I've been reading, reading, reading. Last night I flopped on the bed and switched on the TV to rest my eyes. I'm used to finding nothing good in 60+ channels, but to my surprise I found Die Hard on channel 60 and Little House on the Prairie on channel 61. The LHP episode was right after Nancy got adopted by the Olsens and goes around town being a total bitch to everybody, including locking one girl in an ice house overnight, requiring a visit to Doc Baker. Naturally Pa is the hero, but Laura implements a plan of vengeance the whole town enjoys. Happy endings all around. I couldn't recall the revenge, so I kept flipping over to LHP during commercial breaks to find out. Aha. A "mermade" tank, where people can dunk Nancy and her sausage curls.
But Die Hard--oh weren't the 80's a grand time for movies? Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop, The Goonies, Tootsie, Caddyshack, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Princess Bride, Ghostbusters, Hoosiers, Big, almost everything decent by John Hughes. (Notable films NOT on my list include all the horror flicks which I refused to watch even though my friends did. I hid my face during most of Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Chucky and The Exorcist.)
I adored "John McClane/Roy's" vendetta against the European terrorists, led by Hans Gruber played by Alan Rickman who provided me with one of my earliest moments of inner conflict. (Another early moment of inner conflict involved David Lee Roth in the Jump video, but that's a story for another day.) Here's the thing: he's the head bad guy in this movie, but I kept finding myself oddly attracted to him. Was it the accent? Certainly not the beard. The suit? The scene where he thinks fast on his feet and tells John he's not a terrorist, please don't shoot when he's looking for the detonators? Of course I rooted for Bruce Willis as the cowboy hero, but Hans Gruber had his own strange appeal. Bruce Willis was cocky, sexy, clever and brave. I'd nursed a crush on him starting back in his Moonlighting days. But what was up with this Alan Rickman fella? Now I know, but when I was 16 I didn't.
Do you blame me? See for yourself. Then:
Die Hard, like most of my other favorite movies, mixes up action and comedy. Even though I've watched it at least a hundred times, I watched it for the 101st time last night. I remembered how in high school we'd rent it on VHS and bring it back to Sarah's house and hang out in her den, eating chips, drinking soda, rooting for Bruce Willis and quoting all his best lines. "Yippie kai yay, motherf*cker." "Nine million terrorists in the world and I gotta kill one with feet smaller than my sister." "
No f*cking shit, lady. Does it sound like I'm ordering a pizza?" "
Eeeh! Sorry Hans, wrong guess. Would you like to go for Double Jeopardy where the scores can really change"
"Come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs..." " That was Gary Cooper, asshole." "
Welcome to the party, pal"
Ah, I could still quote so much of the movie. That was the great thing about being a teenager in the 80's--we'd rent those videos over and over and over again and commit every scene to memory. Do kids still do that these days?
The Avengers was magnificent, but Die Hard is still terrific. Despite the ginormous 80's hair and computers I loved it all over again. And that Bruce Willis. After all these years I still adore him in that role as John McClure.