Thursday, December 23, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Movies - Die Hard

According to my Calendar, and the music that plays wherever I go, it's Christmas time (or as it's called on the streets, "Xmas time"). There are certain things that are as much a part of Xmas as some fat dude confusing the steps to a successful home invasion (you are supposed to take things, not leave things). One thing that I think of when I think of Xmas is the music, but I will get to that. Another thing that reminds me of Xmas is the shopping, but I will get to that too. These 12 posts will be dedidcated to something else I love about Xmas:

The Movies.

These posts will probably (hopefully) be a bit shorter than everything else I write about. They will be small tributes to the 12 Films/Specials that I watch every year to psyche myself up for the holidays.There may be spoilers. I can think of no better way to start, then with a bang, a boom and a yippee ki-yay from my all time favorite Xmas movie:


(The "awesome per minute" ratio is off the charts)

If you haven't seen Die Hard, I don't know if I'm comfortable with you reading "j.Bowman Can't Sleep". It's at least 9 different types of awesome and you owe it to yourself to watch it. It is a classic action movie, probably one of the all time best, but it is also a damn fine Christmas movie. Years ago when I worked the DVD department at A & B Sound "Die Hard" was always a fixture on our christmas movie display. It wasn't listed as a movie I was supposed to put on it, but if John McClane ran our DVD department, I'm sure he'd do the same....and without even wearing shoes. (For those of you keeping score, A & B Sound spectacularly went out of business, which had nothing to do with the fact that employess did whatever they wanted when it came to displays)

Die Hard tells the story of NYPD badass John McClane and his trip to Los Angeles to meet up with his estranged wife and her sweet 80's hair.

(What man wouldn't want to get his hand stuck in that hair?)

Something happens early on which I didn't realize until recently was a pretty big dick move on the part of a minor character. So John McLane goes walking into the lobby of the Nakatomi building where his wife's office Christmas party is going down, and the dude working the security desk greets him. McClane says he is here to see Holly McClane. The guy tells him to enter her name on the electronic name search computer thing (which im sure was the technical term for it back in 1988). McClane looks at the touch screen and says "Cute toy" to which the guard responds "Yeah, if you need to take a leak it will even help you find your zipper". Nobody laughs. Not McClane, not the audience, nobody. He finds out she is using her maiden name "Gennero" on the company directory. It tells him to go to the 30th floor, which he repeats. The lobby security guard then says "Oh, you're here for the party. They are the only people left in the building". If they are the ONLY people in the building, WHY DIDN'T HE JUST SAY "FLOOR 30" TO BEGIN WITH?! I hope something awful happens to him at some point. Dick move.

So McClane goes up to her company Christmas party, which is of course totally awkward because he doesn't know anyone there, and they get it a bit of a fight. I thought that would be the main conflict so imagine my surprise when a bunch of German terrorists show up.They say they are "German terrorists" but i dont buy it. I've seen foreign villainy like this before in Mighty Ducks 2. These assholes are from Iceland. If the 13th terrorist didn't get cut out of the film, this would've been confirmed.

 (Shoot the Glass only after a triple deke. It's unstoppable)

Now the terrorist group was not led by Wolf "The Dentist" Stanson up there, instead they took their cues from  Hans Gruber (played by British Actor Alexander Dane, who was also Dr. Lazarus on the Galaxy Quest TV Show)

(He also plays the character "Alan Rickman" in real life)

One thing leads to another and John McClane has to defeat 12 terrorists, save his wife, deal with his personal issues towards foreigners and do all this without the benefit of shoes. Helping him is a young, superfly limo driver named Argyle and Lieutenant Carl Winslow from the TV show "Family Matters".

 (it has been 22 years and I'm still waiting for the spin off)

So that is really all the background info you need. Awesomeness ensues and a new Christmas tradition was born.

What Solidifies it's status as a Christmas movie? 
After an incredible amount of badassery and death (only bad guys...and Mr. Takagi) the movie closes out with a lovely rendition of the song "Let it Snow". It is also snowing at the time. 'Nuff said.

