Darke Reviews – A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

Have you ever cooked your favorite meal, or ordered it from a restaurant and brought it home only to forget about it and have it go bad on you? That face you make when you open the container and smell how rotten its gotten? That moment of despair when something you truly enjoyed has gone bad? The vain hope that some part of it can be salvaged….?

That’s how I felt watching this movie. I love the original Die Hard, it is a Christmas tradition in my home. Die Hard II, still excellent and often quoted. Die Hard 3, less so, but it has it’s moments. Die Hard IV….well that’s when the meal started to go bad. This….this is Rancid.

Every good Die Hard film has an “every man” that you can relate to in John McClane. He is a man who is placed into situations beyond his control and you root for him to survive. The odds are nigh impossible, yet to a certain Hollywood logic plausible. THe world is “ours” with just the slightest nudge into action fantasy. These situations pushed our every man to his limits and nearly broke his body and his will. We were with him all the way.

That’s where Die Hard 5 begins to fail. He delivers himself into the situation and stops being our every man. He becomes a typical action hero walking away from not one, but two accidents and an explosion with nary a scratch. Thats in the first twenty minutes. To be honest I nearly walked out then…but I had to see the train wreck through to the end.

It didn’t get better. Yes he does get injured, but this was a nightmare of his own making with a contrived plot that suffers under the weight of it’s own BS. The movie does surprise me at least once, but that was it.

The rest of it was an action movie with Bruce Willis. Had it not been called Die Hard anything I might have enjoyed it a bit more. This was actually a better Bourne film than the most recent one.

If you are a completest and have no choice but to see it. I am sorry for you. If you are a Bruce Willis fan and just don’t care that it’s titled Die Hard, you will get a Matinee’s moneys worth.

Otherwise…steer clear of this. Go see Warm Bodies or wait a few weeks for one of the major March releases. Tomorrow evening I plan to see Beautiful Creatures and hopefully am less disappointed in that then I was this …thing they called a Die Hard film.

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Darke Reviews – Beautiful Creatures (2013)

Movie review time folks!! This time it’s for a movie I liked!!

Beautiful Creatures, based on a book which I just ordered from Amazon, is one of those love stories that shows you can still write a love story and do something interesting with it. I am not just talking Warm Bodies, where you have Romeo and Juliet with zombies ((quick review on that one – if you like Zombies and/or Romeo and Juliet go see it, you won’t regret it).

What BC delivers is charm. Charm in abundance with its newcomer actor Alden Ehreneich as Ethan Wate. I spent some time in South Carolina as a little girl and yes that kinda southern guy still exists. Alice Englert, another one relatively new to the silver screen, delivers a wonderful performance as a teen age girl caught between two worlds and with no good way out.

While the movie hits many of the traditional teenage romance tropes, it stops short on some of the expected ones. I believed in this romance set in a world where magic can make a room spin, vines grow and shadows live. These two young actors did in two hours what Twilight failed to do in five movies; giving me a believable romance between two young people who have their own worlds doing everything in their power to separate them.

Jeremy Irons tones down his usual insanity, likely tempered by Viola Davis and handles himself well against Emma Thompson who delivers an excellent villain. Emmy Rossum is fun to watch but almost ends up comical at times, almost.

Movies like this do give me hope for the young adult book and film market. I hope, hope, hope that other directors in the process of adapting similar material (City of Bones, Vampire Academy etc…) learn from how it can be done right.

If you were the slightest bit interested in the movie. See it.
If you enjoyed Twilight, see it. (I will resist another dig here, but…yeah just see it)
If you like teen romance, magic, good vs evil. See it.

Just in general see it and see it with friends.