Movie Club: Die Hard

Discussion in 'Introductions & Off Topic' started by LiamABC, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    WELCOME EVERYBODY TO THE LATEST DISCUSSION THREAD OF THE NEW MOVIE CLUB, DESIGNED TO RUN PARALLEL WITH R.O.C.K.S. A big thanks to everyone that are joining us through all of this.

    This week we're covering the festive period with that well-known Christmas Classic that is Die Hard.

    Remember any ideas for films to discuss are most welcome, and should be made on the Movie Club Introduction thread (the sticky one), and anyone is welcome to add their thoughts about movies already discussed on their respective threads.

    Just a friendly reminder to everyone that, whilst fans are obviously welcome to passionately discuss and give their views on these movies, please remember to keep things on a friendly footing and respect your fellow posters.
    Also, please do not post where or how to find the full movie online. And do not post asking others to PM it to you. You are however allowed to watch the movie in whatever manner you want.
  2. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I love the first Die Hard movie...but I won't get into the whole argument on if its a Christmas movie lol. It's set at Christmas just like Rambo First Blood.

    Bruce Willis is great as John McClane.
    As is Allan Rickman as Hans Gruber.
    These two really steal the show. The rest of the cast are fine.

    I was always quite fascinated with this action movie.
    Willis always seemed such a strange choice compared to the other major action stars at the time.
    The contained setting in the building worked really well and is quite similar to Rambo First Blood with the main character picking off his enemies one by one. But rather than the forest setting is a large building.
    Seeing John improvise various different methods to beat the villains was really entertaining...and the various wear and tare he goes through along the way.
    Gruber is such a cunning and ruthless villain.
    The most iconic scene is definitely the finale with Gruber at the window. I read that during filming to capture the surprise on Rickman's face the dropped him before cue so he was definitely surprised. :D

    A rumour I heard a while back was that Die Hard was supposed to be a sequel to Arnie's ''Commando'' movie. But that has been denied, although I could believe it to be true.
    A strange true fact about the movie I found out is that it was in fact based on the novel ''Nothing Lasts Forever'' and supposed to be a sequel to the novel/film ''The Detective'' starring Frank Sinatra. So contractually they had to offer the lead role to Sinatra who declined. The role was then offered to lots of other actors who all strangely turned it down. Even Willis turned it down due to work commitments but once he was given a break he was able to take the part which made him an action star.

    Around the time this movie came out in the Marvel G.I. Joe comic a couple issues featured a great story with Snake Eyes being a prisoner in the Cobra Consulate building. But rather than escaping the building once he acquires some clothing and weapons he begins sealing exits and eliminating the Cobra forces in the building. The Baroness in one panel even says ''...he is hunting us''. The end scene even involves falling out a window.
    I really think Die Hard or the novel inspired this story.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
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  3. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    I didn't know Def Leppard's drummer was in this movie!

    I'll post my actual comments when I've had another watch of it. Last year was the first time I ever saw it, so want to refresh my memory.
    Mark M likes this.
  4. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    LOL, dont know what happened there. I had to go back and edit it to Allan Rickman.
  5. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    Like Mark, I too won't get into the argument about whether this is a Christmas movie or not. I'd rather just say that it is a movie set during Christmas but not necessarily a Christmas movie. ;)

    Such a great action movie! I doubt I can say anything in praise of this movie that hasn't already been said. The 80s gave us some of the most memorable and iconic action movies than probably any other decade. I too have read may trivia about this movie, including that it was originally intended to be a sequel to "Commando" as well as a number of other action stars turned it down. Also that Willis improvised many of his lines, which I think really set his character apart from the more stoic and monosyllabic action heroes played by Stallone and Schwarzenegger. McClane's wisecracks were really hilarious at times and helped to prevent the atmosphere from getting a bit too tense.

    While Willis was the hero in this movie and it turned him into an action star overnight, for me this really was Alan Rickman's movie. The man owned every scene he was in. He was fully in command and always kept his cool. A real cool and calculating villain. I loved the way he used his quick thinking to pretend to be Bill Clay. Of course McClane wa smarter, but it still was a pretty smart move by Hans.

    McClane's wife's character was pretty good too. Of course there wasn't a lot for her to do, but she did full justice to the role she was given. She didn't panic and start to cry and scream and act all helpless like many heroes' mates do in such situations. Sgt Al Powell was also a very likeable character. I knew the actor from the sitcom "Family Matters".

