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 The Die Hard Series

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Makeshift Python
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:28 pm

The good old "computers can do anything because they're computers and they can do anything" trope.
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Fairbairn-Sykes
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:34 pm

It's a trope that I'm willing to forgive in movies from the 80s like WAR GAMES and WEIRD SCIENCE because no one in the film world understood computers because they were new and unknown, but LIVE FREE was made in 2007. It was written on a computer, edited on a computer, everyone involved in it works with computers every day of their life, yet somehow still treats computers as scary new things as if they were old men still using typewriters and Steinbecks to make their movies.

I mean, it's source text is an article from 1997, ten years earlier, when I'd still be more forgiving of the "computers are scary, what can they do?" fear than I am in 2007.
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The White Tuxedo
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:35 pm

Fairbairn-Sykes wrote:
The main source of that random shit IMO is the complete abandon with which the movie treats "hacking" and what it can do, to the point where for the purposes of LIVE FREE, hacking equals magic.

I agree with that, though it also seemed random in terms of the editing style.

But I really do totally agree with "hacking equals magic" harming what I saw of the film.

You've pinpointed my problem with the film so far. There is no believabilty to what is happening, which is a total shift from the first three films.

The idiot cops in DH1 are my only real weakness in that film, but it's a pretty logical film, thus the suspense is greater.

DH2 stretches it, but it's got enough down-to-earth people in it so that you can kinda buy what you're seeing. Even though it strikes me as odd that they didn't send anyone to look for the terrorists when it's obvious that they must be in the vicinity. Like maybe in the church next to the fucking runway.

DH3 I can buy into mostly, and the Willis/Jackson story really grounds everything because it's played totally straight.

But here? It doesn't even feel like a Die Hard movie. It feels like it COULD be a Die Hard movie if they scaled it back a bit and made it somewhat believable. Seems the down-to-earth ethos of the series got flushed down the toilet.
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The White Tuxedo
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:41 pm

Fuck, this movie should have taken place almost entirely in a nuclear power plant. Hackers do some shit and maybe have kind of ransom. Some shit happens and cut to McClane having to take down terrorists in the plant and nobody can use machine guns because it might cause a splosion. You could fudge the science facts a little. But the whole film could have the premise of taking place around what is basically a giant, unstable nuclear bomb.

Probably too small scale, though. Those concrete halls would get pretty dull after a while. But hey, maybe do that idea for DIE HARD 6.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:58 pm

Fairbairn-Sykes wrote:
The main source of that random shit IMO is the complete abandon with which the movie treats "hacking" and what it can do, to the point where for the purposes of LIVE FREE, hacking equals magic.
I think the problem with "hacking" in films - aside from being a way to do whatever the plot needs to happen without too much explanation - is that there's no real connection between what the villain does and what actually happens. It happens in LIVE FREE when the villains reroute all the gas to the power plant, which then causes a massive explosion. All we see on one end is furious typing and coloured arrows changing direction; at the other end, we get fireballs and the heroes running away.

I think SKYFALL's strength is in the way it handles this. Despite being a cyber-terrorist, Silva doesn't actually do that much "hacking". He sends M messages that are as cryptic as they are threatening, but Mendes is smart enough to show it all in a way that we don't actually see the act of "hacking", which creates this omnipotent, mysterious threat. A diagnosis of what happened and how it happened is only secondary.

Likewise the scene where Q inadvertently lets Silva access the MI6 servers. Instead of asking audiences to suspend their disbelief at the idea that Silva could know exactly where he would be imprisoned and open up that one door, the film has him opening every door, once again causing something tangible to happen that takes moment for all involved to figure out. And I liked the way Q was shown to be a little on the naive side, too engrossed in the puzzle to realise that it was a trap.

That's the problem with LIVE FREE; the villains tap on a keyboard, something happens somewhere else, and characters get excited over something that isn't particularly interesting. It doesn't give the audience anything to work with - it just gives us both sides of the equation and thens tarts another action sequence.

