (De'voreaux White) trapped in the parking garage; and pack Holly McClane's corporation with disaster-movie archetypes (most notably Hart Bochner's coke-snorting corporate weasel) just begging to be knocked off.

Again quoting Dorr: "Die Hard took the evolving formula of the late-century action film and perfected it. From concept to execution, the plotting, location, visuals, music, editing, and characters work beautifully together in the service of an explosive, thrilling — and even moving — action machine.... Willis' McClane is a guy we can relate to, or at least feel for.... [and] Die Hard's concentration of locale is a master stroke."


*          *          *


VII. ENOUGH OF THAT. SO HOW ABOUT THOSE DVD EXTRAS?

They're among the most dense and plentiful I've ever encountered on DVD — as abundant as what you'd find on any Criterion edition, though organized in a vastly more gee-whiz (and occasionally annoying) fashion. Still, these platters boast more than enough swank goodies to merit the coveted five-star rating.


VIII. BUT FIRST, A TWO-POINT MEMO TO FOX HOME VIDEO

If any Fox DVD production staff happen to be reading this writeup:

  1. We're already watching a DVD — why for the love of St. Crispian do you feel the need to "sell us on the medium" with that tiresome teaser that informs us about Fox DVD's "awesome interactive menus" and all that claptrap — while using clips from the same movies teased on the X-Men platter, for pity's sake? Do you think we collectively ride the special bus? Are we so base and thankless?

  2. Also, and this is important: A gliding, beautiful, stately animation that flies us over and around a skyscraper is fine for an introduction to the main menu. A gliding, beautiful, stately animation that flies us over and around a skyscraper when we're trying to get from the main menu to one containing the film's advertising supplements gets old after three navigations. Seriously.



IX. AHEM. THAT SAID: DISC ONE'S EXTRAS

On top of a glorious anamorphic widescreen presentation of the feature (with your choice of thundering DTS or Dolby Digital 5.1 audio), there are no fewer than three commentary tracks — one with director John McTiernan and production designer Jackson DeGovia; another (scene-specific) track with special-effects whiz Richard Edlund; and a third, subtitle-only commentary track featuring, among others, co-screenwriter Steven E. deSouza, composer Michael Kamen, McTiernan, Alan Rickman, effects and stunt personnel, editor John F. Link, and an omniscient narrator who points out various compositional niceties and camera moves as if Die Hard had the mise en scéne of a French art film.

Commentary-track junkies will get a dizzying fix if they watch the film with both the McTiernan/DeGovia and subtitle commentaries turned on:

  • McTiernan reveals the surprising level of improvisation during the production — including a script that was apparently tweaked endlessly on-set;

  • On the text track, deSouza recalls reading a textbook thesis that laid bare the "antifeminist agenda" behind Die Hard — an anecdote directly juxtaposed with Rickman praising the strength of Bonnie Bedelia's character;

  • McTiernan complains about Rickman's not-quite-convincing faux-American accent in his "Bill Clay" disguise, even as the director discourses on subjects ranging from Shakespearean clowns (as they relate to the police outside the skyscraper) and the design of Takagi's office being a direct rip-off of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater;

  • We discover that currently embattled Hollywood Reporter columnist George Christy (currently being investigated for possible SAG improprieties) plays the TV "guest expert" blathering on about the "Helsinki Syndrome";

  • On the text track, deSouza discusses how the siege genre sparked by Die Hard reached its nadir with the Jean-Claude Van Damme movie Sudden Death (in which terrorists took an entire hockey game hostage);

  • And Jackson DeGovia is just endlessly and articulately self-congratulatory on behalf of the production (which would probably be more annoying if he weren't on the mark with many of his praises).


And so on. It's terrific stuff. BTW, Disc One also allows you to view the feature with the dread "extended branching" turned on, awkwardly re-inserting an extended power-shutdown scene (in which terrorist geek Theo [Clarence Gilyard Jr.] briefly turns the building's power back on to "annoy" the FBI into shutting down several city blocks — thus allowing a vault to be opened). This extended scene is also viewable separately on Disc Two (and as I've said before w/r/t "extended branching," it's probably best enjoyed separately.)


X. OKAY. WHAT ABOUT DISC TWO?

It's an extras motherlode, broken into five main sections (plus a "DVD-ROM Features" section I'll barely get into later).

Under the "From the Vault" menu, we find three subsections:

  1. "Outtakes" features the aforementioned "Turning off the Power" scene — plus a nifty, 6:11 collection of outtakes and bloopers called "The Vault," which is viewable with or without music. "The Vault" includes an extended airport sequence; multiple takes of that Huey Lewis-looking terrorist getting shot in the head; a deleted joke from the McClane/"Bill Clay" meeting; more footage of FBI arrogance and SWAT ineptitude and general Hans Gruber nastiness; assorted Bruce Willis wisecracks and ad-libs, which frequently end with Bruno bursting into song; Theo's complete wisecrack to Hans ("You didn't bring me along for my charming personality ... though you could have"); and much more.

  2. "The Newscasts" is, as you'd imagine, 7:57 worth of raw video (including bloopers and some occasionally horrendous audio) of the various TV-news reports that help drive the narrative. High- (or low-) lights include Mr. Christy screwing up and apologizing repeatedly as he flubs his lines, plus the child actress playing little Lucy McClane trying very, very hard not to smile broadly as she frets about her parents;

  3. And, rounding out the section, we find two informative "Magazine Articles" — from American Cinematographer and Cinefex — laid out in the same hard-to-read font and with the same sort of interactive animated photos found on the Big Trouble in Little China DVD.


Moving along, we find what is perhaps Disc Two's most maddening menu — "The Cutting Room," which features several remedial workshops and featurettes:

  1. A "Scene-Editing Workshop" allows you to string together alternate takes for three sequences — two of Hans and Takagi (James Shigeta) in the board room (one eight shots long, one 10), plus one three-shot sequence of Willis in an air shaft. This is pretty moronic, laborious stuff — you don't control shot length, only takes used — but it does allow you to view a host of alternate takes, including multiple camera angles of Takagi getting his head blown off.

  2. Marginally more interesting is a "Multi-Camera Shooting" feature, which allows you to use your Angle button to view alternate camera setups for three scenes: chauffeur Argyle in the back of the limo as Powell's bullet-riddled police car drives by, plus two sequences of police cars arriving on the scene. (The coolest, geekiest bit about this feature is that you're told what sort of lens is used for each shot.)

  3. "Audio Mixing" is another workshop for juveniles, allowing you to (barely) control separate sound levels for dialogue, music and effects for Die Hard's "shoot the glass" firefight. (If you turn down all three levels and hit playback, BTW, it just sounds like you've got the volume turned down.)

