"I'll just get my gear."

Important Badass Happenings

tn_riddickI get alot of nice emails from people pointing me to the big stories I should know about, announcements of new movies that they know I would be excited about and things like that. I appreciate you guys looking out for me but also I figured I should mention some of the big ones to save you guys the trouble of making sure I know about them…

And anyway there are some things worth discussing in the comments.

1. STEVEN SEAGAL: LAWMAN renewed for season 2.

I know there were some doubts (even my cable box called the last episode “series finale”) but I figured Chief Seagal knew what was up when he called it the “season finale” on his twittering device. Although the ratings dropped after its spectacular debut it was still high for the fuckin A&E network. (Too bad that didn’t work for BLADE and Spike TV.)

The new season was apparently already filmed during Mardi Gras, which I hope means they harass more white people, possibly while in the process of going wild. It’s also 16 episodes, 3 more than season 1.

2. They actually green lit another RIDDICK movie!

This to me is the most exciting news contained in this post. Poor Vin Diesel has been trying to get this shit off the ground for years, and everybody always makes fun of him. But somehow he pulled it off, and I know many of you share in my excitement for this character. I don’t even care which way they go, the more streamlined storytelling of a PITCH BLACK or the absurd “world building” bullshit of the second one. Either one I’d pay for because he’s alternately awesome and hilarious.

Sounds like they’re going for the first one:

“Though billed as a back-to-basics approach to the character popularized by Diesel, the script features the character — the most wanted man in the galaxy — left for dead on a barren alien planet, dealing with ‘trisons’ (three-legged bisons) and ‘mud demons.’ He must then contend with two squads of bounty hunters, one of which ride rockets called jetcycles.”

They call them “jetcycles,” huh? That’s some fancy lingo. It sounds like a good idea, a more stripped down stuck-on-a-planet story, more like a badass western kind of setup instead of trying to be the next STAR WARS. Of course, it’ll be a shame if they don’t do something big with that great ending from CHRONICLES. Even my buddy who groaned all the way through that movie admitted that he liked the ending so much he hoped they’d make a sequel.

Keep in mind Diesel’s also doing another FAST AND FURIOUS with Justin Lin, which is great news since I enjoyed Lin’s FAST AND FURIOUS and loved his TOKYO DRIFT. I was also hoping they’d get him for XXX: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE, which was still on as recently as 4 months ago. Rob Cohen had dropped out of that one. IMDb claims it’s gonna be some guy who did the Mark Wahlberg movie INVINCIBLE and was cinematographer for the first THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS, the one with the ‘the’s in it.

I didn’t really like XXX, but the opening is real funny and it’s such an absurd concept that there’s potential to make it much more fun. In fact the second one, with Ice Cube, was somewhat enjoyable. I look forward to finding out how they explain the reports of his death in part 2, which was also illustrated in a hilarious DVD extra called “THE DEATH OF XANDER CAGE,” where Diesel’s stunt double plays Cage, and you only see him from the back wearing a big fur coat. He goes into a building, it blows up, and you see the skin with the xXx tattoo from the back of his neck flop onto the ground.

3. Bruce tells MTV “I think we’re going to do DIE HARD 5 next year.”

I don’t take this one too seriously. He was talking about part 4 for years before it got off the ground, and he makes it clear that there’s no plans really in place. I guess the most significant thing said is “Well it’s got to go worldwide.” I’m sure if that’s what he wants that’s what he’ll get, so there’s our first clue of the content. He also says he would want Len Wiseman back (after the reporter directly asks him – he doesn’t bring it up himself).

4. David the Demon DeFalco has a new movie coming out today

It stars some wrestlers whose names sound familiar and Ja Rule, and is supposedly kind of a ripoff of COMMANDO. I’m excited to see it and will give it a fair shot, but my local video store passed on it. So look forward to that review but I gotta figure out how to see it first.

5. I think there was something else I wanted to address, but I forget what it was.

Something real important in my opinion.

UPDATE: Galat correctly guessed in the comments that it was gonna be

5. Shane Black is directing again

He’s doing a movie of the pulp character DOC SAVAGE. Not much else is known. Harry actually broke this one a while back after a conversation at a pool party or something, but now it’s officially confirmed in Variety.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 at 3:00 am and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

137 Responses to “Important Badass Happenings”

  1. 5. – Was it Shane Black directing again?

  2. The first xXx was phenomenal, chief. What didn’t you like about it?
    Also, #5 is the return & expansion of the Lingerie Football League. No way should this sport have so few fans.

  3. Even though I deny the existence of Die Hard 4.0 (I’m not kidding you. I didn’t like it when I saw it first and almost cried when I saw it the second time. And not because I was happy!) I’m not against the idea of bringing Len Wiseman back for part 5. One of the few good things I could say about the movie that doesn’t exist, is that it has some well directed and good looking action scenes! (That they feel more like something out of a xXx movie, is the script’s fault and I don’t blame Wiseman for this.)

  4. I almost watched that Demon Dave film the other day. It has Rob Van Dam and that enormous Batista bloke in it. Also, a woman named Stormy Daniels, star of the highly regarded film Hot 4 Twat. In fact, now I think about it I’m not sure why I gave it a miss.

    I look forward to the review, anyway. Be nice to know if I made a mistake skipping that one.

  5. Perhaps not “badass” but Esquire has an interview with Roger Ebert that I highly recommend, it comes complete with a shocking close-up photograph of his face which has been devastated by throat cancer (they took most of his jaw and it ain’t pretty). He can’t even talk or eat any more. You can see the photo here:

    http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100217/JOURNAL/100219966

    The thing about the photograph is that it doesn’t even look like the poor bastard, until you ignore the scars or cover the bottom half of his face, and then you see that oh yeah that’s him and he still has the same intelligence and humor in his eyes. I don’t know how you guys feel about him but he cracks me up and makes me think at the same time.

    Sorry, Ebert is one of my small-time idols and I’m just glad he’s still around, cancer has taken his jaw and his voice but he can still write like a motherfucker, and I find it kind of inspirational. When I start thinking about how we’re going to lose him (and everybody else) eventually, the fragile human condition, etc the room gets kind of dusty.

  6. I say combine #3 and #5 and get Shane Black to write and direct the next Die Hard. Then everyone wins.

  7. I have always figured the logical end to the Die Hard franchise would be John McClane as an inmate in an under siege prison.

  8. Yeah I read that entire article the other day Rainman and it;s definitely a must-read for anyone who appreciated Eberts’ reviews.

    For a guy that went through all that shit though he really has seemed to keep a positive attitude about life. When people look at him like they feel sorry for him he says something like ” Why would you ever feel sorry for me? Look how happy I am.”

    Also the theater set-up he described having in his house will be mine.

  9. I really like Die Hard 4 but I think it turns out that I just like it for the action sequences. I might not like it as much if more action movies weren’t directed like Paul Greengrass with ADD.

  10. I hope that Demon Dave has assembled his commandos in order to storm the doorway to True Evil. That would be awesome.

    CJ Holden: What was it about DIE HARD 4 that you found so objectionable? I didn’t like the movie either, but I found it so bland and indistinguishable from other generic action films that I can’t muster any enthusiasm to dislike it. And it’s not as if the two previous sequels – both of which I dislike – didn’t clearly point to where the franchise was headed.

  11. Riddick’s one of the few movies where I truly dun understand the prevailing attitudes. It was beautiful, had an edge of epic to it, and was seriously badass. I preferred it to Pitch Black by a long shot. Good news on all fronts there though, ta. Batista ya, will look the part in Commando, dun think he got the charisma to come close though.

    By coincidence, I just watched the Commando special features disc yesterday – some funny stuff. Thing that cracked me up the most was Lester saying how the extras weren’t stuntmen – just a bunch of imports having a ball, and no matter what he said he couldn’t stop them shooting each up in the arse with the blanks from those guns. He told em how dangerous they were to shoot close but they didn’t give a fuck and shot each other anyways.

  12. I think maybe a report on the State of Badass Affairs should become a regular thing here.

  13. CJ Holden : I’m with you on the DH4 issue . I didn’t like the movie , but I enjoyed some of the action scenes ( especially the ones with Cyril Raffaelli , even if I don’t think that McClane and parkour mix very well ) , so at least it wasn’t completely Wiseman fault . What I really hated about that movie was the scale of the operation and , even worse , McClane losing the everyday man , working class connotation. Think about that , in the first movie he was helped by a overweight cop with his own problems , in the second one by a couple of airport workers and in the third one by a store owner . All working class , unafraid of words like “motherfucker” , they didn’t give a shit about offending young audiences . In the last one he’s helped by a group of hi-tech hackers , the techno-talk has replaced the foul language, and McClane , troubled by a simple fax machine in the second one , is now flying an helicopter . And another thing , in the first 3 movies he was trying to save his marriage , another more human , down to earth real issue , absent from the last one . I say , Shane Black writing and directing a new Die Hard ? Oh yeah !

  14. I think the development of McClane from everyman to superman was a gradual thing that happened over the course of the series. You can either take it as an inevitable bi-product of the “bigger is better” ethos of sequel-making, or you can take it, as I do, as what happens when you take a naturally badass dude and give him lots and lots of experience killing motherfuckers in extreme circumstances. You can’t live through all the shit McClane’s been through without becoming more confident in your abilities as an asskicker. Would I appreciate a return to the smaller scale (I can’t believe it’s gotten to the point where DIE HARD is considered a “smaller scale” action film) tone of the first film? Absolutely. But I think the trajectory of the series justifies the progression of the character from reluctant hero to superhero.

    Also, Kermit, McClane’s having to deal with youngsters and their technobabble was the whole point of DH4. He’s an old school guy dealing with a modern world that confuses and irritates him. Giving him another blue-collar sidekick would not have fit the theme of the picture.

    And there’s plenty of foul-language in the unrated edition. Let us never speak of the temporary PG-13ization of the DH universe again.

  15. CallMeKermiT: I may be wrong, but I got the impression that they tried to situate Mac Kid in DH4 as a working class guy, but rather than actually write it into his character, they just let the set design of his apartment signify something vaguely slacker-subcultural-working class. Obviously it’s no substitute for a real working class character, but maybe that’s all Les Wisemen knows about Average Joe.

    Even more disappoinitng: McClane himself seemed to have all the working class aspects of his character sandblasted away. I don’t see how “going global” in part 5 will rectify this problem.

    Maybe they should set up DIE HARD 5 so that it is revealed that McClane actually died in the original DIE HARD, he just hasn’t realized it yet. His ghost is roaming the earth kicking ass. The longer he is a ghost, the less he resembles his old human form.

