- The holidays are upon us and a friend of mine emailed me and said that it might be fun if I shared my favorite holiday movie. You have a deal, kind sir! And because I love you, here are two more holiday movie reviews to help you have a more enjoyable winter break.
Die Hard [Rated R]
This is seriously my favorite holiday movie. Frankly, it may be my favorite movie, period. What’s that you say? Isn’t this an action film and not a holiday movie? I beg to differ! Why do you think John McClane is in Los Angeles in the first place?
Now, I have to get this out in the open first. I love Roger Ebert. I respect him and his taste greatly. But when he gave “Die Hard” 2 out of 4 stars, he was just plain wrong. John McTiernan wasn’t trying to make “Citizen Kane” or “Tokyo Story” when he made “Die Hard”. He just wanted to make a huge, rollicking explosion fest and he succeeded. To me, though, he did much more. “Die Hard,” for my money, is the quintessential American action film. A lone hero fighting against the odds to save the woman he loves. What could be more classically American than that? What’s that you say? He’s fighting bank robbers from another country? *ding* *ding* Bonus points!
Part of what is so wonderful about “Die Hard” is how open to interpretation it really is. On the surface, it seems like just another (albeit wonderfully realized) action movie. But so many writers have crafted so many sentences about what “Die Hard” “means.” To some, it is a male fantasy about dominating and conquering your surroundings. To others, it’s about patriotism and xenophobia. To me, I just appreciate that Jeb Stuart and Steven de Souza left enough room in the script for people to fill it with their own personal meaning.
That and I appreciate movie makers who have the guts to ask their studio if they can blow up the studio’s newly built headquarters. Interestingly, 20th Century Fox actually charged itself rent for filming on their own property. Also, sadly, John Phillips of London where Takagi and Hans (and Arafat) get their suits … not a real place. I don’t often have a reason to wear a suit but I was going to get one from there. Hollywood and it’s lies!!!
“Die Hard” is loud, ridiculous and wonderful. Much like your humble movie reviewing feline friend.
Why you should watch it: Great travel advice. Taking your shoes and socks off and making fists with your toes while you walk on the rug really works. Try it.
9.5 Paws out of 10
The Holiday [Rated PG-13]
Hey, I’m open-minded. I can watch romantic comedies too! This was suggested to me by a friend as a “fun, holiday movie”.
I’m going to start by saying something you may or may not believe. I don’t like Cameron Diaz. I know I’m “supposed” to but I find her pretty grating. In this movie, she’s even worse. I really didn’t care about her character at all. I just wanted her to go away. Essentially, there are five relationships in this movie. Two involve Cameron Diaz and those two frankly could have been left out of the movie. They were unbelievable and annoying. Kate Winslet is the center of the other three. Those were vastly more interesting.
The push and pull of romance works with Winslet because, well, she just seems like a nice lady. I cared about her character and wanted to see good things happen for her. Really, my favorite relationship in the movie was the one between her and Eli Wallach (the neighbor). I was pretty upset that the film makers decided to leave him out in the end. I want to know if they continued to be friends. Do they still hang out? Does she move to L.A. and keep helping him? I want to see that story instead of Cameron Diaz’s.
All in all, not a bad movie but not a great one either. Maybe something for a Saturday night if your significant other wants something to fall asleep next to you watching.
Why you should watch it: Dustin Hoffman’s brief cameo in the video store. That’s how I like to imagine all Hollywood stars. In sweats at a store doing their every day chores.
5.5 Paws out of 10
New Years Eve [Rated PG-13]
One of the plot lines in this movie involves Zac Efron helping Michelle Pfeiffer complete a list of life goals. I truly believe that the writers of this movie had a similar list.
“We want to make a movie about New Year’s Eve. What do we need? A story about new birth? Check. A story about death? Check. A romance? Check.” So on and so forth.
The number of plot lines in this movie is pretty daunting. Don’t worry, none of them are really explored in depth. In fact, I think that’s my main issue with this movie. It’s bland. You can’t love or hate anything about it because there is no real substance to it. It’s like trying to squeeze a soap bubble. Watch it if you want. Or don’t. It’s basically the same thing.
Which makes this a hard movie to rate. I didn’t like it so I can’t give it more than a 5. But I didn’t dislike it so I can’t give it under a 5. I just didn’t care about it at all. Seriously, if this movie makes you feel passionate in any way (love, hate, anger ….), do me a favor and email me (email@example.com) and tell me how, cause I don’t get it.
Why you should watch this: Because you have a maniacal desire to watch every movie Ashton Kutcher is in? I’m reaching here.
5 Paws out of 10