  4. For morons, there's also a remedial section called "Why Letterbox?" in which experts David Prior and Larry Yore show us a raw sequence in letterbox, center-scan, and finally pan-and-scan to explain once and for all why (as they put it) anything but letterbox on standard TVs "ruins the director's and cinematographer's storytelling" if a movie was originally shot widescreen. It's the perfect educational film for that relative who still, somehow, thinks letterboxing masks the top and bottom of an otherwise-complete film frame. (And yes, I'm aware that Kubrick's beloved "open-matte full frame" is a different discussion entirely.)

  5. And finally, the "Cutting Room" section ends with a "Glossary" of technical/film-editing terms — covering everything from the "180-degree rule" to "work print." (BTW, if I may quote from this feature's definition for the 180-degree rule: "...[The film] must be shot within an arc of 180 degrees or the audience becomes disoriented, and sometimes violent." At last: something that finally explains all that rioting during Ozu retrospectives.)


Next up, we find a 9:25 "Slide Show" (with music) of production stills and behind-the-scenes shots from the film (and far too many photos of producer Joel Silver prowling the set). Watch for the Nakatomi logo that periodically appears on the lower-right-hand corner of the screen during the show: When your see it, press the Select button to watch what the DVD menu describes as "a short presentation which elaborates on the slide."

Anyway. Many of these "sort presentation" digressions are fabulous: You'll find set blueprints; raw-footage dailies; extensive home-video footage of Edlund's team flying a remote-control helicopter and scrapping/crashing/blowing up their miniatures; raw stunt footage; an extended cut of Reginald VelJohnson's introductory scene; and more.

Rounding out Disc Two is "The Script" — which features quite a bit of alternate dialogue (if you're willing to scroll through roughly 340 pages of text to find it) — plus an "Ad Campaign" section featuring three trailers, seven TV spots and a 7:20 "Video Press Pak" featurette from 1988 that includes the only Bruce Willis interview in this edition, plus sound bites from John McTiernan, Bonnie Bedelia, Alan Rickman, Alexander Godunov, Reginald VelJohnson, and pyro-effects whiz Al DiSarro.


XI. ANY DVD-ROM FEATURES?

Yes: Disc One features a script-to-screen comparison; Disc Two features links and game demos. Both are, alas, only accessible via Windows machines.


XII. WHAT ABOUT EASTER EGGS?

I found two, and they're sort of weak:

  1. In Disc One's "Languages" menu, click on the Bruce Willis mug in the lower right-hand corner to read the DVD production credits;

  2. And in the main menu for Disc Two, click on the errant landing light at the top of the screen and the screen explodes — only to be replaced by the idiotic message "There goes Fox Home Entertainment!" The Criterion Collection this ain't.


Warmest,

— Alexandra DuPont
dupont@dvdjournal.com

  • Two-disc set
  • Color
  • Anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1)
  • DTS 5.1 (English), Dolby Digital 5.1 (English), Dolby 2.0 Surround (French)
  • English and Spanish subtitles
  • Feature-length commentary with director John McTiernan and production designer Jackson DeGovia
  • Scene-specific commentary with special-effects supervisor Richard Edlund
  • Subtitle commentary with various cast and crew
  • "Extended branching" featuring expanded power-shutdown scene
  • Deleted scenes and outtakes
  • Raw newscast footage
  • Magazine-article reprints from American Cinematographer and Cinefex
  • Scene-editing workshop
  • "Multi-Camera Shooting" angle-button feature
  • Audio-mixing workshop
  • "Why Letterbox?" featurette
  • Glossary of technical/film-editing terms
  • "Slide Show" with digressive presentations of outtakes, blueprints, and behind-the-scenes footage
  • Complete screenplay
  • Three theatrical trailers
  • Seven TV spots
  • 1988 "Video Press Pak" featurette
  • DVD-ROM features: script-to-screen comparison, links and game demos
  • Dual-DVD keep-case


Willow? I need service!

Readers Talkback
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  • July 8, 2001, 9:50 p.m. CST

    Harry's Arrogance

    by Fernwick_

    I am going to continue to pester until that arrogant bastard Harry puts a Spoiler warning on AI....he and his gimps seem to ignore the fact that many are asking for it and are losing the experience of watching AI without having the END given away.... So if you read this Harry, or whoever is so arrogantly ignoring us....PUT THE FRIGGIN WORD SPOILERS NEXT TO THE FRIGGIN HARRY REVIEWS AI LINK...its that friggin simple...

  • July 8, 2001, 9:53 p.m. CST

    HA! I KNEW I wasn't the only one who thought that terrorist loo

    by LlGHTST0RMER

    Sweeet. Can't wait for Tuesday. If anybody reading this happens to be in Best Buy in Mission Valley (San Diego,) that morning, just keep the HELL outta my way. You may get hurt. Lightstormer out.

  • July 8, 2001, 10:27 p.m. CST

    Hey Fernwick_

    by Jackass

    It's a fucking review you dumbass. It's going to have spoilers in it. If you can't tell that some plot is about to be given away, while reading, then you must be some type of moron.

  • July 8, 2001, 10:28 p.m. CST

    Fernwick

    by wash

    SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!

  • July 8, 2001, 10:59 p.m. CST

    Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father!

    by Nadir

  • July 8, 2001, 11:02 p.m. CST

    Bruce Willis is dead, only the kid sees him!

    by MCVamp

    Sorry, thought I'd jump in. Plus I want this DVD.

  • July 8, 2001, 11:08 p.m. CST

    DH 3 - extremely watchable

    by sefsterJ

    Sorry..have to disagree about the third Die Hard being idiotic at all. As far as a coordination effort to give the feeling of chase and claustrophobia in the largest city in American with mind-blowing pacing is an achievement which should get more respect. Die Hard 3 barely takes time to breath and that's what makes it so watchable. While I think the ending is absolutely terrible ( can't wait for the SE alternate ending ), I truly believe that the film is underrated as a pure action film that took the Die Hard motif with a rather unique and complex approach as far as action direction and pacing. God, at least better than Under Siege.