  16. I loves me some pulpy Doc Savage goodness but he’s a difficult character to portray because he’s basically the perfect human. He’s a walking, talking deus ex machina. I think if they focus primarily on his five companions with Doc as a mysterious, almost mythic figure pulling the strings from the shadows they may have more success than previous efforts. Also, I want zeppelins and lost cities and infernal devices and cliffhangers and Doc riding on the running boards and super fast elevators to secret warehouses and hardened criminals with electric rifles that fire whistling bullets that decompose flesh etc. etc. etc.

  17. Ok Jareth, and then could the techno-kid be a grown-up Hailey Joel Osment?

  18. Well, DH4.0 is without a doubt one of these “If-it-had-a-different-name-I-would-like-it-more”-cases. Ie even think it would work incredibly well as a xXx sequel! But the things I hated were (in no special order)
    – the lame, unthreatening villain, who seems to be almighty, but then doesn’t do anything interesting, apart from turning off traffic lights and showing a speccial effect on TV,
    – the annoying sidekick (I’m not against giving McClane a sidekick. It worked great with Zeus Carver in part 3, but only because he was pretty equal to him)
    – everytime the movie was about computers and hackers, it used the same, lame, “funny” cliches we are all sick off (including “hackers got the best state-of-the-art-equipment, but live in their mother’s basement”)
    – the even by normal action movie standards, but especially by DIE HARD standards way too silly and over the top action sequences (Not saying that Die Hard was ever realistic, but the series always gave out its sillyness in small doses. In fact you could say that every movie has ONE way too ridiculous scene, but apart from that is more like: “We know it’s not realistic, but we don’t go too far, so that you can still enjoy it”. I can’t remember if it lost its credibility when McClane and Hacker survived an explosion just by walking into the next room of the apartment, that has such thin walls that you can punch through them with your own hands, or when the guy fell out of the helicopter and landed on the asphalt without getting a bruise. But I remember that I was almost crying, when McClane fought the Jet and outran the exploding Highway in the end.)
    – The plot point that the plain of the villain was AGAIN a cover for a different plan (I hope that John says in DH 5, when its villain reveals his official plan, something like: “Is it sure that he wants that? Because I knew some other guys, who did a lot of shit, just to cover that they wanted to simply steal money” or something like that.)

    But like I said, on the visual side it was a very good movie and I don’t wanna rule out that I would like it more, if it wasn’t called DIE HARD.

  19. CJ Holden: Thanks for the detailed list. I agree with all your points. But what bugged me most about DH 4 – and I went in with no expectations – is that it was so obviously a product of the marketing department. They spent way more time ensuring that catch-phrases were used than they did writing a decent script or crafting characters.

    Basically, it’s the same problem I had with the new STAR TREK. I learned what Wiseman and Abrams have to say about franchises, not science fiction or action films.

    Jek Porkins : You got to think ambitious here; after all, franchises are all about the benjamins. So here’s the deal: Haley Joel Osment played Forrest Gump Jr., which means that Ghost McClane should be taken Bill & Ted style through his older films by Osment Gump Jr. and clever special effects. It’ll be like the second BACK TO THE FUTURE movie with Gump and Ghost McClane trapped in an eternal loop of gunfire, motherfuckers and Ellis. It’ll make millions.

  20. Yeah, Die Hard 4 has the typical Rothman-feel, where it seems like they built a whole movie around the memos from the boss. (“Must have Yippie-Ka-yay-catchphrase.” “Try something with hackers. The kids love them.” “Needs Parkour or whatever the thing from the new Madonna video is.” “Try to get Tarantino for supporting role. If he says no, get another hip director that the kids love.”)

  21. Man I love Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, here’s hoping Doc Savage is a big enough hit that Black gets enough bank to do whatever he wants (sequelsequelsequelsequel). I have absolutely no idea what a Doc Savage movie should be, but if it is half as badass as a men on a mission/period/Nazis/pulp adventure SHOULD be, then we are in for a badass treat. Here’s hoping.

    I enjoyed the Unrated DVD cut of Die Hard 4. A 5th one could be good. Cop Out looks funny. I really don’t have anything else to add.

  22. I dunno, to me DH4 was pretty obviously a Die Hard movie; the things people keep listing as problematic are DH movie staples, and were from the first film. (The only time the series has deviated from the covert robbery theme, was with DH2 though it was still a misdirection theme. Also, McClane does say something in DH3 to the effect of, “Trust me, this is a robbery. I know the family.”) Sure, it was edited down for language and gore (though even the unrated version wasn’t as bloody as the films usually are), but maybe I just watch enough films to know that the language and gore are assumed to be there even when they aren’t seen and heard. (like… um… kids. Or something. {g})

    McClane is still the weary working-class beat cop. Sure, he took helicopter lessons–which admittedly seems a easy way for the writers to get him from one place to another once when they wrote themselves into a corner–but he isn’t very good at it; and considering his hero status on the force, they probably didn’t even cost him anything. (Besides, this is the early 21st century, before the Great Semi-Depression; the guys at my factory all have much better cell phones than I do, and keeping them up for a year probably costs the same as some helicopter lessons.) As someone else pointed out, he still has major technological troubles; and though his sidekick isn’t also working-class, that’s kind of the point: he’s someone McClane has to learn to relate to.

    Were _all_ the others about saving his marriage? Nope; it’s barely a sideplot in DH3 (which I prefer to treat as taking place chronologically between 1 and 2, for various reasons, not least because there’s nothing at all in 3 to indicate anything at all in 2 ever happened. Also I think it scales up better this way.) But saving a relationship with his daughter _is_ in this film. So that’s a lot more like a DH film, in this respect, than DH3.

    When did McClane _FIGHT_ a jet?!? The thing shoots at his truck several times while under a highway overpass (plausibly missing as a result but causing havoc), McClane doesn’t outrun an exploding highway (he doesn’t even outdrive the collapsing one); and when he falls off onto the tail of the jet he isn’t trying to fight it, but to hang on long enough to find a way to get off. The jet kills itself by accident; McClane isn’t even _trying_ to fight it (because he knows the jet is a misdirected good guy.)

    The threat of the bad guy wasn’t to kill a handful of people, or a few hundred people, but to cause the deaths of tens of thousands of people (mostly in regard to medical problems; i.e. killing _helpless people as a distraction_) while stealing practically all the money in the United States and causing our economy (and also the world’s) to utterly collapse. Same themes, just amped up again. Also, he’s willing to kill off unwitting civilians as a way of getting rid of McClane (as in the tunnel sequence). Standard operating DH villain procedure again.

    Sure, the villain isn’t feasibly able to stand up to McClane in a direct fight, but except for DH2 NONE OF THE MAIN VILLAINS HAVE EVER FOUGHT MCCLANE ON EVEN TERMS. (And even in DH2, on the wing of the plane, it could be argued that McClane was really fighting hopped-up henchmen, not the real main villain who’s busy trying to take off.) Alan Rickman and Jeremy Irons can talk and shoot arrogantly, but that’s about it. (Jeremy Irons looks ridiculously pumped up, but he never does anything with those muscles.) How is Timothy Olyphaunt any worse than that?

    Is Die Hard more realistic than any of its successors, including DH4? One stick of C4 nukes several ground floors of a whole office building; dozens of them make a smaller explosion afterward. Which McClane basically outruns/outjumps. McClane survives injuries which should have crippled or killed any ‘normal’ (‘working class’) man; and he can shoot and fight at near superhuman effectiveness. Which is never once explained. He’s just a detective back home, at most he’s like Columbo working homicide, not part of SWAT with a mysterious Special Ops background or anything like that. DH4 actually makes this more explicable, as someone wrote already: after all the awesomeness he’s been through, he _ought_ to have some confidence in his abilities. But he has them already in DH1, while being no less panicky and wanting help–but forging on without it–in DH4. “That’s what makes you that guy.” {g}

    Maybe part of the problem is that after DH1, there have been so many movies aiming for (and sometimes vaulting) the bar, including DH2 and 3, that for a film to clear that bar again doesn’t seem so groundbreaking as the original film. Willis himself thought they were making a film substantially better than DH1!

    And honestly, I tend to agree with him. It just seems so _done_ already, that another DH is only going to be, by definition, another DH. Great but not qualitatively different. (Otherwise it wouldn’t be DH, it’d be some other franchise starter or continuation.)

  23. {{and though his sidekick isn’t also working-class}}

    I meant to add, parenthetically: but still lower-class, just a different kind of lower class. (As someone else already mentioned.)

    Also, Kevin Smith == black cop eating a twinkie and faceless feds getting in the way. Just saying. {g} (Though in DH4 the formula is changed a bit with feds actually helping a little instead of only getting in the way.)

  24. Mr. Majestyk : I think that the development of McClane from everyman to superman was already complete at the end of the first Die Hard , when he confronted and won against highly trained criminals and special agents . But he still was our own superman , trusting and befriending the working class , and not accepting the “casualties are a necessity” attitude of the special agents.In the very beginning of the last one he drives the hacker to the special agents headquarters , he’s their delivery man !I’m all for threat escalation in action movies , but be careful with that , I don’t want every single movie to be about the fate of a nation or the fate of the world ( ehm… the supposed direction of the new movie. ). And I hope I’m dead wrong , but I’m pretty sure we will talk about the PG-13ization of the Die Hard universe when the new one is near release.

  25. Meanwhile: the Riddick movie sounds like a prequel to Pitch Black (somewhat like the games “Escape from Butcher Bay” and “Assault on Dark Athena” are essentially supposed to be Riddick prequel movies. They’re even giving it a simpler name. I’m going to guess it’s about what happens either before or after (probably after) serving time at Butcher’s Bay.

    It would be utterly lame for them to dump what they were setting up in Chronicles; which really seems like a climax to the story anyway, unless he leads the Necromonger army on an assault of the Underverse (in order to retrieve Jack, or Kat, or whatever her name was.) Something interesting could be made out of the conceptual tension of a talented lone-wolf now at the helm of a villainous regime and trying to give it a meaningful direction but being a fish out of water because he isn’t good at being a leader (and being tempted to use that power for selfish purposes). But that would cost too much money, I guess. In these economic times, better to dump him on a desert planet to fight Mad Max rejects in space. Except on the ground.

  26. {{In the very beginning of the last one he drives the hacker to the special agents headquarters, he’s their delivery man!}}

    That’s his working-class job. {g} If working-class men were sticking it to the Man all the time, they wouldn’t be ‘working’ at all very long. (Especially in a city. It isn’t like he’s living out in the woods in a cabin he hewed out of lumber using tools he made himself, after all. Which is kind of the point of the film, in a way: it sounds fine to stick it to the Man, but huge disaster for everyday people would be the result. The Mac kid almost says this straight out, once or twice, as a penitent revelation that he never had considered before.)

