Click above to purchase "Die Hard Five Star Collection" at
review by Zach B.
Five Star Star Collection
Running Time: 132 minutes
Starring Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Alexander
Godunov, Bonnie Bedelia
Screenplay by Jeb Stuart and Steven E. De Souza
Based on the novel by Roderick Thorp
Directed by John McTiernan
Retail Price: $29.98
Disc One - Audio Commentary with Director John McTiernan and
Production Designer Jackson DeGovia, Audio Commentary with
Special Effects Supervisor Richard Edlund, Subtitle
Commentary by Cast and Crew, Branching Version with Extended
Power Shutdown Scene, DVD-ROM: Script To Scene
Disc Two - Two Extended Scenes, The Cutting Room,
Deleted Lines and Sequences Reel, Gag Reel, Newscasts,
Interactive Articles from American Cinematographer and
Cinefex Magazine, Full-Lenghth Screenplay, Still Gallery,
Trailers, TV Spots, DVD-ROM: Weblinks and Game Demos
Specs: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby
Digital 5.1, English DTS 5.1, French Dolby Surround, English
Closed Captioning, English Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles,
Scene Selection (55 Chapters), Two-Disc Set, THX
Released: July 10th, 2001
Also part of the "Die Hard - The Ultimate Collection"
"Yippie-kai-yay, moherf***er." (Oh, and
like you weren't really expecting me to say that in the
Ah, "Die Hard". There's so much to this re-release and
this movie. I'll start with the movie. One of 1988's biggest
hits success stories at the box office and critics, "Die
Hard" started a nice franchise for Fox. While it doesn't
sound strange Bruce Willis is known as an action star (in my
opinion, I think he's an incredible actor who's not just
action. He has a wide range of talents with interesting
choices but that's another story), some people laughed at
the thought of it when this movie came out. The only major
role Bruce Willis had before "Die Hard" was in "Blind Date"
and he was still going strong on the fabulous 1980s series
"Moonlighting". Still, Willis blew everyone away with his
power packed performance as John McClane, and from there he
rose to super stardom.
"Die Hard" is not your usual thriller that's mindless or
happens to have a stupid plot tied with mindless action
scenes. While it does feature some great stunts and great
action sequences, I think it's one of the best action movies
I have ever seen. The story isn't as far fetched as it may
present itself, and has some great dialogue, a well rounded
story, developed characters and memorable lines all laced
with some fun humor that always brings a smile to my face.
"Die Hard" is a movie that appeals to so many and works for
many. It's a very satisfying movie.
"Die Hard" follows Bruce Willis as John McClane, a New
York City police officer who travels to Los Angeles to spend
time with his wife, who he's seperated from, Holly (Bonnie
Bedelia). His wife got a great job for Nakatomi, a large
corporation, and John goes to a Christmas party at their
skyscraper plaza to meet up with her. However, the party
isn't all fun and games... terrorists invade the building,
close it down, lock the elevators and take hostages. The
terrorists are led by Hans Gruber (a fantastic Alan Rickman)
who demands a whole lot of money. Guess who's the one man
who must stop them?
I mentioned nearly all the elements that made "Die Hard"
a success. Great story, great script, likeable characters
that are developed, fantastic action and good thrills. But
how does it all come together? Why, with director John
McTiernan of course! McTiernan is no stranger to action
thrillers (and after this movie he continued to do them)
with "Predator" under his belt, and he works wonders with
"Die Hard". The movie goes at a great pace and really builds
things up nicely. There is a fantastic, even structure so
you'll never get bored and the movie doesn't feel tacked or
dragged on. The editing makes you see all the action and
won't confuse you about the action that's going on. Some
really great editing... it's no wonder why it got an
The acting here is also fantastic. Bruce Willis only
begins to scratch the surface of what he is capable of. He's
perfect and really fits the bill as McClane. Yes he's macho
and has a gruff exterior within him, but there's conflict
growing strongly within him about the stiuation and himself.
