Posts Tagged die hard

A Good Day To Die Hard Review: A Sin To The Franchise

a_good_day_to_die_hard_bruce_willis_jai_courtneyJohn McTiernan’s Die Hard ranks as one of my top five favorite movies of all time.  Subsequent sequels (Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Die Hard With A Vengeance, and Live Free Or Die Hard) have not been as good as the original but they are still good, fun action movies.  The main reason for that is Bruce Willis’ ability to keep the John McClane character consistent through them all.  So how does the fifth installment of the Die Hard franchise stack up?

A brief introduction to the plot of A Good Day To Die Hard is as follows:  When research on the whereabouts of his estranged son Jack (Jai Courtney) is going to be on trial in Russia, John McClane (Bruce Willis) catches a flight in an effort to mend their difference and support his son  in what should be a tough time.  Upon arrival John finds himself in familiar territory of explosions as he discovered his son was undercover for the CIA in an effort to prevent a scientist from being used in a nuclear heist.  But John arrival throws a wrench into the CIA’s plan and now the master of improvised crime fighting must aid his son in stopping the heist.  Click here for the trailer.

Some thought that choosing Len Wiseman to direct Live Free Or Die Hard was a risky choice but I think that skepticism will most definitely be silenced after what John Moore did with A Good Day To Die Hard.  I do not know where to begin to explain all the places that this movie failed.  Which is no surprise considering the guy directed Max Payne and Flight of the Phoenix.

A good place to star is with the story.  It never really explains why now is the time for John McClane to show interest in his son’s whereabouts.  Is there something wrong with Jack’s mother or sister? Or maybe John is planning on retiring and he wanted to tell Jack this so they could catch up?  No real reason is given.  Next when he gets to Russia and he sees his son in the midst of escaping a prison on the run from people trying to kill him John wants to stop and talk but when Jack refuses to talk John obliges himself into bumping bumpers with terrorists on the Russian streets he does not know.  Okay the driving in streets he does not know I will let slip because if I nit-picked on that I might as well nitpick on that in just about every action movie.


Perhaps the most glaring problem with the story is that the characters are not good.  I did not think it was possible but John McClane did not feel like John McClane.  He felt like some generic action character.  One of the things I liked most about McClane in the previous installments is that you could tell he was improvising by looking around seeing what he could utilize to his advantage.  But with this one there was none if that.  Him and his son would jump out a window on a without knowing what would be there to break their fall.  Which leads me to another character qualm I had with Jack, he is CIA and John is NYPD.  Who would you think would call the shots in Russia?

Last thing about the story then I will move on is the lack of a villain.  When my friends and I left the theater we talked about Willis and the action but when I asked them who the villain was there was a long pause before anyone could think of who it was.  Most of the movie there really is not a villain just the McClanes running from bad guys with guns but nothing to hate or fear about them.

Story aside, for how well choreographed the action scenes were they were poorly shot.  I could not stand the rapid zoom-ins and the snappy editing which is a shame because the car chase in the beginning was very exciting but it gives you a headache trying to piece together the action.  As weird as this may sound, the rest of the action was very CGI heavy that gave me the feeling of Moore trying to make this movie too big for its own good.


“Too big” is a phrase I rarely use especially when describing an action movie.  But when you look at the Die Hard franchise, that have a runtime of over two hours and they do not nearly reach the ridiculous action heights that A Good Day To Die Hard.  Well I guess Live Free Or Die Hard did but it just a better all around movie with a villain, story, and direction.  This installment runs just shy of an hour and forty minutes and it shows in the lack of development.  I think that is why I would describe it as too big because it all feels rushed to get through the plot just to show some more action.

Overall, A Good Day To Die Hard is a major let down.  Part of me wants a sixth Die Hard movie so the franchise does not end on such a sour note.  It does not feel like John McClane and the frequent old man on vacation jokes get stale quick.  I give A Good Day To Die Hard a 4/10 and that is being generous.

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RochPikey’s Most Anticipated Movies for 2013

After a stellar year in film in 2012 it is hard to believe 2013 could be as good if not better.  As of right now most of the trailers that are available are for movie being released in the first half of the year so it is really difficult to judge what movies I am most looking forward to some there is a mix of movies with and without trailers.  For the most part my ranking have are based on premise, individuals involved in the movie, and if they have a trailer that will undoubtedly have an influence.

