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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Terrorism > Russia > Comedy > A Good Day To Die Hard (2013/Fox Blu-ray w/DVD)

A Good Day To Die Hard (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 is admirable.


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:

·         Trailers

·         Deleted Scenes

·         Audio Commentary by director John Moore

·         Still Gallery

·         Making it Hard to Die

·         Anatomy of a Car Chase

·         Back in Action

·         Two of a Kind

·         Pre-Vis

·         The New Face of Evil

·         Maximum McClane


Again a good popcorn flick, but worth little else.



-   Michael P Dougherty II


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