Friday, July 30, 2010

#38 - The Sixth Sense - 1999

The Sixth Sense was my 3rd movie I chose to watch this week and I forgot how phenomenal this movie was. I had only seen it previously two times before but one of those times was in 1999 when it came out at a Carmike Theaters in Raleigh, NC. I remember it vividly because how can you not with this film. At the time I didn't have a clue about M. Night Shyamalan or who he was but wow!! Below is my detailed review of this film.

The cast for this film was splendid and their acting for this movie was off the charts!! Bruce Willis who plays Dr. Malcolm Crowe was actually Shyamalan's first choice for this film and it was actually written with Willis in mind. Great choice!! 11 year old Haley Joel Osment was cast in the role as Cole Sear with his mother being played by Toni Collette. Collette was good so let me get that out of the way because we need to talk about Osment for a sec. Actually for an entire paragraph so let me finish the rest of this paragraph with other notable actors then dedicate the next paragraph to Osment because he deserves it. Olivia Williams plays Anne Crowe, Malcolm's wife and she is good for as good as one can be in a small role and her co-worker strikingly resembles Trevor on Army Wives but Glenn Fitzgeral who plays Sean is not Drew Fuller who plays that character in Army Wives but the resemblances are amazing. Rounding out the cast is Donnie Wahlberg who played Vincent Grey a paranoid former patient of Crowe's. Wahlberg lost 43lbs for this role and for an actor who is on screen for less than 5 minutes in the entire film you couldn't have gotten much of a better performance. He was brilliant in this short role and his performance really catapulted the start of this film. Excellent!!

Ok back to Osment. Rarely do I spend an entire paragraph on one actors performance but in this case it is necessary. You can expect something similar with Heath Ledger and his performance of the Joker in the Dark Knight later during this marathon. Osment is an 11 year old child who played the role of Cole Sear who was supposed to be 9 and in the early shots of the film he reminded me of a young Harry Potter with his outfits and large oversized glasses. Due to Osment's short height he obviously pulled it off without a problem. What was so unbelievable about his performance was how realistic and natural he was playing this role. In a weird odd way it was like he was born to play this role and no offense to Osment himself but no matter what else he does in his acting career he will always and I mean always be remembered as the child actor who amazed us all in the Sixth Sense, its that simple. From the scenes where he was frightened to the emotional conversations he had with his mother and Dr. Malcolm Crowe he was always completely and wholeheartedly believable, it was really amazing to watch. I have never seen a child actor perform like this before and probably never will, it was that wonderful. His Oscar Nomination was as deserved as any other that year and I have no doubt in my mind his performance was better than that years winner, Michael Caine who won for his performance in Cider House Rules but that's just my opinion.

There were a lot of reasons why I loved this movie but mostly it was the incredible performances and the amazing story that did it for me. The setting of this film wasn't anything extraordinary but it was good and the scares weren't frequent but instead perfectly timed with the flow of the film. Whether it be the shadow of Vincent Grey walking by in the opening sequence or the pink robed lady walking behind Cole while he was going to the restroom while at home they were perfectly placed in this film and although they were not in your face scare scenes when you think of watching a movie on the big screen in a big dark theater sometimes it is scenes like these that scare more than the in your face ones, the obvious ones. I remember in the theater the pink robed lady one getting me more than any other in the film. There was also the little dead girl (Misha Barton) puking in Cole's fort at his home and then later grabbing out at him from under her bed and those scenes were pretty darn creepy too. Who could forget the boy, looking to me like a young Brad Pitt, walking into Cole's room muttering, "c'mon, Ill show you where my Dad keeps his shotgun" while turning and exposing a huge blood spattered hole in his head. It was these type of scenes that made the movie so interesting and eerie.

