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 The Die Hard Series

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Makeshift Python
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:23 pm

Prisoner Monkeys wrote:
Perhaps one good thing will come out of this: the producers will realise that this "DIE HARD for the 21st Century" nonsense that they've been peddling is the wrong way to go about it, and try to recapture the spirit of the original film.

It's not that hard to do:

1) You take a villain with a master plan.

2) You put him in control of a location, and isolate that location from the rest of the world.

3) You have the villain plan for every outcome, except for a lone gunman who is a fish out of water.

4) You place John McClane in that location, with his presence only tangentially related to the villain's scheme.

5) You give the villain a secondary motive, a twist that makes McClane the best person to stop the threat because he is the only outsider who knows it.

As long as its not cheap like DIE HARDER. All I really care about is character and less formula which is why I have a soft spot for DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE despite its flaws.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:37 pm

Maybe it's best to let the franchise die. No I'm not putting "hard" in that sentence. I've only seen the first two, but I can imagine how bad this one must be. Even the trailer made it look like a "TV movie with a budget" to me.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:00 pm

Best case scenario is if they pull a STAR TREK VI and just cap it off nicely, but that's only if Bruce starts giving a shit for once.

Anyway, I found this youtube page: http://www.youtube.com/user/OmyBruce?feature=watch It basically consists of 2 second videos of Bruce Willis reacting to stuff. I don't get it, but I'm amused.

Example: My reaction to J.J. Abrams using Khan:

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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:28 pm

I can't help but wonder if they wouldn't be better off rebooting the DIE HARD franchise entirely after this. Cast a new actor in the role, and work on getting McClane's character right. He's not an action hero. He's not a highly-trained, ultra-resourceful super-agent. He's in the wrong place at the wrong time, but he's the right guy to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:24 am

Prisoner Monkeys wrote:
He's in the wrong place at the wrong time, but he's the right guy to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I like the way you put that, PM. 8) :*h*:
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:44 am

Well, I quite enjoyed A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD. It wasn't nearly as bad as I'd expected (although from all the critical maulings I'd expected one of the very worst films of all time). I found it to be entertaining fluff.

My main gripe with A GOOD DAY is that it takes place against some of the ugliest locations imaginable. You'd think that the first DIE HARD flick set outside the United States might make something of its far-flung new backdrops, but no - quite the opposite, in fact. It's as though the filmmakers were actively trying to make Russia (actually Hungary) look as visually unappealing as possible. Granted, the DIE HARDs (unlike the Bonds) don't tend to feature five-star hotel suites, luxurious villas and the like - and, sure, McClane has always spent a fair bit of time running around in darkened basements and tunnels. But you haven't seen eyesores till you've seen A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD.

There's nothing especially wrong with this film's storyline (although there's nothing especially right with it either), but why oh why could it not have been set in the Middle East or Vietnam or---- well, anywhere other than the grungiest parts of Moscow? For the most part, this flick is exceptionally dull and dreary to look at. Director John Moore does not entirely lack visual flair, but he really is swimming against a very strong tide here.

To echo a point made by AMC Hornet, Jai Courtney is no heir to the franchise, although I doubt that that was ever the intention. Fortunately, Willis is on surprisingly good form as McClane and shows that there's still plenty of life in the character. He looks as old as the hills, but somehow that doesn't really matter. Put Willis in a dirty vest and spatter him with blood, and magic always seems to happen.

The film's action highlight is a lengthy vehicle chase through Moscow that seems heavily influenced by the one in THE BOURNE SUPREMACY. It has its moments, but is marred by incoherent cinematography and editing.

As for the character relationships, it's never really explained why McClane, Jr. hates his father so much. I guess it's enshrined in the laws of the DIE HARD series that McClane must be perpetually estranged from his family. My memory of LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD is pretty hazy, but I think that A GOOD DAY may be the first DIE HARD outing in which Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) isn't even mentioned. Are we to take it that the character has died, or is she still not talking to our hero as a result of some falling-out way back in the early 1990s?

Some other observations: it's refreshing to have a DIE HARD film in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio as opposed to the usual 2.35:1. There are some highly amusing moments, such as McClane's encounter with a Moscow cabbie (by far the best scene in the film), McClane's choice of ringtone music and the elevator muzak that plays at one point. McClane does deliver one or two good quips.

Perhaps the film's best joke lies in the choice of closing credits song: the Rolling Stones' recently-recorded "Doom and Gloom". DIE HARD and the Stones - two iconic brands spanning decades. In both cases, their best years are long behind them, and they can be accused of continuing for far too long, but they still cut the mustard and still generate more than enough goodwill to keep on doing their thing.