Rickman as Gruber does one fine job and is also perfect for
his role, he really gets into the core of the guy and is so
fun to watch as the nasty terrorist. The rest of the
supporting cast (especially Reginald VelJohnson) also do
justice to their roles.
"Die Hard" is a great action packed thrill ride. You can
sit down and enjoy it. It's not a dumb, mindless thriller
but rather a complex one complete with great stunts, great
action, great direction, a great plot and great acting.
Everything about this movie is great and works really well.
If you love action films or a movie that brims with suspense
as well as a good story, you owe it yourself to check out
When "Die Hard" was originally released, it was
non-anamorphic and pretty lackluster. This THX-Certified
transfer (the other one was too) is pretty good and this
time around is anamorphic (aspect ratio 2.35:1). While it
does improve and looks good, it's not perfect. Blemishes,
dirty and grain appear here and there, and images at times
look a bit soft and faded. I was expecting more sharpness to
the image, but I did notice noise appeared pretty often.
Black levels however are deep and solid, while detail is
overall good. Some shimmering is present too. A little
disappointing but all in all a great transfer.
Fox has included an English Dolby Digital 5.1 in addition
to the DTS 5.1. I really didn't notice muchy difference
between the two except the DTS sounded much lower. I
compared the two between key scenes and there's not much
difference. I actually prefered the Dolby Digital a little
more since it made more use and brought to life more of the
background sounds. Surround use in the tracks are active, as
they should be. This is an action movie. Gunplay, explosions
and a lot of crashing... you name it. This movie, as you
should know if you've seen it, has a lot that can be done
with sound (which even got Oscar® nods in that
department) due to the action. The thrilling score that
keeps tension high sounds wonderful on the tracks and .1 LFE
extension is nice. Sidewall imaging is pretty good. This
track does an overall good job of making you feel like
you're there experiencing what's going on. While I felt
there could have been more zing to some key surrounds and
some more creative mixing, what's here works rather well and
people should be happy with these tracks. A French Dolby
Surround is also included as well as English Closed
Captions, English subtitles and Spanish subtitles. The box
also lists a Dolby Surround track in English but is not on
the disc, but can be found on the first DVD release. The
audio is also THX certified.
Woohoo! Another Fox Five Star Collection disc! While the
original "Die Hard" DVD lacked in supplements, Fox has
GREATLY made up for it with this incredible two disc set.
The other "Die Hard" re-releases are simply special editions
and also two-disc sets. You may wonder why, as there is a
good reason. This one is the most packed.
So let's start with disc one. We are treated to not one
but two audio commentaries (for the theatrical version
only). The first Audio Commentary features John
McTiernan and Production Designer Jackson DeGovia. This
track is clearly edited and a bit dry, but you do get very
good information out of it from the two. They offer good and
interesting production stories and offer praise for the cast
and crew. It's amazing how they recall and talk about so
many little details. They talk about ideas they had, how
things were set up and the little things. They do have good
memories of the film. This track isn't for everyone as some
may find it a bit boring, but in the end it offers a lot of
information on how things were achieved as well as other
aspects of the production.
The second Audio Commentary with Special Effects
Supervisor Richard Edlund I found a lo more interesting.
I believe Edlund got an Oscar® nod for this movie with
the special effects, and he was a key force doing effects
with the movie "Star Wars". Edlund is a bit more relaxed and
jokey, but there are points he is really quiet. He offers
some pretty insightful comments and really knows how
audiences think and what they want to see. He offers his
inspriations, praises the movie "Stuart Little" and makes
some very interesting comparisons. People may also find this
one boring, but I really liked it and he has a better
attitude and is more interesting than DeGovia and McTiernan.
The box says this commentary is screen-specific, but Edlund
goes off on a tangent sometimes.
Another commentary is included... this one in text form.
The Subtitle Commentary by the Cast and Crew. This
subtitle track features a variety of information that ranges
from all sorts of things. There's quotes from the actors,
the crew and interesting tidbits about the sets and other
things. Unlike some other DVDs that incorporate this feature
*COUGHBRINGITONCOUGH*, here you can easily turn it on and
off with the subtitle key on your remote and they're not in
annoying colored boxes or anything.