    I have seen all the Die Hard movies and enjoyed all of them, except that last one. That was just bad on every level. While this first one may be the best, I've always found the third to be the most entertaining.
    Mark M likes this.
  6. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I have never seen the 5th movie fully. Just about a minute or so on TV. But from what I seen of the trailer I really didn't like it.
    As for the 4th I really wasn't too keen on it overall...but it's been about 10 years since I watched it and I've only ever watched it once.

    I also like the second and third movie. The second is very good and I liked the plot of it. I do like the third but I am not too keen on the plot but the interaction between Willis and Samuel Jackson is brilliant. :D
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  7. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    I love the third one because it is a non-stop roller-coaster ride of action sequences. And like you said, the chemistry between Willis and Jackson really is great! And Jeremy Irons would rate second only to Alan Rickman as a villain in the series. The second one is very good too and highly enjoyable. But it was unfortunate that Sgt Al Powell didn't have much of a role in it and Holly too didn't have much to do. But the twist was quite good and unexpected (at least for me!). :biggrin

    The fourth one I didn't hate as much as a lot of people did. I thought it was a decent update to the franchise by putting McClane in a situation which he has literally no understanding of. And Justin Long made a decent partner as the geeky hacker. My biggest complain with the movie was Willis pretty much phoning in his performance and Timothy Olyphant has to be the least scary/threatening/awesome villain ever!

    The fifth one I saw once and have no intention of ever seeing again. Willis looked even more bored than usual and I've never been a big fan of Jai Courtney. I hear now they are making a prequel movie title "McClane". Don't know if it's a good idea or not until I watch the movie when it comes out.
    Mark M likes this.
  8. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Actually as much as I like 2 and enjoyed the story, it was quite similar to the first with the contained setting in an airport. In 3 it was quite refreshing seeing the change of them going around the city.
    I must watch 4 again sometime to see what I think of it now.

    I really think they should just let the franchise end like Terminator and Rambo etc. A prequel sounds like a really poor idea...not Ghostbusters 2016 bad...but close. ;)
    Willis just seems to not care anymore. All his roles the last several years are pretty much the same a police, military or government agent like Expendables, G.I. Joe, Hostage etc.
    Willis is a great actor but I wish he would go back to doing more interesting roles like Pulp Fiction, Fifth Element, Death Becomes Her and The Sixth Sense etc.

    A bit unrelated but I read a few weeks ago that it was Bruce Willis' look that helped WWF wrestler Steve Austin make changes to his look that lead to him becoming one of the sports biggest stars. In the mid 90's after seeing Willis in various movies Austin decided to get rid of his long blonde hair and go for a really short shaved haircut for his Ringmaster character which would eventually become Stone Cold Steve Austin.
  9. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    I only saw this film for the first time last year. I have just finished watching it for the second time.

    It's great. I can't count how many elements have entered our consciousness from it.

    The first thing that struck me here was how much influence this film owes to Alistair MacLean, one of my favourite writers. The plot of the self-contained hostage environment is apparently based on a 1979 novel by Roderick Thorp called Nothing Lasts Forever, although the concept reminds me of MacLean's 1976 book The Golden Gate, a hostage situation in the closed environment of the Golden Gate Bridge. Worth a read if you get the chance. It was never filmed, although the 1980 film Hostage Tower, based on a treatment by MacLean, does tell a very similar story set on the Eiffel Tower. The intruders' true motives, using the hostage situation as a distraction, is also in a few MacLean novels - not the one I just mentioned, but a couple of others. The corpse appearing in the lift happened in another MacLean novel, Puppet On A Chain, which is about drug smuggling in the Netherlands.

    Reading up on the origins of this movie, I have to say, I struggle to imagine Frank Sinatra in this role. He was too suave, not gritty enough. Bruce Willis is great in the part. For better or worse, it's the role he'll be remembered for after his death. Thinking about it, Bruce Willis is very much a tough guy name. I see his actual first name was Walter, but he's gone the same route as James Paul McCartney and just used his middle name. Coincidentally he appears to have something else in common with Paul, being left-handed.

    Alan Rickman is perfect as the villain. I can see why they cast him as the Sheriff of Nottingham a couple of years later opposite Kevin Costner. Basically he got to reprise this role but take it completely over the top to comedic levels. Also several other familiar faces in the cast - Paul Gleason as the deputy police chief, he was in The Breakfast Club as the headmaster, William Atherton as the reporter was in Ghostbusters as the EPA man Walter Peck. And I'm sure there was someone else I recognised too but can't think.

    The pacing of the film is just right. It's one of those where you know early on something is going to happen, but you aren't sure what until it does.

    McClane picking off the individual intruders one or two at a time is indeed very much like Rambo, that didn't occur to me until you mentioned it. As for comparing the Christmas theme to Rambo however, I have to say no. With Rambo we just see the Christmas decorations up at the start of the film, it's handled very subtly. With Die Hard, everyone is mentioning Christmas all through the film.

