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"Live Free or Die Hard" review...


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"Live Free or Die Hard" review...
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2007-06-28, 13:07

Disclosure: I think Bruce Willis hung the moon. Always have, probably always will.

That being said, this movie is strictly so-so.

Some really great action sequences, but I wonder how many are heavy CGI work, vs. the originals, which looked and felt pretty "real". Still he owns that role - smirks, smart-ass comments and all - so it's nice to see him doing what he's good at.

It definitely hits the ground running. There is an explosion and several deaths within the first few minutes (as the opening credits are still being presented), and it doesn't let up.

As over-the-top as some of the action and stunts are, it's done with a knowing wink (and if you've seen the other three movies, you know what you're in for).

But it's missing something, and I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe just because we've see so many of these types of movies (the "Die Hard" franchise, as well as dozens of others based on that template), so it's just not fresh and as thrilling anymore? That might be part of it.

The plot centered on hacking, shutting down power grids and banking nationwide, re-routing money to the bad guys, etc. Nothing new or novel on that front, but just going about it in a new, modern way I guess.

But we've seen movies like this a lot. It's not as good or memorable as the first, but it's pretty decent.

Maybe a 6.5 or so on the 1-to-10 scale?

Nice cheap matinee popcorn flick, no doubt (especially if the weather is bad, and/or you have nothing else to do). Not sure I'd plan a "date" or big evening around it (or pay full price).

Justin Long (the Mac guy) co-stars throughout and is funny in places, and a pretty likable character. Kinda has that whole "bumbling, wry smart-ass" thing down that Seth Green usually makes his living with. But I chuckled out loud at his comments or expressions on more than a few occasions.

And McClane's daughter factors in a bit as well, and has some great comments and one-liners (she's her daddy's girl, no doubt about it).



And an amusing appearance, about halfway in, by Kevin Smith, playing a fellow hacker of Long's character. Some funny exchanges in those scenes, the two young guys and their geek lifestyle vs. McClane and his "old fart" stance.

Not much else to say. I've seen much better, but I've certainly seen much worse (especially these past couple of years). If you liked "Die Hard 3", you'll probably be okay with this one...with Justin Long taking over the "everyman" role from Samuel L. Jackson, as someone who, against his will, is thrown in with McClane and gets drawn into the thick of everything.

It is non-stop action, a lot of tech jargon, a few good laughs, Bruce & Co. escaping some impossible situations and scenes of high-tech gear doing wild, wacky stuff (a "cold" looking movie, scenes often shot with muted colors or tinted a bit blue, or dramatically lit in several scenes...stylistically, it's a bit of a departure from the previous three "Die Hard" flicks; reminded me of the Bourne flicks in places, and of "24" in others; lots of handheld camera work, quick cuts, the gunfire had that distinctive, realistic "crack" as opposed to the 80's Schwarzenegger "cannon boom", etc.).

So if all the above is your bag, then go for it! You'll probably enjoy it. It's probably enjoyed more with a larger, enthusiastic crowd (who can cheer the action and stunts, and laugh at the dialogue).

But we should all age as well as Willis has. He's the man.

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2007-06-28 at 13:20.
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scratt
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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2007-06-28, 13:23

Does he crawl through ducts? I am only going if he has that ripped wife beater top on and crawls through ducts screaming "YippieKyayMuthaFucker!" a lot!
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2007-06-28, 13:27

Nope, no ducts and no wife-beater T-shirt this time around. Shaved head, cargo pants (or loose, dark jeans/work pants?), long-sleeved green 3-button shirt and gun.

The 2007 model.

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scratt
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2007-06-28, 13:32

Bummer! Ah well. It is Bruce.. I'll take a peek anyway...

Incidentally it's called "Die Hard 0004", or something like that out here.. I presume that's to keep the title simpler for Asian audiences. Reminds me of when they renamed "4 Weddings and a Funeral" to just "4 Weddings..." in Japan because the funeral part was seen as bad luck. Just a tit bit of trivia for ya.

Thanks for the review by the way, as ever.

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2007-06-28, 13:47

So you went to see ancient, old-fart Bruce and gripe about ancient, old-fart Harrison?

