A Good Day to Die Hard

The Worst Films of 2013

If you listen to the wrong kind of people (cultural pessimists, that is), every year is the worst year in cinema, at least since the last one. But as we learned last year, high highs tend to come with low lows. In a year that saw the release of such instant classics as 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, Inside Llewyn Davis, and many more, there were also scads of terrible contributions to the greater world of movie-going. High highs, people, and low lows. Let’s try to make next year a little better, or at least let’s aim to populate it with satires that actually try to be funny, sequels that aren’t a disgrace to their franchise history, and nothing even remotely resembling inAPPropriate Comedy 2. While there were certainly more than a mere thirteen bad movies that hit the big screen this year (and, yes, we’re more than eager to see your contributions in the comments), here are thirteen that stuck out to us in the most unforgettable of ways. We’ve come to bury them, and certainly not to praise them, so here are thirteen films that we’re giddily throwing in the grave.

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goodfellastable

This week’s list of movies to watch is not inspired by a single new release, because there isn’t anything big enough out this weekend to warrant such a focus. Instead, I’ve got a year-end feature for you inspired by the entirety of 2013 in film. I can’t sum up every title released this year with only ten recommendations, but the movies I’ve selected are, I believe, the best representatives of the more notable titles and trends seen in the past dozen months. Most of the selections are familiar. Chances are you’ve seen more than a few. But obviously this edition has to involve more popular fare because they have to be influential movies to have informed so much of this year’s crop, even if unintentionally. Just take it as a call to watch them again, along with whatever you haven’t seen before, as a special sort of year in review of the most important movies of 2013 released before 2013.

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VOD: Jack the Giant Slayer

Something tall and smelly this way comes. No, it’s not the stench of a few weeks off that have plagued our patented, custom-built supercomputer known as the Video On Demand Power Ranker. It’s a movie from Bryan Singer, and not really the good kind. There’s also something delightful (maybe) for fans of short-form horror, fans of odd thrillers, the apocalypse and the grimace of Bruce Willis. Oh yeah, it’s all in there this week. And for your convenience, we’ve ranked them in order of worthiness for your hard-earned dollar.

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diehard5-drinkinggame

When A Good Day to Die Hard hit theaters, there were a lot of questions that needed answering. What happened to the John McClane of the previous Die Hard movies? Did anyone making this movie even look at a map of Russia? Has John McClane (and now his son) become impervious to everything from smashed windows and bullets to all forms of dangerous radiation? Why were any of the characters even in Russia in the first place? Sure, these are all fine questions to ponder if you plan to watch A Good Day to Die Hard. However, if you’re thinking this clearly, the most important question is why you aren’t as inebriated as McClane was at the beginning of Die Hard with a Vengeance (or throughout this entire film). The fifth Die Hard movie is best enjoyed with some poison in your system.

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discs its disaster

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. It’s a Disaster Four couples get together for their monthly brunch, but today’s gathering includes a few surprises. Tracy (Julia Stiles) has brought along a new boyfriend (David Cross), one of the couples is heading towards a separation, and a mysterious incident in the city has left them trapped in the house with little in the way of reliable information. A lack of certainty, loyalty and sanity quickly overcomes the group leading to even more trouble. Writer/director Todd Berger‘s ensemble comedy is easily the funniest disaster film in ages. Most of the cast are (fairly) fresh faces, but in addition to the two names above America Ferrera gets to show a decidedly different side of herself. It’s a simple film, essentially set in a single location, but sharp writing and a lively cast collectively imbued with fantastic comic timing make it a hilarious and energetic romp. [Blu-ray extras: Commentary, behind the scenes, Comic Con panel, viral videos, trailer]

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A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD

Early on in the pre-production phase of A Good Day to Die Hard, the team at Fox approached The Stunt People about putting together a roof top knife fight between John McClane and a baddie with a brutal knowledge of Krav Maga. Eric Jacobus, Alvin Hsing and coordinator J.J. Perry were happy to oblige, and although the scene was ultimately cut, it’s still a fantastic example of fight choreography and of the action filmmaking process. Things have gotten ridiculously out of hand since the success of first John McClane outing. It’s clear to some that the franchise itself is a meta exercise in exploring McClane’s super powers, and while throwing a car at a helicopter is crazy, so is the idea that McClane is now an expert-level fighter who can take on a martial artist like this. It’s tempting to assume that they cut it because of how much more cartoonish McClane would become, but having seen the movie, that seems unlikely. So let’s just be content to know that John McClane can do everything. Even krav maga.

