Hello everyone! 🙂
Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!
Well, I’ve finally seen them! I’ve seen the five films of ‘Die Hard’ starring Bruce Willis as John McClane. I know, right? Imagine me watching these movies! I didn’t think that would happen either! My Dad purchased them for my Mum since she (and we) enjoyed the ‘Mission: Impossible’ movies!
My parents and I watched the ‘Die Hard’ films over Christmas 2020 and in January 2021. Rather fitting considering the first two ‘Die Hard’ films are considered ‘Christmas’ movies whilst the last three…well, aren’t really. I’m curious why they didn’t make all the ‘Die Hard’ films Christmassy films.
You know, like the ‘Home Alone’ film series. 😀 I have touched upon Bruce Willis before as I saw and reviewed the film ‘The Fifth Element’ back in 2016. So, it seems rather fitting for me to check out each of the five ‘Die Hard’ films and they’re what led Bruce Willis into super stardom over the years.
I’m sure there’s going to be a point where I’ll revisit the ‘Die Hard’ film series in full detail and I would like to aim for that being for one of my Christmas review seasons. Whether it’ll be for 2022, 2023 or 2024, I don’t know. But for now, let me share some brief thoughts on each of the five films.
The first ‘Die Hard’ film was released in 1988. A year before I was born, no less. 😀 The film has Bruce Willis as John McClane, a New York cop, flying over to L.A. on Christmas Eve to visit his wife at a party in her company’s lavish high-rise building. Why does that make me think of ‘Paradise Towers’?
Very soon, a group of terrorists, led by the late Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber, seize the building and take everyone hostage. McClane slips away bare-footed and becomes the only chance that anyone has of surviving this Christmas Eve from hell nightmare. From first viewing the movie, I found it compelling.
It was intense to see John McClane coping alone and sometimes talking to police officers down below (via walkie talkie, I think) and trying to find ways to outwit the bad guys. Alan Rickman is excellent in his villainous role and…let’s be honest…the teddy bear in the limousine is the best actor.
Cuddles: “Yay! The teddy bear’s my favourite character! Yay!”
And stop writing “Die Cuddles, die!”, Timelord!
Timelord007: (disappointed) “Doh!”
Timelord007 stops typing away at the keyboard.
‘Die Hard 2’ was released in 1990. It has Bruce Willis back as John McClane, except he’s at an airport this time as opposed to a high-rise building. It’s a snowy Christmas Eve and he waits for his wife’s plane to land at Washington’s Dulles International Airport. However, terrorists take over the place. 😦
As the terrorists take over the air traffic control system, it’s up to McClane to take on the terrorists whilst coping with an inept airport police chief, an uncooperative anti-terrorist squad and the life of his wife and everyone else trapped in places circling overhead. A lot of twists and turns happen here.
One thing I’ve noticed about these ‘Die Hard’ films, especially in the first three, is there’s a lot of F-bombing and swearing from the characters. I know that’s because these films are mostly 18 and 15-rated, but I wonder if people really talk like that in real-life. They might do by American standards. 😀 Incidentally, Colm Meaney who played Chief O’Brien in ‘Star Trek: TNG’ and ‘DS9’ appears in this movie as a pilot. Uncanny! 😀
The third film ‘Die Hard with a Vengeance’ has Bruce Willis back as John McClane and he’s joined by Samuel L. Jackson as reluctant civilian Zeus Carver battling against Jeremy Irons as Simon Peter Gruber, Hans Gruber’s brother. It was released in 1995 and this doesn’t feature a Christmas theme.
A terrorist plot occurs in New York City and John McClane becomes the personal target of Simon Gruber, who’s determined to blow up the city. McClane is accompanied by Zeus as they seek out to stop Simon in his twisted game to blow up New York and threaten people’s lives whilst stealing gold.
It was very surreal to see Samuel L. Jackson in a role before he became Mace Windu in ‘Star Wars’ and before he became Nick Fury in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’. Both he and Bruce Willis bounce off each other well, though I feel the whole racism prejudice theme wasn’t explored enough.
‘Die Hard 4.0’ (or ‘Let Live or Die Hard’ whether you live in the USA – what is it with these different titles for movies like the first ‘Avengers’ film?) was released in 2007. Bruce Willis as John McClane is back and is bald-headed, looking like Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm from the ‘Fantastic Four’ films. 😀
I did see this movie first before watching the other ‘Die Hard’ films with my best mate from school Stephen. ‘Die Hard 4.0’ is considered rather divisive, as it is tamer and doesn’t have much bad language and bloodthirstyness as the first three films. I don’t think it’s as divisive as ‘The Last Jedi’ though. 😀
I personally like ‘Die Hard 4.0’ as it has most of the ‘Die Hard’ elements featured in it. It was fun to see John McClane tackle some cyber terrorists, who unleash a massive computer attack on the U.S. infrastructure. Mary Elizabeth Winstead from ‘Sky High’ is also in this film as McClane’s daughter Lucy. 🙂 There’s also Tim Russ, who played Tuvok in ‘Star Trek: Voyager’ playing an NSA agent in this.
