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On Christmas Eve, New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) arrives in LA to spend the holidays with his estranged wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) and their two children. John and Holly arrange to meet at the Christmas party her Japanese employers are throwing on the 30th floor of its brand new building. While he is using the executive washroom, terrorists led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) seize the building and threaten to kill hostages while they attempt to steal $670 million in bearer bonds from the Nakatoni company safe. McClane makes an escape to the unfinished upper floors of the building, from where he wages a one-man war against Gruber and his crew.

Review by Richard Kuipers:
Bruce Willis in a singlet and a double-disc set crammed with a weekend's worth of extras makes Die Hard an irresistible DVD proposition. Awesome is the word that comes to mind when describing the film itself and the contents of this two-disc special edition.

Die Hard was made when special effects technology had reached a sophisticated level but there were still stunts and explosions that had to be done for real - unlike nowadays when almost every major effect in action-thrillers has been (yawn) generated by (yawn) computers.

The pyrotechnic stuff may be the star of the show but there's much more to this high-rise actioner than bullets, bangs and crashes. Bruce Willis at his most appealing, first class villainy from Alan Rickman and his pony-tailed cohorts and John McTiernan's taut direction (this is easily his best film) keep the pulse-beat racing from the moment New York cop McClane touches down at LAX. 14 years after it was made, Die Hard remains one of the better examples of the action-thriller genre because, as production designer Jackson DeGovia points out on the commentary, it doesn't cheat and is believable on a human level no matter how fanciful the hair-raising actions of McClane and his adversaries become.

Unlike too many films of this type there's no fat in the lengthy running time. The widescreen transfer is beautiful and the list of extras simply amazing on this disc. McTiernan and Jackson DeGovia contribute absorbing if rather technically oriented commentary but the real highlights of the bonus material are editing and audio workshops that enable viewers to re-edit sequences from raw original material. Elsewhere there are enough deleted scenes, publicity materials and background briefings to keep the most die-hard fan of Die Hard happy.

If you rent this try and negotiate a two day deal because you'll never get through everything in one sitting. Better still, just buy it; it's worth it.

Published May 9, 2002

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You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia



CAST: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald Veljohnson, Paul Gleason, Alexander Gudonov, De'voreaux White.

DIRECTOR: John McTiernan


SPECIAL FEATURES: Disc 1: Audio Commentary with Director John McTiernan and Production Designer Jackson DeGovia, Scene Specific Commentary with Special Effects Supervisor Richard Edlund, Text Commentary by Writer Steven E. DeSouza, Producer Lawrence Gordon, Composer Michael Kamen, Actor Alan Rickman and others. Extended Feature viewing option. Language: English. Subtitles: English (H.O.H), Czech, Portuguese, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Dutch, Danish, Polish, Hungarian, Hebrew Disc 2: Deleted Scenes, Interactive Slide Show, Magazine Articles, Ad Campaign, Screenplay, Editing Workshop (enables re-editing of 2 sequences), Audio Mixing Worshop, Widescreen vs Pan and Scan Illustrated Discussion, Glossary of Filmmaking Terms

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: April 25, 2002

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