Film Club – 09 December 2008: Die Hard

Last month we watched Superbad, which the writers first began writing in the early 90s, when they were just 13.  At that time, cinema was ruled by the Planet Hollywood triumverate of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis, and what better film to usher in the festive season than Willis’ seminal Die Hard?

Prior to this film, Bruce Willis was known primarily for his role in Moonlighting, which cast him as a loudmouthed detective (no change there then).  He was, in fact, shooting Moonlighting during the day, and Die Hard at night – tough work, but Die Hard alone was worth a then-astronomical $5million paycheck.

Although it’s probably overstating the case to say that Bruce Willis redefined the flawed, yet seemingly indestructible hero, Die Hard’s central formula of a maverick single-handedly saving the day in an enclosed space had a huge influence on the action cinema of the Nineties.  Die Hard on a boat, anyone?  On a planeIn an ice rink?

I haven’t seen it for a while, so I’m interested to see how the effects hold up; I’m assuming that they will look awesome in HD, particularly as in 1988 CGI was not as pervasive as it is now.  Those explosions were made by blowing stuff up, not clicking a mouse, and are all the better for it.  As the NYPD detective John McClane, Willis is all too human – a cynical, subborn hero – and the film’s excitement comes from his indefatigable attempts to overcome overwhelming odds.  This is a guy who sweats, curses and bleeds as much as the next man, and we root for his survival all the more because of it.

No discussion of Die Hard would be complete without a mention for the film’s counterweight; a fantastic performance from Alan Rickman as the villainous Hans Gruber.  In terms of scenery-chewing, the man has few equals, and every British actor who subsequently found him (or her)self called to Hollywood to add a bit of bite to the bad guy owes him a huge debt.

As always, we are getting things started at 6pm.  Haagen Dasz is provided, and if you would like to come, just let me know!

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008 Film Club

1 Comment to Film Club – 09 December 2008: Die Hard

  1. I agree. Die Hard has been copied by every writer in Hollywood. LOL I have even said this is Die Hard on a plane!

    We are excited to say that CFM reporter Suzanne Phillips met with Alan and talked with him about his latest movie “Noble Son”.

    Alan Rickman talks with CFM about “Noble Son”. Click here.

  2. Losille on December 4th, 2008

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