  • July 9, 2001, 12:03 a.m. CST

    And Rocky beats (fill in the blank) in the final fight. (And to

    by LlGHTST0RMER

    Hey, sefster... I can appreciate finding excitement and entertainment in a good old-fashioned "beat-the-clock" kind of movie like DH3, but I don't know... it just felt kind of uncohesive, if that's a word. (Non-cohesive?) To me, it played like a collection of action movie set-pieces by a handful of writers, and the producers just picked the ones they liked best and strung them together. With the kind of story it had, there was plenty of room to hang relentless action and excitement on the skeleton of the narrative, but they just didn't make it all come together and feel as gripping as the first one did, and certainly not as plausible. I mean ultimately, it wasn't a *horrible* film, but it really just felt like it was only as good as it *had to be,* In the way that Lost World was only as good as a Jurassic Park sequel needed to be, but Aliens went above and beyond the call of duty for an Alien sequel. You know what I mean? And I'm totally with you on the ending... if they figured that was the BEST way to end DH3, I can't wait to see what the original had to be like!

  • July 9, 2001, 12:31 a.m. CST

    Sweey mother of crap, what a review!!!

    by CleverUserName

    When was the last time someone actually did *research* before an AICN review? Alexandra, your reviews are, by far, the most outstanding articles posted on this site. Rock on. Oh, and (IMHO) anybody who says "(Insert screen name here) out" deserves just as slow and painful a death as those who wish to "give a shout out" and (bile rising in throat) "First"ies.

  • July 9, 2001, 12:47 a.m. CST

    Hey, thanks for reminding me, Dexter...

    by LlGHTST0RMER

    I'd like to say "WASSSUPPPP???" to my homies in Leonardtown, MD. (Just kidding, Dexter. Sorry if my lame "Out" line is grating... just kind of a force of habit by now.) Lightstormer... uh... is done now. Goodbye.

  • July 9, 2001, 5:09 a.m. CST

    DIE HARD 3's Original Ending

    by RightWing Dude

    To the person above who said that the ending of DIE HARD 3 was terrible, I agree! The film was released a month after the Oklahoma City bombing & I read that the ending was changed because of sensitivities over that tragedy (although I cannot imagine what those sensitivities sprang from in relation to the original ending). I would love to know if there is any validity to this story or if this was just some reporter's ignorant rambling. I pre-ordered the boxed set from Amazon & cannot wait to see the original ending!

  • July 9, 2001, 6:19 a.m. CST

    Would a Jackass By Any Other Name Be As Ignorant?

    by Fernwick_

    Listen JACKASS....90% of all of Harry's reviews have the forsight to say (SPOILERS AHEAD) or he will put a little sign that says BEWARE SPOILERS AHEAD.... If someone were to go and read a Roger Ebert review he wouldnt just give the whole ending away..it was just very unprofessional without giving us SOME sort of warning. If im wrong then why does he put the word spoiler most of the time, if its just a review and I should expect it to be spoiled...

  • July 9, 2001, 6:28 a.m. CST

    A Good Review doesn't give away endings. It rarely gives away p

    by JonQuixote

    But the reviews here are so spoiler-filled that I never read them until I've seen the movie. ANYways, while I've tried, in the past, to refrain from drooling over Ms. DuPont's wit and articulation, let me get this straight. She's witty, articulate, AND she appreciates Die Hard??!! Hmm...looks like I'm going ring shopping tomorrow (since I'm going to be hittin' the malls anyways. There's a certain 3 disc set that I must buy).

  • it took me forever to hutn down Nothing Lasts Forever and its an awesome read. Die Hard had real suspense and thats a rarity in these films. It did the action movie right. That book was awesome and I hoped the dvd would delve into all facets of die hard and let the fans know why the story was so solid. As far as the femenists anglke in the original it was his daughter he was trying to save. The character was Joe Leland and the other book with him called the Detective is a must read too for fans of die hard. Incidentally DuPont is wqrong about the seige movies. In 1976 Assault on Precinct 13 was done and that was 2 years AFTER Pelham and kicked ass. Also after that was Walter Hills Southern Comfort which was 1981 and could be called Die Hard in the swamps with hillbillys. I am obviously a huge fan of this genre and Die Hard FAR from invented it even if it may have been the best. As far as the Die Hard on a thing scenario those films by and large were successful or they wouldn't have kept making them. Under Seige and Speed and even Passenger 57 made money. Anyways the seige films of old were very cool too (and everyone can agree Speed 2 sucked) but my favorites other than DH were the originals like Night of the Living Dead and ESPECIALLY Straw Dogs where I guess Hill picked up much of his influence for when he did his opus the ultimate true seige film Aliens..which also had Obannons involvement who had worked with Carpenter who did Assault so its six degrees of seige I guess. It is a great concept... who doesn't like Alamo stories?

  • July 9, 2001, 8:06 a.m. CST

    Negotiator sucked Ass

    by JonQuixote

    Although it didn't help that it had the worst ruin-the-ending trailer in the history of ruin-the-ending trailers.*** For the record, Die Hard's real strength was that, although it was an unbelievable action movie, it convinced you that everything that happened, from the death of Takagi to the firehose roof jump, was, in fact, very very possible and could happen to YOU! That all it would take is a catchphrase and a few hours at the target range for you to take on those Eurotrash terrorists and come out battered, but with Bonnie Bedelia on your arm. The same was mostly true for the first sequel, which is why it was successful, but not of With A Vengeance, which, while a solid action movie in its own right, just doesn't have that Die Hard magic. McLean just didn't have that everyman thing going for him, and, in fact, was victimized because of his fame as a superhuman terrorist buster. Hard to relate to that!

  • July 9, 2001, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Fernwick: Palpatine *is* Darth Sidious

    by glucas

    Ooops, I gave away my own movie twist! Now I'll have to throw all my eggs in the THX1137 (prequel to THX1138) basket. And all you suckers will have to endure the bare bones DVD version of that prequel in 2002, followed by the "Special Edition" in 2004, followed by the "Ultimate Edition" in 2005 (which will be the same as the "Special Edition", except for a really weak trailer for Episode III.) George

  • July 9, 2001, 10:26 a.m. CST

    oh, and as Obi-wan said, "That's no moon!"

    by glucas

    ...it's the Death Star! And that's not a cave, it's the inside of a giant space slug! And that's no skiff guard, that's Lando! And how could I forget the independent contractors on the Death Star in Jedi?!? So many senseless deaths! I feel awful. George

  • July 9, 2001, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Fernwick: in the crying game...She is a MAN

    by spider-ham

    I liked Die Hard but I never was fond of its sequels. Don't know why just wasn't. Now if they would get off their ass and do the Back to the Future Trilogy for DVD than all will be good in the universe...

  • July 9, 2001, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Fernwick: That Black Speck Off In The Desert Distance Ends Up B

    by mrbeaks

    You've more than made up for your positive PEARL HARBOR review, Ms. Du Pont. I'm told David Foster Wallace shed a tear on the day it was posted, and, if so, I know he wasn't alone.