Snitch_Poster_dwayne_the_rock_johnson_ric_roman_waugh(20)        Snitch

Dwayne Johnson is steadily becoming a really action hero.  Initial film appearances in The Mummy Returns and The Rundown were good but his recent roles in Fast Five and Faster show that he should be taken more seriously than just a wrestler turned actor.  Snitch has an interesting premise of a father going undercover for the DEA to prove his son’s innocence in an alleged drug deal.  But the real reason I am excited for this movie is because of its director, Ric Roman Waugh, who directed a great film called Felon.  Click here for the trailer and here for the IMDb page.

elysium_matt_damon_bald_team_america(19)        Elysium

This is the much anticipated follow up movie from Neill Blomkamp who did District 9District 9 was one of my favorite movies of 2009 and Elysium seems to be of the same sci-fi/action genre.  It is set far in the future in year 2159, where two classes (the very rich and the very poor) duke it out and the poor are lead by Max (Matt Damon) fighting for equality for the poor class.  What a liberal themed movie for a very liberal Matt Damon.  Earlier photos look like there is some great action and a very bald Matt Damon.  Click here for the IMDb page.

this_is_the_end_comedy_movie_poster_funny_actors(18)        This Is The End

Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride and more modern day comic favorites for audiences are all in this one… playing themselves?  Well I am sure their portrayals of themselves are kind of a satire but still great.  This Is The End is about said actors trying to survive apocalyptic conditions in James Franco’s humble abode.  I was not sure about this one initially but after the trailer this looks incredibly funny.  I thought Franco would be a one hit wonder with comedies after Pineapple Express but this looks awesome.  Click here for the uncensored trailed and here for the IMDb page.

 starbuck_movie_french_foreign_poster(17)       Starbuck

Starbuck is a French film that looks to be one of the top comedy/dramas of the year.  It about a man who upon finding out his girlfriend it pregnant that he is also the father to 142 other people as a result of artificial insemination.  What follows are lawsuits and a man trying to connect with all the children he did not know he had.  The premise is both funny and sad which is why I am drawn to wanting to see it.  The trailer makes it look like a lot of situational humor as he finds his “children” living their lives and the very real emotions that go along with it.  Here is the trailer and here is the IMDb page.

maniac_movie_poster_elijah_wood_killer_clip(16)        Maniac

Elijah Wood may be the lease intimidating or scary actor I have seen on screen even in Sin City.  So when I heard he would be playing a serial killer in the Maniac remake I just laughed.  But as pictures and trailers came out I bought more and more into it.  Earlier this week they also released the first 6 (six) minutes of Maniac on YouTube and holy crap does it look good.  It is shot in first person point of view from Wood’s character’s perspective which makes it eerie like early slasher films from the 70s and 80s.  While on the topic of the 70s and 80s it features a title track that feels right out of that era much like Drive.  I definitely got to check this one out.  Click here for the first 6 minutes of Maniac and here for the IMDb page.

machete_kills_movie_poster_danny_trejo_robert_rodriguez_lady_gaga_mel_gibson(15)        Machete Kills

Machete was the of the most fun theater experiences I have ever had.  Robert Rodriguez knows how to make a movie that entertains with great action and a good story all while mocking itself.  It is Danny Trejo’s best leading roll and I dare say Steven Segal’s best movie ever as the villain.  But Rodriguez has managed to top Segal by casting Mel Gibson as the bad guy and Charlie Sheen as the US President. WOW!  Plus as a straight guy I will watch any movie that has Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Amber Heard, Vanessa Hudgens, Sofia Vergara, Lady Gaga, and a much grown up Alex Vega.  This will be a guy’s guy movie.  Here is an interview with Gibson about Machete Kills and here is the IMDb page

the_iceman_movie_michael_shannon(14)        The Iceman

Michael Shannon is officially joining my list of actor that the general public does not know but should along with Tom Hardy and Ben Foster.  I cannot believe he did not get a nomination for Take Shelter and was the best part of Premium Rush.  In The Iceman he plays a man that does hits for mobs until he starts to make those decisions for himself.  Shannon is rocking some serious bad guy facial hair in this one and the classic mobster wet look.  It also stars James Franco, Chris Evans, Robert Davi, Winona Ryder, Stephen Dorff and Ray Liotta.  The trailer looks legit and here is the IMDb page.

