Man Movie Encyclopedia – Die Hard

With the recent love for Die Hard in the previous thread, I got a couple requests for the MME article on it. Now we can talk about men’s fashion and industrialization all day.

Year: 1988
John McTiernan
Bruce Willis
“40 Stories Of Sheer Adventure!”

Really, what you’ve got here is the Holy Grail of action films. A film so revolutionary that it created a sub-genre, launching millions of different action films that were described as “Die Hard on a _____”. The funny thing is, the plot is so absolutely simply, it’s shocking no one came up with it before.

John McClane is a New York cop who’s marriage is on the rocks, due to his wife not being happy with just being a homemaker. Pssh, just like a woman. So, he’s heading to LA in order to try and patch things up, because God-forbid Holly do it! Once he touches down in Los Angeles, he gets himself a limo with a talkative driver named Argyle. He instantly wins my respect by listening to Run DMC. The place John is dropped off at is The Nakatomi Plaza building where Holly’s Christmas party is going down. Since John is unsure whether or not he’s going to get busy with the Mrs, Argyle offers to hang out until he knows the deal for sure.

Now, while John is heading up stairs, playing meet n greet, a team of German terrorists are infiltrating the building in order to load up on the $640 million dollars worth of bearer bonds. The leader of the group is Hans Gruber, a smooth talking bad-ass who loves to wear a good suit, and isn’t afraid to put a bullet in someone should it seem fit. He’s got along with him many a thug, as well as a computer/electronics savant who’s here to break into the major vault.

As Holly & John are seemingly on the mend, gunfire erupts out in the banquet room as the bad-guys make their presence known. John takes the split second he has to duck out into the stairwell, and try to mount a plan. If it were me, my awesome plan would have been to run down the stairs screaming a combination of rape & fire.

One of John’s first plans is to pull the fire alarm and get some attention to this situation. Naturally, the baddies are on top of this, which should have been obvious because Hans is wearing a suit. You wear a suit, you know the score. So, Hans tells one of the fellow bad guys to check on the situation, and gets his neck broken for his troubles. That’s why I’ve never done anything my bosses have ever told me to do. I’m not getting my neck broken.

It’s now known by Hans and the group that there’s something afoot, due to John writing “Now I have a machine gun, ho ho ho” on the dead guys sweat shirt, and sending him down the elevator. Meanwhile, a simple beat cop known best to the World as Carl Winslow of Family Matters’ fame, has been called to check out the situation at Nakatomi Plaza. For his troubles, he gets his car shredded with a few machine guns, and ran off an embankment. After calling in the troops, he’s able to communicate with John who snatched a radio he nabbed from a dead guy.

So, the troops come in, and try to work this situation out. By work the situation out, I mean get knee capped, and have their LAPD tank blown to hell with a rocket launcher. John answers back with thee ol’ C4 & computer monitor trick. I’m sure in this day and age he’d tie it to an iPhone or something. Ellis, perhaps the greatest representation of the 80’s yuppie, does a few snorts of coke, and tries to work out a deal with Hans & the gang. I never knew just what the hell kind of deal he was gonna strike. Although his 10,000 watt smile could damn near soften the heart of any terrorist. Except Hans, he blows his brains out because John won’t give up the detonators he boosted from one of Hans’ henchmen.

The FBI finally arrives, and they zap the power to the building, which is exactly what Hans wanted. Now that things are on their way, they split up to check on things and make sure shit is going down. Hans checks out the C4 on the roof, and happens to run into John. Naturally. John assumes that everyone is a terrorist, and doesn’t trust Bill Clay for a minute. That proves to be fruitful, as Hans tries to shoot John, only to realize the gun has no bullets. Before anything else can go down, the rest of the crew show up and shoot the hell out of the office, layering the floor in shards of glass. Which will prove to be detrimental to John’s shoeless feet. The gang manages to get the detonators back, and leave John to bleed.

They finally break through the safe they’ve been trying to crack, and start loading up the loot. Meanwhile, John figures out that they’re going to blow the roof when all the hostages are up there. That way the FBI thinks everyone has died, and will take a while to try and track them down. He runs up stairs, and gets the group to head the hell back downstairs. Of course, since there’s women, they won’t listen unless John is firing a freaking machine gun. Now that it’s all clear, he gets to jumping off the roof with a firehose tied around his waist. If it were me, they’d probably only have a garden hose, I’d only be able to jump about half a foot, and also get rubber burn. And I don’t think there’s much lotion in Nakatomi Plaza.

Well, it’s game time, the showdown between Hans & John McClane. Since John is the smartest motherfucker alive, he has a gun taped to his back, and blows some Germans away. I have a ton of back hair, and I can tell you how that plan would have gone. The tape would have adhered to my back hair so strongly that when I pulled on the gun I would have given myself a front flip.

Man Movie Encyclopedia Tally:

Guys Beat Up:
Guys Killed:
Swear Words:
Slow-Motion Scenes:
Car Chases:
Chases on Foot:
Broken Bones:
Fight at a Motel?
Guy Get Girl?
Guy Smoke Cigarettes?


