A Good Day To Die Hard (2013)

My whole catching up with 2013 flicks is actually going pretty good. I’m quite proud of myself on that level.  Maybe not so much that I’m neglecting other parts of my blog.  Either way, last night I was tired and eating late and I needed a shortish no-brainer flick.  Seeing as there’s been an incredible amount of negative reviews for A Good Day to Die Hard, I figured I’d give it a shot.  Plus, my boyfriend had seen it a few days ago and he said that it wasn’t bad.  We may not always agree on a lot of movies, but Die Hard is one franchise we have a pretty similar love for, so I was hopeful.  Lets check it out!

a good day to die hard posterDirector: John Moore

Cast: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Yuliya Snigir, Radivoje Bukvic, Sergei Kolesnikov

John McClane (Bruce Willis) gets news that his son, Jack (Jai Courtney) is in prison in Russia and will possibly be sentenced to death.  When he arrives, he catches both Jack and a Russian prisoner Komarov (Sebastian Koch) escaping and he learns that his son is actually a CIA operative working undercover to stop a Russian politician Chagarin (Sergei Kolesnikov).  Komarov is the only one with a file that could prove all of Chagarin’s problems and they must protect him and get him safely to extract that file.  Jack and John now need to team up in order to fight the opposing Russian forces.

If you asked me if any of the Die Hard sequels matched up to the first one, I’d answer without a doubt, no.  However, the issue is NEVER John McClane.  Bruce Willis can act our John McClane and make him enjoyable all the time with  smart ass comments and the whole lot of one-liners and just outrageous action.  The same goes for this one.  If you asked me whether John McClane brought on a good show, I think he did.  Just for him, I’d add this movie to my collection.  I watched it on Netflix so I don’t own it.

a good day to die hard john jack komarov

However, what is the downfall at times of the other sequels sprinkles through this one also.   What I hated about the fourth was the never dying tough chick, well, we have one of those here. The second and third failed with not a very convincing bad guy and this one had this one also.  Was there a lot of stupid dialogue? Yup, there was a good bit of that as well. Was there also some very bad effects? Yes also. And there was many parts I wanted to punch Jai Courtney’s Jack in the face because he was so annoying.  All that sounds pretty bad, no? Well, actually, I enjoyed this one.  Its not my favorite Die Hard because nothing compares to the first one with the perfect blend of everything but its not horrible.  I can sit through this and I had a good laugh with a lot of the stuff going on and the ending scene was pretty predictable but also alright in my book.

a good day to die hard chick

In my defense, I never put too many expectations and set high bars for Die Hard especially after 3 other movies before it that was just fun to watch. My goal for this that it will entertain and John McClane puts on a good show. It had some over the top action, a few explosions, shoot ups and they even added in a highway chase. As hard to believe some of it was, I didn’t mind it. There was some eye rolling and in that highway chase, I felt like I was playing the early versions of Need For Speed when some dinky car could overturn my power machine but I got over that.

a good day to die hard baddie

I admit I’m biased but its Die Hard. Maybe I don’t have the heart to hate it, maybe I’m just being really lenient with it.  It could also be because I was so tired and a little bit of John McClane always makes my day but I was entertained and I had fun.  Thats what matters to me. I mean, right before the final act, I actually starting liking Jai Courtney just a little bit more.

If you saw the other sequels, I’d say why not check this out? But if you are starting this series now (which should be very few people), then you have lots of better choices.  I’m leaving this one up to you.  Sometimes, there are just movies that I enjoy and I have no reason why.  Its a personal preference, maybe even just having the right mindset or just that it makes me feel good.  Thats all this one was to me. I know there’s plenty of bad with this and I acknowledge it but it didn’t bother me 🙂 So I’ll just go straight ahead and admit that I liked it and I don’t really mind watching it again if I were to do a Die Hard marathon one of these days.

Did you see A Good Day to Die Hard? What did you think of it? Are there any of you that enjoyed/liked it?

Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

Voila! In case you missed my review for Die Hard, Die Hard 2 and Die Hard with a Vengeance, its respectively HERE, HERE and HERE! After the guilt of not putting this up, I had to get around to it even if my boyfriend didn’t want to see it! I really didn’t enjoy this movie when I saw it this for the first time a few years ago. It is the marathon so I’m going to finish this marathon in style (even if its delayed) and give this flick another chance.

live free or die hard posterDirector: Len Wiseman

Cast: Bruce Willis, Justin Long, Timothy Olyphant, Maggie Q, Cliff Curtis

Due to an FBI technical breach/hack, Director Bowman (Cliff Curtis) sent out senior detectives on a urgent call and this directed John McClane (Bruce Willis) to pick up a professional hacker Matthew Farrell (Justin Long) to be delivered to the FBI.  During this pickup, Matthew is attacked.  With McClane’s help, they both escape but end up getting stuck in downtown Washington in the crisis of a shutdown of the city performed by a team of organized terrorists lead by Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant) and his team including his girlfriend Mai (Maggie Q) who is in the process of doing a fire sale (meaning transportation, financial and all utilities down) to cripple the nation. McClane has to team up with Matthew and use his knowledge to track down where Thomas and his team will attack next before the complete whatever they are trying to accomplish.

die hard 4.0 helicopter and car

Just to clarify, I don’t really hate this movie.  Its not like its really bad.  Its extremely crazy action-packed and intense for most of it.  There’s a lot of over the top explosions, shooting and its loud and destructive in most of the time.  Its pretty much what you would expect in a Die Hard movie.  Just look at THE MOST awesome scene in the whole movie: the helicopter being “killed” by a car.

die hard 4.0 mcclane matthew

Bruce Willis’s John McClane is amazing to watch on screen as always.  We can tell that its not his time anymore.  The technology and virtual terrorism is way past what he understands and thats why we have Justin Long’s Matthew Farrell.  This is where we get McClane and Matt throwing comments about age and being old.  There is a lot of sarcastic humor (at least I call it that) and I love that stuff.  This is probably the first movie (when I saw it the first time) that I saw Justin Long.  Honestly, I was pretty impressed.  He’s a decent actor and he’s done some alright movies. I enjoy watching these types of roles on screen.  It always makes me laugh.  Plus, they had a good dynamic going on.  It made for a lot of entertaining dialogue throughout this action flick.

Die Hard 4.0 Thomas Gabriel

Next up, I always talk about the terrorist.  Timothy Olyphant plays Thomas Gabriel and to tell you the truth, he’s pretty convincing.  I’ve never seen him do a downright bad-ass guy.  This time, he may not be emoting a lot with his face for a majority of the movie but his eyes are crazy full of hatred.  He’s convincing enough in my book.  Maybe its because my computer knowledge is definitely far from hacker knowledge so I have no idea what was going to happen next.  This guy is the best part of the bad guys…Its good he is the leader of them, right?

die hard 4.0 mai and matt

Next I go to the annoying part of this movie.  The lady right up there! Maggie Q pisses me off in this one because there is no one that can survive the amount of crap she goes through.  Okay, we see McClane stand up to a lot of damage but he’s lucky all the time.  This girl is throwing McClane around (but thats okay, some chicks are strong and I secretly imagine that I can kick my 6 foot 3 boyfriend’s ass if needed with my 5 foot 3 physique and I strength train and do weights, etc).  BUT, what I don’t get is how she can get flopped around, beat up repeatedly and then have a huge shelf fall on her and still be alive.  *MINOR SPOILER*Say, she has a crazy tough bone structure, but how can she even survive an SUV hitting her at a crazy speed and still climb up a hanging vehicle*END*.  I’m sorry, its just my rant on seemingly impossible to kill villains.  The other bad guys were a bit on the weird side because they have assembled a team of French and Italian and they all don’t communicate in English when calling back to the central enemy base.  It just doesn’t correlate.

die hard 4.0 mcclane

Don’t get me wrong! I actually ended up enjoying this movie a whole lot.  I actually have it playing in the background as I type this up.  Its intense and fun!  The cast is pretty awesome (except for Maggie Q).  Its just a bigger and more modern Die Hard than the previous few. Of course, its still not the first Die Hard but I wouldn’t skip it if I had to do the marathon.  I’d say its worth your time if you can just shut off your mind and just love the intensity and McClane’s crazy encounter with being at the wrong place at the wrong time 😉

Die Hard With A Vengeance (1995)

If you haven’t seen my review on Die Hard and Die Hard 2, you can check it out HERE and HERE respectively.  Let’s get on with the third part: Die Hard with a Vengeance You don’t really need me to intro this franchise, right?

