Tag Archive: die hard


White House Down Trailer

UK Release Date: 6th September 2013

Stars: Roland Emmerich (director), Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Joey King, Jason Clarke, James Woods, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Richard Jenkins, Lance Reddick.

Plot: While on a tour of the White House with his young daughter, a Capitol policeman springs into action to save his child and protect the president from a heavily armed group of paramilitary invaders.

While reading about White House Down I became pretty excited about the prospect. What it seems to be is an updated version of the original Die Hard, but set in the White House, featuring one of my favourite actors at the minute who is riding a tidal wave of success, Channing Tatum. So, as I finally get round to watching the trailer, why am I left disappointed?

First of all, this is supposed to be an action film. Everyone loves action films because they don’t take themselves to seriously and that is the major problem we have here. Obviously, the terror threat for America in the last twelve years has been non-stop (and heightened in recent weeks) so maybe that is to blame for the horrible trailer which begins with news footage of the attack on the White House in the film.

But this does nothing to heighten audience interest. It bored me. I don’t want to be bored by a trailer for an ACTION film, I want action! Looking at the cast I do have high hopes for this and I am sure over the next few months we will see more of Channing Tatum taking on the bad guys but for now, don’t lose any sleep over this. NEXT!

February is looking like a very exciting month over here in the UK for film releases. There’s animation, Oscar nominated performances, big laughs and big explosions. Here’s my rundown of the films to look out for over the next four weeks.

 

Bullet to the Head – 1st February

This looks like the speech-slurring Sylvester Stallone is back to his best as he teams up with Fast Five‘s Sung Kang. A very ordinary storyline but throw in some fantastic action scenes and funny one liners and you’ve got yourself one of the most enjoyable action films of the year.

 

Flight – 1st February

Denzel Washington is a man that always delivers and here he is with his latest Oscar nominated performance as a pilot who’s heroic saving of a crashing plane is soon under investigation as he may not be all he seems. With a supporting cast of Don Cheadle, Melissa Leo, Bruce Greenwood and John Goodman this has no choice but to be a fantastic drama.

 

I Give it a Year – 8th February

This is probably the film that I am most looking forward to this month. I can’t remember the last time I saw a trailer that genuinely made me laugh out loud as much as this one does. I Give it a Year looks hilarious and I hope that I will not be disappointed, especially since Simon Baker, of The Mentalist fame, is in it!

 

Wreck-it Ralph – 8th February

Nominated for the Best Animated Film Oscar at this years ceremony, Wreck-it Ralph looks set to be able to rival anything that Pixar have done in the past. Set in the world of video games we follow bad guy Wreck-it Ralph in his attempt to prove to himself and everyone else that he is in fact a good guy.

 

A Good Day to Die Hard – 14th February

The fifth installment in the Die Hard franchise promises to be the biggest one yet. And with the introduction of Jai Courtney as McClane Jr it may be a sign that Bruce Willis is ready to pass on the mantle of leading the series, although I highly doubt that!

 

Cloud Atlas – 22nd February

Cloud Atlas‘ narrative structure is one that hasn’t been seen all that often in film and, upon it’s release in America (a good few months earlier than the rest of the world for some daft reason) it instantly divided critics. Despite this, I am still excited to see how the film will play out and really looking forward to seeing how the adaptation of David Mitchell’s epic novel turns out.

Landing the role of Superman is one that is meant to change your career forever and make you an immortal on the cinema screen, stapled in to people’s minds forever; it is one of the most iconic roles in movie history, the embodiment of being an American (despite being an alien) and any Superman film should make huge stars out of everyone involved. Remember Kate Bosworth? Remember James Marsden? Sam Huntington? Parker Posey? No… because the Superman film all of the aforementioned were involved with was 2006’s Superman Returns.

However, nobody was more affected by the failure of Superman Returns than the man of steel himself, Brandon Routh. When Warner Bros. decided to revive the Superman franchise a whole host of actors were considered for the part; Paul Walker, Brendan Fraser and even Will Smith (who decided to give us his own take on the superhero genre anyway with Hancock, a hero with a similar back story to that of Superman) but when Bryan Singer came on board to direct he decided that an unknown actor should be cast and that was, of course, Brandon Routh.

