Tag Archives: Die Hard

A Good Day to Die Hard: Newest Trailer, Yippee ki-yay Mother Russia!

So it was just a couple weeks ago that we got the first teaser for A Good Day to Die Hard – And I loved it. The Christmas music and the 007 comparisons – classic. Well, now we’ve got a bit more. As you’re about to see John is in Russia, presumably looking for his son. We get some Lucy, who figures to be little more than a cameo, but at least she’s there.

Anyhow, have a look…

Continue reading A Good Day to Die Hard: Newest Trailer, Yippee ki-yay Mother Russia!

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First Trailer – “A Good Day to Die Hard”

Today marked the release of the first trailer for the upcoming 5th installment of the Die Hard franchise. Set for release on Valentine’s Day 2013, this will be a better present than any box of chocolates. What we know is that McClane heads to Russia to bail his son out of trouble, this will be met with explosions and one-liners. Not sold yet? Check out the trailer, when ‘Ode to Joy’ starts playing you’ll remember why you should be excited for this movie…

Continue reading First Trailer – “A Good Day to Die Hard”

Dr. Kronner’s Joy: THE EXPENDABLES 2

I was born in 1983, which means that by the time I was old enough to watch and actually understand what was happening in movies, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone were the 2 biggest names in Hollywood. Those two were churning out some of the greatest action movies of all time, stuff like Predator, Conan, Terminator, the Rambo series, and the Rocky movies. However, they were also rolling out crap like Cobra and Red Heat too. As young as I was, I couldn’t really tell which ones were destined to be remembered as classics and which were fated to be forgotten (Raw Deal? Lock Up?) but I loved all of them. I was just a kid, but I can remember many an evening spent on the couch with the old man watching Rocky IV or The Running Man and through that, I grew attached to the genre and its stars. The action movies of the era were totally over the top (get it?) and I couldn’t get enough.

the expendables 2Here is Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Willis back when Bruce was still wearing hats everywhere to hide his hairline. This particular one he probably got from the ‘Hudson Hawk’ set…

As the ’80s came to a close, a third action icon would emerge – Bruce Willis. His breakthrough role in Die Hard, still arguably the greatest action movie in existence, placed him rightfully in the conversation with Arnold and Sly, and for years, that was the hierarchy. But, as with every hero, age took its toll. Stallone did Cliffhanger in ’93 and Arnold had True Lies in ’94, but after that they both turned out a series of near unwatchable garbage – The Specialist, Assassins, Daylight, End of Days, Collateral Damage, The 6th Day – the list goes on and on. While Willis would find success in a few more Die Hard movies, even he started to shy away from the genre for a while. That is until 2006 when Stallone, desperate for a hit, went back to the role that made him with Rocky Balboa. At 60 years old, he proved he could still draw audiences and he repeated the feat 2 years later with a 4th Rambo movie. Suddenly, the gears started turning and the movie I had prayed for 20 years earlier began to take shape…

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In 2010, Stallone started recruiting his aging contemporaries to make a star-studded action movie that revolved around the idea that they could all still fire guns and blow shit up, and it was great. Ok, so maybe not ‘great’, but it was entertaining as hell and pure nostalgia was often enough to power you through the weak dialogue and thin plot. Then on Thursday night, August 16th, at about 11:55 pm, I loaded myself into a theater seat and got ready for the sequel to begin. I was not disappointed.

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This time around, we were given not only Stallone (66) and Jason Statham (45) again, as well as much larger roles for Willis (57) and Schwarzenegger (65), but we also get the return of Jet Li (49), Dolph Lundgren (55), Randy Couture (49), and Terry Crews (44). Not to mention the inclusion of Chuck Norris (72 years old!), Thor’s little brother (22), and a 52 year old JCVD! It was awesome. Norris told a ‘Chuck Norris’ joke while going by the moniker ‘Lone Wolf’ (like Lone Wolf McQuade), Van Damme did multiple roundhouse kicks as the villain named ‘Vilain’, and Dolph Lundgren’s backstory was that of his real life – a chemical engineering degree from MIT…it’s like Stallone was writing the script while watching an action marathon on SpikeTV and reading Wikipedia.

