Friday, December 14, 2007

Live Blog or Die Hard

There’s been a lot of hoity-toity ruminating of critically acclaimed, award worthy films on the site lately and I figured it was time for a little break. Anyway, for your reading pleasure and amusement I’ve decided to live-blog my viewing of Live Free or Die Hard. Look, I realize watching Live Free or Die Hard alone in bed is not the optimal viewing conditions for a film like this (and now having typed that it actually sounds pretty sad) but damn it a movie is a movie and if its good it should play as well to one as it would to one thousand. If I seem harsh it’s because I care darn it all. The first Die Hard is synonymous with quality action film. There is a reason the pitch for most high-concept films since the first one has been “Die Hard on a______.” Hell I even enjoy the sequels, but even the die-hard Die Hard fan would have to admit the films suffered a bit from the law of diminishing returns. Still I’m willing to give this a chance. So yippy-kaye-ay and away we go.

Haha cute, they shut off the 20th Century fox lights, you know, cause of the hacking.

Isn’t it remarkable how sexy and quickly computer hacking is done in films. From what I understand talking with actual tech savvy people is that it’s very tedious, unglamorous work done by equally tedious, unglamorous people.

OK so a nerd just got blown up, amusing. Oh I see they’re killing nerds, they’re always the first to go.

Ooo Godzilla production designer Patrick Tatopolous (remember all those Spielberg protagonists who had the same last name of their production designers, oh wait NO ONE DOES THAT) production designed this film, we’re in for a treat.

Everyone in government service in these movies is very sexy. Also if they know of thousands of hackers why not arrest them to avoid trouble like this in the future.

I really enjoyed Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Deathproof but she was just eye candy there. I see where it’s going here.

Bruce appears. I’m sorry, but John McClane should be balding, not bald.

Awww, their relationship is distant and awkward, I wonder if it’ll be better by the end of the movie?

I guess we won’t be seeing Dr. Venture spank material Bonnie Bedelia, the former Mrs. McClane. Shame.

Ah, I see we’re establishing the dichotomy of McClane being low-tech. Dichotimies are fun.

OK so now the bad guys are trying to kill Justin Long…man would that ever would solve all of John Hodgeman’s problems

Oh ho ho, the bad guys speak French, welcome to the new Hollywood.

More evidence Justin Long’s character deserves a beating: he has a Linkin Park poster and a Spawn action figure.

An automatic sniper rifle? REALLY? You can either have a sniper rifle or an automatic, doesn’t really make much sense to have both.

Blowing a guy up by exploding an object near the guy, someone has been playing a lot of DOOM.

Heh, I do enjoy a good “grab the guy through the wall” gag.

Hah, the villains are hosted by their own petards by having a terminator model fall on the delete key, a nod to the Governor or perhaps just a lazy production designer?

This thug who is holding onto McClane while driving clearly is going for the 2007 “Truck Nazi in Raiders Award.”

Ohhhh boy, just because Casino Royale had a parkour chase now every movie has to have a parkour chase.

Holy crap Chief Detective Wiesman (Len Wiesman is the films director)!!! Just like Nico Tatopolous, that Tatopolous is a badddddd influence.

Maggie Q, Timothy Olyphant’s “muscle.” Clearly no one on this movie watches Deadwood, the man don’t need “muscle.” Don’t you know the man draws as fast as Wild Bill.

I like Olyphant but he isn’t showing me anything to compare to Rickman and Irons.

Ahhhh slow American flag waving and some CCR on the box, thank you Jerry Bruckhiemer, your legacy is intact. On a personal note, I actually like Creedence but “Fortunate Son” has become something of a major soundtrack cliché.

Long is a pretty ungrateful little shit considering his ass just got saved.

Heh, Olyphant was just doing a Mr. Burns style finger twiddling, appropriately villainous.

It is odd to think that there really would be a mass shutdown of civilization if there were just green lights. Its called walking people. Ah and McClane echoes my sentiments.