The film included the line said by Osment "I see Dead People" which is continually on every list you can find of Top 100 film quotes ever. Easily one of the most notable quotes in the past 15 years and it was done so with such brilliant acting by both Osment and Willis so this scene is a classic in every sense of the word. I loved Cole and Malcolm's bond throughout the film and it was highlighted in a scene where Cole saw old townsfolk from the 1800's hanging in the halls of his school. This scene was amazing on so many levels. The acting, the creepy factor of the people hanging all with their eyes open, and the sheer panic by Cole to have Malcolm make them go away. It was scenes like these that really blew me away just like when Cole gave the dead girl's Dad a videotape showing that the mother purposely poisoned her. The scan on the actors faces and capturing that moment was awesome. I know I sound like a broken record but it was so believable and that made it so much more scary.

There were so many great scenes in this film it is hard to list some favorites but here goes. Obviously the "I see dead people" one is up there at the top but I think my favorite one was the emotional conversation Cole had with his mom in their car while stuck in traffic due to a car accident. Cole revealed his secret with her and in an extremely incredible scene he speaks of his Gma and proves to his mother he has a unique ability to speak with the dead. I was surprised to see myself get teary eyed while watching this scene last night but I did at a particular moment in this scene. If you've seen the movie and remember this scene I'm sure you'll know which one I am speaking of. In any matter it was one of my favorites. Not necessarily a favorite scene but one I enjoyed was how Shyamalan gave a slow motion process for the scene where Cole's mom pulls him out from inside a storage space while at a birthday party. It enhanced the scene in my mind and made it much more dramatic.

There were other elements Shyamalan used that I liked and one that I learned in film classic back in college that is a specific sign of danger in movies, the color red. There were a lot of instances where the color red was highlighted in this film. The door handle in Malcolm's house, the balloon at the party, Cole's sweatshirt he wore at the birthday party, the roses at the dead girls funeral reception, and the blanket that provides the roofing for Cole's fort in his room. Shyamalan also has a cameo in this film as he does in all his films and it is playing the doctor who see's Cole after the storage closet incident at the birthday party.

Watching this movie for the third time really gave a different perspective and it was nice that I hadn't seen it for at least 7 or 8 years. I mean its obvious that anytime you ever see it after that first time it will be different but seeing it this week really reminded me of how excellent this film was. The twist at the end was spectacular and I wont mention it here in this blog because lets be honest if you have seen the film you know it anyways and if you haven't I don't want to give it away. This is one of those that you definitely don't want to overhear the ending if you have never seen it, its a shocker! Not much wrong with this film, not anything at all that I can think of so the string of A level grade films continue, for this one it is easily and A+!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

#37 - The Game - 1997

The 2nd film I chose to watch this week was The Game with Michael Douglas. This movie came out in 1997 as well and I am quickly learning that 1997 was one hell of a year for movie releases. There were some darn good movies released that year! This film was directed by David Fincher which I just released and I shouldn't be surprised why I liked it so much now, he did the movie Se7en, arguably my favorite movie of all time!

The cast and crew in the Game was good but really there is only one actor worth naming and no I am not saying this just because the actor with the co-starring role is named Sean Penn, its true, only one actor needs to be mentioned, Michael Douglas. In a role which designates the main star to be on camera in more than 95% of the shots you better have a good one, and they did in Douglas. He was sensational in this film and is it just me or does he play like the best wealthy actor ever?? I mean I can name 5 movies without blinking that he has starred in which he was portraying a wealthy individual. Maybe that is why he is so good at these roles.

Douglas plays Nicholas Van Orten, a San Francisco banker who is basically a loner and a recluse. The film started out showing 8mm film of Nick with his father and then showed scenes after his father's death which he jumped to and commited suicide on his 48th birthday. We see Nick meet up with his brother on his birthday, which just happens to be his 48th and his brother, Conrad (the slimeball Sean Penn) gives him a Happy Birthday greeting card which in it has a flyer for CRS (Consumer Recreation Services). Not very interested at first Nick kind of puts it to the side but intrigue gets the better of him and he eventually goes to see what it is about.