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The movie also featured Nan Yu, who’s mostly Chinese resume I’m unfamiliar with. While she wasn’t bad, I would’ve gone with Maggie Q instead. With her resume already boasting adrenaline fueled flicks like Live Free or Die Hard, Mission Impossible: III, and the action-packed TV show Nikita, it just felt like a missed opportunity to grab the biggest cast they could. However, Nan Yu probably has more global pull and that could be why the decision was made. That being said, Yu did kick some ass in here.

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This was a movie that didn’t take itself too serious and delivered on the action. There were a few parts that might have come off as cheesy dialogue-wise, and it’s doubtful many people under the age of 18 could really appreciate most of the references, but for me, at the wise age of 29 – I was thrilled. The Expendables 2 delivered exactly what was promised and didn’t try to be something it wasn’t. The ‘R’ rating is barely warranted as the language wasn’t super harsh, there were zero female chesticles exposed (as Aaron pointed out), and much of the violence was so stylized it wasn’t intensely gory.

There is also something I want to give them credit for – something that seems to be a lost art form in most newer action movies – HOLDING THE GODDAMN CAMERA STILL!  Ever since Spielberg wow’d everyone in ’98 with the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan, directors have been shaking the camera around so much you can’t tell what is happening. Perfect example would be ALL of the Bourne sequels. This time around the camera stayed stationary long enough for us to actually see the action happen – so thank you Simon West (Con Air, The Mechanic).

Overall, while the plot was a little thin and, quite often, the characters just seem to appear out of nowhere for the purpose of delivering a one-liner, this movie was a fun ride, and I think trumped the first movie easily. I give it 4/5 Grizzlies for delivering on its intended purpose and staying fun.

 

Despite the movie only being out a day in its spread its seed of unabashed 80s magnificence, there are already rumors that for the 3rd movie Harrison Ford, Clint Eastwood, and Nic Cage are all wanted.

the expendables 2As sweet as Eric Roberts and JCVD were in the first 2 movies, Nic Cage could be the greatest villain since Hans Gruber if written correctly (Editor’s Note: Honestly, he’d be the best villain ever if written incorrectly, which is what I’m rooting for.-C Tan)PUT HIM IN A BEAR SUIT!!!

Personally, I’d like to maybe see Linda Hamilton or Sigourney Weaver pop up as they were the baddest ass action heroines around when I was a kid. You could also see if Uma is busy, let her do some more sword play as it will have been over a decade since Kill Bill

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And, it may just be my movie-riddled mind drawing connections where there are none – but I spotted references to all the following movies – did anyone catch one that I missed?

– Good Guys Wear Black (1978)
– Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
– Conan the Barbarian (1982)
– First Blood (1982)
– Lone Wolf McQuade (1983)
– The Terminator (1984)
– Die Hard (1989)
– Total Recall (1990)

I’m sure there are more, I just have to go see it again…

The Expendables 2 – 2 AM Text Review

My buddy Aaron is a bartender for a certain movie theater here in Michigan, and on occasion, the theater will have advanced screenings for movies the Wednesday night prior to the film’s release. Well early this Thursday morning I got a few texts from my good friend about his thoughts on Stallone’s newest epic one-liner fest…

Aaron: It’s 2am and I just saw expendables 2 so you gotta wake up!  – 2:21 AM

Aaron: I’d hate to insult the definition of plot by saying this movie had one. It’s more like, simple reasons we’re about to kill these guys. – 2:22 AM

Aaron: That being said, it was the prefect kind of movie for a cheesy ass script.  – 2:22 AM

Aaron: Rambo, Die Hard, Terminator, even Chuck Norris jokes. Lots of action, average acting, some pretty good humor. – 2:24 AM

Aaron: Boob count: Zero. But I’ll give an award to Walker Texas Ranger for having the best kill.  – 2:25 AM

Aaron: 3.5 Grizzlies out of 5. Is that the scale? I don’t know. I’m tired. Leave me alone. Go to sleep. – 2:28 AM


For more of Aaron’s 2 AM Reviews – CLICK HERE!

A Good Day to Die Hard: Casting Updates and Why I’m Even More Excited Than I Was Yesterday…

The term ‘geek’ can be used or taken in a lot of different ways. Mostly though, it’s commonly used to describe someone with an abundance of knowledge on a particular subject, combined with a genuine love for said topic. For example, I could be easily referred to as a ‘Batman Geek’. I have a love for the mythology, I’m knowledgeable about the subject matter, and I’m passionate about what it all means to me. Perhaps that is why the abortion of a movie known as Batman and Robin is so painful for me to watch.

