Die Hard 4.0 (2007) Film Review


Live Free or Die Hard. Nick off, mate.

So, John McClane (Bruce Willis) gets sent to pick up a hacker for the FBI just as the world starts to fall apart. But the hacker is Matt Farrell(Justin Long) and he is charming but also knows a whole heap of stuff, and it comes down to them saving the world. And McClane’s daughter, Lucy(Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Even if it means throwing police cruisers at helicopters.

I’ll get it out of the way. Women in this film. Again, we have the sexy woman who is actually just an evil henchman. So much more could have been done with her character. And then there is the daughter. At least she had some of her mum’s personality, so there was almost hope. But there was some really nasty misogynistic language in the film that I found quite unnecessary and horrible. Yes, punch the evil chick in the face. But do you need to call her so many horrible things before you do it? You wouldn’t have if she were a bloke.

What this really lacked from the previous films for me was the realism and the humour. By realism, obviously, Die Hard is not some kind of realist drama. But the level of ridiculousness – in the three previous, I could buy it. Die Hard 4.0? Nup. Plus the good humour has gone, and even having a ‘kooky geek’ character wasn’t enough.

Deadwood – TV Review


The Wild West was an ugly, filthy, smelly time and place to be living, and Deadwood shows this in all its darkness. The show is set in the late 1800s as various states in the United States are being created and people from a variety of backgrounds are trying to escape their past and forge a new life.

Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) and Sol Star (John Hawkes) are new in town, setting up a hardware store to provide to the miners that are flooding into the area during the gold rush. Al Swearengen (Ian McShane) is the unofficial head of the town, the owner of The Gem, the town’s pub and brothel. Cy Tolliver (Powers Boothe) moves into town and opens the Bella Union Salon in competition. Wild Bill (Keith Carradine) is also in town, with his companions Charlie Utter(Dayton Callie) and Calamity Jane (Robin Weigert). There are so many more characters, from the whores and heavies that work in the establishments to the Chinese community whose pigs often devour the bodies of those who have died suspiciously.

The show is heavily layered and extremely rich in both plot and character. Watching season three with friends, I recall a long conversation about how Shakespearean it is; not only is much of the language impenetrable yet the intention of the characters clear through performance, there is murder, violence, betrayal, power-struggle and profanity. Oh, so much profanity. The statistic quoted on Wikipedia (true or not, I’m not prepared to count it myself) is that the f-bomb was dropped 43 times in the first hour, 2,980 times throughout, which apparently works out to one per 1.56 minutes of footage. There is also a good explanation for the choice of profanity given the time period of the show – essentially, that using appropriate swearing for the time would make the characters seem comical, so they chose to use modern swearing.

Some people cannot get past the language and graphic violence of the show, which is a shame. It is a wonderful, wonderful show.