Observations by a first-time viewer


Before Saturday, I had never, ever seen Die Hard. I'll pause to allow a collective gasp of child-of-the-80s horror at this admission. Of course I was aware of it, just like I'm aware of Miracle Whip and people who vote for Boris Johnson: I know these things exist, but I don't feel the need to experience them personally. It was always just another noisy, explosiony action film for smelly boys and I was too busy watching Beaches five million times to make room for it in my busy viewing schedule. Plus Bruce Willis is, like, totally not attractive.

But apparently everyone loves Die Hard, and Fin couldn't believe I'd never seen it (mind you, he also couldn't believe I'd never seen Predator, which, frankly, I don't think is that difficult to believe). So when it came on Channel 5 on Saturday night - always at the cutting edge of entertainment, Channel 5 - I thought, "Fuck it, there's nothing else on," and settled down to watch it. That's right folks, I know how to have a good time on a Saturday night. I was even slow-cooking some pork at the same time. Crrrazy.

Anyway, having finally watched Die Hard for the first time in 2012 at the ripe old age of 28, I feel compelled to make the following observations. 

1. I take it all back. Bruce Willis is, like, totally attractive. Also related: why don't men wear vests any more? They really should.


Yippee ki-yay, indeed.

2. Only in the 1980s would the "good guys" be a global corporation running a shady business involving  massive oil rigs and constructing motorway bridges through Indonesian rainforests. "Contrary to what you people think, we're going to develop that region, not 'exploit' it." Sure you are, Takagi. Sure you are.

3. Alan Rickman is, as I have long suspected, a total badass. Obviously his evil German terrorist performance pales in comparison to his later evil English sheriff performance, but every evil [nationality][noun] performer has to start somewhere.

4. The ending. Oh, the ending. Let me check I've got the backstory right: cop shoots and kills a child who was holding a toy gun, because "it was dark" and "he was big for his age". Cop (quite rightly) gets taken off the beat. There is an emotional scene in which the cop confesses that he (again, quite rightly) lost his confidence to use a gun after the whole accidentally-killing-a-child fiasco. But then, in the end, cop whips out his gun and kills a long-haired crazy German terrorist. Cop looks at his still-smoking gun with wonder in his eyes; cop is, finally, redeemed. 

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

A heart-warming tale of how one policeman with questionable judgement is reunited with his twitchy trigger finger? That's what everyone's been going on about all these years?

I can only assume its success is almost entirely down to the fact that Bruce looks so darned good strutting around in his vest.


Am I the only one with glaring gaps in my 80s action film education? Anyone else rewatched a childhood favourite and realised that - hang on - it's completely fucked up (hello, Watership Down)?


{Images: 1. Poster by Olly Moss. Moss also made these amazing papercuts, including one of Bruce Willis rocking a vest. Nice. 2. Via Hot Bruce Willis. Clearly they knew something I didn't.}

21 boats moored :

  1. I love this post! I had seen Die Hard and Predator, but none of the Terminator films or Robocop when I first started going out with Sam. I think I've seen every 80s action film there is now - definitely everything with Arnie in. I was a tomboy so it was stuff like Grease I missed out on - I didn't see it until I was 18 and it got re-released at the cinema!

    Px

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Penny I thought of you when I was writing it!

      I can't imagine what it was like seeing Grease for the first time at 18. It would either be mind-blowing, or really really crap...

      Delete
    2. Honestly? It was a bit weak! I still don't really get it... Sam grew up with three little sisters so he loves it and always wants to watch it when it's on. I'd rather watch some crap Jean Claude Van Damme film!

      Px

      Delete
    3. Well you should definitely watch Grease II it is far better......or is that my 8 year old self speaking hmmmm!

      Delete
  2. Confession time - I've never seen Beaches!
    I did watch Total Recall for the first time a couple of weeks ago though because James came home drunk, put it on TV and then fell asleep while I stayed up gripped in some kind of trance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my god, you HAVE to watch it. Minimum three boxes of tissues will be required. It's the only film I could quote from beginning to end, and it's probably also responsible for my lifelong obsession with red curly hair.

      Delete
    2. Same... never seen it. The boy is away on a Stag do this weekend though so I may well get me a bottle of vino, some jelly tots and settle down for a tear fest.

      Delete
  3. you realize that it was made in America right? American's do really love guns you know. Not all Americans - but a shocking number more than you might think. One of the activities after my friend Kate's wedding was 'shoot guns'

    Also Alan Rickman. I'd take him over Bruce Willis any day. & not just because Bruce is a republican.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Alan Rickman is awesome and somehow gets away with playing the same droll baddy in everything.

