Posts Tagged ‘Die Hard’

I love movies. To me, they are the ultimate entertainment form. They combine music, photography, performance and storytelling into one big glossy bowl of wonder. That’s why I went to film school, to learn more about the magic. And while my naïve little eyes were opened wide by the experience, it also gave me an unparalleled appreciation for the art form. Never mind that a part of me still wants to dissect every aspect of a movie, from shot angles to casting to how much catering must have cost. Sometimes it’s best not to see behind the curtain.

Writing for movies is a whole ‘nuther animal from novel writing. I was okay at it, but screenwriting was never going to be my best creative avenue. I’m too wordy, too detail oriented, too into the minds of my characters, too control-freaky. Once I came to accept that fact, and the fact I was never going to be awarded anything besides a pat on the back (oh, the fantasies children have of golden statues and piles of money…), I was able to sit back and just be happy writing to my strengths. And I was able to watch movies just for fun again. I have a few favorites that I keep going back to. Not because they’re Great Films, but because they’re great escapes. As I thought about them, I realized I haven’t shared much about my tastes in movies here, despite bragging about my film school education. So get some popcorn and a big drink and sit back for my top five.

1)        Blade Runner

Blade Runner

My favorite of all time. Directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer. The tone and texture of this thing is just beyond anything else I’ve experienced. A commentary on what it means to be human, it is a feast for the eyes with exquisite detail and a subtle depth in its storytelling. I’ve never cared for the soundtrack – my tinnitus and electronic tones don’t get along – but I can overlook that for everything else it offers. I’m one of the few who actually saw it in the theater when it was released and I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve watched it since.

My favorite scene:


2)        The Omega Man

 The Omega Man

Charlton Heston at his badass best. I remember seeing this at a drive-thru with my parents. I think it was part of a double-header, but it’s been awhile so forgive me if the details are fuzzy. This thing haunted me for weeks afterward. Okay, it still haunts me. Probably why it’s one of my favorites.

Based on the Richard Matheson novel “I Am Legend,” (which has spawned several other movie versions as well), it’s more than just a monster movie or a tale of survival. Just check out Chuck’s not-so-subtle position at the end:


3)        Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Star Trek II

The best of the original series/cast movies, in my not-so-humble opinion. Ricardo Montalban (and his amazing chest – he was 62 when this thing was released) gave us one of the most memorable science fiction villains in modern history. And William Shatner proved that he was more than just a caricature for comedians to make fun of. Subtle performances combined with sharp writing gave us fans a fitting big screen entry. A beautiful story of friendships and sacrifice, Spock’s final scenes still have me reaching for the Kleenex. Too bad the studio couldn’t leave it alone, and the sequels cheapened the experience.

Since there’s too many good scenes to pick just one, I’ll give you the pretty bitchin’ extended trailer:


4)        Gladiator


Another Ridley Scott entry. The man is a friggin’ genius and I’m still mad he didn’t get a Best Director Oscar for this one. But Russell Crowe garnered his first for acting, in a performance that can only be termed breathtaking. Grand and tragic and noble and heartbreaking, his character lives the motto of “Strength and Honor” right to the bitter end. This one is more than a movie; it’s also a FILM, so be ready to actually pay attention.

Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack is haunting and its own work of art, while the opening battle sequence is worth the price of admission all by itself:


5)        Die Hard

 Die Hard

The definitive action movie. There was a collective moan of horror when it was learned Bruce Willis had been cast as the lead because he was only known as the wisecracking David Addison in Moonlighting at that point. Did he ever prove the naysayers wrong. And then there was Alan Rickman, who gave the villain Hans Gruber such depth he’s become the gold standard for bad guys everywhere. Sharp writing, tight action and stellar performances make this my go-to escape whenever I feel the need to see some justice in action. But let’s just forget the sequels, shall we?

Just in case you need a reminder, here’s where the catch phrase we’ve all added to our lexicon originated:


So there you go. Some rainy afternoon time wasters for your perusal. I hope they bring you as much fun escapism as they have me. Yippee ki yay….


© 2014   Cheri K. Endsley   All Rights Reserved*


*         Except for the movies themselves. I’m just passing them on and don’t claim any rights to them or the creation thereof. Those rights stay with the original creators. Please don’t sue me. 😉

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