Prior to being given the part of Superman Routh had largely been seen, but unnoticed, in television shows such as One Life to Live, Gilmore Girls and Will and Grace. Whilst studying at University Routh was always told he bore a resemblance to Christopher Reeve (if you don’t know who he is, stop reading now… seriously) and he was signed by an agent for this very reason who told him if there was another Superman film ever made, he would be the man in the starring role. And then it came along… Routh’s big chance to impress.

Superman Returns bored the hell out of me! For some reason, unbeknownst to man, Superman Returns gained some very good praise from critics and was even a huge hit at the box office taking $84.2million in just five days which was a Warner Bros. record at the time. Yet of all of those people who went to see the film, I don’t think many of them found it to be the return of Superman that they wanted. Superman Returns was a largely lacklustre blockbuster: I wouldn’t say it was the worse comic book movie to hit the cinema screen but it dragged more than Daredevil and the action scenes were worse than Ghost Rider. Instead of making Brandon Routh a huge household name, it made him the butt of many jokes and the subject of many conversations that go a little bit like this:

“I really like him, he was good in Superman Returns

“@!#* off!”

But the fact is, Brandon Routh is NOT a bad actor, he is actually quite good, I think, and his career could and should have looked so different than it does today. Routh, since Superman Returns, has seen limited cinema time and the films he has made that have had wide releases (Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) have seen him appear in nothing more than just a couple of scenes.

Brandon Routh should STILL be playing Superman in my opinion. He was the star of a film that grossed millions and millions of dollars at the box office and was praised by critics and has since fallen down the acting world so much. He should be the biggest action hero around right now or at least be a supporting actor in films like the Die Hard series or even G.I. Joe but instead he is starring in Partners, a sitcom that isn’t going down incredibly well right now and will just be another dent in his career.

Let’s hope the same doesn’t happen for Henry Cavill.

UK Release Date: 14th February 2013.

Stars: John Moore (director), Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Amauray Nolasco, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Cole Hauser, Sebastian Koch

Plot: John McClane, who finds himself in Moscow, Russia and gets caught up in a terrorist plot with his estranged son.

A Good Day to Die Hard goes up against Star Trek Into Darkness for the worst name for a sequel next year and probably wins this contest, although on the big screen they will both be aiming for very different audiences. Here is the first tease of the fifth instalment of John McClane’s journeys.

This sequel has cast a couple of people I am very excited about. First up we have Jai Courtney playing McClane’s estranged son John ‘Jack’ McClane Jr and this is a fine casting choice. I have only seen Courtney once before and that was in the first series of television show Spartacus: Blood and Sand where he played Spartacus’ best friend Varro and it was obvious from this series that Courtney has enough ability to hold his own in an action film and he was clearly built for the genre. Then we have Amauray Nolasco, best known as Prison Break‘s Sucre who you couldn’t help but like and feel sorry for – my favourite character.

I’m not a big fan of the Die Hard series (aside from the original) or Bruce Willis in general but I think this teaser gives enough in its minute to entice old fans back to the cinema again; there is plenty of quick action scenes and a line from Willis at the end which I think is supposed to be a bit funny but I couldn’t really tell. And in true action film fashion there’s a quick glimpse at a woman showing off her body for no apparent reason.

I don’t think people who like Die Hard go and see these films for the story, they just want to see Bruce Willis killing foreigners and blowing shit up and there is clearly going to be plenty of that here. The addition of Courtney as McClane’s son also gives the franchise a chance of continuation once Willis departs.

The three biggest action stars in the world… ever.

During the eighties and nineties the action genre was the place to be and many action stars were born. Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Seagal and Dolph Lundgren all made careers out of being action heroes. Their films were, most of the time, nothing more than a simple storyline where a hero just got to kick ass and the audience would have fun cheering the hero on while he did so, eg. Die Hard, Rambo. Nowadays you won’t really find that among the big Hollywood films, the genre has evolved over time and action films seemed to get more serious, genres started to merge and the days of the real action genre and action heroes are behind us, I think.