Tony: …there are rules for policemen.
John McClane: Yeah, that’s what my Captain keeps telling me.

Next time you have a chance to kill someone, don’t hesitate.
[McClane pumps about 6 shots into him]
John McClane: Thanks for the advice, pal.

[after some cowboy talk, John pulls the gun from his back and shoots Hans]
John McClane: Happy trails, Hans.


The original poster release didn’t feature Bruce’s image, because the studio thought it’d hurt the box-office, since he wasn’t an action star.

When John falls down the elevator shaft, you see that he misses the first air vent. That was actually a mistake by the stuntman, as he didn’t grab it in time, but they dug it so they left it in.

Bruce was the 7th choice for John McClane. 7th, motherfucker. The line went like this;
Arnold, then Stallone, then Burt Reynolds, then Richard Gere, then Harrison Ford, then Mel Gibson. I don’t get it, how could you read this script and think “feh”?

This was originally meant to be a sequel to Commando.

The centerfold that John sees in the elevator shaft is that of Playboy’s Miss November, 1987, Pamela Stein.

The reaction that Alan Rickman has when being dropped is genuine. He was held 21ft above an airbag, and the stuntman let go at 2, not 3.

The Director, John McTiernan decided to change Hans & the gang from political terrorist, to dudes just out for a score. He felt it would be easier for people to enjoy a simple caper film.

Box-Office Business:
Created on a budget of $28 million dollars, Die Hard was released on July 15th, 1988 to 1,276 theaters. It opened up at #3, earning a weekend total of $7,105,514. It ended up earning a grand total of $140,767,956

C’mon Bennet, Let’s Party!:
Seriously, there’s nothing I could say that would do this film justice. It’s an absolute masterpiece. It’s not only one of the Top 3 action films of all time, it’s one of the Top 10 films of all time. There’s absolutely nobody who can’t enjoy this. The plot was so simple, but executed so goddamn well. There isn’t one gripe about this film, as it’s flawless from beginning to end. John McClane is one of the burliest movie characters of all time. Hands down.

5 Head-Butts Out Of 5.

My editor Steven Ferrari didn’t edit this, but I’d still like to make mention of how I met him, which was when my brother-in-law, and good friend’s wife died, and he asked myself, and Steven to help him raise his 3 daughters. Have mercy. 

Hope you guys dug the article. For those that did and want more, you can read this very entry, plus the rest of the original Die Hard trilogy in my book The Man Movie Encyclopedia, available at amazon for 99cents. 28 classics are covered, from First Blood, to Robocop, Commando, and Predator. It’s been endorsed by Scott Keith, and New York Times Best-Selling Author, Maddox. Hell, even Fuj gave it a thumbs up.

For more Die Hard fun with Caliber, check out 12 Reasons Why Die Hard Is The Best Christmas Film Ever.

Any requests, questions, QOTDs, send’em on over to [email protected]

Man Movie Encyclopedia – The Condemned

Star: Steve Austin, Vinnie Jones
Year: 2007
Director: Scott Wiper
1989 was the first in WWE’s attempt to branch out into the world of
film, the Hulk Hogan vehicle, No Holds Barred. It came out the same
weekend as Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade, and came in at 2nd place at
the box office. It wasn’t much of a success, and critics weren’t having
it. So, fast forward almost 20 years and Vince is ready to give it
another shot, this time with Stone Cold Steve Austin at the helm.


Breckel has come up with the ultimate idea for reality TV. The
Condemned. 10 death-row convicts trapped on a deserted island, all
fighting to the death for what’s behind door number 1; a bag of cash,
their freedom, and a year lease on a Yugo. Jack Conrad [Stone Cold] is one of those convicts, he’s
ex-Delta Force and being held in a Salvadoran prison because he won’t tell them
he’s there on a black ops sorta deal.

