Sunday, July 01, 2007

Blow Stuff Up

Yesterday I went to our high school's first ever graduation. It was very hot. I got sunburned on my shoulders and my nose but I sold a dozen yearbooks and got some hugs and some pictures so it was worth it. Next time I won't forget the sunscreen.

Last night I saw Live Free or Die Hard. That was ridiculous actiony fun. Lots of vehicles exploding in the air and on the ground, crazy martial arts, John McClain wisecracks, various awesomeness just running mad on screen.

The plot was about computer hackers but there was no trouble understanding it at all. The exposition was really well hidden too, thanks largely to Justin Long's incredible talent. That kid is amazing. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to find him picking up and Oscar in a few years.

There are, of course, some believability problems with the film. As Date pointed out, there's a swirly stairway to nowhere on the freeway that seems put there only to provide a cool action sequence where a plane tries to destroy the semi McClain is driving. That was a hell of a sequence though and it got applause from the audience when it was over, so maybe the stairway to nowhere wasn't that important. And characters survive some hits that would kill the average person instantly, but whatever. Stuntguys are tough, or in this case, stuntgirls.

Oh, and there was this one scene where this Henchman comes up on Justin Long and Bruce Willis paying no attention and instead of killing these guys straight up, which they've been trying to do the entire film, he tells them to freeze and step away from the console. Dumb Henchman.

And the editing to make the film PG 13 is notable. There's a scene where Justin Long talks about how crazy everything is and whatever he's saying is obviously not what we're hearing. Bruce Willis is in the foreground, but you can still see enough that it's a profanity-filled tirade and all we're hearing is the baby version. And the blood is minimized, which is just silly when you're dropping a guy through one of those bladed fans things you evidently often find in computer cooling towers. And I don't even think they needed it to be PG 13. I think the main audience for this film is people over 17 anyway.

Let's hope the DVD release fixes all that. I want the director's cut.

But it's okay because all that I can overlook due to the awesomeness and McClain's reacting to all the crazy shit like it's the most amusing crazy shit he's seen today.

Something that made the film even more interesting is that even the minor characters had moments of backstory. Timothy Olyphant's team of evil computer programmers sometimes showed a sign of having a conscience on occasion and he himself had a completely believable reason for everything he was doing. It's old school Die Hard. Just like we all hoped for.


  1. That movie totally stole my home state's motto. In NH we "live free or die". See how they just put a "hard" at the end of it???


  2. I agree with most of your comments. I loved it for what it was, and though there were plenty of things that stretched believability, I accepted them based on the type of movie it was.

    However, just to point out, the dumb henchman couldn't just kill them, because Long's character had set his own encryption thing going (as we saw for the rest of the film) and they would never be able to get it working in time if they killed him.

    I'm just saying...

  3. No that was before the encryption thing. I'm talking about the henchman who found them in the cooling tower, not the one who found them next to the servers.

  4. james9:53 PM

    To me, the less believable part of that moment was that John "I'm always on my toes because people keep trying to kill me" McClain let the henchman walk up behind him like that. It seems out of character that, knowing he was in a building full of people trying to kill him, he would just stand there for long periods of time with his back to the door.

  5. James, that is part of the fun of the Die Hard series. John McLane always gets caught off guard at least once in every movie. lol.

  6. eddie9:30 AM

    I thought it would've been a nice touch if he had been on suspension for accidentally shooting himself when the movie opened.

  7. Die Hard & Transformers are on my list to go see this weekend.

    I'm hearing great things about both.

    Looks like we're on an upswing in Summer movies after the thrashing Spider Man, POTC, Evan Almighty, etc. got.

  8. Anonymous12:27 PM

    Die Hard on schedule for tomorrow at 3.55... popcorn totally eaten by end of the previews 4.18

  9. Have to say I wasn't enthusiastic about Die Hard 4.0 when it came out and due to it's fantastic reviews, encouragement from people who have good taste, I went to see it. I must not have been in the mood, because Live Free or Die Harder.... was... well.... gasp.... boring. I thought it looked terrible and the pacing was atrocious. I used to think Timothy Olyphant was like a well kept secret, but he and his new shiny fake teeth were nothing compared to Hans Gruber. And Justin Long did okay (loved, loved him in Ed), but I didn't think there was a whole lot of movie to the movie. And it was wayyyy tooo looonnnnggg. An hour and 40 would have been nice.... If I can help recommend a different flick - I've heard Sicko is excellent and I think important to see - it's next on my list.
    See you on Sat for Fast Times. Yay!

  10. Summer is popcorn movies. Pure and simple. And Live Free or Die Hard fit the bill. Yeah, it was unbelievable but yet a good flick that I didn't get too bloated (maybe a smidge) Want to see Transformers too hopefully soon will hit that before the summers over.


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