Monday, April 22, 2024

Featured: You Haven’t Seen… Die Hard?!?

Hello again, and welcome to a very special article for me. In my previous review, I covered a part of my childhood (Jumanji) that held a very special place in my heart. This time around, I’ve chosen to do something that I’ve been planning on doing for quite some time and now I’ve actually acted on it. I’m taking it on myself to catch up with those films that EVERYONE has seen. Those films that you hear people talking about and all you can do is smile, nod and throw out the occasional “Oh yeah.” And I’ve started with a Xmas classic (by which I mean it’s on every bloody Xmas and has no real connection to it other than being set around that time, I’m looking at you It’s A Wonderful Life!) that spawned a franchise, Die Hard.

So, my first ever watch of Die Hard comes when I’m 29 years old with a 2.5 month old daughter. I’ve seen The Simpsons, I’ve read articles that talk about the ending of the film, I’ve had many people start talking about it as if I’ve already seen it. However, and this is what really surprised me, I came to realize as I watched the film that I knew maybe 1% of the film. I knew the ending (which I will not spoil in case you also have not seen it yet) and I knew the catchphrase. That’s it. And when I realized that, I tried to think more about why that was the case. There’s a considerable amount of things that happen in this film. People get shot, things blow up, there’s a fast-talking sassy limo driver. And yet, despite all this, nobody seems to talk about that when starting to discuss the film. It’s always Alan Rickman. He’s the guy people like to talk about. Hans Gruber himself. I want to break this tradition. He’s going second. So, here’s my thoughts on Die Hard first. THEN Hans gets his turn.

This film was good. Wait, scratch that. This film was really good. I am not an action film fan overall. The inclusion of the genre “Action” in the description of a film does not make me jump up and down, raring to see it. However, and I think I may not be alone here, I do have a bit of a soft-spot for over-the-top action. The film that just has fun with its premise is the film I tend to enjoy the most (with a few exceptions naturally, I am a hypocrite after all). There is a moment where someone, and I honestly think they didn’t bother to give half the henchmen a name so I can’t tell you his name here, gets his kneecaps exploded. By several bullets. And then, for good measure, he gets his head put through some glass. At that point, I was invested. True, Bruce Willis is great fun to watch (having been a fan of The Fifth Element, I think I now know why he was chosen for that role), it’s fun to hear the amazing technology of the limo now “A VCR!” and the plot is surprisingly strong. But it was the kneecaps that made me really get settled in for the fun. And, unlike a lot of modern action films, it keeps up the pacing wonderfully for the rest of the film.

Ok, I did promise. Now we get to talk about the same thing everyone talks about when discussing this film. Hans Gruber. Or, as I liked to look at him, German Alan Rickman Who Finally Isn’t Drunk Throughout The Film. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Rickman. But even the biggest fan has to admit that he always seems to sound like he’s had a few ales before they call “Action.” This role must have been a LOT of fun to play and I think that lead to one great performance. And I’m not even going to go into it much, because I’m sure you’ve heard it all before. But let’s just say that if I ever were planning a heist of any kind, I’d want at least 2 Grubers on my team. Though just in the planning stage. His kind does seem to attract arch-nemesis’ like nothing else. Suffice to say, Gruber is the second reason you want to watch this film. Kneecaps first, then good ol’ Rickman.

So there we go. My first You Haven’t Seen…?!? I hope you guys enjoyed it. And if you did, I would like to ask a favor; I am in need of another film to follow this one. I have a few in mind, but I want to involve you guys in the decision making process. So, for each one of these I do, I will ask you to suggest “classic” films that EVERYONE has seen. The first person to suggest one I haven’t seen will be the winner. The prize? Why, you’ll have picked the next Y.H.S. article AND get a shout-out. I think you’ll admit it’s a wonderful trophy to be had!

Thank you once more. and here’s to the next one……..

Yippee-Ki-Yay Mother Fun-sters!

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