    McClane _isn’t_ a superman (except in his superhuman abilities of course, already in play BEFORE Die Hard 1); he wants these other people to take care of the problem so he won’t have to risk himself. But he guts up and does it anyway, because there’s no one else who seems able to do anything.

    (“Reach down deep and try to grow a bigger set of balls, cause you’re gonna need them before this is over.” “Wow, it is SO weird to hear that voice coming from someone who has, y’know, hair…” {g})

  27. The thing about the “realism” in the DH series is, as I stated earlier, that they keep the action movie typical craziness on a very believable level. In every movie is maybe just one, cringe worthy, dumb scene (John in the fountain in part 3 comes to my mind), but other than that, they are usually short, sweet action pieces, like fist fights, shoot outs and one or two explosions, that don’t seem more dumb or unrealstic than similar scenes in other movies. But DH 4 had all those gigantic explosions, cars that flip over and land on two other cars, so that McClane and Sidekick just have to duck to survive, fountains from fire hydrants that hit accidently helicopters exactly where the sniper stands, be fore the helicopter gets taken out by a flying car and even a long, drawn out scene where one man is always a few inches ahead of an exploding and collapsing highway!
    I already said it several times before and I’m sorry to repeat it again, but if all that had happened in a xXx sequel, you know, the movie series where an extreme sportler escapes an avalanche on his snowboard, I wouldn’t give it such a hard time, because that’s exactly what we expect from xXx, since we saw in the trailer for part 1 the avalanche scene.

  28. CJ, I think you’re missing one important point: The sequels have to get more ridiculous because the very concept of the same shit randomly happening to the same guy two, three, four, and now potentially five times is so far-fetched that it would be impossible to try to play it completely straight. The odds of this happening are so astronomically small that the sequels have to be somewhat aware of their own absurdity in order to work, and the best way to do this is to get a little more over-the-top every time.

    Also, these are huge-scale, big-budget summer blockbusters. Of course they’re going to get bigger and crazier every time. That’s just the nature of the beast. You might as well ask a Friday the 13th movie to kill less people than the previous one.

    Oh wait…

  29. Sabreman : The marriage angle of the first 3 movies wasn’t a major plot point , it was just bad luck. In the first and second the wife is in direct danger because she’s in the wrong place at the wrong time( she’s already in danger before the villain can actually use her against McClane), like Bruce , bad luck for this guy trying to do his job , the right thing and saving his wife , in the third one she’s not directly in danger , but it’s good to see that he’s still trying to keep his marriage alive in the middle of all the shit happening , like us trying to care for our loved ones wile dealing with our problems . In DH4 , his daughter is in danger because she’s the daughter of the big action hero (and she’s always reminding you that her dad kicks ass ).In DH3 I like the character of the truck driver , an ordinary guy solving an incredible problem just by knowing the name of the President that no one remembers , and he knows that name because he loves his job . So by the third one , the theme of the ordinary guy , not just McClane , solving dangerous situations is still there , like Argyle , a car driver , smashing his car to stop a criminal in the first one , and like the airport workers figuring out a way around the villains plan in the second one .In DH4 we have hackers techno-talking , combining cell phones and computers in seconds and fucking Star Wars and nerd jokes. Good job , writers.

    Galat : McClane , surrounded by enemies , in a prison under siege ? That’s a Die Hard I want to see ! See , Hollywood ? It’s not that diffiicult.

  30. Didn’t they already do that in Half Past Dead? Should Die Hard 6 take place on a battleship?

  31. Sabreman: I blame RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK: all man-jet fight scenes have had to live up to the one in that film. I’m usually really hard on Spielberg, but the staging and escalation of that scene is perfect.

    I don’t disagree with any of the points you make about the continuities between the DIE HARD films, but I arrive at a different conclusion: maybe they shouldn’t have bothered with sequels at all. They were never going to make a film as good as the original.

    I don’t value the original DIE HARD for its realism, but because of how the film involves me in the action; Willis’ humour had a lot to do with that, and, it has to be said, he’s written as a real sad sack in DH 4. I’m one of those guys who just tunes out when the scale of the film gets too big. I can appreciate the skill with which DH 4 was made, but I didn’t ever feel there was any real jeapordy. Even some of the goofiness of DH 3 was made more interesting by the way McClane was written to react to it.

    Mac Kid didn’t give a bad performance. It’s just that he doesn’t resonate for me the way the limo driver in DIE HARD did. If pressed, I’d count Mac Kid as a good thing in DH 4; but I still think he’s just an approximation of some slick director’s idea of what the franchise should contain. Maybe if the script had better lines for Mac Kid I’d be more enthusiastic.

    I actually dislike all the DIE HARD sequels. The only reason I would single out DH 4 from the others is because it seems utterly soulless to me. But in truth I’d prefer none of them were made. Admittedly, I’m harsh that way. I also really dislike all of the INDIANA JONES sequels.

  32. Yeah! I want Half Past Dead with McClane and Zeus !( Or , you know , Ja Rule….)

  33. Die Hard 2 has to be the worst. Such a lame “same shit, different day” contrivance to copy the awesome feel of the first movie, so many stupid attempts to crowbar in as many characters from the first movie (I’m surprised they didn’t have Ellis with a bandaged head at the airport bar) and the plot doesn’t make any fucking sense. Yeah, yeah that’s the worst one.

  34. I am dead-ass serious that in 20 years I want DIE HARD IN A NURSING HOME. McClane has been abandoned by his family for being such a magnificent asshole. Even his son-in-law the Mac Guy doesn’t talk to him anymore. He’s living out his final days with a staff of young whippersnappers who could care less about hearing his old war stories. Unfortunately, one of his fellow convalescents is the father of a senator who’s spearheading an anti-MacGuffin bill. The terrorists who hold the old man for ransom don’t expect any trouble from the home’s pathetic security staff, but they didn’t count on there being a fly in the ointment who didn’t get caught in their perimeter because he was off in a restricted area having a forbidden smoke.

    “You old bastard,” says one of the terrorists.

    “That’s something you’ll never be, motherfucker,” says McClane, setting him on fire with an oxygen tank and his cigarette lighter.

    This summer, action goes old school. Really old school.

  35. I wonder how they’re going to pull off a DIE HARD WORLDWIDE. McClane against the Apocalypse? McClane against 2012? McClane against Asteroids from space? whoops…

    Imagine that though, if you think about every end of the world movie and put McClane in it, It makes more sense how anybody would ever survive. But with all the shit he’s been through, I’m surprised he hasn’t gone the Bad Lieutenant route by now.

  36. Mr. Majestyk: I can think of ten different ways that McClane could kill a guy with his colostomy bag.

  37. And McClane’s side-kick: Abe Vigota.

  38. I think McClane’s Bad Lieutenant phase was in between the second and third movies.

    As for the fifth one, here’s how I’d do it:

    It begins Halloween II-style, immediately after the conclusion of the previous film. The president wants to meet this badass motherfucker who saved the country. While McClane is asking if he can smoke in the Oval Office, we learn that before he died, Whatshisdick from the fourth movie implanted a doomsday virus in the missile defense systems of every nuke-ready nation on earth. It’s gonna launch all the missiles in just a few hours if somebody doesn’t disarm them. Since the best man for the job is already on hand, the pres gives McClane the keys to Air Force One and sends him on a whirlwind tour of the four corners of the earth, where he fights his way through heavily armed terrorist guards that are under the control of Whatshisdick’s brother, an ex-Navy SEAL who…

    Yeah, maybe this needs some more thought. Is it too late to go with giant robots from outer space?

  39. Am I the only one who thinks DIE HARD 2 was pretty respectable? Sure, it’s kind of ridiculous (as if the first one isn’t jesus guys.), but it has a nice build to it and manages to expand the action of the original a little while still keeping its trapped-in-one-location structure. Bruce does a great job acknowledging how insane it all is while still treating it seriously, and I think the movie does the same. It does lack a villain the caliber of Hans, but I think its a pretty suitable sequel in most ways.

    I actually thought DIE HARD 3 was the beginning of the end of the franchise, because it escalates to a city level and as such loses that sense of a marathon you can’t escape from. I like Sam Jackson, but it felt much more generic than its two predecessors. DIE HARD 4 even more so. If they must make a third one, I suggest taking the scale of the conflict down and focusing on giving Bruce a new kind of villain, perhaps one who is actually as tough as he is (ie GOLDENEYE). The dynamic between tough bastard Bruce and erudite Rickman in the first one is gold, but each film afterwords has been a diminishing copy of that one. Let’s get a new dynamic if we’re going to keep this one going, rather than just ratchering up the ridiculousness of the action (in the process making it less personal, less unique, and less impactfull)

  40. Mr. S, one of the great mysteries of my life is what the fuck everybody’s problem is with Die Hard 2. It’s got a bunch of fun characters, evil-as-fuck villains, really squishy deaths, and to this day the best airplane explosions ever captured on film. They’re like beautiful inflammatory art. I know the movie had some big shoes to fill, but christ, it’s been 20 years, man. Cut it some slack.

    Um, I also may or may not still have a Die Hard 2 poster on my wall next to my Public Enemy “Welcome to the Terrordome” tapestry.

  41. There just aren’t that many villains that can hold a candle to Hans Gruber. He’s a tough motherfucker to top.

  42. Majestyk: Seconded.

    Uh, the part about DIE HARD 2 being a lot of fun, I mean. Not so much the poster.

    (though that’s pretty cool too, in fairness…)

  43. What about a DH5 on an oil platform ? It has already been used as an action movie setting , like in Face Off , but in that one it wasn’t for the entire movie .
    McClane is dynamite-fishing with Al ( so you get that sweet Lethal Weapon angle , but with a Die Hard twist ) , and this time he’s attracting the attention of a group of bad guys, with the base in a nearby oil platform.The leader of the bad guys is Stephen Lang , the general from Avatar , or Vince McMahon . He’s captured and shit happens. Hard shit . I want , in this movie , everything to be Hard : if you go fishing , you use dynamite , if you go hunting , you use a rocket launcher , if you drill oil , you use cannons , and everyone has an erection , a permanent erection . Even women .
    That’s Die Hard .

  44. Actually Majestyk, to steal your White House bit, I think you could just about make a great Die Hard movie, with semi-believable plot, about the White House/President being held hostage. There’s been shit in the paper about random people ending up at a white house dinner without an invite, so it’s not too unbelievable. And with that you’d combine the smaller scale (it’s in one building) and the bigger (he’s gotta save the president). You could have a few of the secret service agents being double agents, so it’s more believable that McClane would be one of the only ones that could help.