    The music too is worthy of a mention - Beethoven's Ode To Joy when they finally break into the vault is absolutely perfect for that moment.

    One of these days I'll probably get it on DVD.
    Mark M likes this.
  10. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    It is definitely worth getting on DVD. Buy the boxset and you will get three very good movies...and two of lesser quality.
  11. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    I wish that too. I've always like Willis too but lately he just doesn't care about his roles at all. In all of his recent movies that I have seen, he seems completely disinterested. He plays every character in the same way. He just says his lines with a squinted look, no expression, no emotion. He needs to reinvent himself. Do something completely different that woul challenge him as an actor and not just as an action hero. If Willis isn't careful, he might end up like Dolph Lundgren and Van Damme, doing direct to DVD movies.

    That's a cool story about Steve Austin. I didn't know that. Thanks for sharing that!
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  12. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    A lot of people do get typecast. The mark of the true great is the ability to play all sorts of different parts.

    The late great Ronnie Barker was a wonderful example. He could change his appearance to a high degree, and was a master of several accents, and the parts he played were all completely different.

    I was so surprised when I found out David Tennant is actually Scottish - his performance as the Doctor was that good.

    Bill Nighy is one of those in-between types, gets typecast a bit but has a bit of variety and more than enough talent for it to not matter. He can steal almost any show he's in. Except Pirates Of The Caribbean, but then that's because he's up against . . .

    Johnny Depp is a good Hollywood example - forever immortalised as Jack Sparrow, unrecognisable as J. M. Barrie, and excellent in the part too.

    I've never seen anything with Jennifer Lawrence in but I have noticed she has taken on a wide variety of different roles so credit to her for that.
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  13. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Steve Austin was always one of my favourite wrestlers. When he started acting in films after retiring from wrestling he got to act in The Expendables with Bruce Willis. As much as I am a fan of Austin as a wrestler I haven't really followed his acting career. From what I have read it's all pretty much straight to DVD movies. Ironically I believe some with Lundgren and Segal.

    Like @LiamABC was saying about actors being typecast, Jean Claude Van Damme is a great example. Every film he has been is an action movie. Granted he was in a some good ones in the 80's and early 90's like Bloodsport, Hard Target and Universal Soldier.
    All the other big action stars, Sylvester, Arnie, Willis, Chuck, Gibson, Russel etc at least challenged themselves with different roles in different genres of movies.
    Mel Gibson and Kurt Russell have had the best careers with their varied roles.
    The first time I seen Death Becomes Her I didn't even realise it was Willis as he looked and acted so different from the John McClane character.
  14. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    I used to watch a lot of WWF during the late 80s early nineties. But I wasn't that much into wrestling by the time Steve Austin came on the scene so never saw any of his matches. But I did see the trailers where he'd do his signature celebration where he stands on the ropes and raises both hands. I remember I was mighty impressed by the size of his arms. They were huge!!!

    Yes, I remember him in The Expendables. He actually fractured Stallone's cervical spine for real in one of the fight scenes. Stallone had to get surgery and had a metal pin inserted into his neck vertebra. That'll teach him to mess with Stone Cold Steve Austin! ;)

    I have seen a couple of Austin's direct to DVD movies. Most of them are heavily inspired by popular action movies. Like his "The Condemned" is a bit similar to Arnie's "The Running Man".

    It is but natural for pretty much ANY actor whose movie becomes a hug hit to get offered the same type of roles. It's inevitable. But it's really up to the actors themselves to decide if they want to get typecast or try their hand at something different. Sly and Arnie, despite largely being cast in action roles have also taken a conscious effort to star in other genres like Comedy and Drama. Some actors are just happy being typecast. Perhaps they enjoy doing the same thing over and over (not to mention the steady paycheck). Or perhaps they know that they don't have the acting chops to tackle different roles. Either way, I don't think there's any shame in it. And it's always fun to see such actors when they are promoting their next film, claiming that it is "a completely different type of movie" and it turns out to be exactly the same type of movie! :biggrin

    I've heard that Van Damme's career going into a tailspin was largely due to his own ego. It is sad. Van Damme may not have a great acting range, but he's a damn good action hero and could have had a more successful career starring in big action movies instead of what he has become now. Though a friend of mine (who is a huge Van Damme fan) told me that Van Damme's movie "JCVD" is really good and not like his other movies. I've seen a few of his direct to DVD movies and some are surprisingly good.
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  15. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    Quite. We were talking about this with Shia LeBoeuf the other week.