And so it is that DIE HARD 5 offers no surprises, but, still, it does what it says on the tin. It's certainly not in remotely the same league as the 1988 original, but it isn't necessarily the worst of the sequels. I hope that Willis will return for DIE HARD 6, with a better script and more appealing visuals, and have his final reconciliation with Holly.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:10 am

Prisoner Monkeys wrote:
I can't help but wonder if they wouldn't be better off rebooting the DIE HARD franchise entirely after this.

Well, yeah. I kind of thought Die Hard 5 was a test to see if Jai Courtney could take over the lead role; that way he is a McClane, but he's not John McClane, so you get something sort of familiar but not an attempt to rip off or clone Bruce Willis. It's different, yet the same. I thought there would be potential for a hand-off with this movie, but based on reviews, it appears that's out of the question.

So, my suggestion would be that they simply not make anymore Die Hard movies. Whatever money Fox was going to spend on developing sequels, just put it into developing original scripts with new characters. Fox could adapt Brad Thor's novels. They could also adapt the novel VERTICAL RUN (which was at Paramount years ago, IIRC; it's kind of Die Hardish). But maybe Die Hard has run its course. Maybe the concept of Die Hard is too limiting to overcome. Maybe you can't go home again. Maybe you can't un-ring a bell. Maybe you can't un-fire a gun. Maybe you can't put the genie back in the bottle. DIE HARD was a hard act to follow; maybe it wasn't meant to be followed.

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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:35 am

Well, a lot of people thought Bond had run its course after DIE ANOTHER DAY. A lot of people thought ROCKY V was the final nail in the coffin of the Italian Stallion franchise.

It's always possible to bounce back, though, if the creativity and the will are there. A really terrific DIE HARD 6 that gives the series a decent sendoff is entirely feasible. However, it needs (among other things) a much better script than the one for A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD.

DIE HARD 6 does not need Jai Courtney or another Willis substitute. Willis can still cut it as McClane. Without him, A GOOD DAY would not be worth watching. Willis pretty much carries the film. Besides, Jack McClane is completely uninteresting as a character - he comes across as an incompetent and unpleasant version of Jack Bauer (there was a rumour a few years ago that DIE HARD 5 would be titled DIE HARD 24 and would feature McClane and Bauer teaming up - whether a script for this idea was ever written I don't know, but A GOOD DAY certainly feels as though it was based on this concept). Courtney does not display any star quality whatsoever in this film - by comparison, Justin Long's character in LIVE FREE absolutely cries out for his own spinoff.

Jack McClane does not belong in DIE HARD 6 at all. Let him be airbrushed out of the history of the series. He's as irrelevant to the future of DIE HARD as Charles Robinson or Jack Wade is to the future of the 007 franchise. The DIE HARD films have now focused quite enough on McClane's offspring. The focus needs to return to the big man himself - if any other McClanes are to appear in future outings, let it be Holly.

No more sidekicks for McClane, family members or otherwise. The series needs to go back to basics for the next one and bring back all the elements that DIE HARD fans are constantly (and rightly) calling for: McClane alone and outnumbered, a charismatic villain a la Hans Gruber, action scenes that aren't completely outlandish, and so on.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:24 am

Loomis wrote:
Well, a lot of people thought Bond had run its course after DIE ANOTHER DAY.

Really? Who were these people? That might have been said back in 1967...or in the late 80's......or in 1994....but I think it's safe to say that 007 is battle tested, and has been through so many different peaks and valleys and reincarnations that it cannot ever be said that Bond has 'run his course'. There is no end for 007. John McClane, however, is something totally different. The series has only had five films in 25 years...and one actor.....and while it has been very successful, it never approached the popularity of the Bond series. We don't know yet whether DIE HARD can be "rebooted" and McClane be recast because they haven't tried to do it (yet). The series has more limitations and obstacles stacked against it, though, than the Bond series:. Its audience is a bit more limited because of the R-rating....the premise that made the original so great cannot simply be repeated for each sequel or else the films look like cheap, easy money grabs....it has less interchangeable parts than the Bond series (the Die Hard series doesn't benefit from beautiful women, exotic locations, gadgets, tie-ins such as Heinekin, Brioni, Omega, etc...toys and videogames, etc...) so the series has to work THAT much harder to be better than the film before. I'd say the one film that managed to get the spirit of DIE HARD right was SPEED, and that didn't Willis or the DIE HARD brand.