The Batman Mythos isn’t the only thing I geek out about however. There is another do-gooder that I find myself attached to as well – John McClane. Played by Bruce Willis and star of 4 Die Hard movies (with a cameo in Loaded Weapon 1), McClane was the ultimate ‘wrong time-wrong place’ guy. Through four movies he’s fought and defeated Hans Gruber, John Amos, Scar from the Lion King, and U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens – all the while, arguing with either his wife, his daughter, or Sam Jackson.

In addition to my love of Die Hard (and of Batman), I’ve also got what you might call an ‘uber-crush’ on one Ms. Mary Elizabeth Winstead. I mean, come on, who wouldn’t? So imagine my surprise when I first heard she had been cast to play Lucy McClane in 2007’s Live Free of Die Hard. She obviously owned the role, and I loved the movie and I believe her to be the most promising female movie star to come along in quite a while. Just look at her script selection – Black Christmas, Death Proof, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, The Thing, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – she picks the movies I would pick if I were her. So awesome.

So anyhow, when news broke of the impending 2013 Valentine’s Day release of the franchise’s fifth movie – A Good Day to Die Hard – I was pretty bummed that it seemed she wouldn’t be involved. And then today, news broke which indicates otherwise! Booyah! According to The Film Stage, Ms. Winstead spotted on the set in Budapest:

Now the extent of her role is not yet known, so it could be anywhere from an extended cameo, to an actual role, but her mere presence makes me swoon excited elated confident that I won’t be disappointed on Valentine’s Day.

In addition to this, we have some other casting updates, four of them actually. Cole Hauser (Pitch Black) will appear as a supporting villain, marking his 3rd time in a Bruce Willis movie, previously appearing in Hart’s War and Tears of the Sun. In addition to Mr. Hauser, we will be seeing Megalyn Echikunwoke who has a funny connection to the film. She played ‘Nicole Palmer’ during the first season of 24, and just a few years ago FOX was kicking around the idea of crossing over the 4th Die Hard movie with a 24 film launch, pairing up the wise-cracking John McClane with the ultra serious and stoic Jack Bauer. It would’ve been epic. ALSO cast was Amaury Nolasco (Southland) who most people will likely recognize from Prison Break. If that’s not enough, we’ll throw in Russian Model Anne Vyalitsyna just for good measure.

There is also a rumor that Captain Picard will be playing the villain in this newest installment, but it’s not yet confirmed…

Combine those four with Willis, Winstead, and Jai Courtney (John McClane Jr) and you’ve got a damn solid cast. Aside from casting, there is actually some other news as well. Director John Moore, whose resume ranges from ‘disappointing and mediocre’ to ‘down right effing terrible’ has been handed the reins to one of the greatest Action franchises ever, and I’m a little worried. But he talked to Empire and said something I found interesting:

EMPIRE: …this is a Die Hard movie, pure and simple. In other words, no glib jokes then? No “How can the same shit happen to the same guy five times…” lines?

MOORE: “No, because that’s preposterous! I don’t know whether it’s post-financial crash or whatever, but I don’t think people are in the mood for that bollocks anymore. People are well savvy to the cynical reheating of any product, any franchise. Any shit won’t do. The bar’s a bit higher.”

EMPIRE: But what about the fish-out-of-water element, with McClane in Moscow?

MOORE: “There are a couple of great gags and a couple of great McClanisms. It’s not like he this idiot, bumbling around Moscow making ‘America won the Cold War’ jokes. It’s not Carry On Die Hard, I can assure you…”

EMPIRE: And what about the scale of the movie? So far, each Die Hard has been bigger than the one before… 

MOORE: “The scope along goes from New York to Moscow. It’s very, very international. There’s a car chase through Moscow that’s taking us 78 days to shoot. So… yeah. That should answer your question!”

This movie could make John Moore, and I really hope it does, because that would mean it was good. If it sucks though, I’ll have to add him to a list with Paul WS Anderson (who ruined Alien vs. Predator) of Directors I won’t watch anymore.

Finally, we have some footage. And SPOILER ALERT – At some point John McClane will bleed…

And just for fun, here’s some history you might not have known. Keep in mind though, she is totally wrong in thinking that Die Hard 2 is better than Die Hard: With a Vengeance…

And for good measure…