Live Free or Die Hard aka Die Hard 4

I know that I have been pretty hard on sequels this summer, and rightfully so.  Only Ocean’s 13 and Silver Surfer came close to having full recommendations.  So, with some hesitancy, I go to yet another sequel.

In my family, part of celebrating one’s birthday involves dinner and a movie.  So, in keeping with tradition, I went to AMC Altamonte for the 10:50 AM showing of Die Hard. Now AMC has a great deal — any show before noon is only $5.

So, I get into the theater, grab a seat and sit back.  Two and a half hours later, I exit, feeling very satisfied.

Everything I want in a Bruce Willis action flick was there:

  • lots of chases and stunts — check
  • Addison-style wise-cracking — check
  • “Yippe-Kay-Yay-……..” — check

This was definitely better than Die Hard 3.  It was non-stop the whole way through, with lots of laughs and good adrenaline rushes.

So what was bad?

Not much — about the only thing I can point to is the Ryan Seacrest lookalike who played the main villain.  I was so distracted by this that I kept expecting him to say “I will kill your daughter…….right after this commercial break.”

A lot has been mentioned on the internet about the movie not being as good because it was not rated “R” like the rest of the series.  Honestly it didn’t matter.  So we didn’t get the full amount of cursing — we did not lose any action or story.

My advice: worth full admission.  This is a big-screen flick with big-speaker sound — go to your nearest theater and watch it…

Joel Siegel, 1943-2007

It has been said that everyone has an opinion on any given topic.

That is especially true in the world of entertainment, where we have critics for almost every minutia. But there are some critics that survive over time, ones that we tend to trust. Growing up, it was Siskel & Ebert and Joel Siegel. Gene Siskel passed away in 1999, and Roger Ebert is struggling with health issues now.

Joel Siegel was Good Morning America’s answer to Gene Shalit; albeit, a more intelligent and knowledgeable answer to Shalit. My lasting memory of Siegel was his review of Raiders of the Lost Ark. After seeing his review, my parents said ok to going to see Raiders. After that, my parents and I trusted a majority of his reviews. He continued to prove himself as a fair critic. Did he have some less-than-desirable moments? Yes, his review of Clerks II is what recent moviegoers have as a lasting impression.

For me, I will remember that day when he described a movie to a rollercoaster and reminded us how going to the movies was supposed to be fun…