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Die Hard

review by David G.

 

Running Time: 132 Minutes

Starring: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Alexander Godunov, Bonnie Bedelia

Written by Jeb Stuart and Steven E. De Souza based on the novel by Roderick Thorp

Directed by John McTiernan

Retail Price: 29.98

Studio: Fox

Features: Commentaries by George Romero, John Russo, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman, Judith O'Dea, S. William Hinzman, Keith Wayne, Kyra Schon, Russell Streiner and Vincent Survinski, Theatrical Trailer and TV Spot, Night of the Living Bread, Original Commercials by Image Ten, inc.

Disc Specs: 2.35:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen, 5.1 Dolby Digital English, 2.0 Dolby Surround English, 2.0 Dolby Surround French

John McClane (Bruce Willis) is a New York City cop who arrives in Los Angeles to spend the Christmas holiday with his separated wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) and his children. Since he's waiting for her in her office in a huge building, a group of terrorists lead by Hans Grubber (Alan Rickman) investigates the place and take control of the building. McClane manages to escape from the villains and become the only hope for the hostages that include his wife. Armed with only his service revolver, he begins to fight himself the terrorists as the police and the FBI are totally inefficient.

It's always a pleasure to review a film by John McTiernan. For his third movie after "Nomads and Predator", he gave us this incredible roller coaster that doesn't allow the audience to get its breath back. I am always marvelled that this director manages to raise an average script (and even a poor script in the case of Predator) to make it a great movie. In 1988, McTiernan gave his own definition of action movies: some well defined strong characters and a electric shock every 10 minutes. Since then, the formula has been many time copied but never beaten. In fact, that is not true, one movie managed to beat "Die Hard" in that way. Guess which one?.It's Die Hard 3 by...?. John McTiernan of course!. In addition, this movie allow us to see the greatest villain ever seen on screen: Hans Gruber played by the perfect Alan Rickman.

 

"Die Hard" is presented in widescreen 2.35:1 format (no anamorphic enhancement) , and for a movie from 1988, the transfer is pretty decent. Although a little fuzzy time to time, the picture is clear end there are very few artifacts.

This part is a slight disappointment, in effect, the soundtracks lack of punch. I would have liked more enveloping explosions. But let me be clear, the movie does not really suffer from that.

Three trailers are included (one for each "Die Hard" film), a slide show of a few pictures, a useless featurette, and some cast information.

Even now, this movie does not look old fashioned in contrast of many 80s movies. This is a must see for all action movies lovers, but I'm quite sure you have already seen it.

(5/5, NOT included in final score)

(4/5)

(3/5)

(2/5)

(3.5/5, NOT an average)

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