Douglas has a way of being funny without even trying. Some of the lines he used in this film like "humor me with specifics" and "I haven't been to Sunday School in awhile", a woman says "your shoes cost $1000 and he replies", "that one did" were so funny to me in relevance to the scenes in which he said it. You have to see it to fully understand it but he is one funny dude even when not trying to be.

The plot of this story was very intriguing and well written. This film was 128 minutes so when you get to almost 2 hours and 10 minutes you've got to keep the audience interested and Fincher did that rather easily if I might say so myself, at least for me. Once Nick's game started it never let up and it only got more interesting, scary, and dangerous as time went by. One thing that I really loved was the suspenseful piano music during certain scenes through the film. It captured that scene in all its suspense and creepiness and really added a lot to the film.

The setting of this film takes place in San Francisco and while it is really not all the important to the structure or flow of this film they did take advantage of the long steep narrow streets and roads in SF for some shots in this film. What I really liked though were the off the wall crazy scenes where Nick walks into his mansion that has been broken into only to find loud music blasting and neon colored graffiti sprayed all across his interior walls. Then there was the scene where Nick and a female waitress were in the back of an ambulance and once they reached the ER at the hospital within seconds, literally seconds, everything shuts down, the lights, automatic doors, etc and the two are left to find their way out. The eeriness of empty wheelchairs rolling was quite odd to see.

One thing I will always remember when thinking about this film is the clown that basically started his game. He first noticed it in his driveway placed sorta like his dad after he jumped to his death. After seeing it was simply a decoration or doll he moved it into the house where there was a very odd exchange between a TV news anchorman and Nick himself. This was very clever and a very strange scene in the film but it made you wonder how they did it, forget I don't want to know, its a movie, I enjoyed it so lets move on.

From the excellent performance by Douglas to the very unique storyline and the obvious suspense aspect of this film I would have to say I really really enjoyed this film. I think some was a bit over the top and unbelievable but it is a movie so those things usually need to be taken into perspective. Considering everything I felt this movie was done exceptionally well and I would easily give it an A-!

#36 - Kiss the Girls - 1997

Its Mystery/Suspense week for my Movie Marathon and although I am not sure that this week can live up to last week's grade's, heck I'm not sure if any week can, but it sure does include some good ones and is sure to be a great week of movies, again. The 1st movie I chose to watch this week was Kiss The Girls. This was a great one to start the week because it had several different elements to it that I loved and that were unique to me at a certain point in my life. Below is my detailed review.

Kiss the Girls stars Morgan Freeman as Dr. Alex Cross a Washington DC Detective and book writer who travels to North Carolina to help in the investigation of the kidnapping of his niece, Namoi. This movie also stars Ashley Judd as Dr. Kate McTiernan and Cary Elwes as Det. Nick Ruskin and Tony Goldwyn as Dr. Will Rudolph. Obviously Elwes is mostly known for his role in the Princess Bride and Goldwyn for his role as the villain friend in Ghost. This film also included Jeremy Piven in a small and very brief role as LAPD Henry Castillo. It is rumored that Denzel Washington was originally offered the role but did not take it and I'm glad because as good as Denzel is I believe Freeman is actually a better actor and it wouldnt have been quite as good with Denzel, no offense.

This movie had several different things that I really liked about it besides the action which was overall pretty good however Judd was not half as good in this film as she was in Double Jeopardy. Freeman though is always an all star in all his roles and this was no different. The other elements about this film that I enjoyed was the plot, the setting in which this film took place, and the fact that parts of it, actually the majority of it was filmed in North Carolina! It was filmed in flyover scenes over the University of North Carolina: Chapel Hill and then some of the campus shots were done at Duke University, my basketball team's home!! The forest scenes in this filmed were shot in and around different parts of North Carolina some near Durham itself.

