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The A-Z Blogging Challenge is something that I am taking part in for the first time. It has been going for a few years and is more popular that ever. The premise is very simple. Each day in April with the exception of a few Sundays, bloggers from around the world blog for 26 days in April with each day’s blog beginning with the next letter of the alphabet, so April 1st is “A”, the 2nd is “B” and so on. The subject of each blog can be anything as long as it is to do with the appropriate letter. Some people blog about anything, some people theme their blogs. I hope you enjoy reading some of my posts and if I would love to read your comments about my challenge.

“D” is for Die Hard

on’t we all love Christmas? Detective John McClane doesn’t that’s for sure. Back in 1988, Bruce Willis took a huge departure from the TV show he was in at the time, Moonlighting. Considering the content of his on-screen partnership with Sybil Shepherd, taking on an action movie role such as Die Hard was a brave move, it could end badly. Fortunately for him, and indeed for us, it didn’t.
The original film had a great reception from movie-goers and film critics alike and who can blame them, the story was great. Set on Christmas Eve, the plot revolves around a heist disguised as a terrorist attack on a skyscraper office block, Nakatomi Plaza. Now bear in mind that this film was made before the Berlin Wall came down, so the terrorists are East German, a strange concept to think about these days. Officer John McClane is traveling to L.A to be with his wife and two children at Christmas. unfortunately for Holly (Bonnie Bedilia) she is taken hostage during the attack on Nakatomi Plaza. John manages to escape detection by the bad guys and proceeds to work his way around the building picking off the terrorists as he goes one by one until all is revealed and a final standoff occurs.

It’s just a great movie from start to finish, full of action and some great lines throughout. The main cast is brilliant with Alan Rickman playing the part of terrorist leader Hans Gruber so well, and in part kinda steals the show a little from Bruce, but hey, Rickman steal most shows he is in – look at Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies, easily one of the most memorable characters in that series.

Just two years later, following the success of the first movie, Die Hard 2 : Die Harder was released. Again set on Christmas Eve, the story was this time shifted to Washington DC airport where a group of mercenaries hijack the airport and more importantly its communications systems leaving planes in the air stranded with only a short time before they crash to the ground. One of the planes has Lt. John McClane’s wife aboard and he must basically do the same thing he was doing in the first movie again, but this time round an airport instead of an office block.

Now don’t get me wrong, although the plot is essentially the same, the movie is just as good. It was a commercial success worldwide many of the cast returned to reprise their roles from the first movie, but the bad guy in this film was played by William Sadler. There was just as much action in this film as in the first and it was a great sequel to a fantastic movie.

We would have to wait five whole years for another installment in the franchise, Die Hard : With A Vengeance. Bruce Willis‘ movie career had flourished in between times and there was a huge buzz around this movie. He teams up here with Samuel L Jackson to pit their wits against Simon, a very clever, very devious terrorist who has threatened to blow up various locations of New York if they do not complete his little “tasks”. The whole thing is of course a massive diversion and Simon has other ideas. He is played by Jeremy Irons who is marvellous in the role and brought a lot more to the table than a lot of the actors going around at the time might have.

I saw this movie at the cinema and from the very first scene I was hooked. An explosive start and the action didn’t stop from there. A truly great movie that in my opinion was close to the original in terms of content, acting, direction and with the added bonus of modern special effects. The story is clever and perhaps kickstarted the modern heist movie genre. The big reveal was a very nice touch aswell. Jackson provides the comic relief, but plays a major part in the movie and what starts out as a bitter character begins to see things more differently by the end of the movie thanks to McClane. I think this film deserves more credit than it gets.

Everyone thought that it was the end of the series, but following the 9/11 attacks in the United States, production on Die Hard 4.0 or Live Free and Die Hard to give the its proper title, finally got underway in 2007. A very long wait, but it allowed the story to be brought into the 21st Century and the story now centres on cyber terrorists. The film also introduced the family aspect of John McClane’s life and his estranged daughter Lucy played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead who has gone on to have a much more successful career than the film’s other co-star Justin Long.

I have actually only seen this movie once. I wasn’t a fan. It was much more unbelievable than the others and some of the things that happened were just so ridiculous it amazes me that someone actually wrote those ideas on paper. However, I should really watch it again and see if it is any better with the swearing and adult content in the movie like the other three movies. Die Hard 4.0 was a PG-13 which lets face it, is stupid for a Die Hard movie.

On the whole though, as a franchise, it has been a massive success and I love the first 3 movies. With a staggering box office take over well over £1Bn it is one of the most successful series of movies ever made. Of the 3, I think the third one is my actual favourite, but mainly because it was a lot cleverer than just a plain old action film. Get ready for a bit of horror tomorrow as we visit the letter “E”.

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