    I’m exciting for Doc Savage for two reasons:

    1. Shane Black is awesome.

    2. This is the perfect role for Dwayne Johnson.

    Especially point 2. I’ve been waiting for The Rock to get his ‘Terminator’ or ‘Rambo’ since I saw him in The Scorpion King. He’s one of the few muscle bound actors that can actually act, and he has great comic timing, but he’s been stuck doing mostly shit and somehow fast forward to the terrible comedy phase of his career, missing out on the badass stuff. The guy even looks like Doc Savage, I really hope he gets it.

  45. Majestyk: Here’s my beef with Die Hard 2: It is stupid. Really really stupid. The way McClane solves the ‘circling planes’ subplot is he blows up a plane which lights up the ground for the planes to see, of course forgetting the fact that another plane was blown up HOURS ago. The evil military unit and the bad guys have an intricate plan for a fake battle to throw off McClane, but McClane being there was a complete accident. There was no one else to fake out.

    And I don’t know, but like I said the way they tried to cram in every single character and thing from the first movie was just a pain in the ass. All the stuff with Mrs. McClane and that asshole reporter, it’s just filling up time with unnecessary shit. At least WITH A VENGEANCE does it’s own thing and tries and fails as it’s own movie, not just a rehash of what’s come before.

  46. heres news you will surely like. I am making a cheesy action film ! filled with martial arts ation, gun fu, and low budget FX ! what more could one want :)

    check out the trailer.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1EhBhryM40

  47. Trailer for Seagal’s new film:

    http://twitchfilm.net/news/2010/02/steven-seagal-is-born-to-raise-hell.php

    Hoping the DVD cover says ‘Seagal was…Born to raise Hell’, heh.

  48. Brendan, I will counter your points one by one:

    1. When the first plane crashed, the other planes had not yet been alerted that there was an emergency on the ground, so they wouldn’t attempt to land without clearance from the tower. As for why no one tried to light up the runway earlier, I’m sure the threat of snipers had something to do with it. They brought this up when someone suggested buying a bunch of big lights.

    2. The fake army unit didn’t form their plan specifically for McClane. It was a contingency in case anyone discovered the terrorists’ hideout. They must have figured this would happen or why invite the dad from Coming To America along in the first place?

    3. I’ll give you the overly cute coincidence of the reporter being on the same plane as Holly. They were just trying to come up with something for her to do while she was on the plane, and the only reason she was stuck up there was to provide McClane with a personal reason to defeat the terrorists. Other than that, the only character from the first one they brought back was Al for one scene, and it made sense to use him as the obligatory exposition dump. If you were in hostile territory and needed intel, wouldn’t you call your friends in law enforcement?

    I’m not saying it’s a perfect movie. I’ll admit these parts are a little hinky, but are these little snags really enough to make you not give a shit about all that’s awesome about the movie? The ejector seat explosion? The snowmobile chase? The conveyor belt shootout? The turbine pulping? Icepick to the eye? Franco Nero? 250 exploded British civilians? “Just the fax, ma’am?” None of this means anything to you? Really? That doesn’t compute for me.

  49. What bugs me most about the film is the stupid subtitle: DIE HARD 2: DIE HARDER. The third one should have been called DIE HARD 3: DIE HARDERER (DIE HARDEST is the obvious choice, but it would lock-out any sequels)

  50. I don’t know Majestyk, there’s just something ‘off’ about the movie. Something about it doesn’t click with me. I wish it did, and I do occasionally watch it and get a kick out of the parts you mentioned (although the ejector seat explosion, though a cool idea, is just ridiculously poorly executed in terms of special effects) but I’d rather watch Zeus and McClane tear it up in New York.

  51. I dunno’, I think DIE HARD 2 is more consistent than DIE HARD 3: DEAD, which went all over the place with the last fifteen minutes or so and sort of wasted the goodwill I’d invested in before. Sort of similar to http://www.diehard.com/4withavengeance, come to think of it.

    On a side note, I saw DIE HARD 3 with my first proper hangover. I sat in the cinema, sweating and shivering and not believing for a second that anyone with a hangover (McClane) could stand without puking, let alone save NYC with a dirty vest and Samuel L. Jackson.

    Ah, good times.

  52. DIE HARD 4: DIE HARDEREST

  53. Am I just waxing nostalgic in my love for Die Hard 3? After the original it’s easily my favorite of the four. That movie has enough originality and fun action sequences that are incredibly well-shot to over-come an admittedly lack-luster ending. Bruce is great, Sam Jackson broke out with this movie, Jeremy Irons is amazing and his henchwoman is a mean nasty bitch. The scene where she slices up the bank security with her ninja blades is excellent. I also fucking love the bank robbery sequence set to The Saints Come Marching In. Can someone tell my simple ass what I’m missing?

    And Brendan it’s not just you who doesn’t dig on DH 2, I think it’s the worst of the series.

  54. Brendan, if the movie doesn’t click for you then there’s not much you can do. A bunch of piddly details can be overlooked if you are so inclined, but an overall sense of dissatisfaction is pretty insurmountable.

  55. Die Hard 3 has a very strong first half, but a decidedly average 2nd half by any action movie standards. After Jeremy Irons stops being a fascinating voice and enters the screen as a generic villain, and his plan is revealed, the film just becomes a lot less interesting. More than that, the action sequences suddenly become awkwardly made with some really choppy editing and horrible greenscreen work, which is hard to understand as the action on the first half is really strong, especially the taxi chase.

    DH2 is more consistent in quality and builds really nicely towards the end, but at the same time it never reaches the heights that the other movies reach at their best. It’s more decidedly just a solid B-movie from beginning to end, with little ambition to be more than that.

    I think DH4 is the best of the sequels. It generally has the best directed action sequences since the first one, and it actually builds the main character into something interesting and unique by acknowledging the existence of previous movies. John McClane isn’t anymore just an everyman. He couldn’t be, after all he’s gone through. And he isn’t just an everyman in the consciousness of the moviegoing public. He is a legend, an icon, a myth. I loved his self-reflecting monologue about heroism in the film.

    I prefer a sequel that builds on the previous movies instead of just trying to be a remake with a bigger budget.

    If they do a 5th movie, then yes, it has to be about worldwide events. Because that’s the natural progression of this series. And it should be about John McClane who once was an ordinary man, but is now a legend, and who KNOWS that he is a legend, but still in many ways just merely a man. There’s so much interesting psychological territory to search in there, I hope they have the balls for that. I think Willis gets it, he knows what McClane is at this point, and he knows what the series is at this point. Do a big finale, show what it means when an ordinary man becomes a legend, and what does that does to him.

    I also thought that in DH4 the mackid was really good and had strong chemistry with Willis, and the villain, while not Hans Gruber, was still more complex and interesting than what you usually see in action movies. Could he win a fistfight against McClane? Of course not, but that’s really besides the point. I also think that the premise of the movie – Bad guys bringing down the computer-based infrastructure of USA – was original and interesting with some really eerie moments. And I thought the film was quite funny, something that many other people for some reason didn’t really see in it.

    DH4 had excellent WOM, judging by it’s very strong legs and excellent worldwide B.O, so it would make sense for them to do a 5th one. If Wiseman is in, I’m in as well. He did a very good directing job.

  56. I think if they do a 5, they shouldn’t have him ‘stumble’ into it, because seriously enough is enough. Have the feds call him or the villians target him or something. So long as he keeps his sense of humor and working man approach to everything, it doesn’t really matter how he gets wrapped in it.

  57. I think the real problem with the DH sequels, is that they forget one single detail that made part 1 the greatest action movie ever: If you would take out all of the explosions, the shoot outs and the other action stuff, it would still work excellent on a Thriller level! It just has this wonderful crafted story, about the guy who saves everybody all alone, by sneaking through a building and try to not get caught!
    I don’t REALLY blame them, that they build the sequels to an action movie around action scenes, and I even like the other two sequels, (3 more than 2 though) but they are all missing out the thriller component. I think part 3 comes with its “Simon Says” game pretty close to it, but unfortunately they abandon this somewhere in the middle.

  58. I actually agree with the detractors on Die Hard 2, Its my least favorite of the series. Its just completely average, it never really gets my blood pumping, and it does feel extremely contrived.
    The best thing about it was that it had the best use of the yippee-ki-yay line. Taking out all the bad guys when they think they’ve won, just by lighting a match, was always extremely awesome to me. I also really enjoyed 3 and 4, I think they’re both very solid sequels, although 3 is definitely more rewatchable. I think a worldwide one would be quite cool.

  59. I don’t know if it’s enough to rate as a #6 (probably just 5 1/2) but Wesley Snipes supposedly says he’d be interested in doing Blade 4.

    http://movies.ign.com/articles/107/1071319p1.html

  60. with all this DIE HARD talk i guess i may as well post this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LNoQKHlCHs&NR=1

    you can thank me later.

    (if you wanna know what the hell is going on here, this is a clip from a japanese variety show a few years ago. it is a contest to see who is the better lookalike. they have a guy who looks like a very popular korean soap opera star at the the time, and then they have this wee little japanese fellow who happens to look eerily like bruce willis. he re-enacts the climax to the original DIE HARD, and he wins the competition. the guy actually became mildly famous for a short time and was heavily involved with promotion for DH4 in japan. he goes by the name “puchi burusu” – which means “petit bruce” or “little bruce.” my friends actually saw him on the street once doing a promotional event for DH4 and they snagged some photos with him, lucky bastards. i believe he even made some appearances with regular size bruce. when i first discovered the above video a couple years back, i watched it over and over, nearly crying. sometimes i really really love this country).

  61. Gotta agree w/ Brendan – Die Hard 2 never really clicked for me either. It seems pretty good on paper – like if someone told me everything that happened in it, i’d say “wow, that sounds pretty good”, but for some reason it’s just really uninvolving. I’ve probably seen the movie at least 5 times and i’ll watch it anytime it comes on cable, don’t get me wrong – but i never get sucked in the way I do to Terminator, Predator, Die Hard 1, etc.. Hell, even the first half of Die Hard with a Vengeance is more gripping than part 2.

    I hate to say it but the only action movie I can think of that I was so blase about was Lethal Weapon 3, even though Die Harder is nowhere near as bad.

    *On a side note – Stormy Daniels + Batista + RVD? Looks like that Demon Dave movie is going straight to the top of the netflix queue.

  62. Interesting debate going on here. I totally agree that “Die Hard 3” falls apart the second Jeremy Irons enters it. He’s basically a less charismatic version of Hans Gruber, even down to the name. (Also, “Simon” Gruber? Couldn’t they at least have given him a SLIGHTLY badass name? How about “Ironballs Gruber”?)

    I liked #2 though. It had a few too many “stock characters” in it, and I thought the asshole reporter sub-plot was badly done and unnecessary. But the main plot worked for me. It’s not a great film, but it’s good. Question though: what’s with these types of films hiring young talent and doing nothing with them? From Ray Wise in “Robocop” to Robert Patrick in this, both playing fairly anonymous thug-like characters, it’s a waste of good actors.