All the convicts are then flown to a
private island, and kicked out of a helicopter at separate points.
Before they’re asked to tuck and roll however, they get a bomb strapped
to their foot, each with a 30 hour countdown. There’s also a pin that
one can pull if they feel the need to expedite things. Hell, I’d
probably forget and use the pin to pick my teeth after mobbin’ some beef
jerky or something.
One of the convicts is dropped out over a
dock and impaled. Another one tries to rape one of the female convicts,
and he gets his pin pulled for his troubles.
There’s a convict named McStarley [Vinnie
Jones] who’s set up as the main villain of the movie, and it’s an
appropriate choice. Vinnie Jones is a total bad-ass in all that he does,
and is so manly, I hear that when he gets a hair cut, they sell the
clippings to make steel wool. There’s also a bad-ass Asian dude. He and
McStarley decide to team up until it’s just those two.
Meanwhile, Stone Cold is tromping around
the jungle, looking for something he can help get placed on the
endangered species list, when Nathan Jones appears. For those who don’t
watch wrestling, Nathan Jones was one hell of a shitty wrestler, but had
a great look. So, and I’m sure it was done this way for wrestling dorks
such as myself, they proceed to do battle. Stone Cold eventually pushes
Mr. Jones off a cliff after his pin as been pulled out. I was really
hoping it would have been like PIN PULL KICK WHAM STUNNER [copyright Scott Keith], and then
Nathan Jones really sells the sucker.
McStarley and his friend do a bit of
damage themselves, as they come across a married couple that’s sort of like a Bonnie & Clyde situation. They break the guys leg, then proceed to beat &
rape his wife before pulling her pin. So, while this is going on, the guy with the busted leg
escapes & hides out. He’s then found by Jack, who reassures him that
he’s not gonna kill him, and has bigger fish to fry. Sure enough, he’s
out to find where all of this is being filmed. Once there, he calls up
his girlfriend in the states to give her the location of the island.
Well, the people who are making $50 a buy on the PPV aren’t happy with Jack trying
to bring shit down, so they unload a few clips his way in hopes of preventing his escape. That plan does not work.
Back with the other members of the game,
two of them have taken a time out to chill by a fire. One’s female, the
other male. The dude starts to tell a tale of how he got screwed by a
woman once, and refuses to trust them again. Then, as expected, before
he can even finish his sentence the girl has pulled his pin and ran for
the hills. Yeah, leave it to a woman to trip an explosive on you and
then just run. Hell, she probably did it right before it was her turn to
reciprocate oral sex.
It appears that the dude running the
program is in cahoots with McStarley, because he keeps getting grab-bags
with goodies. This time it’s a bow & arrows, Molotov cocktails, and a
couple knives. The Asian dude gets the knives, and McStarley gets the
bow & arrows. Jack starts getting smart, finds some re-bar and duct
tapes it to his forearms, so he can protect himself. 
So, Jack whoops some ass on the Asian guy,
and now it’s go time with McStarley who just so happens to have a
shot-gun. Jack ends up face down in the river, and it appears that it’s
game over for him. Mean while, McStarley heads back to base camp, in
hopes of getting his cash and freedom. Well, Breckel tries to renege on
the cash offer, and McStarley has a problem with that. He says they had a
deal, he gives’em a show, and in return gets a boat load of cash along
with this freedom. Breckel says nope. McStarley says else wise, and
proceeds to literally murder every person at the base camp. He seems to
have a problem with the fact that they watch this stuff. Well, a rapist
& murderer has to have his morals too. I know Charles Mason had
recycling has one of his big things to do, right behind starting the
race war.
While McStarley is in rampage mode, he
doesn’t see Jack coming up from behind. He forces him to sit in a chair,
then proceeds to empty the rest of his clip into him. Afterwards he
runs down Breckel, and proceeds to throw an ankle bomb into his
helicopter as it crashes into the mountain side. Unfortunately, he
didn’t say something cool like “You’re cancelled!”.
Official Man Movie Official Tally:
1-Liners: 4
Guys Beat-Up: 12
Guys Killed: 23
Swear Words: 62
Boobies: 0
Explosions: 6
Slow-Motion Scenes: 5
Car Chase: 0
Chase On Foot: 3
Broken Bones: 2
Guy Gets The Girl: Yeap
Guy Smokes: No
Fight/Shoot-Out At Motel: No
Ian Breckel: What were you doing in El Salvador?
Jack: Working on my tan.
Ian Breckel: Why did you blow the building up?
Ian Breckel: It was blocking my sun.

Ian: Well, where are you from back in the states then, huh?
Jack: Alaska
Ian: Alaska, whereabouts?
Jack: About 80 miles north of Anchorage. Little fishing town. You probably heard of it. It’s called Fuck Your Mama.
Jack: Sounds like you’ve had a hard life
McStarley: Yeah
Jack: Good thing it’s over.
Ian: What do you do for a living, Jack?
Jack: Interior decorator
Box-Office Business:
Released April 27th, 2007, to 2,310 theaters. It opened up at #9, bringing $3,807,595 for the weekend.
Costing around $20 million to create, the total take for it’s theatrical run was $8,642,858. But they ended up doing well when it hit DVD.
Stone Cold
was originally slated to play the role that Vinnie Jones plays. But once
WWE came aboard, they felt it’d be best if Stone Cold were the hero. I
think Stone Cold would have been pretty fucking rad as McStarley.
Stone Cold & Vinnie Jones had actually
worked together before hand, when WWE did a tour of the UK, Vinnie did a
run in for one of Stone Cold’s match in order to lend a hand.
C’mon Bennet, Let’s Party:
 The movie got a pretty good chunk of negative reviews when it came out, and I think it’s pretty unjust. The film delivers exactly what you expect, and that’s more than you can say for a lot of films. You’ve got a great villain in Vinnie Jones, and Stone Cold, as it’s been known for years, makes for a great protagonist. There’s a ton of explosions, fight scenes, people dying left and right, and just about everything else you’d expect from an action film. I wouldn’t put it in the pantheon of the all-time classics, but it doesn’t belong any where near the bottom either. Just a solid film that’s worth your time. 
3 & 3/4th Head-Butts Out Of 5
– Caliber Winfield
Str8 Gangster, No Chaser – more Man Movie Encyclopedia entries, along with Top 4 lists, reviews, and pro-wrestling.
WCW In 2000 – I’m sure by now you know of the horror.