One reason I enjoyed the fact that they filmed the majority of this movie in North Carolina was that it came out just a year after I moved out there. Living in California for my entire life I never realized how pretty and tree filled other states were and I learned that when I moved to NC and I loved it there. Some of the flyover scenes in this film and the action sequences through the woods totally remind me of how it is back there, so beautiful and green, something I miss dearly while living out in haze filled over populated California!! The woods in this film play a major part considering it is there that the villain keeps his victims and also where one is eventually found after being killed. Both the setting of the woods and the candlelit cave prison underground are wonderful elements that play into this film. It adds to the intensity of the suspenseful scenes in this film and had these scenes taken place in a different location the film's flow and suspense would not have been the same.

The story was original and unique. A mysterious killer, name Casanova who kidnaps young college students who are smart and beautiful and then keeps them hid underground in a cave. There were actually two suspects in this film working across the country from each other, one in Los Angeles, CA and the other in Raleigh-Durham, NC. Freeman's character is a gritty DC detective who will stop at nothing to find his niece and with the help of one of Casanova's victims who got free, Judd, they travel to LA and back to try and catch these killers. Goldwyn is an easy to hate villain as it is since after he was slated as the bad guy in Ghost I cannot help but think he is bad in everything but the real Casanova, the NC killer was a shocker. Spoiler alert here. In a very surprising twist Casanova turned out to be Detective Nick Ruskin (Elwes) who was the lead investigator on the NC team investigating the disappearances and murder's of these young women. I personally never saw that ending coming and I thought it was an excellent twist to the film.

This movie was 3 minutes shy of 2 hours but never felt long. Although it was not as fast paced as some suspense thrillers its attention to detail was phenomenal especially when locating the hidden rooms and all the newspaper clippings, strange art, and odd pictures that were found in a very small hidden chamber type room. I really enjoyed this movie and was thrilled when I heard they were making a sequel, Along Came a Spider, which was awesome as well. That included Monica Potter who was even better than Judd but it also kept Freeman as Dr. Cross. Overall I would easily give this film an A!


Hike #6 Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve (for the 2nd time)

This past Saturday we went on our 6th hike of the summer however it was a repeat of another we already did. We went to the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve for the 2nd time this month and this time our friend Claire joined us. It is a rather short trail and more of a walk than a hike but hey its in my "Best Short Day hikes in Southern California" book so I'm calling it a hike. haha.

We went on this hike a little earlier than last time and started around 10:00am by the time we got there. The hike from the parking lot and back was 1 hour exactly as we only made a few stops. The hike is approx 2 mile in length and like I said it is very short and very simple so not for extreme hiking enthusiasts at all.

I did not see quite as many photographers and bird watchers this time out but there were still a handful there. The last time we went it was on July 4th weekend, actually it was the morning of July 4th itself and it was actually really packed. Now come to think of it that's weird it that it was that packed on a holiday, or is it?

Last Saturday it was much cooler than the first time we went when there was stronger winds and it was much cooler. It was nice weather this time plus we had great company with us in Claire. Claire in fact explained to us what the below picture is, or at least what she believes it to be. She said that a lot of time large spiders, sometimes tarantula's form a next outside a hole and I cant remember whether she said the mail or female steps out of the hole and taps the ground to welcome the other in if they like them. Now I am not sure where she got her information but she is pretty bright when it comes to this stuff so I'm going to believe here. We didn't see any tarantula's on our walk but we did see a bunny which I was unable to get a close enough picture of.

We did not see any eagle's or hawks this time around but did see some other birds that are always flying around out there. I couldn't name a single one of them and although this is a hike my wife enjoys it wouldn't be on the top of my list. Two time's in a year would be enough for me let along twice a month. I am glad I have been though and it is kind of unique in the fact that you can sometimes see new species of birds each time you go. Overall a nice hike again and we enjoyed having company for the second week in a row!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hike #5 - Lower Moro Canyon

On Saturday, July 17th Jenn and I went on our 5th hiking excursion of the summer. We were joined by my bestest friend in the whole wide world Thuy as she was the first person to join us for a hike. Since that weekend was easily the hottest weekend of the summer so far (probably around 85 degree's or so at the time we started our hike) we wanted to try and start a bit earlier but we ended up starting around 10:50am. Below is some information about this hike.