  63. i don’t have time to write everything i think about all the die hards right now (though i hope to at some point at least address my complaints about part 4 and thoughts about a potential part 5), but i just wanted to point out that i believe the name simon was a holdover from the fact that DIE HARD 3 was actually adapted from a non-die hard script called SIMON SAYS. also, i haven’t seen the movie in a while, but is simon actually his name? he first mentions it as a pseudonym (“call me simon”), but do they ever reveal it is actually his name? doesn’t sound very german. anyway, they could’ve changed the name completely when they adapted the script, but then you would have lost the whole simon says bit from the first half, which i think everyone likes. also, sometimes it works for a bad guy to have a wussy first name – it’s kind of a version badass juxtaposition perhaps? for perhaps the best example of this, see clarence boddiker from ROBOCOP. that’s maybe my favorite villain name ever (incidentally, in the dvd commentary for ROBOCOP the writer ed neumeier remarks that he always liked the fact that clarence wore glasses as it contrasted nicely with his vicious persona – juxtaposition! – to which verhoeven says something like, “for me it was kind of like a joseph goebbels thing,” to which neumeier replies, “yeah, this was before i knew about your complete obsession with the nazis and WWII.” funny stuff).

  64. As I recall it from watch DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE about one million times when I was 13, Simon’s real name was in fact Simon Peter Gruber.

  65. In other badass news, Johnny Cash’s final album is available for download on Amazon for only $3.99. The first song is supposed to be about how his body might be in the ground but his soul’s going to heaven, but because he’s Johnny Cash it sounds like a threat when he says ain’t no grave gonna hold him down. Best four bucks I ever spent.

  66. I think Die Hard 2 is a good sequel, despite its plot holes. The one that bothered me the most though,
    because I couldn’t understand what they were going for, is the whole setting up the bad guy base at the church
    scene. When the two henchmen first enter, there’s that old dude sitting watching TV and eating soup in what
    appears to be the church sanctuary, and says a line something like, “It’s a shame to see this old place get
    torn down after living here so many years.” I don’t get it. Why is an old man living in a church? If he was
    the caretaker/janitor guy, wouldn’t he have quarters somewhere separate from the main entrance? Who
    builds a quaint white-steepled midwest-esque church within range of aircraft constantly taking off? I guess

  67. (sorry work computer cut me off) I guess the church could predate the airport, but then wouldn’t it be a
    historic landmark or something? Maybe not, but if the old dude is so sad to see it go, why’s he being evicted?
    Did they just recently find out the church was to be torn down and so he decided to move his things into the
    big room and live it up, kind of like a private youth group sleepover consisting of only him? And then later
    in the movie, I thought it would be important that they set up in the church. But it’s not as far as I can tell,
    except that it allowed them to reference the first film by a similar shot where the villian stands on a stage in
    front and appears to be the pastor/priest figure.

  68. Virgin Gary: I’d like to see a badass named “Meredith.”

  69. If we’re voting for favorite DH sequels, mine would still be DH2. In fact, considered strictly as film, I like it more than DH1 (though I can’t possibly deny that DH1 is vastly more important in the history of film.)

    Aside from all the positives already mentioned (including proper defenses to ‘stupid’ points; though with acknowledgment that the reporter being on the plane is far too obviously plot convenient), I like it because:

    1.) The ending sequence is just vastly more awesome than the ending sequence to any of the other films (I can’t believe someone hasn’t mentioned that DH3 was RESHOT to end the way it does because it was even weaker originally): two tough hand-to-hand fights with upscaling enemies, one of which McClane actually loses (not surprisingly since he was already wounded and weary), but I have to think that he was willing to go through every one of those rogue spec-force guys (armed no less!) to stop that plane if he had to. Then when it seems he has totally lost–the absolute best use of yippi-kai-yay and the lighter possible. (Though the gunshot from DH4 is a good distant second.)

    2.) Related to #1, the leader of the villains not only can stand up to McClane in a fight but seems likely to have been able to beat him even in a fair fight. PLUS having a ruthlessly complicated plan.

    3.) Higher bad-guy body count, made better by how half the villains end up dying (see #1 again).

    4.) Despite the mis-direction terrorist plot, the writers did try to come up with a variation on the villain-theme. It’s about a banana dictator trying to return home with a new private army of mercs to back up his new coup attempt.

    (Which, by the way, is the real reason all the special forces guys are on site. The fight against the ‘enemy’ at the church was a contingency plan in case there had to be a fight before getting on the plane, but the plan was always that the special forces team would go “kick some ass” when the ‘enemy’ tries to get on the plane–and then just get on the plane with them!)

    5.) Being religious myself, I’m a sucker for the praying toward the end. {g} But the plight of the helpless victims just seems emotionally stronger to me, too, and builds better into the climax.

    6.) I like the idea that McClane has reconciled with his wife, and moved out to LA to be with her. (They’re meeting in DC to visit her family for Christmas. Or his, I forget who.) DH3 was depressing, and DH4 moreso, on that score. Realistic, maybe, but depressing. (Another of several reasons I prefer to watch the original trilogy with DH3 coming second.)

  70. How ’bout “Mary Ann”? That’s Gene Hackman’s name in PRIME CUT.

  71. What I love about PRIME CUT is that it makes you realize that Gene Hackman plays every character exactly the same, whether he’s a stalwart hero or the biggest scumbag in the world. This is not a criticism.

  72. Some other scattered comments:

    1.) In DH2, it’s nice (if in an ultimately backhanded way) for the spec-ops guys to regard McClane as having earned their respect for what he did at Nakatomi (and on site at the airport, before and after their arrival).

    2.) It was “Johnny Comes Marching Home Again” as the awesome marching military cadence for the robbery of the mint in DH3. (A theme that’s cued off throughout the movie.)

    3.) I truly hate the scores to the first three films otherwise (including the lame temp-score use of James Horner’s “Aliens” climax music at the end of DH1–excellent music in itself, but painful for a fan of filmscores.) I have no feelings about the DH4 score because it’s so nothing as to not even count as bad. Suffice to say, I don’t watch this particular series for the music. {wry g} (Except for “Johnny Comes Marching Home” during the robbery and as the end-credits for DH3.)

    4.) Leaving aside the importance of DH1 for its own sake, I guess I enjoy them in the following ascending order: DH3 (which would rank higher if the finale so weak, along with some of the greenscreen and effects work toward the end, as previously noted); DH1; DH4; DH2. But each of them have definite strengths versus the others.

  73. Jareth – Does Burgess Meredith count?

    As for the Die Hards, I think maybe our differences come from why we think DIE HARD is fundamentally different from other films. To me, the single location no-way-out marathon is the key the series. Bruce’s McClane is hugely important, of course, but I think there’s a reason the whole DIE-HARD-on-a-blank subgenre copied the struture of the original so closely. Its a uniquely effective and intense setup which concentrates the action in close quarters and ensures that there’s nowhere to escape to, and also de facto cultivates a small community of characters and villains in close proximety to each other (giving the proceedings, I think, a personal and communal feel).

    Now, there are tons of films which used this setup after DIE HARD so it doesn’t feel as fresh any more, but there are even more action film which embiggen the stage to the size of a DIE HARD 3 or 4. It’s a fine formula too, but I just don’t feel like it’s DIE HARD (hell, as someone pointed out above, DIE HARD 3 was adapted from a non-DIE HARD screenplay). I like both 3 and 4 on their own, but 2, absurd as it is, is the only one which really feels like it captures most of the things I love about the original.

    I believe Vern is the one that pointed out that the pressure of making a pretty good DIE HARD sequel also drove Renny Harlin mad, as evidenced by every film he’s made since then, so you can’t claim his heart wasn’t in it. And how many films have Robert Patrik, John Leguizamo, Colm Meany, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Mark Boone Junior, etc in tiny extra parts (in fact, having carefully analyzed the film, I’m not even sure John Leguizamo ever gets killed. He may be one of the faceless goons in helmets who gets shot off the snowmobiles, but by my math at least one henchman is unaccounted for, so maybe he got away).

  74. {{whether he’s a stalwart hero or the biggest scumbag in the world. This is not a criticism.}}

    Agreed. It’s also practically his character in _Unforgiven_. {g}

  75. Some actors are just great at playing always the same character and I got no idea how they do it.

  76. {{Now, there are tons of films which used this setup after DIE HARD so it doesn’t feel as fresh any more}}

    Also videogames. (Which DH1 itself was somewhat reminiscent of even at the time.)

    And how can any list of DH2’s outstanding supporting cast be complete without Dennis Franz (doing his usual schtick before hitting it big playing the same schtick on… was it NYPD Blue??) and our great Tennessee politician-actor Fred G-ddamn Thompson!! (Who looks like he’s pissed that the movie isn’t about _him_ hunting down and destroying terrorists at the airport.)

  77. “Borrow, steal, kill.” {gggg!}

  78. Subtlety,

    I love DIE HARD 2, but I would actually be inclined to complain that its major weakens is that it’s TOO SIMILAR to the original, and doesn’t bring enough originality to the table. It rehashes a lot of unnecessary elements from the original (McClane coincidentally stumbling across terrorist plot, Holly being a hostage, Dick Thornburg/Holly McClane conflict, Al Powell cameo, McClane climbing around in the vents, and so on) and I tend to lose interest in those parts.

    For me, a DIE HARD movie needs two things: John McClane and great action. I actually like the fact that VENGEANCE opened up the action to a larger playing field and gave McClane a sidekick… I’d rather see that character in new situations than in rehashed versions of the situations from the original.

  79. Mr. Majestyk -I was planning on disagreeing with you regarding the acting of Gene Hackman but after going over his IMDB page, the only example I could find that refutes your argument was THE CONVERSATION. Everything else is basically a variation on what you said. Well played, sir.

  80. Dan — yeah, its kinda my thesis that DIE HARD means different things to different people. To me, you stick John McClane in a globe-hopping madman-holding-the-world-hostage type caper, you lose that DIE-HARDness. It could still be a fun movie (in fact, both 3 and 4 are pretty fun) but it doesn’t feel like a true spiritual sequel. To other folks DIE HARD is all about McClane and his bulldogish pugnacity an blue-collar charm, and you could put him in space fighting hellspawn and it would still feel DIE HARD as long as they got the charcter right. Still others find the essential DIE HARDness in the brutal, no-rest-for-the-weary action or pacing. I guess its kind of a testament to the texture and multi-layered success of the first one that although different things (and combinations thereof) speak to us, everyone pretty much agrees that DIE HARD is a spectacular classic.