Zeljko Ivanek, is there another character actor who makes me wish you could do proper nouns in scrabble? Also, he was awesome in Homicide: Life on the Street.

The building for the National Data Administration (?) is labeled? Hah!

“Begin Stage 2” says Olyphant, as opposed to skipping Stage 2 and jumping to Stage 3. Come on guys, lets crank down the “duh” factor a bit.

I’ll give credit where it’s due, the edited together Presidential terrorist threat letter is pretty solid. It’s just sad to see so much Bush. Not funny, just sad.

“It’s a fire sale”-hahahah “We’re having a fire…sale?” Once again Arrested Development makes the unfunny funny.

I see what they’re doing having Cliff Curtis be the top agent in question but it doesn’t help if you make him incompetent.

Agent Johnson double take joke. I hope people laughed at that in the theatres because nods to the first Die Hard is a good thing.

Ooo a refrence to Katrina, this is some edgy political commentary right here.

If they’re pulling up a file on John McClane then they’d obviously see he’s foiled not one but three terrorist attacks that were actually robberies. Dumb-asses.

Alright, admittedly I’m pretty psyched t hear some over the phone banter between McClane and villain.

Oooo the lovely Miss Bonnie Bedelia via driver’s license, nice.

And there goes Agent Johnson, too bad.

Nature’s greatest enemies, the police car and the helicopter, a surprisingly agile helicopter it should be said.

I’m really of two minds when it comes to movie violence, in some cases I get very blood-lusty and just want to see some cool inventive kills, but other times it just seems wrong to rejoice in the death of anyone. Especially henchmen cause seriously, I won’t begrudge a guy who wants to earn a buck. So when McClane goes “yeah!” when some guy takes the fall off the helicopter it feels, I don’t know, weird. I think it’s because this film as aspirations to appear real or at least dramatic (at least that’s what the rather obvious score would indicate), when you do it as deliberately over the top comedy (like in Crank or Shoot 'Em Up) I’ll laugh right along.

Holy crap, Bruce Willis just turned CGI when he flipped over a car. And somewhere M. Night Shamalyan gets a new twist.

I still insist the most impressive flipped car scene in recent memory is in Hellboy.

McClane whining to himself, very funny in the first movie when it wasn’t a cliché. Now, not so much. Also he hasn’t been through enough crazy crap yet in the movie yet to really merit it.

Car v. Helicopter, set important precedents for future supreme court hearings.

John McClane 2007 gets right up after one scene of taking damage. John McClane 1988 barely hobbles his way through the end of the movie. Never say the 80’s weren’t worth while.

Jeez, I just checked the time code, there’ an hour forty five minute to go. Its gonna be a long night.

Ooooo you hit that Olyphant. But just know that Dan Fogler got her next in Balls of Fury.

Hah, Tuvok aka Tim Russ shows up as an agent. Yes, I’m a big dork for recognizing a supporting character from one of the worst Star Trek spin-offs.

I will say this for the Die Hard series. They have done a good job of escalating the stakes in each film. First a building is in danger, then a plane, then NYC and then all the US. Not bad, but the other issue is could one guy and his obnoxious sidekick really save the entire country? Really? Big transforming robots I can see, but not the guy who wore a bunny suit in North.

We’re now an hour in and we haven’t seen any Winstead since the first 10 minutes.

This whole bit with OnStar-esque services on trying to start the car is pretty amusing, but I think its mostly because Willis looks amused. So I guess, props to Willis.

The Warlock is a “digital jedi”, I’m a recovering Star Wars fan so I find that pretty damn embarrassing.

How come Sergeant Al Powell is no longer part of this series? I ask because I think we just hit our first black character of the movie (who sad to say was quickly dispatched). It’s a damn shame. Come to think of it why no Reginald Val Johnson in general?

The way McClane dispatches the guy on the staircase (and apparently doesn’t have his hearing effected by having a gun go off like an inch away from his head) puts me in mind of the first movie (which I’d much rather be watching).

Quick cutting around an action scene involving physical combat is never a good thing. I want to see the action.