The hike we went on was at Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach, CA. This was actually the first hike we went on that cost money but one reason we chose this one on this particular day was because it was the closest hike to the beach so we were hoping to get some of that ocean breeze while on the hike and we figured it would be better to be closer to the ocean and out of the canyons where it tends to get much much warmer. The cost was also due to it being a state park which in turn allowed for free parking at the beaches as well which if I might say so myself were crazy packed on this day.

The hike started off by walking to the north end of the parking lot and from there we encountered the trail starting point. It started with an immediate gradual incline with ocean views to the right of us for a good 1/4 of a mile. As we curved around the left of the incline continued for about a good 20 minutes or so where we came to trail sign and pulled out the map to confirm where to go. Our hike was slated to go down the poles section so that is where we headed.

As we descended down for the first time on the hike we followed the "poles" which turned out to be telephone poles and the trail became more narrow, narrow enough that we had to head down single file like we were in kindergarten again, haha. There were thick weeds that surround us for a very short length of time and it was moderately steep to the sides of us but not too bad. It didn't take too long to get down to the bottom of that one section where we ended up crossing paths with a much larger path.

The larger path was not steep necessarily but continually descended downwards for a good 1/4 of a mile or so. It was not too incredibly hot down in the canyon area as I expected it to be and off to the left and straight ahead there were numerous different trails that could have been taken for a longer hike. As we reached the bottom of the large path we got out our map to confirm where to go and after talking with a few fellow hikers we confirmed that we were to take El Moro Canyon, the lower trail which would bring us back around to the parking lot and where we started our hike.

As we headed down our path back to the parking lot I saw a very small dark colored snake, no more than 5 inches long in the brush next to me while walking. I got closer to get a better peek and took a picture or two but could not get a clear enough one to post. It was pretty small so it was difficult to spot in the brush. As we continued down though I did see another snake but this one was dead. It was even smaller than the live one I saw earlier but this one was silver and probably only 4 inches long. Below is a picture of this snake.

The path back down El Moro Canyon was pretty easy but did have a small incline towards the end before we reached the parking lot. We finished this hike in approx 1 hour and 25 minutes which was pretty short but it also seemed very short as well. For a 2 mile hike it went by pretty quickly and although the hike did have ocean views as advertised they were all at the beginning of the hike and this wasn't the most scenic hike we have gone on. Still it was a very nice hike and we have exceptional company so it made it very fun!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

#35 - Face Off - 1997

Face off was my 7th and final film I watched for Action/Adventure week. Yes another Nicolas Cage film. Heck I could have had a Nicolas Cage week for that matter, added in The Rock and the National Treasures and maybe Gone in 60 Seconds, haha. I actually have the National Treasure's still to watch on my bluray week. Back to Face Off, below is my detailed review of this film.

I remember seeing this film in the movie theaters when it came out when I lived in North Carolina. I loved this film. I really like Nicolas Cage and John Travolta as actors so this was an easy one for me to like. One thing I did find interesting was Desperate Housewives "Mike" was in this film in a pretty decent role as Buzz alongside Margaret Cho as well. I remember Cho but not Denton. In other small cameo's there was Danny Masterson from That 70's Show and then Thomas Jane whom I remembered from Deep Blue Sea and who currently stars in "Hung" on HBO. Its always interesting to me to see actors whom had small roles in older films. The acting was good in this film but really the only two you really need to see were Cage and Travolta. They were great!

This movie is known for one thing, action and it delivered on all aspects of the word. While the different settings and backgrounds of this film might have changed they were not an integral part of this film because the action followed these two wherever they went. Battle scenes in this film took place in a church, on a plane, on a boat, and in a prison to name a few. They were all loud and explosion packed and I think there was more gunfire displayed in this film than any other this week, scratch that I guarantee there was!!