  • July 9, 2001, 11:07 a.m. CST

    SEAN YOUNG STOLE THE DOLPHIN

    by Spaceman Spliff

    Ray Finkle got a sex change operation and stole Lois Einhorn's identity.

  • July 9, 2001, 11:28 a.m. CST

    On Die Hard 3

    by mizuke

    For all of those who have opinioned that Die Hard III was watchable yet with a sloppy, "slapped together" feel (seems to be the consensus, and I agree), head on over to imdb.com and check out the trivia section for DH3. According to them, Die Hard III was originally scripted as the third installment of the Lethal Weapon series. Perhaps that explains it's "slapped togetheredness."

  • July 9, 2001, 1:14 p.m. CST

    **SPOILER** "Rosebud" is Kane's childhood sled. **End Spoiler**

    by Village Idiot

    Fun indeed. It also bears mentioning that Die Hard included everyone's favorite 80s pompous movie slimeball, *William Atherton*. Yes, William Atherton carved out a niche for himself in the eighties playing craven, self-serving WASPish prigs in such films as GHOSTBUSTERS, REAL GENIUS, NO MERCY, and DIE HARD I and II. This in contrast to his career in the seventies playing the thin sensitive young man in such movies as Speilberg's SUGARLAND EXPRESS and THE DAY OF THE LOCUSTS. Not much has been seen of Atherton lately. Imdb lists the fact that he's still making movies, but the only appearance that come's to mind is in the Pauly Shore classic BIO-DOME, (playing a self-serving WASPish prig) but that was in '96. William Atherton, Where Are You Now?

  • July 9, 2001, 1:34 p.m. CST

    **SPOILER** On SCOOBY-DOO, the character that's nice to the gan

    by Village Idiot

    Ooh, that was a rough spoiler. Anyway, I just want to make sure that we're clear that I'm not referring to the other consummate eighties slimeball, *Paul Gleason*. Oddly enough, Paul Gleason was also in Die Hard as police Capt. Dwayne Robinson. You may remember Gleason's jerky-ness from such movies as TRADING PLACES, JOHNNY BE GOOD, and of course, Richard "Dick" Vernon in THE BREAKFAST CLUB, a role which he repised for that weird English teenage TV pop group with the word "Five" in their name, when they covered an Abba song. Aside from that, Gleason's appearances have been equally absent with Atherton. Paul Gleason, Where Are You Now?

  • July 9, 2001, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Yoda = Qui-Gon Jinn?!?!?!?

    by Han Ol' Buddy

    Another of Lucas' Non Sequiturs: "You will go to the Dagobah system and seek out Yoda, the Jedi Master who instructed me" How come he Obi-Wan says that Yoda trained him but then Liam Neeson was the one who trained him in The Phantom Menace? I watched ESB this weekend and I just can't get over that crap. Oh, and I'll definitely be buying this DVD. Die Hard is the bomb. All the other ones sucked. Later.

  • July 9, 2001, 1:38 p.m. CST

    In SE7EN, the serial killer is Kevin Spacey - And he cuts off Gw

    by Han Ol' Buddy

    To get Brad Pitt to kill him, fulfilling the 7 deadly sins.

  • July 9, 2001, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Kevin Spacey's character gets killed by the dad next door in "Am

    by Han Ol' Buddy

    And his daughter's friend is really a virgin. Man! This is fun!

  • July 9, 2001, 1:47 p.m. CST

    In Field Of Dreams, it's Ray's father that he's trying to meet.

    by Han Ol' Buddy

    And the corn-field is heaven.

  • July 9, 2001, 1:49 p.m. CST

    In "The Shining" Jack Nicholson's character gets frozen to death

    by Han Ol' Buddy

    And his wife and kid get away. The "shining" is the kid's ESP. And the hotel is haunted.

  • July 9, 2001, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Village Idiot: William Atherton?

    by Mr. Biege

    I saw Atherton in a damn fine summer production of the play "Art" in Maine a year or two ago. He played... wait for it... the snobby, uptight one. He was great. "Did'ya get that?"

  • July 9, 2001, 2:30 p.m. CST

    In STROKER ACE, sitting through til the nailbiting climax CAN ac

    by Roguewriter

    ...

  • July 9, 2001, 2:54 p.m. CST

    "Ozu retrospectives."

    by Cervaise

    I can't tell you how much I enjoy being one of the probably three or four AICN visitors who actually get that joke. A duP, you RULE.

  • July 9, 2001, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Renny Harlin vs. Bill Shakespeare

    by LiquidNitrate

    Great review.... but I wish Alexandra covered the entire trilogy, but I also wish Fox's sequel DVDs detailed the development process and the various alternate story concepts considered for each sequel. Of the Die Hard trilogy, PART 2 was the weakest... mostly because of Renny. Harlin is competent when it comes to action but as a storyteller, stylist, and human being he's nothing compared to McTiernan.... DIE HARD 2 was cold, cruel, needlessly bloody and brutal, with all sorts of graphic mass suffering packaged as supposed entertainment. The characters were 1-dimensional TV stereotypes. And Die Hard 2 also lacked the intelligence of Part 1 as it dumbed down the humor for lowest-common-denominator condescension. Then again, all of Renny Harlin's movies suffer these same flaws. Die Hard 3 may have seemed sloppy and incoherent, but I still admire the accomplishment of such an enormous-scale action production within the impossible NYC environment. That alone earns respect. Personally, I wish we could have seen what McTiernan would have done with John Milius's Die Hard 3 screenplay (which involved nuclear terrorists and the FBI covertly subverting each other on a cruise ship on which the McClanes are second-honeymooning to patch up their marriage... that would have been fun and Earth could have been saved from Jan deBont's abominable Speed 2 POS.) .... As the for the Die Hard 3 screenplay that was ultimately filmed, it was not originally a Lethal Weapon script... Jonathan Hensleigh wrote it as a spec, called "Simon Says" and it was about a black-and-white buddy-hero team forced to deal with this mad bomber. It WAS considered for rewriting as a possible Lethal Weapon sequel prior to becoming Die Hard 3, but originally Simon Says was its own stand-alone storyline and characters. ... I'm with the above poster about the school scenes... after tedious 1994 mad-bomber stuff in BLOWN AWAY, THE SPECIALIST, SPEED, etc., those school scenes in 1995 were the least interesting part of Die Hard 3 and I always skip over them to get back to the main charactes' scenes. I wish the DVD's branching feature could turn them off altogether.... the last time I saw PAUL GLEASON was while flipping through channels -- I noticed him on Boy Meets World, apparently playing a principal or something. I think someone should make a straight-to-video spin-off of Die Hard featuring Paul Gleason and WILLIAM ATHERTON on a cross-country road-trip dealing with various low-rent villains who harass them along the way... it would be to Die Hard what "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern" was to Hamlet.