The fifth ‘Die Hard’ film happens to be…‘A Good Day To Die Hard’. And it’s rated as the worst of the ‘Die Hard’ film series. There are two versions of the movie including the theatrical version and the ‘harder extended cut’. But I have a complaint, as the extended cut happens to be total lie altogether.
For some bizarre reason, the extended cut doesn’t feature Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Lucy as she appears in the theatrical version. For argument’s sake, I saw the theatrical version as I prefer to see Mary Elizabeth Winstead than not at all. I’ll revisit both theatrical and extended cuts at a future date.
But yeah, I can see why ‘A Good Day To Die Hard’ isn’t rated highly. The action is clunky and I found most of the dialogue muffled. Bruce Willis returns as John McClane to reunite with his estranged son Jai Courtney as Jack who’s involved in his spy mission in Russia. I did feel underwhelmed by the film.
Overall, the ‘Die Hard’ films have been an enjoyable collection to watch over the Christmas period of 2020 and in early 2021. I’m sure I’ll be revisiting these movies again soon and will be giving full detailed reviews on them. The first four ‘Die Hard’ movies are way better than the fifth instalment. 🙂
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now!
😂 I like the teddy bear joke as well as the aftermath bit which reminds me of the Simpsons. That’s probably what you were going for.
I do really need to check out the Die Hard saga.
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I can’t claim to be going in the Simpsons direction as I don’t really watch it, but I’m glad you enjoyed the joke as well as my review. 😀
The Die Hard films are a pretty unique set of films and I’m glad I saw them recently.
Thanks for your comments,
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That’s fine Tim. The words Die Cuddles Die originated from The Simpsons as Die Bart Die and was said by a character named Sideshow Bob (voiced by Kelsey Grammer) and the word said by TimeLord007 when you scolded him is the catchphrase of one of the main characters. Probably just a coincidence.
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That’s interesting, ML.
I had no idea. Perhaps Timelord007 has seen Simpsons more than me in order to say “Die Cuddles Die”. I’m sure he’ll confirm.
Thanks for sharing,
Yup a coincidence with Die Cuddles die lol.
Great review Tim, there is a harder bloodier cut of Die Hard 4.0 featuring more F bombs but it’s available as a individual purchase, very strange not been released with the box set or on blu ray , i enjoy the fourth movie so having it unrated was a must for me.
Only until this box set Die Hard 3 released uncut the original DVD release was heavily cut scenes with McClaine in the lift, the woman stabbing the guard in bank, the wire cutting guy in 2 were all cut out vhs & dvds up until this boxset.
I love the original it’s one best action movies for me, Alan Rickman as Hans one of the best villainous performances ever, charming and chilling.
Die Hard 2 a great sequel, great acton scenes but A Good Day To Die Hard is a toxc turd of a movie, Jai Courtney is a monotone borefest has no charisma & comes across a moody brat, Bruce Willis looks half asleep who just cashing in a paycheck, awful edited action scenes & weak villians
Die Hard 5/5
Die Hard 2 4/5.
Die Hard 3 4/5
Die Hard4.0 4/5 Unrated Cut
Die Hard 5 1/5.
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Thanks for the confirmation, Simon. Hope you enjoyed the cameo. 😀
Very pleased you enjoyed my review on the ‘Die Hard’ films. Thanks for sharing your insight into the film series. Yes, I’ve heard there being an extended cut of ‘Die Hard 4.0’. Thanks for letting me know about its individual purchase. I’ll have to check it out when it comes to revisiting these ‘Die Hard’ movies again sometime in the future.
That’s interesting about ‘Die Hard 3’ having scenes cut from previous VHS/DVD releases before this ‘Legacy’ box set. I wouldn’t have known that. Thanks for sharing. Yeah, the first ‘Die Hard’ film is very good and Alan Rickman is excellent as the villain. Both the first two ‘Die Hard’ films are definitely festive films. 😀
Yeah, even I wasn’t impressed by the fifth ‘Die Hard’ film. It could’ve been really good had the story and the characters been more focused. The acting also seems off to me when watching it. I also don’t understand why Mary Elizabeth Winstead wasn’t in the extended cut when she was in the theatrical cut. It makes no sense.
Many thanks for sharing your thoughts, Simon. Glad you enjoyed my ‘Die Hard’ reviews.
P.S. Bruce Willis made a cameo in ‘The Lego Movie 2’ in a ‘Die Hard’ ventilation shaft scene. 😀