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The Last Stand Arnold Schwarzenegger

In the summer of 2002, an action film was released that declared itself a new kind of spy movie. It said goodbye to the archaic days of Pierce Brosnan’s tired, nostalgia-mining James Bond in favor of something more 21st century. And in 2002, that meant a lot of nu-metal and X-Games stunts. That film was the absurd xXx, which turned out to be a minor hit before Vin Diesel’s action star career went into near-permanent stall mode for the better part of that decade. However, it was a much less arrogant film that ended up changing the spy genre. Doug Liman’s The Bourne Identity made Matt Damon into the unlikeliest of action heroes. He proved that American action stars didn’t need to look and talk like professional wrestlers. Damon’s lean, agile, reserved, and intelligent character didn’t require obvious quips, unquestioning jingoism, or a money shot of him walking away from a sea of explosions to be a threatening bad ass. As the first three Bourne films were released to an exponentially bigger cult of admirers, the brute action stars of old faded into obsolescence. Arnold was a politician, Sly was nowhere to be seen, and a post-Shyamalan Bruce Willis took seemingly every part he could get his hands on, good or bad, only briefly returning to his action movie roots with a PG-13 muzzle. Then, at the end of the decade, with the release of The Expendables, the brute action hero nostalgia machine kicked into high gear. And promptly went […]

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A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD

Plenty of franchises seem so bonded to their star that it might seem impossible for a remake, reboot or continuation of the series without that actor. Imagine Rocky or Rambo without Sylvester Stallone, for example. But there’s really no reason to think these are safe properties. The former could easily pass its torch to Rocky’s son, a common concept for rebooting without starting completely over, and the latter could be redone with an Iraq War veteran. We’ve seen The Terminator without Arnold Schwarzenegger, Indiana Jones without Harrison Ford, Alien without Sigourney Weaver, Home Alone without Macauley Culkin and Smokey and the Bandit without Burt Reynolds. One day we could see Beverly Hills Cop without Eddie Murphy, ‘Crocodile’ Dundee without Paul Hogan and even Madea without Tyler Perry under the wig. But there’s absolutely no way for Hollywood to redo Die Hard, especially after A Good Day to Die Hard. Parts of the new movie even seem to be making a case for why there’s no possibility of the series existing without Bruce Willis. Perhaps the actor is actually intentionally sabotaging the property, running it into the ground with a portrayal unrecognizable from the original and a plot that is so bland and outside of what the first film stood for that fans won’t even care about the brand name by the end — unfortunately for anyone truly scheming, as we see with Star Wars, fans can come back from anything, and also this sequel is on track to do at […]

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FILM JOCKEYS HEADER

What happens when a legendary film critic brings is geriatric crankiness to an internet movie show? Film Jockeys follows the adventures of Carl Barker, his far-too-young production staff, the filmmakers and the movie characters that inhabit their world. Written and illustrated by Derek Bacon, it’s the perfect webcomic for passionate film fans who also want to know whether A Good Day to Die Hard is worth seeing. For your consideration, Episode #10:

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A Good Day to Die Hard Teaser

This is traditionally where the plot synopsis goes, but by simply listing the events that take place in this film, we would be showing more concern for the plot than did the screenwriter of A Good Day to Die Hard. As a (to sidestep the obvious pun, let’s just say “confirmed”) fan of this series, it breaks my heart to see it devolve over the last two films into generic action fluff. It is inevitable that the review of the fifth Die Hard movie would feature a reheated recital of the facets of the original that engendered such an enduring affection, and thereby chart the shortcomings of the latest installment. A Good Day to Die Hard has actually made it easier to avoid the fanboy trap, as each of its many offenses against the franchise are part and parcel of its failure at far more basic components of filmmaking and storytelling. In AGDtDH, John McClane (Bruce Willis) is no longer a put-upon wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time Hithcockian hero; Jimmy Stewart with a badge. A movie ago, he crossed into absurd superhero territory, but that not even who he is in the fifth installment. Well, he is that as well, but that’s not the unfortunate attribute that defines him. Instead, he is the supreme ugly American. He is the guy who punches innocent Moscow citizens because he can’t understand what they are saying. He drives a truck over the tops of civilian traffic throwing a flippant, “sorry, lady” to the woman he’s presumably crushed […]