  • July 9, 2001, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Andy Dufresne escaped from Shawshank prison

    by glucas

    ...because he tunnels through the hole in the wall behind the rita hayworth/marilyn monroe/raquel welch poster. He created the hole with his rock hammer...which he kept in his Bible. Oh, and Leonard already killed John G. And Pee Wee gets his bike back at the end. George P.S. Props to the guy with the Ace Ventura reference.

  • July 9, 2001, 3:30 p.m. CST

    GLEASON. ATHERTON. REVENGE OF THE UPTIGHT WHITE GUYS. Coming

    by Village Idiot

    Oh, and **SPOILER**: Palmolive dishwashing detergent? You're soaking in it. **END SPOILER**

  • July 9, 2001, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Oh heck, one more: It's not really an "ancient Chinese secret,"

    by Village Idiot

    I'm sorry. I'll stop.

  • July 9, 2001, 3:45 p.m. CST

    William Wallace (Mel Gibson) gets decapatated...

    by Bad Guy

    and the Titanic sinks and Leo doesn't make it, and Ariel, the Little Mermaid becomes human. Hey, this is fun. I'm getting this boxed set tomorrow. While the third one isn't as good as the first two, I've gotta get the entire trilogy. Peace.

  • July 9, 2001, 4:01 p.m. CST

    What I really want

    by Beeblebrox

    Is the soundtrack re released. I love the shit outta that. (and no, I don't want to pay a bunch at E-Bay for one of the few that exist). Uplifting music played with such menace... Brings a tear to my eye. OF course I'm so there for the DVD...

  • July 9, 2001, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Book

    by WFCall

    Can ANYONE tell me the best place to find a copy of Nathing Lasts Forever? I have literally beeen looking for a copy for the past 10 years, and it's driving me crazy! A little help please....

  • July 9, 2001, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Nothing Lasts Forever

    by LiquidNitrate

    It can be obtained via 1) eBay, 2) fanboy conventions (wherein dealers hawk movie, comic, etc. periphernalia), 3) used book stores (better ones that have extensive paperback selections), 4) by prying it out of Buzz Maverick's cold dead fingers.

  • July 9, 2001, 5:22 p.m. CST

    What I remember most about Die Hard...

    by Blue Devil

    I still remember being a kid and hearing about how Bruce Willis scored a major $5 million bucks to do Die Hard (That's the equivalent of James Van Der Beek getting $15 million for a movie today). It made major waves and began the entire price wars going on today. Another trend Die Hard started (but isn't credited for).

  • July 9, 2001, 5:40 p.m. CST

    I saw the original ending for part 3 yesterday

    by Captain Loft

    Got my DVD's a little early but I won't spoil things for people wanting to see it for themselves. Basically McClane tracks Simon down a few months later in Germany (I think that's the country). It's a pretty cool scene but it would have given the series somewhat of a sour ending. After all, the bad guys would have gotten away will all the loot and McClane, as you'll see, is a little nutty after his whole experience. Either ending works just fine really. I love all three movies and the boxed set is a great guy. I haven't played with all the extras yet but all the films look and sound outstanding.

  • July 9, 2001, 6:05 p.m. CST

    The best action film ever!

    by BigTuna

    I love Die Hard! Who doesn't? To the guy who said the effects look dated is a moron! It's 1988 tecnology what can they do? It's like when people complain that Manhunter looks too "80's" . Ridiculous argument! One more thing, I remember reading in Premiere in 95' about DH3 and they claim it was suppose to take place on a ship but Under Siege did that and killed the idea. I was very dissapointed in DH3, I didn't like the Sam Jackson character at all. Mcclane was a loner in the first 2 and they tried to turn the series into a buddy genre. Jackson's character was way too cliched I wish they had just done it with Mcclane.

  • July 9, 2001, 6:06 p.m. CST

    In "The Crying Game," that chic is "With Dick". That's right, sh

    by El Tronerino

    Oooh, sex..yeah..tits!bitflat..Eeeugh! Oh man! ah, Jeeesus, now I'm all momentarily about my masculinity! {a few moments later, the guys you were watching this with self-consciously uncross their legs and pretend like they knew all along...]

  • July 9, 2001, 6:23 p.m. CST

    We love Die Hard because It's a *Christmas Movie!*

    by El Tronerino

    If "Deep Throat" had *that* song, it would be on every year in a morning slot sometime between Christmas Eve and New-Years**** Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is soooo delightful..and if there's no place to gooooo: let her blow, let her blow, let her blow...

  • July 9, 2001, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Dynasty: It was all a dream.

    by nolanliang

    Perhaps the greatest ending on Earth.

  • July 9, 2001, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Die Hard is dated?

    by JonQuixote

    How do the effects look dated? They are EXPLOSIONS. No CGI, no Ray Harryhousen shit. Shit blows up, and - in order to depict this on film as realistically as possible - the filmmakers blew shit up. And filmed it. The one somewhat CGI effect, the fall of Gruber to his death (oops, spoiler warning), still looks pretty good...even by today's standard. The computers look dated? The movie took place in 1988! How the fuck should they look? That's like complaining about the cars in 'North By Northwest'(they look so...old). Sure, computer-based movies from the eighties, like War Games, don't date very well, but who the fuck cares that the computers in an action movie had greenscreens at a time when computers had greenscreens? But what do I know...I can't even sit through Point Break. Those president masks look so retro, what with all the recent advances in mask technology. Not to mention all them new presidents.

  • July 9, 2001, 6:38 p.m. CST

    And not to be too picky...

    by JonQuixote

    But William Wallace gets disembowled, not decapitated.

  • July 9, 2001, 10:05 p.m. CST

    Verbal Klint is Keyser Soze in the Usual Suspects

    by atom84

    If you go on a damn entertainment site about movies for the latest scoop of fucking course there will be goddam spoilers. If you have to read a review for a movie you already wanted to see don't go watch the damm movie. You would go to the fucking movie and enjoy it based on your own experience not what someone else thought about it. What you have to get some ideas from someone else on how to feel about a movie so you seem smarter.? com'on.

  • July 9, 2001, 10:14 p.m. CST

    At the end of Croutching Tiger, Hidden Dragon she jumps into a p

    by Fernwick_

    But seriously Atom84, A great deal of people read reviews to see if the movie is good or not. Or if the movie is worth paying money to watch. Who would want to read a review of a movie they have ALREADY SEEN? I dont need to read the review to seem smarter.....I just was thinking about seeing 2 movies that night and wanted to make sure I made the right choice, and after seeing Sexy Beast I KNOW that AI would have been the better choice just from the friggin queers masterbating thru the homoerotic sex scenes in the theater....YEECH....btw...I feel smarter already just reading your reply.