    This goes back decades. Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn, Marilyn Monroe, we all think of them in one particular type of role, which they did play a lot, but they all played different types of parts too - notably in The African Queen, Kim and Niagara respectively.

    The practice probably goes back even further to the stars of stage.

    The best actors, the ones that don't get typecast, are usually not the ones that get top billing. Because they're so versatile and can change their appearance to that extent, it makes them less identifiable as famous faces paradoxically. The studios should ditch that mentality and respect the talent more. But no, they just like a famous face to put bums on seats.
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  16. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    Couldn't have said it better myself! :) People often go on and on about how great a performance a certain star gave in one particular movie, while casually ignoring 99% of that star's other movies in which they've done their same stereotypical roles. But really, if anyone wants to see great acting then, like you said, they should look at those actors who are not top-billed. Those are the guys who really give a great performance. You can even see that in terms of Oscar nominations/wins. The Best Supporting Actor/Actress performance is often much better than that of the Best Actor/Actress.
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  17. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I seen JCVD back when it was released on DVD. It is slightly different. It's still an action film....but from what I recall it didn't have much action. The only notable aspect of the film is that JCVD plays himself in the movie rather than a character. Overall though I really was not impressed with it at all.
    I have seen some of JCVD's straight to DVD movies and some of them are quite good. There was a good one with him and Roger Moore and one with him having to fight in a prison.

    I first seen Steve Austin when he was Stunning Steve Austin in WCW back when WCW used to be shown on ITV on Saturdays. When it went off terrestrial TV I did kind of lose interest in it and didn't see it again until the late 90's. Some friends at school got me back into it. It was cool seeing how much the wrestlers who were still competing had changed over those several years.
    As you can see on the left that is Austin's Ringmaster look with the Willis inspired short cut before transitioning to his more iconic look.
    Austin was a great wrestler. I would highly suggest checking out some of his WCW and WWF matches until 97 to see just how good he really was.
    His matches from late 97 to the early 00's were still very good and entertaining but his wrestling style had to change after his neck was broken in summer 1997.
    Actually speaking of being typecast, in an interview Austin said he really wanted to try something new with his Stone Cold character in 2001 by becoming a heel/bad guy. He said he really regretted doing it and new instantly by the crowds reaction he had made the wrong decision. Luckily though it was only for several months then it was back to usual but 2002 to 2003 he really only wrestled sporadically due to previous injuries. He is one of a very few wrestlers to actually stay retired...although he still make the occasional appearance to give someone a stunner. He's actually the only wrestler who can say he gave the President of the United States a stunner lol.
    The Running Man is a great movie. which also starred WWF wrestler/commentator Jessie ''The Body'' Ventura.
  18. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    The one with Roger Moore is "The Quest", which was also directed by Van Damme himself. It was a sort of homage to "Bloodsport" and "Kickboxer", but it didn't do too well at the box-office. The one in prison is "In Hell", which is actually quite good. When I first saw it I was surprised at how good it was!

    Didn't Hulk Hogan do the same thing too? I recall that phase vaguely when Hulk became "evil", wearing black outfit instead of his trademark yellow and red.
  19. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Yes that's correct back when he became Hollywood Hulk Hogan and joined the N.W.O.. It was refreshing to watch him be the bad guy.
    He also used to wear black most of the time when he was in Japan prior to joining WWF. His matches in Japan are a bit different to what the WWF fans seen and worth watching.
    Fun fact Hogan and Austin have never wrestled each other in a one on one match. The only had a brief in encounter in a tag match with Austin and Rock vs The NWO (Hogan, Nash and Hall).

    I didn't know Van Damme did any directing. We will have to cover one of his movies on here some time.
    Did you know there is a wrestler called Rob Van Dam? He got the name because of his martial art skills and slight resemblance to JCVD.
  20. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    I had never heard of Rob Van Dam, but after you mentioned him I did a Google search of him and he does look a bit like Van Damme! :)

    Whatever happened to that wrestler Sid Justice? Man, that guy was huge!! :00

    Since your knowledge about WWF and WCW and WWE is infinitely better than mine, I wanted to ask you a couple of questions that I've always wondered about:

    1. Did Hulk Hogan and the Rock (Dwayne Johnson) every fight each other one-on-one? If yes, who won?

    2. Which of the original WWF wrestlers had the longest career? If I were to guess I'd say The Undertaker. That guy was on the wrestling scene forever! :biggrin But I have a feeling I might be wrong.

    3. During the early days of WWF, apart from Hogan, who else became the WWF champion? I think I remember the Ultimate Warrior became once.

    4. Who was the first wrestler to defeat Hulk Hogan?

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