‘Die Hard’ Gets a 4K Upgrade for its 30th Anniversary

VANAPHASE™ the Vanadium powerhouse!

Die Hard Blu-ray

One of the greats of the action genre, John McTiernan’s Die Hard turns 30 this year. The movie that made Bruce Willis a movie star and spawned four sequels of wildly varying quality returns to Blu-ray with a 30th anniversary edition that takes us back to Nakatomi Plaza. However, there’s not much new to this 30th anniversary edition; it’s the exact same edition of the film that was previously released by Fox Home Entertainment. If you already own Die Hard, there’s nothing new here for you to make the double dip unless you’re wanting to upgrade to the 4K edition.

In its early stages of development, Die Hard wasn’t anything similar to the action-thriller we know and love today. In 1966, novelist Roderick Throp scored a hit with The Detective. It was adapted into a film in 1968 with Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra, playing the lead of Joe Leland. In 1979, Thorp wrote a sequel, Nothing Lasts Forever, which after a number of different iterations would eventually morph into Die Hard. A clause in Sinatra’s Detective contract obligated that any sequel be offered to Sinatra, meaning the 73-year-old entertainer was offered the lead in Die Hard. Eventually, 20th Century Fox was able to secure John McTiernan as the director, Jeb Stuart and Stephen E. de Souza to write the script, and got Bruce Willis to star as John McClane, the New York City cop who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Willis was considered a gamble in the lead role. He wasn’t considered an action star. The rising star was only known for his work on the TV show Moonlighting, which highlighted his comedic chops and not his ability to convincingly take down a high rise full of terrorists. Here is a gamble that paid off handsomely for everyone involved. Die Hard was an instant smash that reshaped the action genre. Bruce Willis was propelled to superstardom and became an action movie icon. 20th Century Fox had what would become a franchise, one that 30 years later is still a money maker with a fifth sequel rumored to be in development.

Die Hard spawned more imitators than most movies. “Die Hard on a…” became shorthand for action pitches. Speed was Die Hard on a bus. Sudden Death was Die Hard in a hockey arena. Under Siege was Die Hard on a battleship. White House Down was Die Hard in the White House. Die Hard 2: Die Harder was Die Hard in an airport.

Every knockoff and every Die Hard sequel (with the exception of With a Vengance) forgets what makes Die Hard so unique in its genre and why it continues to endure – vulnerability. John McClane has become synonymous with action hero tough guy, but in the 1988 original he’s much more fragile than you remember. McClane is vulnerable physically and emotionally on a level that’s rarely seen in these kind of macho shoot ‘em ups. Not only is the hero vulnerable because of his bare feet, but he’s emotionally vulnerable because of an uneasy reunion with his estranged wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia).

Counteracting the wounded everyman nature of John McClane is the educated villain Hans Gruber, played by the late great Alan Rickman. The role of Gruber was Rickman’s first major film role. As McClane navigates Nakatomi Plaza barefoot and improvising with each unexpected twist and turn thrown his way, Gruber is operating by a meticulous plan. The protagonist and antagonist operate as oil and water in their respective roles. There’s no ambiguity in the difference between these two, which makes their climactic showdown all the more fun when McClane is out of options and improvises a daring victory.

Die Hard is also great because it’s one of those movies that is overflowing with memorable characters in smaller roles. Hart Bocher as the coked-out would-be corporate raider Ellis leaves a remarkable impression in his short sniffle-filled scenes. Sergeant Al Powell (Reginald VelJohnson) provides McClane with a sidekick he’s never met, a confidante who has to deal with the more bureaucratic law enforcement honchos (played memorably by Paul Gleason, Robert Davi, and Grand L. Bush). Argyle the limo driver (played by De’voreaux White) is one of those roles that would be practically anonymous in most films and yet he’s not only crucial to the plot but full of personality that leaves an impression. As the most memorable of Hans Gruber’s henchmen, Alexander Godunov chews the scenery as the menacing, vengeance-seeking Karl and Clarence Gilyard, Jr. has his scene stealing moments as the wisecracking techie dismantling the security systems at Nakatomi.