  • C'mon, I'm sure you've read plenty of Harry's reviews, right? The Big One loves to spoil the crap out of everything, endings included. I've trained myself to know when not to read unmarked, spoilerish material in his, or anyone's else's review. If he did it once, he'll do it again. Use some common sense. And, yes, I am a Jackass!!

  • July 9, 2001, 11:21 p.m. CST

    #SPOILER$ Croutching Tiger, Hidden Dragon contains fat guys in d

    by Fernwick_

    Listen Mr Ass... Actually I HAVE read quite a few of the Chubs reviwes, and the ones I have read were thoughtfull enought to say the word SPOILER with that little red sign...to expect someone to repeat shown behavior does not show a lack of common sense...Now i have learned that this guy does not write professional reviews...in ANY sense of the word even geeks can say SPOILER...maybe he was busy chompin a diet twinky preparing for his show but all I know is i was expecting a review not for him to just blab the ending.

  • July 9, 2001, 11:41 p.m. CST

    No, Ferny, ya got it wrong... at the end of CTHD, Verbal Kint is

    by LlGHTST0RMER

    And Han Solo is really Tyler Durden, he just doesn't know it. At least, not until Haley Joel lets him in on it.

  • July 10, 2001, 4:22 a.m. CST

    DAMN THESE SPOILERS TO HELL!!!

    by Blanket-Man

    I was scrolling through this TB, laughing at most of these 20-year-old "spoilers," and somebody goes and ruins "Unbreakable" for me, which I planned to rent this weekend. Double dumbass on you!!! BTW, "DIE HARD" is the greatest film in human history. The sequels are watchable but don't compare to the original. "Do you think I'm f**kin' stupid, Hans?!?"

  • July 10, 2001, 8:44 a.m. CST

    Norman Bates thinks he's his own mother !!

    by Groovy_Chainsaw

    oh, and Village Idiot -- The ancient Chinese secret isn't Clorox 2, it's Calgon. If you're going to play geek parade with the big boys, double check your references ! Gotta go, my Quisp is getting soggy.

  • July 10, 2001, 8:48 a.m. CST

    massive 2001 spoiler!!!!!!!!

    by sundown

    I actually have no idea what the hell happened at the end so I can't spoil it.

  • July 10, 2001, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Spoilers!! ARRRGGGGGHHHHH!!! I'M BLIND!!!

    by reb55_0

    At least I don't look at the screen while typing lol. Very nice review, Ms. Dupont. In the Talkbacker tradition of nitpicking, I would like to know more about how the Christmas angle played into the psychologhy of the script, ala Leathal Weapon. And why no props to the fat cop from "Family Matters"? His part was great, and essential to the plot (his being way smarter than the captain = racial inequities in line with McClane's working-class badass?) On that note, you CAN'T overlook the chauffeer knocking out the weasly Theo with his limo as NOT being race and/or class related (although such a weasly character ALSO being such a wiseass hit a bit too close to home :P) Maybe all that is covered in the commentary tracks, but I don't know if it would ever be dealt with explictly. This is one of the few big-budget action movies that really warrants this kind of analysis, and the fact that is was a pioneer for the 90s will keep it from getting too dated, I hope (Huey Lewis = lol).

  • July 10, 2001, 9:09 a.m. CST

    A somewhat defensice sidenote to JonQuixote and rAvidfan......

    by reb55_0

    Go check out the talkback to "The Fast And The Furious" and you MAY begin to understand, like so many others, why Point Break kicks ass (and, IMHO, is less dated than Die Hard; President's masks vs. terrorists with perms = no contest----->lol).

  • July 10, 2001, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Wait a minute, somebody back me up here.

    by Village Idiot

    The commercial is set in a CHINESE LAUNDRY. A woman asks the young proprietor how he got the clothes so clean. He says "Ancient Chinese Secret!" His wife then appears after the woman has left with a box of Clorox 2 and says teasingly "Ancient Chinese secret, huh?" The man then bludgens his wife to death for revealing this unholy lie; a lie that reflects the lie that has become his life. That's how the commercial goes down, except for maybe that last part (my memory is hazy). Nevertheless, Calgon is a *bath soap*, and would never be used in a laundry, except when the laundry guy bathes himself to was away the stink of self-loathing from his his day in, day out life of hell in the laundry with a woman he doesn't love.

  • July 10, 2001, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Spoiler Alert: THAT POP QUIZ IN BIOLOGY? IT'S ON THURSDAY. End

    by Village Idiot

    Had to get that one in there. But then again, it was pretty obvious it you'd been paying attention.

  • July 10, 2001, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Ooooooh, NAVY SEALS!! Btw, Bill Paxton gets killed, and that's t

    by Roguewriter

    So sad.

  • July 10, 2001, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Ok guys, enough with the spoilers joke

    by JonQuixote

    It's ok to play with stuff that has become pop culture knowledge, like the ending of Planet of the Apes or the Crying Game she-male, but ruining the end of Unbreakable isn't fair to many...I mean, it just came out on video a few weeks ago. And ruining the end of lesser-viewed movies like Ocean's 11, which lots of people on this site probably haven't seen (like myself), but may someday want to (like myself) just isn't very classy.

  • July 10, 2001, 11:51 a.m. CST

    rAvidfan, you make some good points.

    by reb55_0

    I agree that everyone should have guilty pleasure movies. I liked Virtuosity, and am not ashamed to admit it. But I also think you have anger management issues. Please read the review just above the one where I directly referenced to you. Find a place where I said "Die Hard" is better than "Point Break", and I will apoligize in detail to you. Until then, look up the definition of "agenda", PB disser------>;)

  • July 10, 2001, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Die Hard 3 genesis

    by G&H

    DH3, the screenplay they used was a major spec script sold for huge $$$ a few years earlier, written by Jonathan Hensleigh, who later wrote such films as `The Saint,' and `Armageddon.' Hensleigh's script had nothing to do with `Die Hard.' It was titled `Simon Says.' Set in Manhattan, it was about a mad bomber named Simon, the white NYPD officer on his tail, and the black civilian activist who teams up with the cop to try and take down the bomber. Apparently, the studio's plans to produce `Simon Says,' were stalled, and lo and behold, they needed a script for DH3... needless to say, the script was re-worked significantly to fit in with the Die Hard storyline, i.e., the whole Simon/Hans Gruber angle, among other things. Hensleigh's final draft of `Simon Says' must be some script, I read that it was nearly "used" again for `Lethal Weapon 4'.