pacific_rim_movie_guillermo_del_toro_monsters_alien_robots(13)        Pacific Rim

Guillermo del Toro might get my vote as the most imaginative director in the movie business.  I know a lot of his movies come from pre-existing material but he always puts his own signature on a lot of the elements.  Best example being his creature designs.  Pan’s Labirynth has some of the coolest looking creatures and I love what he did with the Hellboy movies.  The first one is one of my top five comic book based movies.  Pacific Rim does what sci-fi fans have dreamed about, pinning giant robots controlled by humans against monstrous aliens.  Check out the cool trailer here and the IMDb page here.

john_dies_at_the_end_movie_poster_drugs(12)        John Dies At The End

If when this movie comes out and people complain about reviews spoiling ending I will be sad for the human race.  The title flat out saying how the movie should end and if it does not end that way I will claim false advertising (kidding).  Title aside John Dies At The End sounds crazy with drugs from another world that mutate people after a psychological trip that is really a trip.  It stars Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, and Paul Giamatti who pick really good scripts.  Plus the trailer really suggests that this movie will be a blast to watch.  Click here for the trailer and here for the IMDb page.

insidious_chapter_2_movie_james_wan(11)        Insidious Chapter 2

This is the sequel to 2010’s Insidious which was one of the most chilling PG-13 horror movie experiences I have ever had in a theater.  The music made my hair stand on end and there were some legit jump scares.  Many who did not like it found it to be a rip off of Poltergeist and I completely see their argument.  These same critics must also admit that the sequel that followed Poltergeist was utter garbage compared to its predecessor.  I believe that if Insidious Chapter 2 comes out and delivers that same experience as the first movie, those critics can shove their complaints up their asses.  I do not know too much about the plot of the sequel but look forward to it none the less.  Click here for the IMDb page.

star_trek_into_darkness_benedict_cumberbatch(10)        Star Trek Into Darkness

Poke holes in the time travel of J.J. Abraham’s Star Trek and how it impacts the franchise all you want, that movie was shockingly good.  I have always preferred Star Trek to Star Wars by a slight margin but this movie extended that gap with how fun it was.  Great casting especially Karl Urban and Simon Pegg made the movie now add the screen presence of Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain to make Star Trek Into Darkness sound potentially epic.  Cumberbatch was hands down the best thing about Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy (at least I thought so) and if rumors are true that he is Khan… look out.  Click here for the trailer and here for the IMDb page.

warm_bodies_zombie_romance_comedy(9)          Warm Bodies

I have come to realize that horror comedies are one of my favorite genres after seeing movies like Shaun of the Dead, Tucker & Dales Vs. Evil, Zombieland, and Behind the Mask:  The Rise of Leslie Vernon.  Thrown in a love story that is more in the forefront of the movie rather than a side plot and you have Warm Bodies.  A zombie that falls in love with a girl works to become less dead and more human.  This seems like a new take on the zombie genre which needs some variety.  I admittedly am not a fan of traditional zombie movies which is why I could care less about Brad Pitt’s World War Z.  Click here for the trailer and here for the IMDb page

oblivion_tom_cruise(8)          Oblivion

There are a lot of scif/action/thrillers coming out next year but this one takes the cake for me.  The main reason for that is there is still a lot of mystery what exactly it is about.  It stars Tom cruise as the last man on a desolate earth as a repairmen for drone when mysterious pods land containing what appear to be human beings.  At least that is what I gathered from the trailer.  It looks like a complex thriller which I am a big fan of since they really do a great job of showing a lot in the trailer but it is difficult to piece together what is going on.  Plus one of the writers is writing the new Star Wars movie so Oblivion could be a good indicator about how that will turn out.  Here is the trailer and here is the IMDb page.

the_worlds_end_edgar_wright_simon_pegg_nick_frost_comedy(7)          The World’s End

Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost are back together after Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz for The World’s End.  The premise on the IMDb is: “Five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from 20 years earlier unwittingly become humankind’s only hope for survival.”  The key word in that premise is unwittingly.  There is no question that Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are some of the wittiest comedy of the last decade.  I do not think I need to say more, I just love British comedies.  Here is the IMDb page.

ripd_movie_ryan_reynolds_jeff_bridges_kevin_bacon(6)          R.I.P.D.

