Die Hard is the movie franchise that made a movie star out of TV star Bruce Willis, and created an entire action-movie genre of its own. In the original 1988 film, Willis plays wisecracking New York cop John McClane, who ... more »arrives at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles to meet up with his estranged wife, Holly (Bonny Bedelia), at her office Christmas party. As luck would have it, the company ends up in the middle of a terrorist plot led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and his gang of expert killers, and with little help coming from outside, McClane has to pick off his enemies one by one. Thus was born the "Die Hard genre", epitomized by such films as Under Siege (" Die Hard on a ship"), Passenger 57 ("Die Hard on a plane" ), Speed ("Die Hard on a bus"), and Cliffhanger ("Die Hard on a mountain"). But few measure up to the explosive brilliance of Die Hard. Director John McTiernan develops the action at a fast and furious pace, culminating in some fantastic set-pieces on the top of the building, in the elevator shaft, and in the building's outer plaza. Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza's script, based on Roderick Thorp's novel Nothing Lasts Forever, is smart, funny, and full of memorable lines (among them "Welcome to the party, pal!" and of course "Yippee ki-ay, motherf*****"), and the cast is perfection, especially Rickman as the cunningly evil villain, and Willis, whose McClane character--bloodied, beaten, bruised, and barely breathing, as he battles both bad guys and bureaucrats--is someone audiences could genuinely cheer for. --David Horiuchi« less
"At the end of the Eighties the action movie genre, which had flourished throughout the decade, began to stagnate. Cinema goers had seen enough explosions and gunfights cloned from the same formula made popular by Arnie and Sly. Both of these men were moving in the direction of comedy and action movies needed something new.. something fresh. In stepped John McTiernan and Bruce Willis with DIE HARD. Willis, most famous at the time for the comic T.V. Series 'Moonlighting', made a perfect ordinary-man-in-an-extraordinary-situation action hero. He was believeable as John McClane and not immune to being hurt. He blead and felt pain, a first for the genre. And yet his cool confident delivery of a great wisecracking, intelligent script made him all the cooler. But most credit should go to Director John McTiernan, king of the sophisticated action flick. He made action movies slick, smart and full of pace and wit while never letting up on the bullets, cars and bombs front. Special praise must go out to Alan Rickman too whose performance as chief baddie Hans is to this day one of cinemas finest, moving convincingly from cool, calm and collected to desperate and nervous, never once seeming anything less than utterly ruthless and calculating. Die Hard is a great movie for a number of reasons but adding three dimensions to the action genre is this films finest achievement and anyone who has not sampled its delights before now would be wise to get a copy as soon as possible. But don't see it on T.V. oh no, because it is never without significant and completely unnecessary extra editing for violence and language. Enjoy it on video or DVD if you can, see it in all its original splendor, it is arguably the greatest action film ever made. And then go see the sequels.. they rock too!"
Kona | Emerald City | 03/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Off-duty cop (Bruce Willis) saves hostages and dispatches the sadistic bad guys against overwhelming odds; a simple plot, done many times since this 1988 thriller, but never done as effectively. The difference: This movie is well-written, well-acted, and well-directed. The script balances heart-pounding action with funny one-liners that always make me laugh out loud. Bruce Willis is wonderful as the Rambo-esque superguy who outwits, outplays, and outlasts the heavily-armed killers, and reveals just enough of his tender side to endear his character to the audience.
Willis is backed up by outstanding supporting players who add depth and surprises: Reginald Veljohnson is the sympathetic cop Willis talks to via radio during his ordeal. Alan Rickman plays the cruel, urbane gang leader with devilish flair. He is assisted by the talented Alexander Godunov as a ruthless killer.
The production values are top quality, the action never stops, and each stunt is unique and utterly stupendous. I heartily recommend Die Hard to those who love action films and those who just love excellence in film."
Michael Crane | Orland Park, IL USA | 07/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I bought the "Die Hard Ultimate Collection" set, I really didn't think they would be able to do much with the very first Die Hard. It's a pretty old movie. I really didn't know if they could do much to improve the picture and sound quality of the movie. Well, I thought wrong, for when I watched this movie, I was completely shocked and stunned. I said to myself, "I can't believe they made this movie better."This has to be one of the best transfers I have ever seen. The picture is ten times more crisper and sharper than the older DVD version. When the terrorists shoot out the glass windows to trap Willis, you can literally see every single piece of glass landing on the floor. Also, the sound is explosive and very impressive, especially if you can watch it in DTS. When I watched this new version of "Die Hard", it was like seeing it for the very first time.If you are not familiar with "Die Hard", here's the story: Bruce Willis is John McClane, a very short tempered New York cop. He goes to California, hoping to patch things up with his wife, who works at the Nakatomi Plaza. All of that changes when a group of terrorists, armed to the teeth with guns and explosives, decide to take over the building. Now, the only one who can stop them is McClane, and believe, he's not too thrilled with the idea, but he knows he's the only one who stands a chance against them. McClane goes on a one-man war, running around the plaza, taking out the bad guys, and trying his best to stay alive. As soon as he hears the first gun shot, McClane knows he's about to have a very bad day.This is a must have for anyone who loves "Die Hard". I know some might be hesitant since they already have the first box set, but believe me, it is worth it. Filled with non-stop action and thrills, "Die Hard" is a classic, and should be seen by all who loves action films. Again, I must say this is one of the best transfers I have ever seen. An easy five out of five, without question."
The Only Currently Available Die Hard DVD Worth Buying
Blue Wolf | 06/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Because of the fact that the new Die Hard movie is coming out, 20th Century Fox has discontinued the GREAT Special Edition DVD's of the first three Die Hard DVD'S, and are replacing them with newly-packaged one-disc versions with only half of those original DVD's features. This DVD, the Special Edition Steelbook, is the only DVD that Fox has just released worth buying, because it is a repackaged edition of the original Two-Disc Special Edition of Die Hard. Hopefully Fox will do the same thing with the other Die Hard movies.
Bottom Line: Forget the new Die Hard boxset, get this instead and wait for the other ones."
Blu-ray Die Hard is M.F. Awesome
E. White | great white north eh. | 11/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Die Hard Blu-ray far exceeds the Five-Star Collection version I own on DVD > I directly compared the two and the upgrades are incredible. The Blu-ray video is exceptional in almost every way. In my opinion the Blu-ray viewing exceeds the theatrical experience. The surround sound mix is sick > making great use of sub and back speakers. If you are a fan of the original Die Hard you will not be disappointed in the least with this release. Everybody knows Die Hard is one of the best action movies ever > highly entertaining and just as cool as it was 20 years ago. A classic flick given a great Blu-ray release > this is a no-brainer purchase. I highly recommend buying this Blu-ray."