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    Originally posted by Ben Staad View Post
    Die Hard 3

    I'm thinking 2 out of 5 stars. This one wasn't very good at all.
    It's been forever since I've seen it, but I don't remember caring much for it either although it did have moments of humor. To me, Die Hard is a classic. I try to forget the other films even exist as they were always diminishing returns on a film that should have been left alone.

    Comment


      Originally posted by Ben Staad View Post
      Die Hard 3

      I'm thinking 2 out of 5 stars. This one wasn't very good at all.
      The first DIE HARD is one of my absolute favorite movies.  I think it was the first R-rated movie I ever saw.  One of the reasons that the first one works so well is the rather grounded nature of Willis's John McClane.  It's hard to see in the later films as the character becomes more of a caricature, but the first film works hard to undermine some of the traditional masculine stereotypes: McClane's fear of flying, the fact that he let his wife move to Los Angeles thinking that she'd wind up coming back home and instead she excels and he is having to attempt (rather poorly at the beginning of the film) to bridge that gap in their relationship, he dismisses John Wayne in favor of Roy Rogers, and actually has to rely on another man (Reginald VelJohnson) for emotional support during the ordeal.  It isn't touch-feely by any means, but when the film came out in 1988, we'd already had ultra-masculine action films like COMMANDO and RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II (Not including FIRST BLOOD because that's a whole other beast) that both came out in 1985.  Couple this with Bruce Willis in the lead, who at the time was known as a comedic actor and not an action star and the film just has a slightly different flavor.  And that isn't even touching on Alan Rickman's Hans Gruber!

      As for the sequels, I actually think that the third (DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE) is the best of the lot and, to me, it's the last time that one of the sequels feels like it could possibly exist in the same world as the original.  I also love the interaction with Samuel L. Jackson's character.  It is far more comedic and lighthearted than DIE HARD 2 (I always thought the addition of DIE HARDER was rather dumb), but I actually kind of like it.  LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD feels far less like a Die Hard film and I'd probably like it a bit more if it was one of Willis's standalone action films like THE LAST BOY SCOUT or STRIKING DISTANCE.  When it comes to A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD, the film and Willis's character doesn't even seem to be in the same universe as the original.  

      If I had my way, this would be my Christmas viewing leading up to the big day:

      DIE HARD
      LETHAL WEAPON
      KISS KISS BANG BANG
      THE NICE GUYS

      Comment


        Scrooged. 4 out of 5 stars.

        It hit all the right notes for me this year. This was a re-watch however I hadn't seen this in a decade or so. The ending monologue was fantastic and Murray played a great jerk.
        Looking for the fonting of youth.

        Comment


          Originally posted by Ben Staad View Post
          Scrooged. 4 out of 5 stars.

          It hit all the right notes for me this year. This was a re-watch however I hadn't seen this in a decade or so. The ending monologue was fantastic and Murray played a great jerk.
          SCROOGED is a ton of fun!

          Comment


            I decided to go out of order of my list above and watched THE NICE GUYS last night. Not Christmas movie at all (and only included in my list above because it pairs so well with KISS KISS BANG BANG), but I still really enjoyed it. Not as tightly written or constructed as KISS KISS BANG BANG, but it's a fun action/comedy/mystery that really takes advantage of Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe as its two leads to really reel in the audience. Like I mentioned, it's not as tightly plotted and this time around I felt like there might have been a longer version of the movie that got edited down as some beats just don't hit as well as I'd like them to. But all that being said, I still really like the movie and wish that it had done better at the box office so we'd get more movies in this vein.

            The other movie I watched recently was BARBIE. I know this was like the highest grossing movie of 2023 and the highest grossing movie for Warner Brothers in their 100 year history, but, man, I just didn't get the love for this film. Don't get me wrong, I think that it tackles some interesting topics regarding gender equality and the oppressive rule of a patriarchal society, but it seemed for everything that the movie did right (the Barbieland set design, clearly the casting of Robbie and Gosling, Ken's arc, some of the jokes, especially "I'm a man with no power. Does that make me a woman?"), it did stuff that was so didn't work (the chase in the cubicles of Mattel was particularly stupid, the arc between America Ferrera and her daughter was so abrupt that to call it an arc really gives it more credit than it deserves). Ultimately, as much as I loved some of the individual parts of the movie, I just didn't think the movie worked as a whole. I liked everyone involved and will definitely be following up on their future projects, including getting around to watching Gerwig's LITTLE WOMEN, but there will be no revisits to BARBIE or her land for me.

            Comment


              Scrooge is incredible. About the only "tradition" I've held onto from single life to married and now with a 4 year old daughter is to watch some variation of A Christmas Carol. Scrooged is right up towards the top 

              Comment


                After all the talk on the forum, I had to do it. Sat down this morning and watched DIE HARD. After my effusive praise for it, I was a little worried that maybe the film will have lost some of its charm. It happens sometimes and it's one of the dangers of revisiting favorite films as you get older. But, nope, this movie still rocks as much as I think it does. All the little character arcs play out so well and its so gratifying, which is especially interesting considering that the film was reportedly being rewritten during filming.