Premise is pretty sweet, a murdered cop joins a supernatural police force called the Rest in Peace Department (RIPD) and seek out his murderer.  Sounds cool but what makes me really excited are the actors involved.  Mary-Louise Parker and Ryan Reynolds are good but I have always wanted to see Kevin Bacon and Jeff Bridges in a movie together.  I know that sounds like an odd combo but those two I just really enjoy on screen so to finally see them together has me pumped.  Random side-note too, Mike O’Malley is in it and I loved him in CBS’ Yes, Dear as Jimmy Hughes.  Not too much is out yet about this one so all I got is the IMDb page.

odd_thomas_movie_dean_koontz_stormy(5)          Odd Thomas

No one is talking about the Odd Thomas movie and I am okay with that.  Odd Thomas is based off a Dean Koontz novel about a young man that has a sixth sense to talk to the dead that must use his gift to prevent a hold tragedy from taking place.  I know it does not sound too original but it is an interesting story about an interesting character.  Odd Thomas is a short order cook by day and a paranormal detective by night.  He is going to be played by Anton Yelchin (perfect choice), his love interest Stormy Llewellyn will be played by Addison Timlin, Willem DaFoe is chief of police Wyatt Porter, Patton Oswalt as his friend/mentor Ozzie, and Shuler Hensley as the mysterious Fungus Man/Bob Robertson.  It is a great book that will hopefully be a great movie.  Here is the IMDb page.

the_conjuring_movie_warrens_vera(4)          The Conjuring

James Wan may be the best horror movie director in recent years.  Saw and Insidious must be in the list of top ten horror movies of the last decade and in interviews you can see his passion for the genre.  That aside this is about the original paranormal investigators Ed and Larraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) who investigated many paranormal events including the events that inspired The Amityville Horror.  Wan has voice his excitement for this movie and doing the Warrens justice especially after he personally met with Lorraine Warren.  I ranked this one ahead of Insidious Chapter 2 is primarily because sequels are rarely are better than the first movie and The Conjuring is its own movie.

dead_man_down_colin_farrell_niels_arden_oplev(3)          Dead Man Down

Niels Arden Oplev’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in 2009 is the superior movie adaptation of the novel in my opinion even if it is only by a slight margin.  Naturally when I heard he would be working once again with Noomi Rapace I immediately got pumped up for it.  Then I heard it had Colin Farrell and Terrence Howard who are two major screen presences.  Finally I saw the trailer and this movie looks amazing.  It has looks stylish with these vibrant colors and appears to be a taut thriller.  Noomi Rapace I think will nail the damsel in distress that is has a vengeful agenda that deviously black mails Colin Farrell’s character.  Plus I think she is gorgeous.  And ever since seeing In Bruges if Colin Farrell does a movie I will see it.  That movie proved the quality actor he can be if given the right role and in Dead Man Down his character Victor seems to be in the same desperate position.  Here is the trailer and here is the IMDb page.

a_good_day_to_die_hard_bruce_willis_jai_courtney(2)          A Good Day To Die Hard

Bruce Willis gets may vote as the greatest action movie star of all time because in addition to kicking ass the guy can actually act too.  His action stardom began when he took on the role of John McClane in John McTiernan’s Die Hard and even though sequels seem to depreciate as they come out, Live Free or Die Hard was still a good movie.  This time around we get to see what his other offspring, Jack McClane is up to taking on Russian villain once again but these Russian have nuclear weapons.  This New York cop keeps getting bigger and bigger cases.  By the way, his son Jack is played by Jai Courntey who was the best part of Jack Reacher as one of the henchman for the lead villain.  Click here for the trailer and here for the IMDb page.

stoker_movie_poster_chan_wook_park(1)          Stoker

Oldboy may be the most original and thought provoking movies I have ever seen.  The ending should go down as one of the most insane endings ever.  I was grossed out, disturbed, and “oh man… that sucks!”  It is not a movie I can watch over and over but I am glad I saw it.  Oldboy’s director Chan-wook Park is also directing Stoker which I am hoping will have the same feel of eerie revenge.  Nicole Kidman looks to be taking on a character that is darker than any character I have ever seen her play before.  Mia Wasikowska, as pretty as she is, looks creepy and cold as India Stoker that will hopefully be a defining role for her.  Gives off a female Dexter vibe mixed with Javier Bardem’s character Anton Chigurh from No Country For Old Men.  I mean that as a compliment of course.  Here is the trailer and here is the IMDb page.

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