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Entries in Die Hard (5)

Thursday
Jan142016

Alan Rickman (1946-2016)

Heartbreaking. Alan Rickman, one of the UK's most treasured showbiz mainstays has passed away at the age of 69. Though he occassionally dabbled in directing (The Winter Guest and A Little Chaos) he was best known as an actor of stage, tv, and big screen.  He's inarguably best known and beloved for the many years as Professor Snapes in the Harry Potter series. But for me, his career always makes me nostalgic for the early 90s. His career was energized by the success of Die Hard which led to a bunch of movies. 

When I saw Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) I was shocked that any film could contain so many performances that were all over the map in terms of quality - a chaos of acting styles and fumbles but he was always fun hamming it up as the Sherrif of Nottingham. I immediately typecast him as a villain. A year or two after Robin Hood I discovered in short succession the intense incest drama Close My Eyes (in which he is horrified to discover that is brother-in-law Clive Owen is sleeping with his wife), the claustrophobic thriller Closet Land in which he terrorized my then obsession Madeline Stowe (at the peak of her powers from roughly 1990-1994). But all my limiting ideas that that inimitable voice and the stern face meant he was a screen baddie were blown apart by this next one. My best girlfriend had fallen for this romantic comedy Truly Madly Deeply in which he plays Juliet Stevenson's ghost lover and demanded I see it. I fell hard. For them and the movie.

It's a great rental / streaming idea if you haven't seen it. This scene, which gives it its title, is my single favorite moment in Rickman's filmography.

What's your strongest memory of Alan Rickman's career?

Thursday
Oct152015

Links: Jennifer's World, Screenplay Competition, Gena's Glory

Illustration by Jennifer WilliamsActresses Actresses Actresses
<-- If you haven't yet read Jennifer Lawrence's short essay "Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars" you should.

Salon
 on the many stars who are coming out in support of JLaw on Twitter
Teen Vogue Jennifer Lawrence and other stars before they were famous posing for Abercrombie & Fitch
THR Actress Joan Leslie (Yankee Doodle Dandy, Sergeant York) has died at 90 
Tracking Board Yorgos Lanthimos' (The Lobster) next project is about Queen Anne and it's called The Favorite. The female driven film will star Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone and Olivia Colman  
David Poland "20 Weeks To Oscar" he thinks only four movies are locked up in Best Picture: The Martian, Spotlight, Steve Jobs and Room but here's what I found most interesting. He argues that only Brie Larson & Kate Winslet can rest easy in their respective actress fields and I can see that The rest of the fields are fluid.
AV Club Because Ryan Murphy isn't spread thin enough he's pitching an anthology series called "One Hit Wonders" to star Goop herself, Gwyneth Paltrow  

Oscar Chatter
Awards Daily on the Screenplay races. Celebrity writers + Best Picture heat 
In Contention Kris Tapley on the makeup race. Can box office bombs factor in?

General Linkage
Interview talks to Emma Donaghue the novelist who adapted her own work for the screen in Room
Criterion has an amazing conversation with the French director Arnaud Desplechin (Kings & Queen, My Golden Days). They talk Oscars, Lars von Trier (?), male versus female actors, nudity, everything. I like this bit on his relationship to Mathieu Amalric who is in most of his films:

Mathieu is hard with me. He’s really hard. You don’t know all his French films, but I saw all his French films. He always plays the same part in all the films. They’re quite good, but I remember when I proposed Kings & Queen to him, he told me: “Arnaud, the script is great, but I don’t want to play the same character as in My Sex Life. You have to prove to me that this is another character.” I have to prove to you? Come on, you play the same character in five films, why am I obliged to prove that to you? He said, “Because it’s love, so you have to prove it.”


Birth. Movies. Death Thor: Ragnarok will be Marvel's darkest. But will it introduce Valkyrie? (People will be completely be over superheroes by the time the females arrive. sigh
Empire NOooo. Now they want to make a Die Hard "origin story". Boo
Playbill two underused fine actors Aaron Tveit & Mary Elizabeth Winstead headlining a new CBS comic thriller BrainDead with a truly bizarre premise
AV Club broke down 22 references in the Hail, Caesar! trailer
MNPP Jason has some thoughts on a possible tv version of Y: The Last Man

Finally...

