Die Hard

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If one were to conduct a scientific study meant to determine what the most successful action movie of the 90s was, chances are pretty dang good that Speed would be near the top of the candidates for consideration. A success both financially and critically, this high-octane tale of a bomb on a perpetually moving bus solidified Keanu Reeves as one of Hollywood’s go-to leading men, launched the gigantic career of Sandra Bullock, and even gave its director, Jan de Bont, a success to add to his resume. All of that should be enough to solidify Speed’s place as one of the most important 90s action movies already, and we haven’t even factored in how it also managed to introduce the phrase, “Pop quiz, hotshot,” into the cultural lexicon. So, pop quiz, hotshot: Die Hard was the greatest action movie ever made, but its sequel, Die Hard 2, was a derivative bore churned out by one of the most prolific manufacturers of schlock of the last few decades, Renny Harlin. What do you do? You get the director of the original, the inimitable John McTiernan, to come back for the third film, Die Hard With a Vengeance. DHWAV, from what I can tell, isn’t hated. It’s widely considered to be the second-best entry in the Die Hard franchise, it certainly made its makers some money, and it doesn’t get derided as the death of the franchise like the belated fourth sequel, Live Free or Die Hard, does. But it doesn’t get […]

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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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McG

McG’s latest film, the spy thriller/romantic comedy This Means War, just hit theaters this week, and, so far, I haven’t really talked to anybody who likes it. That’s pretty par for course at this point though, because it’s rare that I talk to anyone who likes any of McG’s movies. Despite that fact, the guy must be making somebody somewhere some money, because he keeps on getting new jobs. Speaking of which, McG recently talked to The Playlist about what he’s going to be doing next. First off, he described his new project, Puzzle Palace, as a “thriller” that is “tonally similar to Die Hard,” and then went on to give a more lengthy plot synopsis by adding that the film is about, “A kid who has to clear his father’s name by breaking into One Police Plaza in New York, which is the most secure building imaginable in a post-9/11 world. It’s a smaller picture, it’s designed for a [Ryan] Gosling [type actor]. It’s not as small and antithetical as Drive, but it’s not a big giant over-the-top action picture, it’s meant to be a fun, intelligent action character study.” If it manages to be either fun or intelligent, then it will be a huge break from the stupid, visually frustrating things that McG’s done so far; so I’m excited to hear him say that he’s planning on branching out.

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Noomi Rapace in Prometheus

What is Movie News After Dark? It is all about movie news, it happens nightly, and you should never, ever go to bed without it. Should you happen to do so, we’re most likely going to send someone out to teach you a lesson. And you don’t want to learn any hard lessons now, do you? We didn’t think so. We begin tonight with an image that is sweeping the internet. With a little lightening, this new image of Noomi Rapace in Prometheus reveals a pair of Space Jockeys in the background. It’s hard to tell from this angle, but they look rather large and intimidating. It goes along with a quote writer/producer Damon Lindelof gave to Hero Complex: “The movie is definitely epic in its scope. One of the filmmakers that we ended up talking about to a fair degree of redundancy was David Lean, who directed ‘Lawrence of Arabia.’ We wanted to make the movie feel big by having the characters be small in big spaces. That connected to the larger themes we were talking about — that we’re all just these little gnats crawling around on our little planet.”

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Die Hard Holiday Survival Guide

Note: Despite what the byline says, this article was written by the conglomeration of Luke and Brian; two guys who watch Die Hard and Die Hard 2 every Christmas…and then over and over with unsettling frequency throughout the rest of the year. The holidays can be a tough time for all of us. In-laws and extended family members coming into town, travel on snowy roads, and holiday weight gain are just a few of the landmines we have to navigate during December. While this iteration of FSR’s Cinematic Holiday Survival Guide won’t help you avoid your drunk Uncle Vernon or keep that turkey and mashed potatoes from expanding your waist line, hopefully it will come in handy should your holiday plans be thwarted by terrorists. Some guys just can’t seem to catch break, even during the holidays. John McClane is one of those poor, unfortunate souls. Time and time again, this oneupsman of terrible Christmases runs afoul of the worst sort of scum and villainy; even without vacationing at Mos Eisley. Should you ever find yourself in a similar situation, well, let’s face it you’ll probably kill yourself. But should you decide to be a McClanian style badass, just call to mind the following tips and tricks and you might just end up a hero…or dead…or, a HERO!