Come on, Paul!

I hope the stunts weren't as phony-looking at the film as they were on TV. I loved Die Hard, but from there the franchise went the way of Batman, for me. I'm really having a hard time getting up the desire to even rent the thing, let alone go to a theater to see it.

I feel as badly about this one as you do about IJ4.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2007-06-28, 13:56

Very simple: Bruce seems to have a sense of humor about it all, and comes across, oh 250x more likable and down-to-earth than the perpetually grizzled, sour-puss Ford.

Bruce is 52. Ford is 87 or something.

I'm kidding...Ford is about 65 or so (he just looks 87). Willis, on the other hand, looks like he's 42. And that's why he's my hero. He's defying nature and physics.

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Unch
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: United Chavdom of Little Britain
 
2007-06-28, 15:33

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt View Post
Incidentally it's called "Die Hard 0004", or something like that out here.. I presume that's to keep the title simpler for Asian audiences.
According to the ad on the side of a local bus, it's called Die Hard 4.0 here.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
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2007-06-28, 15:46

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
… He's defying nature and physics.

Lyposuction, steroids and such will do that for ya!

As will Demi Moore (or not, such as the case may be…).

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Fahrenheit
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2007-07-08, 04:10

Saw it, loved it, want to see it again.
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spotcatbug
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2007-07-08, 07:01

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farenheit View Post
Saw it, loved it, want to see it again.
I thought it was great too. I give it an 8 out of 10. Number 3 is still my favorite, though.
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Moogs
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Join Date: May 2004
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2007-07-08, 12:48

Without Zeus, the franchise is dead. That is to say, they all sucked except that one... and even it sucked a little bit. I'm waiting for Cable on this one. Same with the Transformers. I'll enjoy watching them on cable in December.

I look back at teh first Die Hard now and think it's barely a step above a TV drama with the pathetic acting and cheese-ball cliches (not just by Bruce). Was so 80s it makes me hurt. In fact I've seen a number of late-80s movies lately that truly make me cringe. What a retarded decade.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2007-07-08, 12:54

"Oh man...this is GOLD? It's heavy!"

Yeah, III was pretty enjoyable, I have to say.

Heck, they all were, really. Four a tad less than the others, but not a complete wreck.

Actually, I've often wanted to see Willis' Butch from "Pulp Fiction" revisited. But I don't think lightning could strike twice. "Pulp Fiction" has been stolen, parodied, aped, duped, etc. so many times over the past decade or so. I doubt Q.T. could do something with that same jolt and snap as seeing that for the first time. But I always wondered what happened to him and sexy Fabienne after they rode away on Zed's chopper.



In my mind, they moved back to Knoxville (he honored that whole "lost L.A. privileges" thing), got married and Butch opened a gym. And they had a son that he'd someday give his watch to.
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Fahrenheit
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2007-07-08, 12:54

Die Hard is like an institution - like the mother of action films to a lad of my era. So when you go, you feel duty bound to woop at least once in the duration, and yell yipikiyemotherfucka at the best bits - and the great thing is, so many people were doing it during the film as well.

Amazing - fun, funny, hardcore action.
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chucker
 
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2007-07-08, 13:02

Anyone care to give more input on how obnoxious Justin Long is? Was there any "it's that Dodgeball / Mac guy" feel throughout the movie whenever he appeared, or did it feel like a unique role? Etc.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2007-07-08, 13:04

I thought he was okay in it, really. Kind of a dry-witted smart-ass, but nothing over the top or annoying. Reminded me of Seth Green in those Austin Powers flicks a little. Some nice under-his-breath comments or asides (like his bad luck/lousy timing at being involved in all that was going on). He didn't bother me at all in this movie.

He was a hacker type, and, yes, he did have a Cinema Display in his apartment.



He was this movie's Zeus...a regular schmo drawn into the action somewhat against his will, but who steps up when it counted. But he was somewhat comic relief, poking a few holes in McClane's whole "tough guy" persona and gruff outlook.
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chucker
 
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2007-07-08, 13:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
He didn't bother me at all in this movie.
Cool. Thanks
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