(Any Irish family will tell you, it just ain't Christmas without head wounds)

Key Christmas Moment? 
The first terrorist gets that runs afoul of John McCl-- Screw it! I will no longer refer to him as John McClane cause he is running around being badass with no shoes on. John McClane wears shoes, "Die Hard" handles his business barefoot. So DH (we're buddies) kills the first terrorist by falling down the stairs with him and having unbreakable bones. It's worth noting that the terrorist in question is wearing grey sweatpants and a grey sweatshirt, thus solidifying his place as the worst dressed terrorist ever. Die Hard steals a machine gun and a bunch of explosives from him and uses his dead body to send a festive holiday message to the Icelandic German terrorists.

 (How long did Die Hard look for a Santa hat?)

Key Christmas Quote?
"This IS Christmas music!" - Die Hard's limo driver Argyle defending his decision play "Christmas in Hollis" by RUN DMC on the stereo. As if he needs to defend that. Song rules.

(Second only to "Winter Wonderland" as the all time best Christmas Carol...muthafucka!)

Favorite Non-Christmas Quote?
Hans Gruber: [addressing the hostages] I wanted this to be professional, efficient, adult, cooperative. Not a lot to ask. Alas, your Mr. Takagi did not see it that way... so he won't be joining us for the rest of his life.

Moment of Awesomeness?
Gotta give it to Ellis, the coked-up bearded co-worker of Holly McClane Gennero McClane Diehard. He tries to negotiate with Hans by betraying Die Hard and it ends...well, not well for fans of Ellis. In memorium, here is a quick reminder to what Harry "The White Knight" Ellis brought to this magical film.

Xmas Game Ball goes to.....
Gotta give it to Argyle, who spends most of the movie getting shitfaced in a limo, then comes up HUGE when needed.

(Conratulations Argyle, you earned it)

Most Hated Character? 
"Team Terrorist" decoy security guard Eddie (played by Dennis Hayden)

(Smug bastard)

Now, remember earlier when I mentioned the douchebag security guard at the Nakatomi building? (I did, in case you think I'm lying. It's up there ^). He was a huge dick and I thought he'd be part of Team Terrorist. Turns out I was wrong. They brought their own guy. Security dickhead gets shot and killed (his fancy computer couldn't save him from that now could it?) And a guy takes his place. What a sweet gig that must be. Definitely the job I'd want on the heist team. What would it say if an advert was put in the paper for it?

Henchman wanted
Must be able to wear grey blazer and sit behind a desk.

I mean they got hackers, explosives experts, mercenaries and....a guy who sits behind a desk. No chance that guy gets an equal share. The resentment on team terrorist would've been instantly recognizable if he did. Things get even more bullshitty when Officer Carl Winslow shows up to the building, and terrorist security guard guy has to bullshit him. FINALLY he is gonna earn his spot on this team. He chats up Carl Winslow for a few moments, then goes back to his desk, where he has a mini TV watching a football game. FUCKING GUY JUST GETS TO SIT THERE AND WATCH TV?! Lazy, terrorist....lazy.

It all wouldn't have happened if....
So when the terrorists first burst into the party, Die Hard is trapped in a back office when the terrorists get off the elevator and start shooting stuff. A few of them immediately go to empty the back offices. Die Hard notices an exit across the hall but will need a distraction to get there. In the office next to his, the terrorists find a couple sexing each other, and they drag them out. The lady is topless, and the terrorists give her a good look before checking that last office and finding it....empty. There you have it, if that woman was wearing a shirt, they wouldn't have been distracted, they would've caught Die Hard running across the hall and the movie would have never happened.

On behalf of everyone at the Nakatomi building that fateful night, thanks boobs.

(Christina Hendricks: As gorgeous as she is structurally unsound)

So there you have it, 12 Days of Christmas Movies Day 1: Die Hard. I will try and have them all done by Saturday. This year, for Christmas I will be getting the gift of failure to me, from me. If I all 12 finished in time, it will be a Christmas miracle. And if I don't? Well I guess it's not the --



(Way to go Carl Winslow! You saved Die Hardsmas!)

The List so Far:
Day 1: Die Hard 

Thanks for Reading.


Click Here to be taken to the "j.Bowman Can't Sleep kind of official Facebook Page". I'm working on installing a "Yippee Ki-Yay Motherfucker" button, but for now, it still says "LIKE". Keep checking, I will eventually get that button changed.

1 comment:

  1. There are actually 13 terrorists in the film.