While people like the actors mentioned above are still making films I do believe that the only real action hero we have left is the English born Jason Statham. He is most famous for the Transporter trilogy and his films continue to get a cinema release whereas the likes of Lundgren, Seagal and Jean Claude Van Damme do not, so why is this? I think it is because Statham does have a real talent for acting whereas a lot of action heroes are just there because of their size and physique; Statham has shown before he can manage the acting as well as the action, he seems like a really nice guy which audiences always like and he is still relatively new in his career, having only started out in 1998. It’s been 14 years sure, but actors these days go for a lot longer than that!

The Expendables 2 is coming out later this year and back in 2010 we saw a return to the sole action genre with the original film directed and written by Sylvester Stallone himself. The idea was to bring together a great ensemble cast of action heroes to bring the genre back to the forefront of blockbuster cinema. The cast included Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren as well as a scene that features three stars synonymous with the action genre: Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis. The sequel retains this cast and expands with Van Damme and Chuck Norris. The idea to revive the big action block buster was a good one in theory and went down well with fans as the film opened to huge commercial success across the globe but critics were less favourable as the film received mixed to negative reviews. Despite this, a third film is rumoured to happen and Steven Seagal says he has been offered a part. But it does seem as though the only way to get a big action film back on the big screen is to bring together an ensemble, otherwise audiences are not going to be grabbed.

Asian cinema still features a lot of action films and the very successful The Raid (originally titled Serbuan Maut) was even released in British cinemas earlier this year and went down very well with critics so maybe it is just Hollywood that can’t get it right? I suppose that the nearest thing we have to a pure action film these days is the Fast & Furious franchise but you could hardly say that Paul Walker is an action hero or that even Vin Diesel is (come on, he was in The Pacifier) no matter how much he really likes to think he is himself. The Bourne films are marketed as action films and I guess they could be described as such but this is still an evolution from real action films as it features more in crime and even political genres, however the action does feature a lot. And Matt Damon would not consider himself an action hero I don’t think. Liam Neeson isn’t particularly an action hero yet his film Taken is probably the most successful action movie of recent times and is the only really really good one that I can think of right now.

I would argue that the nearest thing we have to real action films now are the superhero movies. The action heroes have been replaced with those of the comic book world as they appear on the big screen and clearly define the theme of good versus evil and the hero goes on to kick some ass very much like Rambo, John McClane or Frank Martin would do. All the time, trying to keep it fun for audiences.

Over time all genres do evolve as audiences crave something new, something that will break boundaries or challenge them to put the pieces together themselves but I, for one, would like to see more old school action films being made. But none of these rubbish straight to DVD films, I want real action blockbusters with real action heroes in them. All it will take is for one new action hero to step out of the shadows and then a flurry of them will follow as it did for he superhero movies and for the fairy tale films too. So whoever he is, he better step up quick.

Lockout Trailer

UK Release Date: 20th April 2012.

So, basically, Lockout is Taken in space. And it comes from the same producers so this is no surprise. Lockout is a man going to space to rescue a girl and kicking plenty of ass at the same time, much like Liam Neeson does in his famous action flick.

Guy Pearce is Snow, a loose-cannon government agent convicted of a crime which he did not commit. He is offered his freedom if he can rescue the President’s daughter, played by Maggie Grace, from a prison in space which has been overtaken by its prisoners.

As far as trailers go this is nothing special, but the concept and the similarities to Taken should give this film enough to be a hit at the box office. Although, being led by Guy Pearce this is not guaranteed since his only real memorable film is Memento. The trailer gives a lot of information about the plot and sets up Snow as the anti-hero and a throwback to eighties heroes such as John McClane with his witty one liners.

Lockout should appeal to fans of mindless action films but this is nothing more than a popcorn flick and a genre piece.