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A Good Day to Die Hard Teaser

It wasn’t the only thing messing with its mojo, but the PG-13 rating did exactly zero favors for Live Free or Die Hard. It was tough to see a character whose catchphrase involves the term “motherfucker” reduced to melonfarming and shooting bullets at people filled with pillow stuffing instead of blood, but the right has been wronged for A Good Day to Die Hard. According to Collider, the newest incarnation of John McClane as superhero has received the coveted R-rating which means, at the very least, that Bruce Willis will actually get to say his slogan with full gusto this time. Of course, the rating itself doesn’t save the franchise from its own absurdity. If director John Moore and company can turn McClane back into the simple, headache-owning cop by ripping off the cape the series has slowly given him, it’ll be a step in the only right direction. Fortunately, they’re going with the “Passing the Torch” plot concept. One that has never, ever, ever come of as forced and terrible. The potential of Jai Courtney as McClane Jr. aside, we’ll get to see Willis throw a tank into the Kremlin or something come February 14th. Romantic!

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A Good Day to Die Hard Poster

Look at those McClane men, sporting matching facial abrasions and pissed off grins! Just adorable. We’re mere months away from the fifth installment of the Die Hard franchise, still amusingly titled A Good Day to Die Hard, so it’s about time we get a new poster for the Bruce Willis- and Jai Courtney-starring film, though it’s somewhat surprising just how much this new poster reminds us of Backdraft. What exactly are those flames doing there? What precisely is on fire? Should we be concerned about John McClane (Willis) and his estranged son Jack (Courtney)? Probably. This new film moves the action to Moscow (sure) and pits the McClane dudes against underground baddies bent on controlling nuclear weapons. For added super-sized fun to that already out-sized adventure, Fox and IMAX  have also announced today that A Good Day to Die Hard will be getting an IMAX release, making it the first Die Hard film to be re-mastered for the format. It’s big. And that’s not even it for today’s Die Hard news, as Fox has also crafted a new featurette about Courtney, so if you’re still wondering just who the heck that guy is, check it out after the break.

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A Good Day to Die Hard Teaser

Though the atrocities committed by Len Wiseman’s installment in the Die Hard franchise, Live Free or Die Hard, were myriad, perhaps none was more grievous than its pussification of John McClane’s catch phrase, “Yippee ki-yay, motherfucker,” to the coy and no less offensive, “Yippee ki-yay, *gunshot noise*,” so that what should have been a hard R-rated action movie could get a PG-13 rating and play to an audience of teenyboppers who probably don’t even know what a Die Hard is. The first trailer for this fifth installment in the Die Hard franchise, director John Moore’s A Good Day to Die Hard, didn’t give us any indication as to whether or not the real version of McClane’s catch phrase would be reinstated in this film—instead it was just an adrenaline pumping mishmash of guns shooting, things exploding, and women undressing; which is fine and all, but doesn’t give us much to go by when judging how this film is going to differ from its predecessors. This international trailer for the film, along with a poster that was debuted by Entertainment Weekly, give us a little bit more of an idea of what to expect, however, and not all of it is good. This trailer gives us a little bit more plot (it becomes clear that McClane has traveled to Moscow to get his son out of some kind of trouble), it gives us a little bit more McClane dialogue (it turns out he’s still gruff and put upon), and it even […]

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A Good Day to Die Hard Teaser

I don’t think anyone was chomping at the bit for a fifth Die Hard movie. As serviceable as Live Free or Die Hard was, were hordes of Die Hard diehards jacked up about another tame PG-13 sequel? Their average joe hero had just been turned into another superhero, completely forgetting the main appeal of the character. Unfortunately, the first teaser trailer for the fifth installment, A Good Day to Die Hard, doesn’t sell the sequel as a return to the series’ roots. Instead the movie once again features 007, but he just so happens to be from New Jersey. Take a glimpse at John McClane blowing up Russia:

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that’s not usually quite this sexy. You might want to send the kids to bed early… It’s not every night that we begin with the objectification of a woman who poses in slim garb on magazines that don’t ever sell any swimsuits, but when said dames are Anne Vayalitsyna, the new addition to A Good Day to Die Hard, there’s now two ways about it. The babe goes up top.