Also McClane just beat her way too-oop spoke too soon.

Detective McClane would like to cite the precedent of Lady v. Car. I believe when Rob Zombie originally presented this precedent in Devil’s Rejects lady was beaten quite handily. Not so here.

Whenever there’s a scene in a movie where characters hang from something I do what everyone does, which is put myself in the situation. Inevitably I would fall. Its embarrassing, I am absolute crap when it comes to hanging from shit.

Hah, I wonder how this scene played with an audience when the car hit the end of the elevator shaft. Probably a lot of hooting and hollering. Eh, I kind of don’t blame them, car in elevator shaft is pretty inventive. Score another one for the movie.

And it’s revealed that Olyphant’s character was a liberal voice for security in the administration who tried to warn the Prez he was vulnerable. Methinks I smell our star’s political leanings coming to the fore. Progressive liberal villains, I’d never thought I’d see the day.

The Warlock is Kevin Smith, who according to his blog was super excited to do the movie. I guess I can understand the fanboy in him being excited, but it seems awkward cause this is exactly the sort of thing he’d make fun of if it weren’t him. Still I’m sure the on-set stories will make for some good stuff on a future Kevin Smith Speaks.

I imagine that I’m getting a good deal more f-bombs dropped cause I’m watching the un-rated version. In retrospect this all seems very craft on Fox’s part. It ensure DVD buys because people who wanted to hear the aforementioned f-bombs will have to pick up the DVDs.

“You really are his daughter” Hahahaha…no. Female empowerment is no longer comic or amusing, it just should be par for the course. We don’t need to keep drawing attention to it. This is why I didn’t like the final battle in Enchanted (I love the rest of it though…swooooooon).

Ah, now we’re back to Die Hard basics, infiltrating a building while gun-less.

Ah, inter-departmental squabbling between the FBI and NSA. Its like Chuck except awful. Oh, wait, its just like Chuck.

I take back what I said about not enjoying the pain of others in this movie. Seeing a guy fall down stairs on a chair is pretty funny.

I remember really enjoying Cliff Curtis as part of Harry Tasker’s support team (“Why am I always in the van”) way back in True Lies (ooo its been a while since I’ve watched that), the guy has definitely put on some muscle mass since then. He was also really good in Whale Rider, one of the best family film of the last decade. A movie the MPAA declared unfit for unescorted kids because there’s a scene where an old woman MAY be smoking pot. God I hate those guys.

Ok I laughed at “Dad? Now there are only five of them.” Which in addition to being appropriately defiant and a good callback to the first film is also pretty funny.

More parkour. Remember when everyone was doing wu-shu in their fights? I’m hoping Ray Park brings it back when he plays Snake Eyes in G.I. Joe.

Awww guy falls into a sharp metal press-thingy but there’s no blood spurt or blood trail, guess this version isn’t as “unrated” as advertised.

Shame we’ve left the building, I was digging the whole feeling of man in building bookending both the first and hopefully last film of the series.

Hhhhh ok, so now John McClane has jumped from the highway onto an F-16…oh and apparently using it as a stepping stone to get to another part of the highway. Its admittedly pretty cool, but again, the guy gets up and walks away like nothing happened. Come on man, at least limp a little. Even at the end of Shoot 'Em Up Clive Owen is a miserable bloody shambles and that was practically a Roadrunner cartoon with guns.

I’ll give props to Long, he does do scarred for his life pretty convincingly. And as for Willis I’ll say the man is the absolute master of solid heroic strut and smirk.

“You got her? You sure?” I honestly laughed at that.

Hahaha he shot him through himself, I think that’s a new one on me. Wish I had seen audience reaction for that one.

Ok so final analysis, this was an occasionally impressive piece of spectacle with occasional laughs, but there is a lot of chafe and not enough wheat here. A lot of cliché here and not enough innovation. I mean I don’t particularly feel the need to see this again, but I bust out the first Die Hard on at least an annual basis. Oh well. Die Hard shouldn’t be average is the moral of the story.

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