A Good Day To Die
(2013/Fox Blu-ray w/DVD)
Picture: A-/C Sound: A-/B- Extras: C Film: B-
Hey, do you remember when John McClane was a cop and not a
superhero? I do. The Die
Hard franchise is one of the most profitable and beloved of all time; not
to mention that it propelled Bruce Willis into the action hero
stratosphere. The original and brilliant
concept of a smart aleck cop, with skill and know how has been stretched,
contorted and bastardized over the years to turn John McClane (Bruce Willis)
into a superhero. Not even a good
superhero, more like a caricature of what he once was. I would say the first three films were in the
realm of believable, the fourth film had audiences scratching their heads, and
now in A Good Day to Die Hard you
almost think the writers are messing with you.
The writer in this case was Skip Woods of [the new] A-Team and Wolverine: Origins fame (I am using fame sarcastically here). He doesn’t deliver a Die Hard film, he delivers a nonsensical blow em’ up film that only
has a slight glimmer of the former John McClane we have all come to know and
love. Yes there are the snarky one
liners, dramatic escapes, explosions, and even the consistent theme of McClane
family troubles; but it overall is just a shell of what Die Hard once was.
The storyline is merely a loose frame work that acts as a means to
move things along until the next near death experience; John walking away
without so much as a scratch most of the time.
John has traveled to Russia
to help out his son Jack (Jai Courtney) who has gotten mixed up in a murder. Jack is about to testify against a man named
Yuri (Sebastian Koch), when everything goes haywire; leading to the inevitable
“Dad if you would have just stayed out of this” moment. The movie continues on from there with Jack
and John working together to save the day; though the main issue is we are
never truly told what the big problem is?
We no longer have that slick villain with and evil plot and even more
evil accent. What we do have is a nearly
faceless and forgettable villain that only exists (like everything else) so
John McClane can blow it up and say a quip.
I would have loved to love A
Good Day to Die Hard, but at its very best it is a popcorn flick that
pretends to be a Die Hard film.
The best parts of this Blu-ray disc are its technical features. This 2013 release id presented in a 1080p AVC
Encoded MPEG 4 High Definition that blasts off the screen. Great colors. Great clarity. Fine detail.
A nearly perfect Blu-ray visual experience with only a few hiccups
during the fastest sequences, so the very soft anamorphically enhanced DVD is
very weak. The sound is explosive (duh)
as all speakers are used to highlight this DTS HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless
track. The room shakes, the music gives
great atmosphere, and the dialogue is clean and clear even in the most chaotic
situations. The prioritization of sound
Extras are less stellar, but perhaps because the film wasn’t so
stellar itself. I also found them perturbing as the extras almost solidify my
argument that the writer/director totally don’t understand the Die Hard franchise as they highlight
EXPLOSIONS as the main point of the film. Extras include:
Audio Commentary by director John Moore
Making it Hard to Die
Anatomy of a Car Chase
Back in Action
Two of a Kind
The New Face of Evil
Again a good popcorn flick, but worth little else.
- Michael P Dougherty II