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The bulk of chatter about the next Die Hard movie, amusingly titled A Good Day To Die Hard, has centered on finding an appropriate actor to play John McClane, Jr., leaving little room for fans of motherfuckers and/or yippee-ki-yays to wonder who the hell the McClane boys would actually be going up against. Turns out, in between taking quotes about potential Avengers sequels out of context and slapping EXCLUSIVE! stamps on everything, Deadline Sheboygan has actually turned up real news. The outlet reports that Cole Hauser will play a villain named Collins in the film, described as a “pivotal supporting role.” Beyond that, we don’t much about Hauser’s role, but hey, the guy definitely looks like he can put a hurt on someone (really, he did play the bad guy in 2 Fast 2 Furious). Bruce Willis will return for the fifth installment of the series, with Jai Courtney set to play his son. This Hard outing is being directed by John Moore and is currently shooting in Russia. A Good Day To Die Hard will open on February 14, 2013.

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Yeah, yeah, yippee-ki-yay, motherfuckers, we’ve finally got a Jack McClane for the fifth Die Hard film – A Good Day to Die Hard. Wait, they really went with that title? Whatever. After months of searching for a tough dude to play Bruce Willis‘ son (and the other leading man in the film), 20th Century Fox has set relative unknown Jai Courtney for the role. Other names that were rumored to potentially grab the role have included Liam Hemsworth, Aaron Paul, James Badge Dale, D.J. Cotrona, Paul Walker, and Milo Ventimiglia. While Courtney might not be that well-known in the States, he’s actually got a pretty impressive resume on his hands. Courtney is a trained actor who studied drama at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (he graduated in 2008). Courtney cut his teeth on the meat and potatoes of Oz – popular hit shows Packed To the Rafters and All Saints. But the guy didn’t just do soapy stuff – he also won a Theatre Critics Award as Best Newcomer for his performance in “The Turning.” The actor made the jump from Aussie-centric stuff when he was cast in Spartacus: Blood and Sand in 2009, where’s he been duking it out before landing not only this big role, but a role in Tom Cruise vehicle One Shot. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a trained and talented new action star on the rise? That would be nice. After the break, check out a picture of Courtney during a screen […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that has just discovered its lack of Photoshop talent. Don’t worry, you’ll see it. It’s not hard to spot. Otherwise, it’s all news, baby… Benicio Del Toro could be the next Star Trek villain, if J.J. Abrams gets his way. And we all know that J.J. Abrams gets his way. Of course, the character he’s in line to play is still being kept under wraps. Will he be a Klingon? Khan? Some nobody like Eric Bana’s Nero? I do know this: he will be creepy, even if he plays himself.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that has no problem closing out another fine week of coverage. Why? Because it’s got a hot and heavy weekend planned with its new girlfriend, Siri. It even used her to book a quality hotel, make restaurant reservations and order adult party props. You know, just in case she’s into that sort of thing. We open this fine, crisp Friday evening with a shot of Ecto-1, the vehicle driven by everyone’s favorite guys to call if you is, in fact, afraid of some ghosts. It was captured by our friends at Primer Magazine at the Arclight in Los Angeles in celebration of Ghostbusters returning to theaters. It’s one of four original production cars used in the films, fully restored to its former glory. And glorious, it is.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that has been working really hard lately at its other job. So if it gets a little loopy this evening, please cut it some slack. We begin tonight with Keanu Reeves and Chloe Moretz reenacting a scene from Taxi Driver. It’s part of a photo spread in Harper’s Bazaar celebrating the work of Martin Scorsese. Something about this is a little creepy.

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