    So yeah, to me to IS about the formula, and as such I’d happily admit that DH2 is derivative as all fuck. It doesn’t bother me much as long as it works, though. Hell, I’ve watched all the James Bond films, I own multiple albums by Bad Religion and the Ramones, I didn’t complain that the first Halo game makes you go backwards through the whole second half of the game to places you’ve already been. They probably could have set the sequel in another offce building within sight of the original and I wouldnt have complained, as long as it was as consistent and charming as DH2. But I can definitely understand why some people were ready to move on to a different kind of conflict and setup. Differn’ strokes.

  81. Mr. Subtlety: Burgess Meredith scared me as a kid with his portrayal of the Penguin. That’s got to count for something.

    Vern: PRIME CUT is my pal Lee Marvin Girl’s favorite film. The chased-by-a-thresher scene is her favorite. She often mentions that Michael Ritchie’s other films all suffer from a lack of a rampaging thresher, particularly THE BAD NEWS BEARS.

    Hackman’s Mary Ann falls right into the Boy Named Sue category. Which loosely translates into awesome.

    Mr. Majestyk: You don’t think Hackman’s work in THE CONVERSATION strays a bit from the norm?

    Sabreman: I think Franz had logged in a fair amount of time as his proto-Sipowicz character Buntz on HILL STREET BLUES and BEVERLY HILLS BUNTZ before being tapped for DIE HARD 2.

  82. Here’s a bit of more badassery: David (motherfucking Blade, motherfucking Blade 2, mother [gunshot] Blade 3) Goyer is writing the new Superman movie. Will some more motherfuckers try ice skating uphill?

  83. Mr. Subtlety: I’ve heard propoents of the McClane School (as described in your post) argue that the true spiritual sequel to DIE HARD is actually THE LAST BOY SCOUT. I don’t agree, but I can see their point. After McClane, Willis was at his most abrasive in that film.

    These fans of Bruce-as-badass generally hate HUDSON HAWK. At best, they might admit that it works as some sort of bizarro parody.

  84. Darryll, I’m not sure if it comes off that I meant it as a compliment. When I say he plays heroes and villains exactly the same, I mean it’s like the ultimate embodiment of that old “Nobody thinks they’re a bad person” cliche. That’s why he was so fucking good as Little Bill, who does a lot of bad shit but thinks he’s totally justified. When Gene Hackman plays an evil guy, you see him doing evil deeds, not acting like an evil person. It’s like every character is an alternate universe Gene Hackman who’s basically the same guy but has been put in different circumstances that influence his behavior. I would even say THE CONVERSATION fits the bill. It’s not like he disappears into the role, Gary Oldman style. It’s just a version of Gene Hackman that’s been pushed way, way over the edge.

  85. Subtlety,

    Very well put, sir. You are taking the blues riff approach to DIE HARD and I certainly can’t fault you for that.

    Let me ask you than, are there any non-DIE HARD action movies in the DIE HARD mold that feel more like legitimate sequels to you than 3 or 4? IE an UNDER SIEGE or SUDDEN DEATH or something in that template?

  86. Dan: To my sensibilities, the movie I find that most resembles DIE HARD is EL MARIACHI. It’s the simplicity of the narrative and the clarity of the action that the two have in common. There’s a kind of purity of intentions to both films.

    But obviously there are huge differences as well.

  87. A close second on the list would be BULLITT.

  88. {{the only example I could find that refutes your argument was THE CONVERSATION.}}

    What about “Enemy of the State” then? Since in theory he’s riffing on his character from “Conversation”. But maybe EotS is (hm, how to put this), Gene Hackman playing the character from TC as if the character from TC was being played by Gene Hackman. (Did that make sense?)

    Mr. Subtlety: excellent thesis, btw. {g} “To other folks DIE HARD is all about McClane and his bulldogish pugnacity an blue-collar charm, and you could put him in space fighting hellspawn and it would still feel DIE HARD as long as they got the charcter right.” My mind just sort of imploded with the desire to see that film. So I guess I fall into this category. {g!}

    Still, there’s a lot to be said for the “how can a Die Hard film be Die Hard if it isn’t Die-Hard-on-an-X but with John McClane as the one dying hard” argument, too. So I can see why people feel let down that DH3 and 4 don’t seem (somehow) like “Die Hard” movies.

    Also, it seems to me that many of the 60s live-action Batman show villains were far more awesome than they had any right to be. That may be nostalgia talking, but it’s hard to deny that that show has permanently stamped subsequent Batman TV/film attempts with “must have awesome character actors as villains” requirements. Animated or live-action, TV or films, it doesn’t seem to matter.

    Meanwhile, in a very tangentially related sidenote (since we were talking about the Mac-kid; and speaking of Batman and character actors being awesome as villains): I’ve recently become hooked on the “I’m a Marvel; and I’m a DC” parody web-series on this youtube channel:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ItsJustSomeRandomGuy

    If anyone hasn’t seen those, be sure to scroll down the list of entries (in the right central subwindow or pipeline or tube or whatever those things are called) all the way to the bottom, and work up from there.

  89. To clarify what those parodies are about (for those who haven’t seen them yet): the series started as a way for some guy (and his girlfriend, who is more than a little hot and also the person doing the animation and set design) to critique the Marvel/DC movies coming out each year (or not coming out, as the underlying joke from the first entry goes!), using action figures (McClane would call them “dolls” {g}) like they were talking to one another. Things have steadily upgraded from there each year.

    So for example, the first ep features Spider-man going “Hi, I’m a Marvel” and Superman saying, “And I’m a DC”, and then having them compare movie lists for that summer.

    Trust me, it’s much better than it may sound. (If it sounds great… trust me, it’s better than great, too. {g} The writers go _far_ beyond the original joke line, although they still go back to that on occasion. It’s entirely PG rated, btw.)

  90. Jek – your post helps me put my finger on what’s wrong with Die Hard 2. The old man eating soup is there solely to say “I feel like a piece of me is dying too with this place” just so the terrorist can say “You got that right” and shoot him. So they showed how nasty the villains are and put in a supposedly funny one-liner, logic be-damned. It’s typical Point A to Point B screenwriting where they get the end result without putting much thought into the process. It’s like later with the whole “What do i look like to you??” “A sitting duck!” exchange w/ Robert Patrick and the SWAT team member.

    Yeah, i know this is ridiculous nitpicking, but i think it represents how smarmy and cynical Die Hard 2 is. The dumb “nosy reporter” subplot. The incompetent fat policemen who can’t help worth shit. The skullcrusher on the conveyor belt (wtf was that?). The pointless snow fight/icicle to the eyeball scene. Am I mistaken or was there a sassy old lady cursing in this one? Or was that Predator 2? Actually looking back on it, with its early 90s “humor” and just general overkill (aforementioned gore, nude tai chi sequence, 3 exploding jumbo jets?? Really??) Die Hard 2 seems like a Proto-Michael Bay movie, albeit with half a working brain left.

  91. Saberman — if that excites you, I have to ask if you heard that Seagal really wants to make UNDER SIEGE 3 and set it in space with him fighting aliens. True.

  92. I don’t know if it’s substantial enough to count as a another full numerical point of badassery, but according to a random corner of the internet, Snipes says he would be interested in coming back for Blade 4.

    http://movies.ign.com/articles/107/1071319p1.html

  93. Virgin Gary – I agree with your point about the names in Robocop (see also “Dick Jones” – both of the main villains sound like penises.) And in the original “Speed” the villain’s name is “Howard Payne”. A lot of great films have villains with ironically wussy names. The trouble is, for that to work, the villain has to be 1) a credible threat to the hero on his own terms and 2) in possession of a decent amount of charisma. Simon Gruber is neither.

    And yep, Simon Gruber definitely is called that, a random cop guy mentions it to Bruce at one point when discussing his “record”.

  94. but you gotta admit irons is amusingly over the top with his german accent, bleached blond haircut, weirdly ripped physique, and muscle tee. of course he’s no hans gruber, but literally no-one else is. no-one else even comes close, not even the sherriff of nottingham from ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES.

    oh and i thought of a movie where gene hackman doesn’t play the same character: YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN!

  95. In the two French Connection films, Hackman plays the stalwart hero AND the biggest scumbag. (I have a soft spot for the generally reviled part 2.)

    Was I the only one who felt ripped-off at the end of DH3? Bad guys get into helicopter, McClane shoots electrical wire, they blow up. I was shocked by how perfunctory it was. I sat there waiting for another twist and then the credits rolled.

  96. frankbooth – I thought FC2 was pretty good too. Then again John Frankenheimer was one of the best suspenseful American filmmakers, so no surprise. Though really two awesome things about FC2:

    (1) the infamous cold turkey scenes. Mickey Mantle sucks!
    (2) The ending. No epilogue, no bullshit ending wrapping everything up. We almost get a repeat of FC1, then BANG. The End.

    Now if I can get my hands on that Frankenheimer-directed ninja movie THE CHALLENGE.

  97. RRA, go to ioffer.com. They have it on sale for $8.50.

    Anything else you want me to find? I have a knack.

  98. So I guess comments aren’t working, so if two comments suddenly pop up saying the same thing, you’ll know why.

  99. Or not? What the fuck?

    Anyway, RRA, got to ioffer dot com (not sure if the attempt to add a link is what’s screwing up my comments) and they have it for $8.50.

  100. Frankbooth, the sad thing is THAT WAS THE AMPED UP RESHOT ENDING! From what I’ve heard, the original ending was even more perfunctory than that.

    Mr. Subt: {{I have to ask if you heard that Seagal really wants to make UNDER SIEGE 3 and set it in space with him fighting aliens. True.}}

    Hadn’t heard it, and I’m not sure I’d be interested. Why? Because (even though I kind of like both USiege movies) I fell more into the category of “DIE HARD is all about McClane and his bulldogish pugnacity and blue-collar charm”. Remember? {g}

    Zod: that reminded me, after Mr. Subtlety’s humorous idea (McClane in space fighting hellspawn, i.e. Doom), it occurred to me last night that it’s time to remake/reboot Predator 2.

    Ahem… PREDATORS: DIE HARD

    It should be _ordained_ that this movie be made.

    (The title would work well the other way around, too.)

  101. Here is the original ending for Die Hard 3. On the DVD they explain that is was changed, because McClane came across to menacing and cold blooded. And I agree.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSVwuFsiZv4

  102. Not to mention that it is also kinda lame.

  103. Plus it lacks an exploding aircraft, which I think we all agree every DIE HARD picture needs, even if we disagree on what model.

  104. I think I like it better. By this point, McClane is justified in being cold-blooded. It’s kind of a MAD MAX ending, and it would have been unexpected.

    But are we supposed to believe that wearing a flak jacket would have protected MClane for a point-blank hit from a rocket?

