Thursday, February 6, 2014

"This is a small pond and I'm the big fish."

I got to use my sunglasses this morning.  That might not seem like much to you, but for me that's almost as good as fresh crescent rolls.  The kids were off from school again yesterday but I didn't find out until after it was already too late to drive safely on bare roads...

This week's film/tv post takes a look back to one of my favorite action movies of all time.  Die Hard 2.  It was released during the week of July 4th -- I remember because our local theater did a surprise "sneak preview" the day before it was supposed to be released so instead of driving "all the way into the city" we stayed local and only paid about $2.50 each for a ticket and popcorn.

I recently watched a "TV edit" of the movie and when I first got the scrubbed copy I thought, "Wow, Die Hard 2?  What's that going to be, like 20 minutes long without any swearing?"  Even without the requisite 'R' rated content, it was a fun movie.  (See?  Not necessary.)

This time capsule of pagers, corded airline cell phones, and cops that didn't understand faxes, offered some great moments and storytelling panache.  Of course it also had more than its fair share of, "totally not reality," but you expected bottomless magazines for everybody's gun back then.

It poked fun at being a sequel which helped it to stand on its own.  It introduced bits and pieces and then paid them off -- the pagers especially!  It kept offering twists and upping the stakes.  And it used memorably fun characters to provide the” luck and happenstance” needed to reach the happy ending.  For every "Oh my goodness, that's so ridiculous" moment, there was a very respectful, "Now that was good story telling."  Besides, you went to movies like that see how over-the-top they could be.

Sure, the 2nd most famous catch phrase of my high school years was edited out, but the story didn't need it.  It was one of the best at what it was and, even thirty years later, was still better than the current crop trying to capture the same magic.

Doug Richardson penned the film and you can read his very entertaining weekly blog here.

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