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Hollywood is good at recycling things. After all, you build a giant house or an elaborate prop and you wouldn’t just use it once and toss it, right? This is why they have backlots at studios; they can hoard all their favorite stuff for later use (like the iconic building in the image above) or, failing that, at least use it for the studio tours. Same kind of goes for on-location sets – some places are just too dynamic to use only once, especially when the owner is more than willing to pimp out their place for cash. This circle of life is great when you are working with a generic looking high school or cookie-cutter set but there are the occasional moments when they use a location just a little too iconic for its own good – and like a type-cast actor, you can’t help but to see the location as anything besides what made it famous in the first place.

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Boiling Point

No matter what I say below, know this: I will see Shark Night 3D. There are no press screenings, no DVDs mailed to my home. I will head out to a theater to watch it because I love sharks and I love watching people get eaten by them. So to be extra clear: I haven’t seen the film yet. No one has. But still, I’m going to bitch about it, because that’s how I roll. Why? Well, because it’s easy to get mad at this film. It’s rated PG-13. I mean, if there ever was a title for a hard R-rating, it’s Shark Night 3D. After all, Piranha 3D, which was probably instrumental in green lighting this late entry to Shark Week, was well received because of its gore. Its nudity. Its generally over the top nature. Without Jerry O’Connell getting his dick bit off and two hot, naked women swimming for six minutes, that film is a pile of crap. The blood makes it – and the PG-13 rating for Shark Night might break it.

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And welcome back to Commentary Commentary, our weekly scouring of the DVD shelves and all the vast film knowledge held therein. It’s time once again to listen to a feature length film commentary from one of our most beloved films and go over all the great pieces of information we learn from it. This week, we’ve got another classic, a film that sparked a whole sub-genre of other films. And, before you pitch the idea of “Die Hard on a Film Blog,” know that Joel Silver probably has three screenplays in his office with that exact same pitch. That’s right. This week, we’re cracking open our copy of Die Hard and going through the commentary. So sit back, enjoy how not Christmas-y it is right now, and drink some eggnog anyway. Hey, it couldn’t hurt.

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Boiling Point

Many people will come to the defense of outrageous events in movies and otherwise unbelievable activities by claiming movies are all about the “suspension of disbelief.” That’s why cars can turn into robots, animals can talk, heroes can surf anything to safety, and all the Jewish people rode unicorns to Israel at the end of Schindler’s List. See, that last one is a joke about how not all movies are about the suspension of disbelief. Sometimes movies make a greater impact by maintaining a thread of realism throughout. No, Die Hard isn’t the most realistic film in the world, but when a shoeless McClane has to run over broken glass, you can relate to “that must fucking hurt” because you can see it affects him for the next ten minutes of the movie. In movie time that’s like 8 years, so it’s no wonder he’s back to running and jumping by the end of the film. While I’m the first to admit I enjoy action films where a commando can jump from a plane flying 150mph and fall 300 feet into a swamp and be fine, there are a few minor movie injuries that bug the shit out of me.

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What is Movie News After Dark? First of all, POP POP! And now a few words about this column: it’s about movie news, but sometimes it serves as its author’s treasure trove of addictions. Such as his addiction to hanging on the words of Dan Harmon, or his need to regale you with his ability to find the best content on other websites. It’s a unique talent, he’s told. And now, something completely different… This week saw the season finale of Community. I will miss it until it comes back. For now, I would urge you to read this fantastic interview with creator Dan Harmon published by Vulture. There’s a reason the show is so delightfully nerdy, and it might just be the man in charge.

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You’ve stumbled upon Circle of Jerks, our sporadically published, weekly feature in which we ask the questions that really matter to our writers and readers. It’s a time to take a break from our busy lives and revel in the one thing that we all share: a deep, passionate love of movies. If you have a question you’d like answered by the FSR readers and staff, send us an email at editors@filmschoolrejects.com. What movie universe would actually want to live in? Susan C.

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Two years ago, I challenged myself to come up with twelve films that corresponded with all the verses of the popular Christmas song that Eddie Izzard loves to sing the fifth verse of. Despite ending that sentence with a preposition, I sat down to a quiet Christmas break intending to stay as far away from work as possible, but that became impossible after my third quart of egg nog. For it was after that quart that the Planet of the Apes poster in my office began speaking, nay, taunting me to the challenge of coming up with twelve more films. I only have two words for hallucinatory, two-dimensional Cornelius. Challenge. Accepted.

