This Week In Home Entertainment: A Good Day To Die Hard, Warm Bodies And Identity Thief
Frequently, when home entertainment studios are putting together releases, they’ll split content up into a bunch of “featurettes” in order to make it seem like there are a ton of bonus features with the set. While this week’s big movie releases offer plenty of featurettes, most of these are surprisingly lengthy and informative, rather than short and ineffective. There are so many goodies out this week that we couldn’t even get to all of them, but read on to learn about some of June 4th's best releases, and maybe even a few that may have slipped under your radar.
A Good Day To Die Hard
The Die Hard franchise has never been concerned with coming up with likely scenarios to populate the pages of its scripts. Instead, the films have thrived on Bruce Willis’ John McClane, on a vivid and foul-mouthed anti-hero who puts cars through helicopters and forces Samuel L. Jackson to jump off high platforms. The biggest problem with A Good Day To Die Hard is not that the film’s plot is too ridiculous, it’s that the newest flick does take McClane beyond believability and into superhero-dom.
The set-up for the newest movie isn’t half bald. Taking the plot out of the States for the first time, McClane heads to Russia to retrieve his son, Jack (Jai Courtney) from a prison. Through a strange sequence of events, John and Jack team up to tackle a mystery and take down a series of bad guys. At the beginning, this includes a couple of short fights and a really great car chase, but this later gives way to wild twists and over-the-top action sequences, including jumping out of exploding buildings in order to avoid the clutches of a crashing helicopter. For a man who claims to be getting old throughout the movie, he’s still a bigger daredevil than ever before.
Willis and Courtney actually make a pretty good team during the film, with filmmakers stating they wanted “John 2.0” in Jack. Courtney lacks the wry ability to quip that Willis has always had, but even if his comedic timing is a little less natural, adding a father-son dynamic in a Die Hard movie is one of the plot points in the film that really works.
I could rant about the silly old man jokes the film employs to make McClane seem more out of his element than normal, but I’d rather talk about the pros with the set. If you did enjoy the film, the Blu-ray combo pack offers a Blu-ray, DVD, and digital copy of the film. The theatrical version of the flick is available, but so is an extended cut of the film, which is only a few minutes longer. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment’s set is one of the nicest I’ve seen, with over 14 minutes of deleted scenes, galleries, and featurettes that mostly look into action sequences. There's a lot that doesn't work in A Good Day To Die Hard, but the studio certainly knows the film's audience.
Best Special Feature: The nice thing about each of the featurettes within the set is that they are full-length rather than just a couple of minutes and really get into all of the dynamics of creating the film. If you are into the technical stuff, you’ll probably like “Anatomy of a Car Chase,” a 26-minute mini-documentary that looks into Moore’s directorial vision and how the whole crew was able to put together the epic car chase present at the beginning of the film.
Other extras talk characters, storylines, and the Russian settings, but since a lot of these segments involve concepts that are true of all the films or look into the movie’s history, they are similar to extras we’ve seen with other Die Hard sets, including the recent Die Hard: 25th Anniversary Collection.
You can order A Good Day To Die Hard over at Amazon.
Other Special Features:
“Making it Hard to Die”
“Two of a Kind”
“Back in Action”
“The New Face of Evil”
Concept Art Gallery
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