                I have an old DVD of the movie from the four-film "Ultimate Collection" and the picture looked pretty darn good, but it might be time to upgrade to the 4K. Anyways, I did go through some of the special features and from what I saw of it, it has an interesting "text commentary" that runs through the film as subtitles while the standard audio of the film plays and one of the interesting comments made, I believe from one of the writers or producers, was that in comparison to all the other action films during the time that were all about autonomous proactive heroism of the individual, John McClane actually spends the first act of the film trying to get help. While it's something that I understood subconsciously, it had never dawned on me in that specific manner and, as the commentary suggests, really helps ground the film.

                So, thanks for giving me the motivation to dust off the old DVD disc and give it another spin!

                Comment


                  Re-watched It's a Wonderful Life. Still 5 out of 5 stars for me.

                  I just love this movie and enjoy watching it over the holiday season.
                  Looking for the fonting of youth.

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by Ben Staad View Post
                    Re-watched It's a Wonderful Life. Still 5 out of 5 stars for me.

                    I just love this movie and enjoy watching it over the holiday season.
                    My wife and I sat down to actually watch the movie (you know, instead of just allowing it to play as background noise on whatever channel was showing it) and I really, truly liked the movie. It is a little overly sentimental, but that's also part of the charm. Christmas is a time to be sentimental and the movie definitely fits the bill.

                    Comment


                      My wife wanted to watch one of her favorite Christmas movies yesterday, so we sat down for our almost-annual rewatch of the Kate Winslet/Cameron Diaz rom-com THE HOLIDAY. I've gone back and forth on the movie over the years, vacillating from loving it to thinking that it barely holds together, but I think that I finally settled on that it's a nice little confection of a movie. It does pretty much nothing new in the genre, but everyone is charming and charismatic, and the subplot with Eli Wallach's old screenwriter character is fun.

                      Another perennial holiday rewatch is LOVE ACTUALLY, but we forego it this year for a different film by writer/director Richard Curtis: ABOUT TIME. This film about a young man who discovers that the men is his family can travel through time is really buoyed by the cast. Domnhall Gleeson has quietly been moving up my list of favorite actors. I might not like everything that he is in, but I always find him interesting. LOVE ACTUALLY alum Bill Nighy always makes a film for me as he's just so darn fun to watch. And, really, Rachel McAdams should be a much bigger star than what she is. The movie might just be full of plot holes and the whole time travel mechanics are pretty much glossed over, yet I enjoyed it. And there was a pre-famous Margot Robbie in it as an extra bonus! If you like sentimental rom-com-ish movies, then you could do worse than this one.

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                        Picked-up "Mother's Day" on 4K via the Vinegar Syndrome Black Friday event. Had never seen it before and finally got around to watching it. Holy crap, that's a twisted movie. Definitely one of the better things that Troma has ever released. The disc also had fantastic special features, as is usual with VS releases. Had no idea of the film's ties to Friday the 13th until watching the commentary. Eli Roth also has a fantastic featurette regarding the movie, which helped me appreciate it even more. Overall, I'm glad that I finally got around to watching this film and get why it's considered a seminal horror movie.

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                          Went to see The Iron Claw the other night.

                          I really enjoyed it, though I think the pre-release Oscar hype is unwarranted.

                          As with any ‘inspired by a true story’ movie, there was a very liberal interpretation with the actual events portrayed in the film, and there was a lot to fit into a movie with a running time of just over 2 hours. I don’t think the movie was near as dark as the real life story it was trying to tell.

                          Still, all in all, I thought this was a pretty worthy effort to tell the story of the Von Erichs.

                          B

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by brlesh View Post
                            Went to see The Iron Claw the other night.

                            I really enjoyed it, though I think the pre-release Oscar hype is unwarranted.

                            As with any ‘inspired by a true story’ movie, there was a very liberal interpretation with the actual events portrayed in the film, and there was a lot to fit into a movie with a running time of just over 2 hours. I don’t think the movie was near as dark as the real life story it was trying to tell.

                            Still, all in all, I thought this was a pretty worthy effort to tell the story of the Von Erichs.

                            B
                            Good to hear this! I've been torn on seeing it or not as I'm not a Zach Efron guy at all. Enjoy wrestling in general and always found their story interesting/tragic. 

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by sholloman81 View Post

                              Good to hear this! I've been torn on seeing it or not as I'm not a Zach Efron guy at all. Enjoy wrestling in general and always found their story interesting/tragic.
                              My only reference for Zac Efron’s work before The Iron Claw was The Firestarter remake from a year or two ago, which was awful, and he was awful in it.

                              In TIC he comes off as, at least when speaking, very wooden and awkward, but I’m assuming that was what the director wanted to play the character of Kevin Von Erich.

                              They definitely played up the fact that Kevin was not as good on the mic or cutting promos as David was.

                              B

                              Comment


                                Nefarious. A+

                                I love dialogue driven movies and this one was just about perfect. A couple minor hiccups but overall a rock solid film. Original, smart, and intense. I wasn't convinced they could nail the ending but I think they did.
                                Looking for the fonting of youth.

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