The White Tuxedo wrote:
Probably too small scale, though. Those concrete halls would get pretty dull after a while. But hey, maybe do that idea for DIE HARD 6.
It worked just fine in the original film. When you really think about it, DIE HARD's geography was pretty limited - there was the atrium, the boardroom, Holly's office, the elevator shaft, the unfinished offices, the roof, the atrium and the vault. There's a few other, smaller rooms, but for the most part, the film is limited to these locations. It shouldn't be too difficult to get a decent set of locations within a nucler power plant. The trick is to teach viewers the geography of the entire location early, so they always know exactly where they are. I know he gets a bad rap around these parts, but Joss Whedon made a perfect example of this in SERENITY: the first shot after the cold open starts in Serenity's cockpit, and then in one unbroken shot travels down through the crew quarters and galley to the engine room, then doubles back and heads downstairs to the infirmay and cargo bay. It introduces seven characters very quickly, giving you a basic sense of their roles and personalities before the story proper starts. Whedon did it again in the final fight, showing the large space the characters have to defend so that when they move around within it, the audience doesn't get lost.

DIE HARD in a nuclear power plant shouldn't be too difficult to pull off. The problem is that most of the inner workings of the plant - not just the reactor, but the turbines, generator and so on - are shielded behind lead-lined walls. A lot of the story would therefore hinge upon exposition, with characters telling us what is happening and what will happen if McClane doesn't do certain things to prevent it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:07 pm

LIVE FREE needed Chris Tucker as Gus Gorman Jr.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:11 am

A GOOD DAY makes LIVE FREE seem like a truly excellent film.

Really, there are only two and a half proper DIE HARD outings: the first two plus the first half of WITH A VENGEANCE.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:10 pm

Die Hardest directer/writers sugestions:

J.A. Bayona (El orfanato, The Impossible) and written by Sergio G. Sánchez (El orfanato, The Impossible) and Doug Richardson (Die Hard 2, Hostage) or or/and Matthew Michael Carnahan (The Kingdom)

Gregory Hoblit (Untraceable, Fracture) and Written by Doug Richardson or/and Matthew Michael Carnahan and Robert Fyvolent, Mark Brinker and Allison Burnett (Untraceable)

Peter Sollett (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist) and Written by Lorene Scafaria (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist) and Doug Richardson or/and Matthew Michael Carnahan


I don't know or Doug Richardson stil whant to writing movies, Hostage whas his last movie in 2005 and that's why i sugest Matthew Michael Carnahan as alternate.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Sat Apr 18, 2015 8:03 pm

Alan Rickman on Die Hard:

Quote :
After reading the script, he thought: “What the hell is this? I’m not doing an action movie.” Rickman, who was 41 at the time, was won over by the wit of the script and the progressive storyline, which still stands out from other action films. “Every single black character in that film is positive and highly intelligent,” he said.

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/apr/16/alan-rickman-nearly-turned-down-villain-in-die-hard

I find this an extraordinary way of thinking, though it seems to be the norm in Britain's liberal elite. Does anyone here make career decisions on this basis?
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Salomé
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Sat Apr 18, 2015 8:36 pm

I call bullshit on that story. I'm guessing he said yes based on the paycheck. tongue

Also, how many black characters are in there? There is the black cop from the "welcome to the party, pal" scene. Admittedly he saves McClane in the final scene, but earlier on he is shown to be quite incompetent. The only other black character I can think of is one of the FBI agents (Johnson and Johnson, no relation), and they are both portrayed as cynical assholes.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Sat Apr 18, 2015 8:41 pm

On the topic of the "Die Hard" series, whatever was left of it was torched by the turgid and borderline insulting final chapter. The first one still holds up quite well. There were moments in the first two sequels that were worthwhile (even though "Die Hard 2" is just a rehash of the original movie and "Die Hard 3" is a "Lethal Weapon" rip-off). It truly took a huge nose-dive with Len Wiseman's effort. But somehow "A Good Day to Die Hard" managed to be even worse.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:37 pm