  105. ha! I kinda like the alernate ending! Doesn’t really make a lick of sense but at least it’s got a little drama to it.

    and as usual, Youtube comments are full of gems like this one:

    “the original ending is much better it has more action therefore is better ”

    Dan — excellent question, I’ve been rolling around a few possibilities for a couple days now. Unfortunately the whole DIE-HARD-on-a genre kind of petered out by the late 90s so most of the films which I remember being candidates I haven’t seen in a decade or more. But I would like to suggest SPEED, EXECUTIVE DECISION, AIR FORCE ONE, UNDER SIEGE 2 (and to an oddly lesser extent, 1). There are probably plenty of others I haven’t seen (PASSENGER 57 and DAYLIGHT seem likely candidates, but I haven’t seen them).

    Oddly, the thing I realized while thinking about movies which “feel like” DIE HARD to me is that i kept gravitating towards disaster movies more than action films. I think its the sense of an edurance test in DIE HARD which brings me there. If you think about it, DIE HARD isn’t much of an action film by the standards we ususally judge them — it has smaller stunts, less explosions, less at stake. Someone up there pointed out that it’s really mostly a thriller with a more physical hero, and that’s sort of true. But I read it as the story of one man trying to save a small community of survivors by avoiding danger and trying to secure outside help from a mercurial authority — in other words, the plot to most disaster movies, with the exception that the disaster in this case is personified in Alan Rickman to make it all the more personal.

    DIE HARD 2 in some way is much more reminiscent of some of the big disaster movies of the time than the kind of action movie DIE HARD 3 and 4 are working to be. I mean, it could amost be AIRPORT to DIE HARD’s THE TOWERING INFERNO. The story is a little more focused on one man, but I still see it as an expression of community in the face of adversity, with the exception that the adversity takes the form of a specific plan which can be foiled. In fact, while there’s a lot of fighting in both DH 1 and 2, there’s a lot of emphasis on physical hurdles. Crawling down elevator shafts, putting fires on the runway, etc — ie, exactly the kind of action you see in big disaster spectacle. The fact that McClane is a blue collar guy with a lot of skepticism about authority just makes the disaster movie model fit more snugly. It sets up a different kind of conflict and dyanamic between the hero, the villians, the civilians, and the authorities than you typically see in modern action films (including the two sequels, although its sort of there in 4).

    So huh. Great question buddy, which really made me consider what it is that I personally see in the films. Is this the best website ever or what.

  106. Dang, my last comment didn’t go through, equating the alternate ending of Die Hard 3 to a missing scene from Inglorious Basterds + Saw + the Iocane powder scene from The Princess Bride. Absolutely ridiculous, but it did have the absolute best “yippy ki-yay motherfucker” line delivery of the series.

    On a related note – anyone notice that most post-1992 Die Hard clones borrow the whole angle of “the military is going to kill all the hostages if the hero can’t stop the terrorists” from Under Siege 1? Executive Decision, The Rock, Under Siege 2, Con-Air and Turbulence all use this plot device. Not to bring up bad memories but there’s a pretty common belief that this happened in real life to United 93. I wonder if that theory came from real intelligence or people watching too many movies like this. Any thoughts?

  107. Neal, but that’s part of the original DIE HARD recipe. Remember the Feds who were cool with losing 30%, 35% of the hostages?

  108. Ah, good point Mr. M. But I guess I mean that in the Under Siege clones, the powers-that-be have to sacrifice the hostages not as acceptable losses but for the greater good (saving more lives), be it bombing the battleship, the train, Alcatraz, or shooting Con Air out of the sky. I feel like there’s some movie where they actually do that but I can’t quite remember right now.

  109. I was going to mention some things that a DIE HARD film should have, but I think that Mr S’s analogy to the disaster movie hits most of the points. Enclosed locations, overwhelming odds, using detective smarts to work out opponents motives… I suppose the fact that he takes a beating is a big part of it too. He doesn’t use any fancy martial arts: physically his opponents tend to be technically better fighters, but when McClane is pushed, he fights like a cornered cat – wild, impulsive, frenzied…

    Let me run a train of thought here, to try and work out why I prefer DH2 to the other sequels, and maybe work out what I want to see in a DIE HARD 5 – THE DEADENING.

    Alan Rickman’s character is smart and ruthless, much more so than McClane. McClane defeats him using a mixture of low guile and slight of hand… a trick so old a child would get it, but Gruber in his over-confidence does not.

    William Sadler is a ruthless fanatic. Maybe there are touches of the old misdirection-robbery in his plan, but unlike Gruber, you get the impression that he really believes in what he’s doing. McClane is beaten and bloodied when they fight, but even so, the implication is that in a straight one-on-one, McClane could well come out the worst. ‘Cause soldiers who do nude calisthenics before hijacking an airport are on some fucking wavelength the rest of us aren’t, am I right ? All of this coincides to make McClane’s snatch-from-defeat victory so satisfying…

    (and maybe there’s something about using the unhealthy powers of cigarette smoking to overcome Sadler’s physically perfect vegan diet? I dunno, haven’t thought it through, but there’s somethin’ there)

    Jeremy Irons is smart, ruthless and physically-imposing. I haven’t seen it in a while, but the closest they come to each other is when McClane is tied to the bomb on the boat, isn’t it? The film sets up Irons – an actor not usually noted for his physical prowess, let’s remember – as someone who could out-think and out-fight you. Yet the film keeps him and McClane at arms length. Why? You know McClane really wants to get his hands on him and Simon – for all his cynicism – might want to have it out with the guy who killed his brother. Now, McClane does out-think Simon by tracking him using the pill-jar address (also used in the alternate ending), but there’s no satisfaction to shooting a power-line on a helicopter, not unless Simon had earlier made fun of McClane’s poor shooting skills or McClane had reiterated his fear of flying and helicopters representing flight (on account of the fact that they fly) might have riled him up so…

    Shit sorry, I rambled a bit there. My point would be that there was no connection. Gruber and McClane taunt each other over the phone. They meet. They fight. Ditto with Sadler.

    Not so with Simon. I won’t comment on the last one ’cause I’ve only seen it the once. But at least that Olyphant guy was vindictive towards McClane once McLane started poking his beak in. Simon just seemed vaguely disinterested by the whole thing.

    So what with a DIE HARD 5? I don’t think it has to go worldwide, but it could deal with a threat that had worldwide ramifications, if you wanted to go down that route. Keep McClane grounded. Keep him crawling through pipes and taking a beating but still wheezing wisecracks and using a combination of guile and detecting skills to figure out his opponents. Sounds obvious, but who would have thought they’d cut a yippy-ky-yay-motherfucker from the fourth one?

    Would be funny if they brought back another Gruber – the third brother. Or maybe a nephew. Played by Vincent Cassel. Yeah, I know he’s French, but fuck it, it’s gold…

  110. I’d love shane to direct dh5, or at least ghost write…
    I didn’t see kisskiss bangbang from the start, can he do spectacle? actually dh1 had very little by way of asplosions till the swat team appeared.

  111. it would have been wierd if geena davis and bruce willis both wound up in canada shooting at helicopters and just kinda looked at eachother before getting back to shooting.

  112. Okay, maybe “perfunctory” wasn’t the best adjective for the original DH3 ending. {wry g} (Maybe “depressing/wacky/infinitely implausible” is a better adjective. And no, I can’t say it beats either DH2 or DH4 for a yippie-kai-yay usage. Though it’s admittedly uniquely in a class of its own, and there’s something to be said in favor of that.)

    Nice to see a little love for EXECUTIVE DECISION; arguably the highest class “Die Hard on a Something” film ever released. (Tom Clancy + Die Hard + Steven Seagal – Steven Seagal {g!} + nerdy Kurt Russel + G’Kar from Babylon 5 + several other nifty character actors = awesome)

  113. Also, from IMDB: the pre-original script for DH3 was borrowed from an obscure novel (TROUBLESHOOTER, great title) that was eventually turned into SPEED 2; then dropped in favor of the SIMON SAYS script, the first hour of which is virtually on screen in the final product word for word (with names changed and slight tweaks to fit McClane and his history).

  114. I seem to recall on the DIE HARD WaV commentary, the writers says that in SIMON SAYS it turned out that Simon was someone the main character had badly hurt when the were both kids, and he was trying to get revenge. The main character had of course completely forgotten this incident from his youth. There was no gold robbing or team of mercenaries; the whole second half of the film would have been completely different.

  115. Dan, yes less die-hardy. {g} You can kind of see the ‘seam’ in the plot-switch when it pans up from street level after the bombing of the train, to show “Simon” for the first time. I wonder how much of the conversation in the car (which precedes this), with the feds and the local cops, was supposed to be in the original script…

    Also, I would give good money for a _good_ soundtrack arrangement from this film. (i.e. one that features the “Johnny Comes Marching Home” cues mixed with “Die Hard”-esque cues. I may hate the Kamen soundtrack but I can tolerate it when mixed in with that; I have to admit, if he arranged the JCMH material he did a great job!)

  116. Other nifty trivia I hadn’t heard: Steven de Souza originally intended DH1 to be a sequel to COMMANDO with Arnold’s Matrix character returning for the McClane role. So in effect, de Souza was adapting the original Thorpe novel to be a vehicle for John Matrix, which probably explains McClane’s awesome combat capabilities.

    Notice that not only does DH1 mention the same fictional country of Valverde (invaded by Matrix in COMMANDO), but (if I recall correctly) the extradited general from DH2 is trying to get back there with his new merc recruits to stage a re-coup! Maybe that explains why DH2 has such over-the-top kills, even by the standards of the DH series?–maybe it was also a repurposed sequel for COMMANDO that got further along the drafting stage before being adopted into being DH2? De Souza wrote both scripts… hmm…

    Amusingly, one over-the-top kill (featuring a cordless power drill) was so graphic Fox refused to let it be included; prompting a lawsuit from Black and Decker for NOT including the drill as part of a product-placement deal!

    Other nifty bits of trivia from the first three films (some I knew, others I didn’t) can be found in the first comment on this blog:

    http://mog.com/Terry_Staunton/blog/89310

    Among other amusing tidbits: McTiernan originally wanted the “Simon” character’s plan to be an art-heist, but had to redraft when no museums would allow him to even try (since they didn’t want to be associated with terrorist plots, or pseudo-terrorist plots either. {g}) The author doesn’t note that McTiernan went on to direct the Pierce Brosnan remake of THE THOMAS CROWNE AFFAIR (a film I very much like–I mean the remake, not the original), where the plot changes from bank robbing (in the original film) to an art heist.

    Also, Dick Cheney can be seen standing around in a post-bomb crowd during DH3. (I thought Vern would really like that one. {g!})

    One suggestive factoid, concerning the recent remark from Willis about a good chance DH5 will be made, is that Willis has also confirmed (earlier, before DH4) hearing a pitch for a DH movie from no less than Quentin Tarrantino, which Willis seemed very favorable about. “Very out there, but very doable.”