die hard with a venganceDirector: John McTiernan

Cast: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Irons

When a store is blown up and the NYPD receive a call from the bombers asking for the suspended John McClane (Bruce Willis) to complete the mission set out for him, they run to grab him to pull him out of suspension to prevent other catastrophes.  The rule is that Simon (Jeremy Irons) has now asked him to play a game of Simon Says and its full of riddles with deadly consequences if not completed within the time limit or following the rules that he sets.  However, on his first task, McClane is asked to stand with an offensive sign walking down Harlem area for 5 minutes.  He expects the worst to happen, but that is until a good samaritan Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson) comes by to try to stop any crimes that could happen without knowing the situation that he has gotten himself into.  They have no idea what Simon wants and why he has chosen to toy with McClane but all they know is that McClane and Zeus must follow the rules to prevent another explosion.

die hard 3 mcclane zeus

Honestly, this is similar to the feeling I get from Die Hard 2.  There isn’t really much of the plot that I love (like the first one) but somehow, I found certain parts enjoyable.  I do know what I do like about it.  The most certain aspect I love about this one is the fact that it has now elevated to a duo with millions of differences that has to work together for the greater good.  Plus, Bruce Willis as McClane is fantastic as always. He really sinks into this role in a great way.  In this one, he’s paired up with the awesome Samuel L. Jackson.  They make a great team and they carry this movie with humor and chemistry.

die hard 3 jeremy irons

On the terms of plot, I guess I’d be lying if I think that it wasn’t attractive of who they set the main bad guy to be.  Jeremy Irons was decent although we mostly heard his voice giving instructions.  Of course, as any Die Hard, there is always a secondary plot and plan that unravels.  It keeps the story interesting because there are multiple things happening.

die hard 3 mcclane

There was one part that I laughed because of a cut scene that was made not correlating too well.  These are simple imperfections that sometimes with certain viewings we’ll notice.  There are some (after thinking about it, quite a bit) gripping moments because it does involve a lot of countdowns and bombs and last minute decision making to get out of yet even more tight situations.  When does McClane not have to do that, right? Its almost the story of his life by now.

This action flick was cool for me.  I had fun watching Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson team up and see how they worked as “buddies” with their own issues to deal with.  It provided a lot of humor that helped lighten the intensity they had put there.  Although this movie was all about fighting, it did try to add a bit of trick and games to help bring up the tense mood and drive us to see the plot with the subplot that was going on.  I liked that balance.  There is something that I feel is missing, maybe its yet again the villain who didn’t really seem to do too much, or maybe its just his lack of presence. Still, I found it an alright action flick.  I would still say it was fun 🙂

What do you think? Do you know what missing factor I could be feeling but not able to express? Was there something out of place for you?

Die Hard 2 (1990)

Die Hard was an absolute success (check out my review HERE).   But sometimes (most times), the follow-up sequel really doesn’t get very good.  What about Die Hard 2? Let’s check it out 🙂

die hard 2 posterDirector: Renny Harlin

Cast: Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, William Sadler, Reginald VelJohnson

Christmas has arrived once again.  John McClane (Bruce Willis) is in Washington airport waiting for his wife, Holly’s (Bonnie Bedelia) to arrive.  When he suddenly sees some suspicious people heading into the baggage area of the airport (you know where they send the different baggage to different planes or whatnot..I don’t know what thats called).  He follows them in and when one of them get away, the airport police just take it as a normal baggage thief.  Shortly after, he realizes when all the planes are put on delayed status, that terrorists, lead by Colonel Stuart (William Sadler) has disabled all transmitting and communication functions from the Communications Tower, Dulles Tower to the aircrafts making the scheduled flights trapped in the skies doing circles with no idea what is going on in the airport.  They ask for certain instructions to be followed as they wish to land a criminal, Chief Esperanza and take him away.  John McClane must now find a way to land his wife’s plane safely before it runs out of fuel no matter what it costs as he tries to search out Colonel Stuart and his crew.

die hard 2 mcclane 2

Die Hard 2 is not a bad movie but its not as epic as the first one.  It was fun to watch for the most part.  Bruce Willis is both a comic in a sarcastic way given the situation. He is still the McClane that gives it his all and does everything he can to get his wife back and fight the bad guys.  There is a decent support cast.  The issue is that there are certain fight scenes that seem rigid and staged.  This was not the case in the first one.  Also, the effects are not too great but I can overlook it seeing as it is an aged movie.  1990 effects till now has improved a lot but I’m not too picky with effects when the entertainment level is there.

die hard 2 colonel stuart

I always like to look at the bad guys. In this one, we primarily have Colonel Stuart, played by William Sadler. Honestly, I don’t really remember this guy in any other movies other than Die Hard 2.  *runs off to look at IMDB* Ah, so the only role I know him from is the guy I wanted to punch as a stupid father in August Rush.  Not impressive… Either way, him as a villain was alright.  I just thought that every time he was transmitting a message it sounded like a mechanical robotic voice. He has a very answering machine recording type of voice which made me laugh a little at it.  I’m not exactly sure that was supposed to be the effect.