Heard that during one of the promo interviews for the last instalment Willis could barely even be bothered to open his eyes. If he's now that bored of Die Hard, why should the rest of us be expected to give a shiny fuck anymore?
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:57 pm

I suppose it depends on the film. He starts out pretty enthusiastically in GOOD DAY, but he's visibly bored halfway through. I suspect that if he had his way, he wouldn't have done it, since it was obviously meant to be a kind of backdoor pilot, writing John out of the franchise and putting it in the hands of Jack.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Sat Apr 25, 2015 4:41 am

Erica Ambler wrote:
Alan Rickman on Die Hard:

Quote :
After reading the script, he thought: “What the hell is this? I’m not doing an action movie.” Rickman, who was 41 at the time, was won over by the wit of the script and the progressive storyline, which still stands out from other action films. “Every single black character in that film is positive and highly intelligent,” he said.

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/apr/16/alan-rickman-nearly-turned-down-villain-in-die-hardq

I find this an extraordinary way of thinking, though it seems to be the norm in Britain's liberal elite. Does anyone here make career decisions on this basis?

I'd say Alan's wrong, even if his reasoning was well-intentioned.

From Maurice Yacowar's contemporary review in the film journal Jump Cut.

Quote :
Even more condescendingly, the film plays all its blacks for laughs. One black cop comically pricks himself on a rosebush. The film's one super-intelligent black, gang member Theo (Clarence Gilyard Jr.), has the most technological skill and cleverness but he personifies play. He raps about basketball to set up the first murder ("Two points!"). As he makes a game of everything, he represents ability spoiled by amorality. Here we have an upscale version of the "shuck'n'jivin" black character of yore.

McClane is aided by two blacks outside the tower, but both are introduced as comic figures and allowed only dubious redemptions at the end. The young chauffeur Argyle [Devoreaux White) is Theo's opposite number, a cocky streetwise black who misses the early chances to act because he's lost in his four-wheel stretch ghetto-blaster. In his style-pretentious name and in the glories of his lavish limo, Argyle represents the young black of larger style than merit. He's the over-dressed buffoon. When he finally acts it is in a simple, brutish reflex that smashes the luxury he has been (undeservedly?) enjoying. Ironically, the untalented Argyle thwarts the technological, experienced but corrupt Theo. That is, U.S. innocence bests worldliness. That happens every time out, except perhaps in reality.

McClane's chief support is the middle-aged, portly black cop who first responds to the alarm, then by his CB conversation sustains a spiritual lifeline to McClane. Sgt. Al Powell (Reginald Veljohnson) is introduced as a comic stereotype, loading up on Twinkies for his pregnant wife. But he grows to provide a human alternative to the textbook deputy Robinson. Powell is so sensitive that he has refused to fire a gun since he accidentally killed an innocent 13-year old. But the film does not allow this sensitivity to stand. As if liberated by McClane's example, Powell overcomes his (neurotic) sensitivity to kill again. (The audience dutifully applauds.) It is also given to Powell to correct McClane's estranged wife: "You've got yourself a good man. You take good care of him." Thus Powell is allowed to transcend his initial comedic register, but only to deliver retrograde macho.
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PostSubject: Re: The Die Hard Series   Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:35 pm

Salomé wrote:
On the topic of the "Die Hard" series, whatever was left of it was torched by the turgid and borderline insulting final chapter. The first one still holds up quite well. There were moments in the first two sequels that were worthwhile (even though "Die Hard 2" is just a rehash of the original movie and "Die Hard 3" is a "Lethal Weapon" rip-off). It truly took a huge nose-dive with Len Wiseman's effort. But somehow "A Good Day to Die Hard" managed to be even worse.

Kind of amazing that the fifth is so bad that I look back on that fourth and realize it's not that bad. blink

In the end, I only care for the McTiernan flicks. A sixth film would be a great opportunity not only for the franchise to go out on a high note but also give McTiernan some work. Bring back to basics.

If that can't be done, I don't see any other point in making another of these.
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