"I had seen her when I was a teenager in Lonely Are the Brave with Kirk Douglas. I'd never seen anyone that beautiful with a certain gravitas. It was particularly unique in that time, when many women were trying to be girlish, affecting a superficial, 'I'm a pretty girl' attitude. It seemed to be the best way to succeed, but Gena did none of that. There was a directness—not that she wasn't fun and didn't smolder—but it came from a place that was both genuine and deep.

-Mia Farrow on Gena Rowlands
"

Elle Magazine's "Women in Hollywood" issue is available digitally now and comes out next week featuring Gena Rowlands, Alicia Vikander, Salma Hayek, Kate Winslet, Carey Mulligan, Ava DuVernay, Amy Schumer, and Dakota Johnson.

Tuesday
Dec032013

Curio: Holiday Snail Mail

Alexa here. I did my part today to keep the USPS in business by sending out an armload of holiday cards. So for those who also take the time to send a greeting through the mail, and who aren't making personal greeting card appearances à la Andrew Lincoln, here are some of the more clever film-themed greetings available that don't involve Clark Griswold or Ralphie.

Die Hard, The Shining, Holly Golightly and more after the jump...

Tis the season for John McClane. Avilable here.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul162013

Link Runner

Indiewire has a handy guide for filmmakers of great perks you get from filming in various states
Maxim celebrates the influence of Die Hard 25 years after its debut
Vulture has the 25 best action movies since Die Hard
i09 shares a 60 second animated redux of Blade Runner. I normally live for this sort of thing but I don't really like this one. I think maybe it's because if you rob Blade Runner of its grandiose visuals and color and mood, you don't have much! 

Off Cinema Fun
Towleroad "the greatest shirtlesss popsicle ad ever" 
Thought Catalog "5 business lessons I learned on MTV"
Thrillist Twinkies are back! So here are great moments in the snack cake's history 

Helen Mirren © Kagan McLeodDiva Worship!
Saturday Evening Post talks to Her Fabulousity Helen Mirren 

Guardian on the exciting trend of actresses as co-writers. Greta Gerwig love for this:

Understandably, Gerwig has bristled at being described as Baumbach's "muse". "I'm OK with the term muse as long as you acknowledge the muse wrote the script, too," she told a recent interviewer. "I feel like I'm the loudest muse that the world has ever seen."

Love them both!

Friday
Feb152013

Posterized: Bruce Willis, Perennial

I raced excitedly to a A Good Day To Die Hard screening earlier this week though I couldn't quite put my finger on why. As a rule of thumb, I love Bruce Willis but I don't exactly seek his movies out and haven't seen a Die Hard since the second one. (I've been the furthest thing from a loyal fan mostly because he churns out so many disposable actioners.) I was just in the right mood I guess though I am sad to report that it felt like a phone-in.

But for this week's edition of Posterized, I thought we'd look back on his whole career. I've previously applauded him for his unheralded range. Which is to say that even though he is always "Bruce Willis" he can easily slip into auteur pieces, comedies, dramas, and action flicks without ever disrupting the site-specific tonal demands. That's as true of a definition of Movie Star who also happens to be a Fine Actor as I know of. But the posters disagree with me since every other one cribs some element from the original Die Hard (1988) poster, Bruce with a tense side stare, Bruce pursing those thin lips, Bruce holding a gun (or signifying that a gun is just outside the frame with battle gear on). Every movie wants to be Die Hard... especially all the subsequent Die Hards. Die Hard 2 may be the most hilarious example of the unspoken sequel motto ("be the same movie over again... only bigger")

The "Moonlighting" Years (85-89)
aka Cybil (TV) and Demi (The Movies) share him
Blind Date (1987), Sunrise (1987), Die Hard (1988)

Seemingly hundreds of movies after the jump! How many have you seen?

Click to read more ...