  • July 10, 2001, 1:35 p.m. CST

    POINT BREAK DVD is TIME-COMPRESSED!!!!!!!!

    by Charles Grady

    Since some people brought up POINT BREAK, I had to vent about this. The DVD runs 117 minutes, even though the theatrical version ran 122, as timed by me on my watch in the summer of 1991, and as is listed on the IMDB and most reputable film guides. What happened to those five minutes, you ask? Well, nothing has been edited, but particularly 10 years ago it was a common practice for films that ran a hair over 2 hours to be time-compressed by a couple minutes when shown on HBO ( so the next movie or show could start on the hour instead of, say, 10:10) or on VHS ( to allow the movie and a few trailers on a T-120 tape. Looks like someone at Fox cut the DVD from a compressed print. In essence, what they do is take out frames here or there to speed up the film. In case anyone is interested, this is also the case with every video, DVD, and TV incarnation of Bay's BAD BOYS, which ran 127 minutes in theatres but has clocked in at 119 ever since. Since there was no need to shorten POINT BREAK's length to squeeze it onto a DVD, I can only assume this was a mistake. Anyway, thought someone might be interested. E-mail me if you're a PB fan who has noticed this or is pissed about it now.

  • July 10, 2001, 2:26 p.m. CST

    $$$

    by JonQuixote

    I bought the first one on video in the early nineties - the narrowheads pan-and-scan version. I bought the silver-box trilogy on tape around '96. I bought no. 1 on DVD last December, thinking I couldn't wait around any longer for an extras-laden version (and besides, when it did come out, if ever, the extras would probably be crappy anyways). And now, at the break of dawn, I jumped out of bed, kissed Dulcinea goodbye, mounted my trusty steed, and rode off to pick up the boxed set. I arrived just in time to pick up the last box (!) left in the store...sold out after a scant 3 hours on the shelves (dawn breaks around noon for me). What can I say? Halfway through the first one - it is so bootiful. Worth every penny. And every single dvd with commentary should have a subtitles option! Yippee-Ki-Yay

  • July 10, 2001, 4:34 p.m. CST

    On AICN AfroSheen is an asshole who can't shut up.

    by Ghost Who Walks

  • July 10, 2001, 6:02 p.m. CST

    "Saving Private Ryan"s Captain Miller is a TEACHER !! Plus, tota

    by Groovy_Chainsaw

    The customer in the Chinese Laundry asks " How do you get clothes so clean, Mr. Li ? " His inscrutable reply: "Ancient Chinese Secret". His wife, in the back room of the cleaners oversees this exchange and remarks "My Husband ! What he doesn't want our customers to know is that we use Calgon { in the years before "Calgon, Take me away !" bath salts, Calgon was a laundry detergent/softener} to get clothes soft and clean !" Off-camera voice-over pitch,followed by amusing tag -- The wife emerges from the back room of the laundry with an empty box held high. " We need more Calgon !" she calls out. The customer, about to exit ,pauses and asks, mock-accusingly "Ancient Chinese Secret, huh ? " The proprieter has no choice but to murder them both.

  • July 10, 2001, 7:33 p.m. CST

    okay you rectal licking fuckwits

    by kojiro

    Have some goddamned consideration for your fellows and stop with the spoilers. If I hadn't finally seen Fight Club just yesterday I'd be spitting blood right now while preparing to hunt down a certain friend of the holy mother church who shall remain nameless.

  • And, yes, I am a Jackass. They call me Mr. Ass!

  • July 10, 2001, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Hey, G&H -- re: Hensleigh's "Simon Says" spec-script, as the Dre

    by LlGHTST0RMER

    ..."Trout, my friend."

  • July 10, 2001, 8:57 p.m. CST

    "The "Point Break" DVD is time-compressed..."

    by LlGHTST0RMER

    What the HELL kind of a spoiler is THAT?!?!?! YOU FAIL! ;-)

  • July 10, 2001, 9:01 p.m. CST

    Village Id...

    by LlGHTST0RMER

    "The man then bludgens his wife to death for revealing this unholy lie; a lie that reflects the lie that has become his life." Jee-SUS, bro. I haven't laughed that hard from anything on a Talkback (at least, not from anything that I hadn't written) in a LONG damn time. Why the hell are you writing talkbacks and not movies? (As I sit at the bar and put bread in your jar and say "man, what are *you* doin' here...")

  • July 10, 2001, 9:45 p.m. CST

    Lost Highway, I don't get your point...

    by LlGHTST0RMER

    I mean, if you're saying the "print" looks old, then maybe you're just watching the same VHS copy you've had all these years. But if your saying all visual aspects ranging from the set design, the hairstyles, the wardrobe, the props, etc. date the film, then I can't understand what it is that bothers you. I mean, any movie that is set "present day" will look dated after 13 years. Actually, it doesn't even have to be present-day. Look at Star Wars and tell me you don't see a shag haircut on Mark Hamill, and the entire cast dressed in subdued 1970's earth tones. Look at Alien and try not to laugh when you see the predicted styles and technology of 22nd-century space travellers. So basically, why do you rag on Die Hard for being accurate in its depiction of 1988 Los Angeles? Isn't it the best kind of "period film?" A movie that's made in the period it presents? (BTW, my favorite "dated" part in the film is when we first see Al Powell in the AM/PM, where gas sells for 78 CENTS A GALLON! In Century City, no less! Jesus!)

  • July 11, 2001, 6:17 a.m. CST

    Lost's Dare

    by JonQuixote

    Well, I did just sit through the exchanges again, and while it's not exactly a Woody Allen script, it's not bad...especially considering the genre. Hell, the dialogue runs circles around anything you get in most action movies, a certain Keanu: SurferCop flick included.*** I got the same reaction as Lightstormer to your insistance that it is dated. Die Hard on VHS is perhaps the worst print of the last 20 years. The pan-and-scan compresses everything, so all the heads look like they just squeezed through a birth canal, and the color is washed out and grainy. The first DVD was an improvement, and this new one...SPLOOGE! I was too young to see Die Hard in the theatre when it first came out, so last night's viewing was easily the best I had ever seen, and ooooh baby. Most new movies don't look this good (probably 'cause they rely too much on CGI).*** I also kept an eye on the computers used, and yes, there is a greenscreen, but it was 1988. However, the touch screen used by McClane to find Holly Generro looks like it could still be state of the art today...probably due to the filmmaker's dilligence in trying to make all things Nakatomi state of the art. I honestly can't see how this movie could be considered dated, other than the fact that there are a few minor clues that it takes place in 1988. Clothing, hairstyles, music, score, dialogue, plot...all are pretty universal, and all could be reused today.