Quote :
DIE HARD 6 does not need Jai Courtney or another Willis substitute. Willis can still cut it as McClane.


I'll take your word for it about Jai Courtney; I won't be seeing the film until it hits Red Box. But how long can Willis cut it as McClane? He can't keep doing this forever.

Quote :
Without him, A GOOD DAY would not be worth watching. Willis pretty much carries the film. Besides, Jack McClane is completely uninteresting as a character - he comes across as an incompetent and unpleasant version of Jack Bauer (there was a rumour a few years ago that DIE HARD 5 would be titled DIE HARD 24 and would feature McClane and Bauer teaming up - whether a script for this idea was ever written I don't know, but A GOOD DAY certainly feels as though it was based on this concept). Courtney does not display any star quality whatsoever in this film - by comparison, Justin Long's character in LIVE FREE absolutely cries out for his own spinoff.

Justin Long deserved his own spin-off? I'll have to watch that film again, because even though I own it, I don't recall seeing a character or performance so strong or interesting (or potentially) to merit his own series. I liked him okay, but how do we get to the idea of a spin off for Justin Long? His character was a computer geek, not a cop.

Quote :
The DIE HARD films have now focused quite enough on McClane's offspring. The focus needs to return to the big man himself - if any other McClanes are to appear in future outings, let it be Holly.

I agree. Too many family members have been in danger (4 out of 5 movies). They need to go somewhere else with the series.

Quote :
The series needs to go back to basics for the next one and bring back all the elements that DIE HARD fans are constantly (and rightly) calling for: McClane alone and outnumbered, a charismatic villain a la Hans Gruber, action scenes that aren't completely outlandish, and so on.

I can see it now: Sam Mendes is hired to direct DIE FALL. What about John McClane in the future? Maybe he is in a coma for 50 years and when he wakes up guns have been outlawed (oh wait. That was Demolition Man).
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:48 am

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
Loomis wrote:
Well, a lot of people thought Bond had run its course after DIE ANOTHER DAY.

Really? Who were these people?

Well, the folks at Eon Productions, it would seem. Or at least, I seem to recall Michael G. Wilson saying that they felt that Bond really needed to change direction after DIE ANOTHER DAY, and that the series could not go any further into the realms of absurdity and sci-fi. Or words to that effect. Many Bond fans and film pundits agreed. So did I, even though I loved DIE ANOTHER DAY and still love it. But a radical change was needed in order to stop Bond becoming stale and self-parodic. Result: CASINO ROYALE. What I mean is that a particular kind of Bond film had run its course, not that Bond as such had run its course.

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
The series has more limitations and obstacles stacked against it, though, than the Bond series:. Its audience is a bit more limited because of the R-rating....the premise that made the original so great cannot simply be repeated for each sequel or else the films look like cheap, easy money grabs....it has less interchangeable parts than the Bond series (the Die Hard series doesn't benefit from beautiful women, exotic locations, gadgets, tie-ins such as Heinekin, Brioni, Omega, etc...toys and videogames, etc...) so the series has to work THAT much harder to be better than the film before. I'd say the one film that managed to get the spirit of DIE HARD right was SPEED, and that didn't Willis or the DIE HARD brand.

Agreed with all that. Just one point, though: A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD is not R-rated in Britain. Over here it has the same rating as SKYFALL. Mind you, I think us Brits have been given a trimmed and sanitised version of A GOOD DAY in order to open it up to a wider audience.

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
But how long can Willis cut it as McClane? He can't keep doing this forever.

True, but he's good for at least one or two more.

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:

Justin Long deserved his own spin-off?

No! Definitely not! That wasn't what I was trying to say at all. What I meant was that, by comparison to Jai Courtney, Long's character in LIVE FREE richly deserves his own movie. I'm trying to say that the character of Jack McClane is so deeply uninteresting that even Long's character would be more deserving of a spinoff. I'm certainly not advocating that Justin Long take over the franchise - I'm saying that Courtney would be an even worse choice than Long.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:24 am

Loomis wrote:

Well, the folks at Eon Productions, it would seem.

Yeah, right. What do they know about making Bond films?

Quote :
Or at least, I seem to recall Michael G. Wilson saying that they felt that Bond really needed to change direction after DIE ANOTHER DAY, and that the series could not go any further into the realms of absurdity and sci-fi.

Granted, but that's a far cry from suggesting that the series is totally over (which is what I felt your post implied).