There's also an Extended Branching Version of the
movie. It's only a single scene that's extended and not even
completed fully for that matter (I won't spoil the movie for
others so I won't go into specifics about the scene), but
this scene is also in the "Outtakes" portion of the second
disc. Rounding out the first disc is a DVD-ROM Script To
Most of the goodies are on the second disc. A lot of the
stuff here is excellent and you'll probably enjoy what's
given. From The Vault is the first section of the
second disc and is divided into three sections. The first
part, Outtakes is then divided into two scenes "The
Vault" and "Turning Off The Power". The latter is the scene
featured on the extended branching version while "The Vault"
features bloopers and assorted deleted footage and two audio
options: production and music or production only. Each are
in anamorphic widescreen. The second section, The
Newscasts has a variety of footage from the newscasts
featured in the film. A lot of deleted stuff and alternative
stuff is here, which is nice. Finally, Magazine
Articles features two articles: one from American
Cinematographer and the other from Cinefex. Each
are the full text articles and you can blow up photographs
and see video clips within them which is quite neat. Each
are very nice reads.
The Cutting Room Floor is probably my favorite
section of the discs. If you're really into filmmaking (I
for one am) then you're going to love this. The Scene
Editing Workshop offers some background on editing and
then you're choice to edit three scenes: "Hans and Takagi in
the board room" (part 1 and part 2) and "McClane in the air
duct". The last one only has three sections to complete the
scene with three angles for each, while the first has eight
sections and the second has ten sections with two-five
angles for a scene (depends on the section). This is really
nice and easy to use. While it has been featured on a few
other DVDs, there's more to work with here and you can even
compare your product to the final one in the film.
Everything's in anamorphic widescreen though some of the
stuff here is pretty rough.
The Multi-Camera Shooting has a nice text intro
and lets you watch three different scenes from different
angles using the angle feature. It works rather well and is
a cool feature to see (the scenes are anamorphic) though it
can be rather short.
Audio Mixing is another really cool feature with a
good text intro. The "Track Evaluation" lets you preview the
sounds and the "Mixing Suite" lets you mix them by volume.
It's really well done and pretty fun.
I really enjoyed Why Letterbox? it's a short
little viewing piece that covers misinterperations of
widescreen and the process of taking a widescreen image into
full frame. Larry Yorr (SP?) who did the color correction
for the fill to tape transfers and David Pryor comment on
how a transfer is done and the whole process. If you're a
widescreen lover you'll like this, and perhaps you can
convert full frame lovers by having them watch this... or
Finally, rounding the section out is a Glossary
that lists common film terms and even gives examples for
some. Though some of you probably know most of these, it's a
nice set of words for those who may not be familiar with
The Interactive Slide Show is a nice feature. It's
set to the film's score and shows various slides of models,
the cast, crew and more. When the Hakatomi symbol appears
and you press it, you'll get more information on the slide.
Very well done.
The entrie Script is readable without DVD-ROM so
you can knock yourself out with that (I always like having
the script without using DVD-ROM, it's a rare feature on
discs though) while the Ad Campaign section has three
trailers (all in anamorphic widescreen. The first is 2.35:1
and the other two are 1.85:1), seven TV Spots (ah,
nice memories) and a full frame, seven minute and twenty-two
second Featurette with clips from the film, behind
the scenes footage and on-set interviews with the cast and
crew. It's pretty EPK style.
Finally, more DVD-ROM features: weblinks and game
demos, so enjoy those. Also, the animated menus really fit
into the style of the film and are nicely computer animated,
so enjoy those.
This may be the summer of 2001's best DVD release, if not
one of the best of the year for sure. A great presentation,
great features and a nice price for a great movie makes "Die
Hard" a great two-disc set for everyone's collection.
(4.5/5 - NOT included in
(4.5/5, NOT an average)