  117. that val verde,
    first the president is threatened with military overtaking, then a large number of its military are killed/scalped on a small isle closeby, then on the mainland they got predators and terrorists- I’ll bet there have been a few oceanic planes that’ve asploded there.

  118. Oh yeah, Predator was set there, too, wasn’t it?

    Dang, there ought to be some kind of “Epic of Valverde” movie collection set…

    Also, do my eyes deceive me?? Vern has never officially reviewed EXECUTIVE DECISION!? Being such a fan not only of Kurt Russell but also Steven Seagal?! (But surely he mentions it in Seagalogy.)

  119. glad you got my generic country = val verde [predator die hard 2] , generic airline = oceanic [lost, executive decision] bit.

  120. I have to say, having recently rewatched the alternate ending for DH3: I’m not as completely against it as I originally was. If it’s divorced from expectations, it works a lot better. I think maybe both endings suffer by comparison with the brilliant finale to DH2; and there are too many unanswered questions to the alternate ending. (So what happened to all the mercs? And Simon smuggled 13 dump trucks worth of gold out of Canada by disguising them as lead paperweights? Really?–all that, just to end sipping in a German coffeehouse somewhere?–which admittedly is about the best that can be expected from being able to pawn off the occasional melted knickknack… {wry g})

    But trying to look at it with fresh eyes, I think I appreciate it more now. True, it needed an extra line about how those cheap Chinese rocket launchers weren’t good for much to begin with (and had been further modified by McClane for the game, to act like a limited range shotgun). But one thing I noticed this time, was how _young_ McClane looks. (Even Simon remarks on it!) He’s back with his wife (maybe), he’s given up the booze, he looks, oh, say, 10 years younger (even his hair)… he’s about to visit his kids for Christmas…

    Heck!–it’s like the writers were trying to segue into the beginning of DH2!! {g!} (My pet theory is that DH3 takes place between the events of DH1 and 2.) It doesn’t quite work, because McClane ought to be on the LA police dept. now, but he didn’t have to explain that to Simon, right?–and it explains how he was able to move to LA without feeling responsible for a backlog of cases (which would never be cleared up because a new backlog would always replace it. Notably, McClane’s first scene involves them reassigning investigations to other people, because they’re worried he won’t survive walking around Harlem with that sign.) Anyway, what surprised me was how far they seemed to go to make McClane look more like he does in DH2.

    And, okay, I admit I liked the quietness of the finale, taken as itself. No, it doesn’t really work as the finale to an action film that has been amping up to a showdown with that army of German mercenaries (which has to compare to how the merc army was dispatched in DH2). But, yep, I think they actually sort of worked in one or two nods to the “iocane powder” scene from Princess Bride.

    So I give it more of a passing grade this time. I don’t despise it anymore. I even kind of like it now, I think.

  121. Jareth Cutestory

    March 1st, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Here’s what Cinematical thinks DIE HARD 5 should look like:

    “Okay, so here’s my idea, even though I know you’ll all hate it: bring back original (and Die Hard with a Vengeance) director John McTiernan for a fifth installment that’s also a remake of his Last Action Hero, which nobody remembers fondly anyway. We begin with a theater full of people watching a re-release of Die Hard, and Gruber escapes from the screen to hold the audience hostage. And average-Joe actor Bruce Willis is in attendance, because he’s there for a Q&A or something, and he has to defeat Gruber for real this time.”

    Um, no. No thanks.

  122. in other important badass happenings, here is an interview with wesley snipes over at aicn in conjunction with a screening of his return to the big screen in a bonafide acting performance in BROOKLYN’S FINEST: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/44131

    not sure if it’s news per se, but capone mentions that snipes is definitely interested in continuing the blade franchise!

  123. The great part of that interview is where he talks about his performance as Blade being inspired by Toshiro Mifune and William Marshall as Blacula. The Mifune part comes from them already discussing Kurosawa, but he brings up Blacula out of nowhere. He actually says a couple things that are very insightful about his approach to acting, and the idea of Blade being inspired by those two makes me happy.

    The part that makes me sad though is the part where he clearly is not excited about GAME OF DEATH. That’s the one that Abel Ferrara was supposed to direct, but for some reason he left or got replaced.

  124. it’s very exciting that snipes is in a “real” movie again. don cheadle was on colbert last night, and he showed a clip from BROOKLYN’S FINEST between him and snipes. looks like a really good, meaty role for him. i liked what he said in the aicn interview about his physical approach to acting. it’s true, there are very few people who are able to balance the physical side of the performance with the emotional side, and snipes is one of em.

    course, nothing would make me as happy as a new blade movie. i think spike lee should direct it. i’m only half joking.

  125. Del Toro’s not gonna be available to do a Blade sequel. Maybe we should send Snipes a copy of UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATION.

  126. del toro’s actually not essential or really all that desirable for a blade movie for me; i MUCH prefer the first one to the second one. i’m not saying give it to norrington (necessarily). i’m sure there are plenty of talented young directors who could do something good with the property, but i would most like to see an auteur-type director tackle it. of course, often a lot of people don’t seem to like the results when the studios take a risk on a visionary-type director (WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, ang lee’s HULK), but you and i know they’re crazy. like i said, i was half-joking when i suggested spike lee, but i would love to see what he did with a big blockbuster/genre-type movie. he’s got the chops for sure. and even though he tends to make movies with something on their mind, he always makes them entertaining, and even his failures (BAMBOOZLED, GIRL 6, SHE HATE ME) are interesting failures. i guess INSIDE MAN was his closest to a mainstream “fun” picture, and it was totally entertaining (btw, whatever happened to the talk of the sequel to that? i’m not sure it’s a good idea, but i’d be curious, nonetheless). anyway, i think spike lee is an american cultural treasure, and one of the most underappreciated masters of the cinematic form we have working in america today.

    yikes, didn’t mean to write all that on a post about a comic book vampire movie series.

  127. I agree about Spike Lee, and it always bums me out when he comes up on Ain’t It Cool talkbacks and I’m reminded that not only is he not as respected among film nerds as he used to be, but that there is way more crazy stupid racism out there than I like to think there is in the year 2010. I mean god damn, there are still people who wonder why Spike Lee was so angry 20 years ago when he made DO THE RIGHT THING!

    And if he was gonna do a BLADE movie I would gladly forget about all the reasons he’d be wrong for it just to find out what the hell that movie would be. I think you’re right about it needing an auteur type director. And I think that’s why Del Toro was great, he did an amazing job of capturing what I loved about the character and the original movie, but put his own spin on it with the weird mythology and visuals. Also it was pretty revolutionary in the way it used digital effects, although it never really gets credit for that.

    John Hyams is now our go to guy that we want to direct everything, but he would especially fit this because he has shown that he can have a real quiet, serious tone like Norrington had on the first one and I also think he has shown that he could do some insanely good fight scenes, maybe with a more raw and real feel than the previous movies.

    Unfortunately I honestly don’t believe this can happen, because I don’t think New Line will ever work with Snipes after he sued them over the last one, and I also don’t think Goyer will work with Snipes, and I personally think it needs both of them. But I like this game of coming up with directors for it.

  128. Vern – I think what’s surprised me the most is that Spike Lee never scored a Best Director Oscar nomination.

    I mean shit John Singleton basically got his after the furor at the Oscars for snubbing DO THE RIGHT THING, but giving the win to goddamn DRIVING MISS DAISY. Then they snub him again on MALCOLM X, his most ambitious movie.

    As for those AICN talkbackers, some people hate people not giving a shit what they think.

    Can’t the most racist ones at least thank Lee for indirectly inspiring Mike Judge to make KING OF THE HILL?

  129. How about if Del Toro works Snipes into a part for THE HOBBIT?

    (My mind just shut down from the attempt to imagine Wesley Snipes playing the werebear Beorn whom even the goodguys are rightly afraid of, and who shows up at the end to save the day and avenge the death of the dwarven king. Maybe that should be Dwayne Johnson… {g})

    (And then, because my mind apparently has nothing better to do, I tried to imagine him playing all the LotR Big Villain roles–all of which were played by the same guy who did Lurtz in FotR. So, Christopher Lee is walking around Wesley Snipes marveling at him being his greatest creation… Wesley Snipes in a swordfight vs. the guy from Eastern Promises… Wesley Snipes starts beating Eowyn senseless with that mace/chain and sword combo… Wesley Snipes as Sauron in the prologue…)

    Okay, more seriously: Michael Jai White for Blade?

  130. Maybe we can tie these threads together and have Snipes be the villain in DH5. He might make an interesting adversary for Bruce, and very different fom the past Gruber-model used in 1, 3, and 4.

    As for Blade, if they’re going to make one they ought to seriously consider bringing back Whistler. The great partnership between the two is a huge part of the charm of the first two movies and losing it in the third really hurt that film, IMHO. Spike Lee would make an awesome BLADE film, but I’d kind of worry that he’d change the tone too much. All his films have a distinct look and feel to them which would be pretty weird in Blade’s slicky commercial universe. I say give it to Hyams. Or maybe Robert Rodrigeuz would be interested? It needs someone who can focus on the craft of making a badass action film, not get distracted by subtext and stylistic concerns. If we’re talking auteurs, they really ought to give it to Brian DePalma, just to keep him from making PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2.

  131. My vote would be to bring Guillermo Del Toro if they did a BLADE 4. I think BLADE 2 and HELLBOY 2 represent banner achievements in the comic book adaptation genre, in fact I like them more than his more “serious” movies like DEVIL’S BACKBONE and PAN’S LABYRINTH, so I’d be very pleased if he dipped his toes in those waters again.

  132. Yeah, that’s probably right, I think Del Toro definitely has another great BLADE in him, if he’s inclined to let it come out. But maybe its time to let someone else play in that sandbox. Besides, he’s gonna be up to his knees in hobbits for awhile, I guess…

  133. Guy could have at least had the common courtesy to post his spam in a DRILLER KILLER or TOOLBOX MURDERS talkback or something

  134. To be fair, cordless drills do come in pretty handy. The ones that you have to plug into a wall have more power and the pneumatic ones even moreso but your movements are limited to how long the power cord or air hose is. Not to mention that cordless drills are better suited as muder weapons much in the same way that gas powered chainsaws are more effective than the corded ones which are pretty useless. I mean what kind of serial killer are you if you’re only intimidating within a 5′ radius?

    So yeah. I’m all about the cordless for both home improving and/or serial murder.

  135. TOTAL RECALL would have worked as well.

    “Screw you, Benny”

  136. Smell – The smell is one of the most useful ways people can tell if someone is smoking cannabis.

    Scientists wrote at the time inside the Journal from the International Hemp Association 6(1):
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