• Like McTiernan’s 1987 entry, Predator, Die Hard is an updated (and modified) western. Instead of The Magnificent Seven (seven samurai) it’s Shane here in many ways
  • Clichés are clichés for a reason and Die Hard would go on to be so influential to the action genre that it may seem cliché now—but it isn’t—it’s an architype – a standard and the premise has been copied a hundred time sense (DP Jan de Bont did it pretty well himself in speed)
  • Pure good and pure evil—much like Shane with Ladd and Palance—we have Willis and Rickman here
  • Gorgeous use of 65mm for special effects- including the slow-motion death from falling shot (so well done) with Rickman
  • It’s not Bergman or anything intellectual, but I think it’s smarter than most critics give it credit for. I don’t think it’s a coincidence or lazy that it’s the 80’s and all these terrorists want is money
  • Willis became a star and his performance here is deserving. He’s an everyman who is cool and witty. “Does it sound like I’m ordering a fucking pizza?”-haha
  • Very smart narrative addition to have Reginald VelJohnson as the cop who Willis talks to and becomes friends with
  • There are still a handful of cheeseball “thanks for the advice” one liners and even poor Willis’ wife is falling to her death nearly while her husband is delivering a one-liner
  • Willis is brilliant but Rickman is equally masterful—the film doesn’t work as well without those two in lead
  • Paul Gleason (principal from breakfast club) has some good comedic lines as does the dueling FBI agents both named Johnson (Robert Davi and Grand Bush)
  • Hart Bocher as “Ellis” is pure comedic genius as well
  • Very smart to set this film in Xmas- it feels grounded to have it during the Christmas holiday, at a holiday party, “Ho Ho Ho” line by Rickman and Run-DMC “Christmas in Hollis” song
  • Lens flare galore here- pre JJ Abrams
  • Haven’t seen glass breaking like this since the Joanna Cassidy death in Blade Runner
  • Countless “cowboy” references (including a John Wayne reference and one during climax) which helps my McTiernan as modern day western director theory
  • There are some plotting issues- Willis checks the building directory clearly to show that she’s now going by her maiden name…. it’s a set up—the guard then says they’re the only ones left in the
  • During the finale it’s absolutely ingenious to have Willis tape the gun to his skin—I thought it was/is brilliant
  • Must-See top five of the year quality- probably closer to HR than Masterpiece