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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:44 am

That's called 'inference.'
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:28 am

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
But maybe Die Hard has run its course. Maybe the concept of Die Hard is too limiting to overcome. Maybe you can't go home again. Maybe you can't un-ring a bell. Maybe you can't un-fire a gun. Maybe you can't put the genie back in the bottle. DIE HARD was a hard act to follow; maybe it wasn't meant to be followed.
I think that, at the very least, it deserves one more shot, if only because the concept stands out against the current trends of action heroes. Make a proper DIE HARD film, see how audiences take to it, and go from there.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:31 am

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
They could also adapt the novel VERTICAL RUN (which was at Paramount years ago, IIRC; it's kind of Die Hardish).

Not a bad idea. I read VERTICAL RUN a few years ago on your recommendation and enjoyed it. It would make a fine film in the right hands, although I suppose it would have to be a period piece now that people have mobile phones and tablets and whatnot.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:42 am

When is John McTiernan released from prison?
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:07 am

Largo's Shark wrote:
When is John McTiernan released from prison?

I don't know, but you just brought up a great idea: DIE HARD In A Prison.

McTiernan could direct from jail, and the prison could get some sorely needed funds by allowing Fox to shoot on location. You could also force the prisoners to act and only pay them 33 cents a day.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:26 am

Friend of mine took his 14 year old son to see it.

My friend said the movie was crap and too short.

His son said it was awesome:

I guess that's the teenager part of him talking.

It doesn't take much to please them!
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:35 am

Star Trek VI was better than Star Trek V, and they called it quits after that...
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:09 pm

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
I don't know, but you just brought up a great idea: DIE HARD In A Prison.
How about this for a villain: a real American success story that went horribly, horribly wrong.

The villain could be from a small mid-western town, was well-liked and intellignet; the kind of person who you knew would go on to achieve great things. He moved to the city, where he lived up to his potential, but never forgot his roots; a kind of modern take on the whole "my grandfather arrived at Ellis Island with nothing more than a dolalr in his pocket and the clothes on his back" story. Anyway, the villain ended up joining a bank or financial institution, only for him to end up being the guy who issued foreclosure notices during the financial crisis. Where some of his co-workers had to deal with people breaking down in tears or taking a swing at them, the villain was go understanding of what was going on that people actually thanked him for taking their homes away from them when it was done. This did not go over well with him, and he approached the FBI to be an informant when he found details of illegal transactions that he was enforcing. Finally convinced that he was doing something good, he was devastated when the FBI agent in charge of the case double-crossed him and deliberately sabotaged the case (as he is corrupt and on the payroll of the people he was investigating) so that a federal judge would have no choice but to dismiss all of the charges. This is the episode that sends him over the edge, and he takes control of a society benefit function (somewhere like the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles). He demands the presence of the crooked FBI agent at negotiations, and in the meantime, he begins "auctioning off" the hostages: a hostage can free another hostage - a total stranger - for 99% of their own personal wealth. If they agree, that hostage is freed; if not, the hostage is executed.

McClane gets mixed up in all of this when he visits Holly, who is attending the party as a representative of Nakatomi. They agree that their marraige didn't work, but they are amicable, and even towards one another - until Holly is the first hostage "auctioned", and no-one is willing to save her.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:37 pm

AMC Hornet wrote:
Star Trek VI was better than Star Trek V, and they called it quits after that...
Same with Rocky. I do hope for this scenario, but that all depends on whether Willis actually gives a shit about making a decent movie. At least with ROCKY V and STAR TREK V they actually tried hard, despite the incompetence. DIE HARD 5 apparently didn't bother trying.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:42 pm

I think he does care. He did, after all, make LOOPER.

No, I think the problem with A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD stems from the production decisions. It was written by the man responsible for X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE, and directed by the guy who shot MAX PAYNE. That was always asking for trouble, but everyone was probably convinced that they had a decent film on their hands when they started making it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:35 pm

New red band trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dD_ZmmWi5zk
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:02 am

Prisoner Monkeys wrote:
I think he does care. He did, after all, make LOOPER.

Which was overrated sh**e.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:37 am

I don't think it's so much that Willis doesn't 'care' overall about EVERYTHING he's in, more that he doesn't really care quality-wise about Die Hard any more (4.0 and a A Good Day ... would appear to bear that out). He likely thinks he can play McClane in his sleep now, and they're an easy pay-day for him.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:06 am

The screening of A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD that I attended featured trailers for two other Willis movies, G.I. JOE: RETALIATION and RED 2, and I thought that both of them looked infinitely worse than A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD.
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