    Bruce was certainly hot in his day, my sisters have a full blown obsession for him (I was a tad to young to see it) including owning his *ahem* questionable attempt at pop-stardom.

    Now that you've seen the first you have to watch the rest too, loves me some guns and explosions!

    That all being said, I'm the WORST movie watcher ever. Name any film and you can pretty much guarantee that I've either not seen it or fallen asleep during it. It's an affliction.

    ReplyDelete
  5. There are so many "classic" films I haven't watched - my husband always gasps incredulously about my ignorance and then makes me watch them. Some have been OK like Terminator and Gremlins but most of the others are just terrible.

    I have a theory that if we first watched as adults those films we saw as children and consequently view as classics, we'd now think they were awful. Case in point: I love Labyrinth but I know if I watched it for the first time as a 29 year old (rather than a 6 year old who lusted after Jennifer Connolly's waistcoat) I'd be focussing on how weird Jarrod is and how disturbing his codpiece is. I also tried to watch The Goonies for the first time last year after never having seen it as a child, but just couldn't finish it - it was dire.

    Also, Alan? Hot. He's one of my celebrity crushes that fall into the "dirty little secret" category, along with Phil Spencer. Check out Truly Madly Deeply for some classic Alan. Mmmm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too never watched the goonies as a child and thought it was pretty ho-hum much to my husbands disgust when I did finally watch it

      Delete
  6. Brilliant! You know I've never really questioned that ending so much... think I've seen it way too many times (the husband loves this film, so much so he's been Bruce Willis in Die Hard as his Halloween costume before!)! Have somehow managed to avoid Predator though... not sure how I have achieved that.

    Love point number 2 as well... you forgot to include "Yippee-ki-yay motherfucker!" somewhere though! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Is that it? Is that what's going on in that film? I've fannied around on my computer several times while the beau watched one of the seventeen Die Hard films was on the television, and I've never been able to pick up on a thread of a plot other than "shoot guns, shoot guns, shouting, explosions."

    Not that there's anything wrong with explosions.

    And oh, yes, I'm one of those people with huge gaps of pop culture knowledge in my timeline. People want to stage an intervention whenever I mention I've never seen Star Wars or Top Gun or The Goonies. I'm at the point in life where I almost never want to see them out of sheer stubbornness and spite.

    The ones I have seen, though? Totally agree. Most of them are fucked up. I present to you almost any of the "brat pack" films starring Molly Ringwald. Rewatching them as an adult is an exercise in how uncomfortable you can be made to feel in any given scene (sexist jokes! racist jokes! oh my!). And can I be quite honest with you? I think Ferris Bueller is kind of a twat.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh Alan, how I love thee. But more in Sheriff mode than German terrorist mode, it has to be said.

    I have a (female) and much loved former housemate whose idea of the perfect evening involves cosying up with the Arnie box-set: Kindergarten Cop, Junior and Terminator. I'm currently trying to covince her to name the tables at her wedding after classic 80s/90s films. Personally, I'm more of a Romancing the Stone/Labyrinth/Top Gun kind of girl, but I can totally see the appeal of Bruce Willis in a vest...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Having lived in Los Angeles in the late 80s / early 90s, let me assure you that having a cop shoot someone they were *supposed* to shoot was indeed cause for celebration. The point is not that Sergeant Powell is reunited with his itchy trigger finger, but that he once again able to stand up for the law and totally blowing away terrorist scumbags (duh).

    (Sadly, the accidental shooting of a kid with a toy gun did happen not long after we moved to California, which was one reason why toy guns became so obviously cartoonish at the time.)

    Because I am LOLd the experience of "wow, that is actually pretty bad" comes with the dialog of the first three Star Wars films (I'm going by release date here, as I don't acknowledge the second three / first half of the trilogy).

    And Grease doesn't really stand up to the test of time, but you can't tell that to my lady peers who apparently all know all the words.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've not seen Beaches. Or that many action films (and yes I know that makes my blog name seem silly) but have watched most Arnie films and most JCVD films due to a house share with four boys in my final year of uni. It was one of the only things we could agree on to watch (that and the Simpsons and Hollyoaks and the OC).

    ReplyDelete
  11. Absolutely classic, you should write the cinema trailers that implore us to see film differently!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have seen neither Beaches nor Die Hard, but NOTHING could make Bruce Willis remotely attractive to me! Alan Rickman however..... I think it's his voice.

    I have heard that there are people who have never seen The Breakfast Club but I doubt it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Kirsty PUH-LEASE tell me you've seen Dirty Dancing....

    ReplyDelete
 

All content © A SAFE MOORING except where noted. Please link with love .
Mod Template: all rights reserved © Blog Milk