My favorite battle scene was the final one that started in a church and followed Sean Archer (John Travolta) and Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) onto a boat which concluded with a crash filled with fire and explosions. It was a perfect way to conclude the film considering the high action packed momentum the film had. The story is simple, Sean Archer (Travolta) was originally targeted by criminal and murderer Castor Troy (Cage) and while on a Merry Go Round at the beginning of the film Troy shoots and injured Archer but the bullet that went through him killed his son, Michael. The movie plot is simple. Archer wants to find Troy and capture and kill him for revenge of his son's death. Fast Forward to six years later after Archer finds him and captures him his team learns that Troy's younger brother Pollax knows vital information about a bomb that is set to explode and endanger the lives of thousands of people in Los Angeles. This is where the "face off" comes into play. In a controversial decision Archer gets a face transplant and becomes Castor Troy but in a miraculous recovering Troy who had been in a coma awakens and gets a doctor to put on Archer's face and hence the story goes from there.

Both Cage and Travolta were brilliant in portraying each other and their characters after the face transfer. There movements, mannerisms, and actions throughout the film really made you feel as though they truly changed bodies and became the other person. I personally thought Travolta was great and pulled it off slightly better than Cage but not by much. They were both great and this was a very unique role for them to have to play. Originally Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone were thought to play these characters and I'm glad they did not because it would not have been the same, at all!

This movie wasn't filled with special effects throughout but had a few scenes that were pretty cool most notably the face transfer scene. The way they took the face off and simply placed it in what looked to be a simple bowl of water was crazy. There were a few instances, very short in length where you got to see the patients face without a face, if that makes any sense at all. It was very quick and very bloody and that moment after Troy awakens from a coma and feels his face with two fingers from his right hands and blood and what looks to be a small chunk of skin or flesh is exposed its just crazy. Can you imagine waking up without a face?? Nobody said this was the most believable movie ever and it isn't but its pretty darn cool to watch!

There were certain scenes that stood out to me in this film that were my favorites. Below is a list of some of those scenes. When Archer (really Troy) comes to see Troy (really Archer) in Prison. Travolta's face is priceless as he smirks under a newspaper he is holding before spouting out the line "oooooooo weeeee your good looking". This whole scene was great. I also enjoyed almost all the scenes with Troy's younger brother Pollax as I felt Alessandro Nivola acted superbly in this role as a weird and very odd troubled young man. His quirks and head shoulder shrugs through the film were interesting to watch. There was the scene when Archer (really Troy) see's his daughter Jamie when first coming home and he sings "Papas got a brand new bag" then dances off in classic Travolta style. It was very retro to me.

Another favorite scene of mine was when they were all in the church at the end of the film and after 5 people are all there pointing guns at each other Archer (really Troy) yells out "weeeeeeeee what a predicament". Just the way Travolta presented himself in some of these scenes was great. He wasn't the only one though. Cage's scene at Dietrich's house where he doped up and states he wants to take Archer's "face off" and then mimics what he wants done is crazy. His expression when Sasha enters the room is creepy and funny all in the same sense. Really odd to say the least. There were lots of very cool scenes in this film and the one where Troy (really Archer) is still at Dietrich's house has a huge gun battle in which a short portion of that battle is done with the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" being played in the background and hearing the faint sound of bullets flying in this scene with the song being played was reminiscent to me of the scene in The House of 1000 Corpses. Very unique and different and I loved it. Come to find out that scene was improvised by director John Woo!

This film was great and for a longer movie (140 minutes) it only really lagged at one point when Archer (really Troy) was having dinner with the wife, Eve Archer. This scene could have been taken out but I do see the relevance of it. Still this was a great flick and it ended this week's action/adventure week with its 7th straight A rated film. Actually to clarify that they weren't all A exactly, some A+, some A-'s but you get the drift. I basically made some pretty good choices for this week and even though I had seen all these movies before I didn't remember some of them being as good as they were so it was wonderful to get a chance to see these again and remember how great they truly are!! I do have to say, after this week I want to go and see Jurassic Park III and The Rock!! Overall I give this film an A!

