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February 15th, 2013

Movie Review - A Good Day To Die Hard

A Good Day To Die Hard

Starring: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Yuliya Snigir, Radivoje Bukvik, Cole Hauser, Amaury Nolasco, and more.


Directed by: John Moore Written by: Skip Woods Based on Characters Created by: Roderick Thorp Cinematography by: Jonathan Sela Original Music by: Marco Beltrami


Premise: When he thinks his estranged son is in trouble for shooting a man, John McClane flies to Russia to try to help him. He isn't there long, however, before everything takes an unexpected turn for the worse. (Rated R)


Review:


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Bruce Willis is as fun as ever in his latest incarnation as John McClane. Jai Courtney was quite convincing as John's estranged son, especially when he slowly realizes he's more like his father than he ever thought. The two actors shared some great father and son 'not going to share our feelings' moments. Sevastian Koch was full of all sorts of surprises in the film.


2)  Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: Bullets and explosions filled the screen almost constantly. The film will definitely fill everyone's mass destruction quota. That being said, the spots were CGI was used to enhance or pull off some of the scenes involving the two McClanes were somewhat obvious.


3) Story - Thumbs Up: Though the previews held a few hints, the film started in such a way as to mislead viewers on what was happening at the beginning. Like McClane, we start noticing that things aren't exactly as we've been led to believe. The father and son problem story line was predictable, but with some of the other surprises in store, it mattered little.


The biggest nitpick for me was the fact that for a straight twenty minutes John seems incapable of saying anything by the "J" word. Then later his son picks it up. A little more imagination would have gone a long way with regards to the dialogue here. It also felt a little forced that as a cop, John wasn't at all concerned about causing collateral damage, foreign country or not.


4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: The many stuntmen and women in this film should definitely receive a ton of accolades. I don't think I've ever seen such mayhem and destruction as in the long car chase scene close to the film's beginning. If there weren't actual injuries incurred during the whole 'gag', I'd be very surprised.


5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: Filmed mostly in Budapest, Hungary, the film possessed a great foreign flavor. The amount of trouble the cinematographer went to to take sweeping shots of the courthouse area, the closed restaurant floor, and other locations right before they were totally destroyed by soon to occur events was almost humorous. Each sweep was like a giant hint that things were about to get messy.


Conclusion: "A Good Day to Die Hard" is a wild ride with almost constant action. There is so much action, in fact, it might leave you a little numb. A couple of mostly unexpected surprises helped take away 'the sting' of the predictable plot. The male bonding between father and son and their continuous attempts not to talk about their feelings were very amusing.


Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission.)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic
www.gloriaoliver.com

Novels


JEWEL OF THE GODS

(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!


Excerpt:
"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."





INNER DEMONS

(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!


Excerpt:
The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."



THE PRICE OF MERCY

(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Excerpt:

Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.




CROSS-EYED DRAGON TROUBLES
(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”

Excerpt:

“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.



WILLING SACRIFICE
(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”

Excerpt:

Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”



IN THE SERVICE OF SAMURAI
(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”

Excerpt:

Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.



VASSAL OF EL
(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”

Excerpt:

Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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