  • July 11, 2001, 6:29 a.m. CST

    DVD Scene-Editing Feature

    by KevBell

    The Editing-Room workshop on the new Die Hard 2-disc set has to be the coolest feature I've ever seen on a DVD. Congrats to FOX! (and I never thought I'd hear myself praising FOX DVDs :-)

  • July 11, 2001, 6:57 a.m. CST

    Reason why Die Hard is so sharp

    by sundown

    one thing even Miss DuPont didn't comment on is that it is in many ways a homage to High Noon. The suspense building to that one moment- No one being on his side being forsaken by all even his wife in a sense. The ending even works the same with him shooting the bad guy as his wife is hostage. Don't forget Hans comment "This time Grace Kelly doesn't go off into the sunset with John Wayne" "Gary Cooper a$$hole" that was High Noon they were referring too. Just a thought.

  • July 11, 2001, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Continuity Errors & that Marvelous Score

    by FightinLucky

    Just wondering if anyone has noticed the most glaring continuity error in this, the best action flick ever made (note: Raiders is in a league of its own): When Hans finally falls from Holly's wrist, with the best "Oh shit!" face I've ever seen, he falls in extreme slow motion. This was actually a shot of the actor falling into an air bag, then matted onto a shot of the street hundreds of feet below, with various debris falling around him--AHA!!! There's teh rub! Notice that the debris falling around him--namely sheets of paper--are NOT IN SLOW MOTION AL ALL. In fact they are flipping around the matted form of Mr. Gruber quite obviously out of continuity. Never heard another soul talk about this, just wondering if I'm the only one. Also - in case any of you were wondering, and since I've heard the awesome score mentioned so much here - Michael Kamen interpolated Beethoven's 9th Symphony into the score, giving it that incredible power and flair. Man I dig it. What do you think?

  • July 11, 2001, 11:09 a.m. CST

    High Noon

    by JonQuixote

    The subtitle commentary goes into some detail (ooh, subtitle commentary...so wonderful) on the High Noon reference, namely drawing comparisons to Action Movies and Westerns in general, the liberal amount of Western convention that exists in Die Hard, and the fact that the movie most drawn upon was High Noon. For me, the elevation Die Hard earns is found in simple things: attention to character and environment, revisionist archtypes, and, as was previously brought up here, that every character gets to say or do something cool. The bad guys are also neat in the fact that, if they would just tone down their violence (ie. not plan to kill everybody), Die Hard could have worked very well as a heist movie in which you were actively rooting for Hans & co.

  • July 11, 2001, 11:31 a.m. CST

    RE: High Noon

    by sundown

    thats so damn cool! I have to scrape together some cash for this thing it is my favorite film (personal thing) of all time. Sounds like they really did it up... You could root for the baddies either way I suppose but that fact that the whole thing was a cover for them being terrorists for hire when they were really thieves was cool. They would be in it for money either way but they had no real statement to make. I always love the part where they read off hte names of all the terrorists they want freed. The fact they had to kill everyone to cover it up made it more interesting too. They deaths were completely inconsequential to them. I guess thats why the Rock is cool cause it shakes upt hat status quo and has the leader of the baddies go back on his willingness to kill.

  • July 11, 2001, 2:40 p.m. CST

    I've Noticed A Mistake In DIE HARD 2 Which Can Only Be Seen In W

    by RightWing Dude

    Willis speaks on a Pacific-Bell pay-phone-in Washington D.C. Something which I didn't catch when I 1st saw it in the theater 11 years ago & was impossible to see on my old Pan & Scan VHS copy.

  • July 11, 2001, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Original Die Hard 3 Script

    by kmo

    This is directed to either Kamehameha or anyone else who can help. Is there anywhere I can get my hands on John Milius'Die Hard 3 script (the ocean liner one mentioned)? If you know of any web sites or script shops that would have it, I'd appreciate the info. Thanks! "And when Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer."-Hans Gruber

  • July 11, 2001, 5:39 p.m. CST

    Dorothy could go home the entire time...and Toto too.

    by Bad Guy

  • July 12, 2001, 1:08 a.m. CST

    The Pac Bell thing? Jeez, they mentioned that in the reviews fo

    by LlGHTST0RMER

    Watch the scene where the terrorists are sitiing at the table, and one of them is checking the weather update. (McClane is sitting across from them, checking them out.) When they start to get up, one of them leans down and picks up the package (bomb?) that he is supposed to leave in the luggage transport area in the airport. So look at the punch-in on the guy's hand and tell me what's wrong with that particular edit.... Twenty points to the first person who can respond in this talkback.

  • July 12, 2001, 1:19 a.m. CST

    Oops... just to clarify my little gaffe-finding contest...

    by LlGHTST0RMER

    Taking a look at the scene, I realize that two of the guys lean down and pick up a package. The error I was talking about happens with the *first* guy. (BEFORE McClane even notices them, as it turns out. Sorry for the screwy set-up.)

  • July 12, 2001, 4:27 a.m. CST

    LlGHTST0RMER

    by RightWing Dude

    Okay, I freely admit to not being the sharpest bird on the perch but I went back & looked at the scene. It appears to be 4:51 on the guys watch when he says that it is 15:51. I am probably wrong but if I am right then I must compliment you on being sharp enough to notice something which very few people would notice!

  • July 12, 2001, 4:31 a.m. CST

    Disregard My Last Post

    by RightWing Dude

    4:51 is 15:51 in military time. I really should think before I post!

  • July 12, 2001, 7:57 a.m. CST

    RightWing: Actually...

    by LlGHTST0RMER

    ...15:51 *would* be 3:51 pm, so you'd be right about that, BUT... I had no idea about that at all. I'm talking about the shots right after that after they synchronize their watches and the one dude bends over and picks up the package. There's a subtle but GLARING mismatch in the insert of the guy's hand. Think about it. ;-)

  • July 12, 2001, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Afrosheen..

    by Johnny Demonic

    you are a fucking cocksucker and deserve a punch in the face. Are you trying to funny? Fuck you. You should be banned you loser.

  • Aug. 5, 2010, 4:35 a.m. CST

    Blaeckkchadkakejfoaieoawfj

    by PTSDPete

    And I ruined history.

  • Aug. 5, 2010, 4:36 a.m. CST

    Dis Izz Ten Yirrs Ago End Sheeit

    by PTSDPete

    Was young back then.

  • Aug. 5, 2010, 8 a.m. CST

    Here's a spoiler for you...

    by fscottnational

    AI was an unmitigated piece of CRAP. The third act of that film stole 30 minutes of my life that I can never get back. End the damned movie under water and be DONE WITH IT!

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