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You’ve stumbled upon Circle of Jerks, our sporadically published, weekly feature in which we ask the questions that really matter to our writers and readers. It’s a time to take a break from our busy lives and revel in the one thing that we all share: a deep, passionate love of movies. If you have a question you’d like answered by the FSR readers and staff, send us an email at editors@filmschoolrejects.com. What villains have you liked more than their hero counterparts? – Nathan S.

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After our inspired list of Die Hard sequel ideas, it’s clear that Fox is passing on all of them (including, somehow, Die Hard: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ By Sapphire) in favor of filming something with a bit more Latin flavor. In other news, Bruce Willis wasn’t joking about another Die Hard movie. The fifth in the series will reportedly film in 2011 in Puerto Rico, down South America way. It follows Bad Boys II and Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights in the grand tradition of filming there, although there’s no word on the plot yet. Plus, it’s also filming in New York, Los Angeles and Vancouver (which I’m told is also somewhere down South America way, but I can’t find it on the map). [Latino Review]

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Every so often, a film emerges from the fray to prove its popularity and warrant a sequel. More and more, franchises are planned out in advance, but when one film turns into a franchise, a cash register sound goes off in the ears of the studio. Even though the kid stays in the picture, sometimes the director does not. Maybe the director is done working with the material. Maybe the producers want a more seasoned hand. Maybe a simple schedule conflict keeps him or her out of the chair for the next round up. But the show must go on, so the producers find another director to fill the slot – a director who ostensibly inherits all the strengths and weaknesses of a franchise birthed by someone else. Cinematic sloppy seconds that could have easily turned into sloppy sequels if it weren’t for a steady, talented director guiding the ship. Here’s a list of the ten best.

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You’ve stumbled upon Circle of Jerks, our sporadically published, weekly feature in which we ask the questions that really matter to our writers and readers. It’s a time to take a break from our busy lives and revel in the one thing that we all share: a deep, passionate love of movies. If you have a question you’d like answered by the FSR readers and staff, send us an email at editors@filmschoolrejects.com. Our inaugural question comes from Managing Editor, Cole Abaius. I recently took the plunge by getting my second tattoo. In an effort to display my love of films while avoiding the cliched “Howard the Duck With Your Nipple As His Eyeball” that’s so popular with the kids these days, I chose to get a crystal clear rendering of the spaceship-crashed moon from A Trip to the Moon (the first science fiction film). It’s something that will be with me forever. Keeping that eternal aspect in mind, what cinematically-themed tattoo would you get?

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I’m apt to employ the term temple when describing Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse. It is a place of holy reverence for cinema of all genres and visible levels of technical proficiency. The people who own and operate this glorious shrine to film are tried-and-true movie geeks and they know how to put together events that allow for communal worship and celebration of our passion. Last year they unleashed an event that, by its close, had graduated to force of nature: Cinemapocalypse. The premise was that Quentin Tarantino wanted to premier Inglourious Basterds in Austin and the epic epicness of that film called for something a bit more grandiose than a simple screening. So along with Basterds, QT brought two other films; personal favorites of his that inspired the main attraction. Veteran character actor, and all-around badass Robert Forster then introduced a film of his own and the evening concluded with two more films; six in total. The event ran all through the night and well into the next day. The first Cinemapocalypse was so loaded to the gills with pure awesome that its aforementioned awesomeness could not be contained within or quelled by just one event. It was a cinch that a second Cinemapocalypse would follow, but the anchor film would have to be something unbelievably amazing to match the power of Nazi killing and Hitler exploding. Luckily, Sylvester Stallone reached into his most manly of chests, ripped out a bloody rib, and gave birth to the ensemble of testosterone that […]

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Boiling Point: Pulp Fiction

Robert Fure once again proves he’s angry and full of dirty, dirty words, though surprisingly he manages to be rather civil for 96% of this rant against censorship.

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Sorry. No. It’s not an On Demand channel featuring all of John McClane’s greatest hits and quips from over the years. That would, indeed, be a thing of beauty. I personally would have the terrorist getting sliced in half by a tow cable near the end of Die Hard With a Vengeance on loop. No, Die Hard 24/7 is the rumored title for the new film, the fifth installment in a franchise that began with what some believe to be the greatest action film of all time.

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published: 04.19.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
B+

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