This action flick lacked a bit of the intensity that it had in the first one.  It really tries to get us engaged as to what will happen next and technologically, what could be done next, but it wasn’t very much the action that did it all.  There were explosions and plane crashes, fire and shooting and all that but it wasn’t as frequent as I would have wanted from it.

die hard 2 mcclane

However, whenever I watch these action flicks, I ask myself one thing..was it enjoyable? Did I have fun with it? Fact is…I did! Because John McClane’s character still kicks some serious butt.  Every time he enters on the screen and does his thing, he does it in a great way! Plus, we have a bit of continuation from the first one, with the situation of the in plane situation from his wife’s angle.  And we bring in a little cameo with outside help from his buddy from the first one.  And other characters also.  A new character that really gave a bit of comic relief chemistry was the janitor or something like that called Marvin played by Tom Bower.  That guy cracked me up! He was such an amazing character 🙂

die hard 2 mcclane 3

Overall, Die Hard 2 was an enjoyable flick. As much as the villain didn’t make me feel very threatened, Bruce Willis’s John McClane still managed to light up the screen with his comedic lines matched with his way to get himself out of intense and tight situations to find the solution to save the day!

Die Hard (1988)

Wow…I was 2 when this came out.  We all know this movie, especially after the 5th one came out in past February.  However, I promised a fellow blogger Jonathan @ Life of Jonathan to check it out.  He landed on my site during my February romantic comedy marathon and wanted me to do more “manly” movies.  I wanted to make another marathon out of it but I think gradually reviewing Die Hard movies is already going to be fun enough.

die hard posterDirector: John McTiernan

Cast: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson

NYPD office John McClane (Bruce Willis) fly down south to Los Angeles to spend Christmas with his wife, Holly Gennaro (Bonnie Bedelia) and his two kids.  Before going home, Holly arranged for him to go to Nakatomi Plaza where she works to attend the Christmas party.  Not long after he arrives, the office is penetrated and locked down by a group of terrorists lead by German leader Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman).  In desperation, he escapes and not only tries to save his wife from what could happen, but to also find out and stop whatever the terrorists plan to do.

Did you need me to give you a recap? I think most people have already seen this, but then I have to give others the benefit of the doubt, right? So there you go, a short plot summary.

This is one of the best action thrillers.  It is also  in #104 in the IMDB Top 250 movies. Okay, there are some cheesy lines here and there and there is one part I just realized when I was watching that cracked me and my boyfriend up which we had never noticed before.  The long hair blond guy tried to karate chop McClane in their final showdown.  I can’t find the image of it but it was a LOL moment for us! I had to give that part a mention.


Why is this one of the best action movies? Because its completely action-packed.  The intensity of this movie can get really high especially when McClane is running around bare foot and totally alone fighting a bunch of terrorists in an unknown building and trying to not get killed.  At the same time, there are a lot of smart ass comments that are meant to crack you up.  It provides this perfect balance to make it enjoyable and huge amount of action intensity.  We also have a great partnership from through the radio with McClane and the LAPD cop, Al.  They help each other out and they have some nice, funny and great moments happen. All the characters become so amusing to watch in this movie.

die hard hans gruber

With that said, this movie is possibly the best in the Die Hard series because of its villain.  Alan Rickman is a fantastic actor and he does an outstanding job at being Hans Gruber, a criminal mastermind/terrorist.  He’s not crazy or does he act frantic. He’s smart and calm and we never can guess what he will do or say next. I was a huge fan of Alan Rickman even before seeing Die Hard, which I only saw a few years ago.  He is a really awesome actor not just as criminal masterminds but as Snape in Harry Potter and a tempted-to-cheat husband in Love Actually.

die hard john mcclane.

Great action movie, awesome cast, intense fight scenes, laughs here and there and great partnership formed and an awesomely evil villain, oh right and Bruce Willis in one of his most awesome movies and it makes me love Die Hard! By the way, did you realize that Bruce Willis ran REALLY fast across one of the scenes.  Never seen him do that before in other movies! Even more awesome!

Let the Die Hard reviews start 🙂

Which is your favorite action movie? Do you like Die Hard? Why do you like it? Maybe its for the same reasons or different ones?