Monday, July 26, 2010

#34 - Die Hard - 1988

Die Hard was my 6th movie I chose to watch this week and it is a big time personal favorite of mine. Listed a couple of years ago as the #1 Action Movie ever made by Entertainment Weekly magazine this is easily the staple movie for this week's category. Below is my detailed description.

I think everybody and their grandma knows Die Hard and knows that Bruce Willis played the part of John McClane. He basically carried this film but Alan Rickman's role of Hans Gruber made for a great good vs evil battle between NY Cop and International Terrorist. Although there are plenty of other movies out there with more action sequences throughout this film is like a staple for the action film genre. Its amazing to me that this film is 22 years old and its 25 year anniversary is coming up in 3 short years.

Now Ill get into the action sequences and plot of this film in a second but let me just start with a couple of things that always make me laugh and cringe when watching this film. First off in my mind easily the biggest film flub in this movie is when Hans Gruber goes to move one of his henchmen you could say while he was in the elevator after being killed by McClane. He moved his head to the side and the terrorist accidentally closes his eyes when his head was about to be moved. How this flub got past final editing Ill have no idea but its always funny to me when I see it. What makes me cringe is the gas station sign of $0.74 and $0.77 cents for gasoline. Man oh man, what good ol days that was huh? Granted I was driving until 92 but still, can you imagine that price?? WOW!

The setting for this film was real simple. It was a large tall office building in Los Angeles called the Nakatomi Plaza building and it is where McClane's wife, Holly, worked under Mr. Nakatomi himself. The sets of the interior of the building which is where 90% of the films action takes place were pretty cool looking and very authentic. I say authentic because some of the upper floors of this building were to be under construction and some of the action sequences and battles took place on these floors and they way they looked gave a real good representation of how it would really look for office buildings with floors still under construction.

I loved the main floor where the hostages were being held and where originally the Christmas Party was taken place. The waterfall backgrounds were my favorite and on the special features of this film you can see how they created the set and a whole bunch of other stuff as well, it was pretty cool. There were also some cool looking small miniature models on another floor where Hans and his gang took Mr. Nakatomi before they executed him. This floor would become a main focal point for an action scene with McClane and some of the bad guys later on in the film.

All the actors in this film were pretty good with the exception of a couple of Gruber's gang. Some of them with their broken English and attempt to be a hardcore terrorist was not as believable as you may seem but Gruber's calm, almost friendly looking demeanor made him an especially eerie type of terrorist. He never seemed to get spooked throughout the film and Rickman's wonderful portrayal of an office co-worker when McClane found him on an upper floor was great. Ill never forget that moment when McClane handed him a gun and then you hear Hans speak in his original language over the radio. Very cool.

McClane though was the star of this film and it was quite evident as to why. He was easily the best performer in every scene he was in and his sarcastic and sometimes very dry short responses to questions would make him all that more intriguing. Now we all know this film is heavy on classic film quotes but do we really need to mention any of them besides the "YipppiKiyyyyya Motherfucker" one? I mean that one is classic among classic! Willis gives a wonderful performance of a determined cop who wont let up until he kills all the terrorists and saves the day. His character would easily be one of the most popular and favorite action hero's of all time without a doubt. Its no wonder why they made three additional Die Hard films all of which he was excellent in as well.

I bought this film on bluray because it is easily one of my top 10 favorite films of All Time and that's saying a lot considering all the movies I have seen. There is just something about Bruce Willis in this movie with that performance and the creation of John McClane. He is like a cult classic and when you add the terrorist takeover of a large building in Los Angeles as your setting and a very sly Hans Gruber played by a great actor like Rickman you have the makings of a wonderful film. There were obviously other elements that went into this film that made it so good, one of which had to be the reality of how this could really take place. It was not so far fetched that it was unbelievable and that helped create a film that in my mind at least seemed as though it could really happen. Were some of the action scenes hard to believe, sure, but what action film doesn't have a few of those in there. Overall I would easily give this film an A+!