My self proposed challenge continues and is going fairly well. When going into this I didn’t intend it to be one of these movie marathons , generally taking a moderate pace to it whilst still intending to get it done well before my June 30th limit. I think I’ve done well so far and have reached letter F next, which is going to be one of three movies, depending on mood.
So for letter C I went with the underrated Al Pacino gangster thriller ‘Carlito’s Way’, a movie that offers up a rather romantic take on the crime thriller and boasts a solid turn from Pacino as well as Sean Penn. Director Brian De Palma is on fine form delivering his signature style, if somewhat toned down compared to other works, and a whimsical vibe aided by Pacino’s reflective narration. Next was D, and here I went for one of the less appreciated Die Hard sequels, namely ‘Die Hard 2’ which to be fair is a solid entry, with a similar tone to the first movie but on a bigger scale with Bruce Willis again on wise-cracking form. For E I went with the Tom Cruise sci-fi actioner ‘Edge of Tomorrow’, a clever and particularly fun movie with a great central concept and good support from a badass Emily Blunt. Director Doug Liman takes the classic Groundhog Day premise and marries it perfectly with alien invasion battle sequences to deliver solid thrills.
So onto letter F which should be interesting. It’s been good rediscovering movies from my Blu-ray collection, but also see myself discovering some movies I happen to own but haven’t got around to watching. So there will be a few first-viewings during this challenge. I may write full reviews for those entries, we’ll see.
Really sad to hear the news of the passing on Thursday of one of the great British actors. For me he will be always remembered as the best Die Hard villain ever … snappily dressed terrorist / thief ‘Hans Gruber’. I have also enjoyed him in several other movies including Dogma, Galaxy Quest and Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.
It’s actually come as a bit of a shock the same way as it did from hearing about David Bowie…and both were the same age when they died…spooky.
My thoughts as always go out to those closest to him.
Well the day is finally here. Here’s what I got this year…
Consisting of this year’s prezzies was: USB powered computer speakers (JBL Pebbles), the complete Breaking Bad on Blu-ray, A Nightmare On Elm Street seven film collection, again on Blu-ray and a surprise, the complete Die Hard also on Blu-ray. Add to this a very nice pen that’s been engraved with my name on it, and the official Scarlett Johansson 2015 calendar … growl! Not pictured was various smellies, clothing, sweets etc. etc. All in all very very pleased.
So wishing everyone a really great Christmas and to those that I got presents for, hope you like what I got you!
Approaching this you get the feeling it’s going to immediately be what the latest Die Hard movie wasn’t … as in an actual Die Hard movie. Channing Tatum goes to the White House for an interview to become a Secret Service agent, bringing his plucky daughter along because she’s up on her politics and kinda has a thing for current President Jamie Foxx. Yet whilst at the big white building, a group of terrorists attack and as you can imagine, Tatum is the only man who might be able to get the President out alive.
Not a new idea by a long shot, but given a certain panache by director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow). So expect gunfights, one-liners, a smattering of humour and plenty of things that go boom. What I wasn’t expecting however was the fun partnership between Tatum and Foxx (making for one of the cooler Presidents in Hollywood history) and an overdose of rather bad CGI (the helicopters flying through the city looked awful). Emmerich is known for having no subtlety, and believability pretty much goes out of the window in the second half of the movie, not helped by an increasingly annoying Joey King playing Tatum’s daughter (was she the best we could have got for a fairly important role?) and a barrel load of cheese towards the end. Tatum looked the part (complete with white vest) but lacked a certain level of charisma I’d say. James Woods also pops up and is very good, as is Maggie Gyllenhaal even if she gets very little to do. Oh and every twist is so blatantly sign posted, I gave up expecting surprises and just enjoyed the ride.
This was a lot of fun, but could have been a classic if Emmerich had just applied the breaks (and his brain) for once.
Back in 1987 Bruce Willis shocked audiences world wide by transforming his wise cracking, comedy image from popular TV series Moonlighting into credible action-hero machismo with the first in this franchise … arguably one of the finest action thrillers ever made. Naturally such a well crafted movie would spawn sequels, and generally in my opinion, Die Hard has always delivered – but any good run had to come to an end, and yes, all the rumours you may have heard about this ill advised continuation of John McClane’s adventures are true.
Willis travels to Moscow to track down his estranged son (Jai Courtney) who seems to have got himself in a heap of trouble with some Russian terrorists. But before long father and son are reunited against a common enemy, and attempt to bond between the bullets flying and the bodies piling up. Directed by relative-unknown John Moore, this frantic, moodily shot attempt at an action movie from the get-go fails on almost every level. Firstly this isn’t just Willis playing McClane as a fish out of water New York cop (that would have been fun – but it’s not explored) he genuinely looks lost – not necessarily over the hill, but just in the wrong movie. His wise-cracks are delivered awkwardly like Willis himself is bored with the character, and the setting and the plot just failed to resonate. Add to this rapidly edited, confusing action that is mostly too fast and too chaotic to follow or enjoy, and well … I began to almost want to remove this from my PlayStation 3 and throw the original Die Hard in for the umpteenth time.
A plot twist towards the end was borderline interesting, but especially bad for this franchise, the villain was just a cliché, and his evil scheme nothing that clever. I wouldn’t normally be so against a movie, but for a franchise I previously adored – this was an embarrassment. Oh, and that cool free fall through a building and into water showcased in the trailer – that’s the best bit of the movie.
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