It’s been 30 years since John McClane first figured out what TV dinner feels like, and Die Hard still feels as fresh and thrilling as the first time it screened. It’s an iconic movie that has only grown in stature over the years. Of course, part of its increased relevance is the instance by people every year to remind everyone who never asked that Die Hard is a Christmas movie – yes, it is and so is Lethal Weapon, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and a few other action classics (some of which were not written by Shane Black). Die Hard is a great movie that transcends its genre, and it’ll be talked about for at least another 30 years.

YogaOutlet.com

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Solo Press Conference
The Cast and Crew of ‘Solo’ Discuss Making a Different Kind of ‘Star Wars’ Movie

There was a sense of relief when the cast and crew...

Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life
Steve Martin and Martin Short Shine in ‘An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life’

Steve Martin and Martin Short have worked together quite a few...

Explained Netflix
Netflix and Vox Team Up for Documentary Series ‘Explained,’ Explained

Vox started in 2014 as a website with an expressed goal...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Coffee Crisis Interview with C# Developer Nick Mann

Check out our Coffee Crisis Interview with C# Developer Nick Mann...

A World’s First by Worlds Adrift! – Launching on Early Access

Upcoming PC game, Worlds Adrift, is launching players into the sky...

First Major Hunt: Showdown Content Update Now Live On Steam

The first major Hunt: Showdown content update is now live on Steam and...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Action Comics No. 1000 gets a Super-Sized Deluxe Edition Release

From DC Comics – Burbank, CA – (April 30, 2018) –...

7.5/10
‘The Prisoner #1’ is an Intricate and Entertaining Tale of Intrigue

The Prisoner #1 Story by: Peter Milligan Art by: Colin Lorimer Coloring by: Joana...

Comic Legend Stan Lee Sued Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations by Massage Therapist

From Canyon PR – CHICAGO – Apr. 23, 2018 – Maria...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Work-Play Lens
High-Tech Meets High Fashion in GUNNAR Optiks New Work-Play Lens

GUNNAR Optiks partners with Publish to release new Work-Play Lens that...

Keep Your Gear from Not Feeling So Good – Infinity War Skins Review

Skinit goes for the head with their Avengers: Infinity War skins –...

Spring/Summer 2018: adidas Sports Updates Line of Mobile Accessories

April 2018 — adidas Sport launches collection of lightweight products designed to...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Showtime to Air ‘Bipolar Rock ‘N’ Roller’ Mauro Ranallo Doc on May 25th

From Bellator MMA and Showtime – New York – April 30,...

Bas Rutten Talks Kicking Opioid Addiction with the Help of Receptra CBD Oil

  One of the most decorated MMA champions and UFC Hall...

Roxy Astor Meets With GLOW…the Netflix Version

As much as people love drama, there was nothing but love...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Adult Continuity Issue #13 – Avengers XXX – A porn parody

I review AvengersXXX and make masturbation jokes. Be smart with your Fapdollar(tm);...

Comics on the can – Black Panther (Priest run) Issue #46

Comics on the can muses about Black Panther during Priest's legendary...

MissionFest Wine, Craft Beer and Food Festival Takes Place 4th of July Weekend

MissionFest™ Wine, Craft Beer, Food and Music Festivals, combines two great...

Event News Event Reviews
KOEI TECMO America Announces Dead or Alive EVO Showdown 2018

KOEI TECMO America Announces Dead or Alive EVO Showdown 2018, A Celebration...

The Music Tastes Good Volume III Line Up Has Been Announced

Music Tastes Good Volume III, presented by 89.9 KCRW, Line Up has...

free comic book day
Free Manga from VIZ Media for Free Comic Book Day

TLDR: VIZ Media will provide free manga samplers on Free Comic...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming. Related

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Rising Country Music Artist Kaylin Roberson Talks About her work with St. Jude

Kaylin Roberson is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Raleigh, North...

MTV Unveils Performers for ‘TRL Live’ on October 3rd at 3 p.m. E.T.

NEW YORK, NY (September 26, 2017) – MTV today announced that...

Long Beach Punk Band ‘Spider’ Rocks ‘It’s Not Dead’ Festival

Spider is a heavy hitting punk band out of Long Beach,...

%d bloggers like this: