Category Archives: Regrets & Bad Decisions

Regrets & Bad Decisions: A Good Day to Die Hard

You ever have those days, where you’re hanging out with a person that’s very close to you, and then this person ditches you twice in the middle of conversations to go say hi to a thing that you don’t have, and then when you discuss this occurrence with a person that’s very close to the person that’s very close to you, the second person tells you that both of those people have kindof given up on you ever having that thing that you don’t have, and it just hits you right in the uterus?  No?  Just me?

Glad I could vague it up a bit for you, Xander.  Sheesh.

Well, the other day, that completely vague thing happened to me, and on my way home I said, “Goddammit, I need to watch something where shit blows up.”

And Redbox had this:

I mean, look at those guns!  Shit's gonna blow!

And I was excited.

Because guys — guys — I love Die Hard.  Die Hard is like, my spirit animal.  You may yell at me for all the movies I haven’t seen, including Pulp Fiction, Shawshank, The Godfather … but you canNOT yell at me for never seeing Die Hard.  It’s my most favoritest Christmas movie ever – even more so than A Christmas Story, although that may be a fun coronary for my mother.  “Hey Mom, guess what!  Instead of 24 hours of A Christmas Story this year, how about 24 hours of Die Hard?  Mom?  Mom, where are you going?”

I should hope by now y’all know that I also love How I Met Your Mother.  You should also know that I have purchased nearly every single book Mr. Stinson has published.  And in his first tome of epicness, The Bro Code, I learn that I was never wrong:


I’m not kidding, either.  EVERY. DAMN. TIME. I find it on TV, I don’t care how late it is, what channel it’s on, how close it is to the end or how many swears they edit out.  I will watch it to the end EVERY TIME it’s on TV.

(I would like to point out that I wasn’t talking about the corollaries.  I follow the main article, so PLEASE SHUT UP ALL OF YOU.)

But seriously, I am at the point where I can pretty much recite the entire ending of Hans Gruber.  Oh, Hans!  I almost forgot about Hans!  If there is a better villain out there than Hans Gruber, I will buy a hat and eat it.  Don’t say Darth Vader, guys, because in the end he gets all sentimental and saves Luke for the good of everything.  (People forget that underneath it all, Darth Vader was just a softie with a Napoleonic complex.)  Okay, maybe Belloq, but also remember, guys, that Belloq was really just an antagonist for Indy that was working for the man, and that man was Hitler, and Hitler was a real person and therefore not part of this argument.

And before you guys get me started on how I should have known this movie would suck, I mean, look at the last movie that came out, I must shout at you Blasphemy!  Live Free or Die Hard was, while not an instant!Classic in the vein of Die Hard 1.0, it was solid in its own right!  Guys, I’m not sure if you saw, but McClane killed a chopper!  With a cop car!  A COP CAR, YOU GUYS!  Because he was out of bullets!!! Plus, there was the whole generational-gap that happened when Justin Long’s character bitched about McClane listening to CCR, and kid, seriously?  Do you know who’s driving you?  That dude has killed TONS OF DUDES WITH LESS THAN A CAR and he could snap your neck with his pinkie.  Also, driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole.

So when I learned that they were making a fifth Die Hard?  And it was going to be in RUSSIA?  Dogs could not hear the sound I was making, I was so excited.  To go after his son, who we haven’t seen since Lucy pushed him out of the way to answer the phone back when the reporters were asking about what’s going on in the Nakatomi Plaza?  I was all, SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.

But then shit happened and I didn’t go to the movies at all.  Like, seriously — you want to know the films I’ve seen in theaters this year?  Gangster Squad – which was another regret, unless you’re addicted to Archer and enjoy .gifs of Ryan Gosling bringing bear claws to a party – , Iron Man 3, Iron Man 3 again, and The Hangover Part III.  That’s it.  That’s all I’ve seen.  Right?  (thinks again … )  Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s it.

But luckily, A Good Day to Die Hard zoomed into Redbox, and for a buck fiddy, I brought it home.

You guys … you guys.  I am … so disappointed, I can barely talk about it.  Like, almost not at all.

(deep breath)

I didn’t even finish the movie.

I know, right?  Even Jafar's a little worried about me.

It was just … awful.  From the get-go.  There were too many Russians, too many subtitles, and not enough John McClane being awesome.

From what I saw, John’s son Jack hasn’t been heard from for a couple of years.  One of McClane’s cop buddies finds a lead on him — presumably because John still doesn’t know how to use a computer — and finds him in a Russian jail.  So John gets on a plane to, I dunno — rescue Jack, I guess?

Here’s point number one (that may have been cleared up in Die Hard II: Die Harder or even Die Hard: With A Vengeance, because close viewers of my blog may have noticed that I have skipped watching Parts Deux and Trois in the Die Hard franchise because I’VE BEEN BUSY, OKAY): Since when is McClane okay taking a plane ride to Russia?  THE FUCKING FIRST TIME WE SEE MCCLANE, he’s freaking out during the plane’s landing in LAX when he visits Holly.  Random Dude comments on how he doesn’t like flying and tells him to make fists with his toes when he gets back on land.  Maybe he’s taken some intense flight therapy since then, a la Marge Simpson —

"Let me off!  Let me off!  Let me off!"

— but McClane doesn’t seem the type to parlay with therapy.  So, where did that bit of characterization go?

Also, it felt very very stupid for McClane to head off to Russia to find his son.  And here’s where I truly felt, where I didn’t with Live Free or Die Hard, that they are just looking for ways to continue to pay Bruce Willis.

In the first Die Hard, McClane is truly in the wrong place at the wrong time.  He has no idea that Gruber and his team have planned to take over Nakatomi Plaza and hold all the partygoers hostage in an attempt to steal $600 million dollars worth of stocks and bonds.  But when his wife — and other innocents — are threatened, McClane takes the opportunity and wages a one-man war against the Germans.  He basically MacGuyvers himself into a superhero using his resources and his wits.  He saw a desk chair and a Santa hat, a piece of paper and a Sharpie, and decided to taunt the guys to let him know that, not only has he killed Marco, but now he has a machine gun — ho, ho, ho.

But in Good Day to Die Hard, McClane seeks out the trouble.  And apparently he had no idea that Jack was a member of a covert CIA ops group (OH MY GOD HE BELONGS TO APO WHERE IS MY DIE HARD/ALIAS CROSSOVER NOW) (no seriously, some day I will write a crossover of epic proportions where McClane is, like, on a field trip and accidentally bumps into Jack Bristow and it will be GLORIOUS), so when he arrives in Russia, he has no idea that his son is in the middle of an op, and it’s totally awkward and unnecessary.

Also unnecessary?  The five minute scene where McClane’s Russian cabbie serenades him in broken English.  I mean, seriously?  How about showing the scene where McClane figures out where to find his son?  How about the scene where McClane gets off the plane and then realizes he’s in fucking Russia?  With no idea how to speak the language aside from do svidaniya and niet and anything Raskolnikov says in Crime and Punishment (not that McClane’s ever read Tolstoy; no, I think Boris et Natasha are more his speed).

And look, guys — McClane is awesome.  He is smart, and savvy, and USED PACKING TAPE to secure a SECOND GUN TO HIS BACK so he’d have it, and did you hear the dialogue between him and Hans?


Oh hello, Pretend Boyfriend #5.  How you doin'?

uh, sorry.

Gruber: This time, John Wayne does not walk off into the sunset with Grace Kelly.
McClane: That was Gary Cooper, asshole.

I think what caused Good Day to Die Hard to suck so badly was that they took away how McClane was awesome in the first film, and decided to just go with big explosions and set pieces.  There was no emotional pull to McClane tagging along with Jack (what little I saw); there was no sense of urgency to get the problem solved.  He was just … there.  Following his son, and acting like a grumpy old goat when he didn’t get his way.  And while in Live Free he was kind of collateral damage, acting as the Mac guy’s chauffeur to make sure terrorism was foiled, it wasn’t until Lucy was kidnapped by Timothy Olyphant that the stakes were raised on a personal level for McClane.  In this movie — again, what little I saw — there was nothing at stake emotionally.  You pretty much knew that everyone was going to get out alive (did they?  I didn’t see the ending), whereas in Live Free, there may have been a moment where I thought that Lucy might actually get hurt (which would cause a rant of a different color, but luckily, you’re saved from that tonight).

I don’t know, you guys.  I had such high hopes for this, because Die Hard is such a fantastic movie and I’ve liked every installment that I’ve seen so far (shut up, all of you who saw my list), and you guys, it takes a lot of shit for me to not like something that I loved wholeheartedly before.  It wasn’t until I saw the episode of South Park that proclaimed that Steven Spielberg and George Lucas raped Indiana Jones that I truly saw Crystal Skull for what it was: crap.  And while it’s not as great as the original, I still loved Boondock Saints: All Saints Day enough to see it three times in theaters AND buy the DVD.  And I liked Live Free or Die Hard!  I liked it, you guys!  I really liked it!

*sigh*  If Anchorman 2 is horrible, I think I may cry.  Don’t let me down, Burgandy – you’re my only hope.

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Posted by on July 13, 2013 in Regrets & Bad Decisions


Regrets & Bad Decisions: “One For the Money”

Tonight is May 25th.  Apparently, 35 years ago today, Star Wars premiered, making this day in history known forever as “Geek Pride Day.”  Also apparently, when you add up the numbers in today’s date (5 + 25 + 12) you get 42, which is the meaning of life, which means it’s also Towel Day (don’t panic!).

But in my life, today will always be known as the day I made my friends cry.

Jess N. wanted to go see Newsies: The Musical. And everyone started texting each other about Newsies: The Movie.  And then this happened:

Sarah: I daresay all of us involved in this conversation love Newsies.
Emily: ALMOST all.
Alaina: I’ve never seen Newsies.
Sarah: And further — wait.  Alaina … what?
Alaina: I’ve … never seen Newsies.  *tosses phone like a grenade and runs away*
Jessica: That’s a criminal offense with this crowd.
Sarah: Dude! Christian Bale!
Alaina: Christian Bale’s in Newsies?
Sarah: *shakes head* Other people’s kids.  YES.
Alaina: FINE.  I’ll add it to my list.  Just be prepared I’m probably going to make fun of it rather than fall instantly in love with it.

So yeah — at some point, I’ll watch Newsies.  Because yes, I’ve updated my list to include it.  But I’m not watching it tonight.

Here’s what’s on the docket:  I’ve got the apartment to myself this weekend, which means I could knock off a couple of movies on the TiVo in another round of Insomniac Theatre, but a) of all, it’s 9:41 p.m., and b) of all, all I’ve got are dramas, and I’m more in the mood to make fun of shit tonight.  (As evidenced by me making my friends’s heads explode via text message.)

Hey, Friend in the Army: is that a thing?  Making someone’s head explode via text message?  That seems like it’d be a cool weapon.  Let’s get Tony Stark on it.

Oh, and (obliquely) speaking of Tony Stark: so online, there’s this thing going around about Avengers-Inspired Cocktails, and I realized that I have everything required to make the Agent Coulson (COULSON!):

So clearly, I needed something to drink to that would be awful.  Like, if I was going to watch something like Death of a Ghost Hunter again; that awful.  And while our TiVo list is up to 78% capacity, with such classics as The V.I.P.s (with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton), The Stunt Man (with drop-dead gorgeous Peter O’Toole) and A Streetcar Named Desire (with Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando) on that list, those are not movies which one should become drunk while watching.

The other half of the story: a month ago, I had reserved a couple of movies on Redbox.  But I accidentally reserved them at the wrong Hannaford.  And since Redbox can’t cancel online reservations yet (whaaaaat?), I got two promo codes for free movies to make up for the charges.  And so tonight, I went to Hannaford to redeem them.

And this is what I found:

And here’s the story behind this:

I love the Stephanie Plum novels.  Love them.  I’ve read almost all of them, I love her, I love Ranger, I love Joe Morelli.  Mmm… Joe Morelli.  Can I have a Joe Morelli?  Please?  Because that would be awesome. 

Anyway.  Love the books.  But I hate Katherine Heigl.  Hate.  Haaaaaaaaate.  I don’t think I have the words appropriate enough to describe how much I hate her.  I would compare it to the classic Mrs. White speech from Clue, and compare my hatred of Katherine Heigl to Mrs. White’s hatred of Yvette, hated her so, much, with flames — on the side of my face –, but that would be insulting to Mrs. White and that scene.  She’s just … awful.

And she ruins everything.  Like, she ruined Grey’s Anatomy with her stupid ghost sex, she’s a bitch, she ruined Knocked Up because she’s a bitch, and I know — I just know — she’s going to ruin this.

But then, they cast Jason O’Mara as Morelli.  And I love Jason O’Mara, and when I read that they cast him for Morelli, I was like, “That makes perfect sense.”  It was like I had a picture of Morelli in my head, and I didn’t really have a person to attribute it to, but once someone said “Jason O’Mara will be playing Joe Morelli,” I went, “Of course!”  Plus, Jason O’Mara’s really hot.  I almost miss Life on Mars.

But … Katherine Heigl.  She ruins everything.  EVERYTHING!  That was my catchphrase for a while! 

So while I’ve always wanted to see a movie version of One For the Money (and for a while was imagining Reese Witherspoon gone brunette to play Stephanie), once Katherine Heigl was attached, I decided that I wasn’t going to spend a cent on it.  Even when my mother said that she wanted to see it; I refused. 

But now that I have the option to see it for free, and to truly see how bad it ended up?  Yeah sure, why not.  Hence, tonight’s entry into what is another long list I could type up at some point: Things Alaina Reads/Watches So You Don’t Have To.  I consider it charity, to be honest.

Shit.  I should actually start this movie; otherwise, I’m either never going to watch it, or it is going to be an entry in Insomniac Theatre.

OH SHIT ANCHORMAN’S ON TBS there goes that plan.

Forty minutes later …
Okay, now that Brick has killed a guy with a trident and Ron has told the San Diegoites — San Diegoans?  San Diegons?  San Diego-uns — to go fuck themselves, I can push play. 

And we’ve started with a stupid opening sequence, like Stephanie Plum is supposed to be the girl James Bond.  I’m sorry, the girl James Bond is Lisbeth Salander in last year’s Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  Did you see that opening sequence?!  Also-also, the music under this shittastic thing samples Bitter:Sweet’s “The Mating Game,” which I believe was used in Grey’s Anatomy.

Oh god … the bad Jersey accent.  Holy shit, my ears.  And I’m sorry, I always pictured Grandma Mazur as more of a Sophia from Golden Girls than Debbie Reynolds.  I always saw Grandma Mazur as being more … frail.  Which is why it’s hilarious when she shoots the turkey — she needs to have more trouble lifting the gun.

I also pictured Big Blue as … bigger and rounder.  And I get why they had to tame down Vinny’s sexual proclivities, but … making out with Stephanie at her wedding and liking dominatrices just doesn’t have the same ring as … was it a goat or a duck?  I remember it was a barnyard animal of some sort …

Oh my god, there is absolutely no chemistry between Heigl and O’Mara.  I mean, zippo.  Don’t get me wrong, O’Mara’s trying, but my god … it’s like trying to make eyes at a … I don’t know … at a thing that has absolutely no redeeming value.

How the hell does this Stephanie Plum get so damn professional at this bounty hunter stuff so quickly?  This is the stupidest … goddamn.  I am so glad I didn’t pay a dime for this.

This is not funny.  Not in the least.  Whoever wrote this — and I firmly believe that it was Katherine Heigl, because it makes sense in my head — took all the humor out of the book and — WHAT THE FUCK Grandma Mazur just shot the turkey with Stephanie’s gun, and NO ONE REACTED?! 

Is that naked guy the same guy the doctor gave a rectal exam to in The Hangover?  Yes, that is what I think about when THIS MOVIE SUCKS.  Jesus, if I wasn’t such a masochist I’d stop watching this movie and put Anchorman back on.  I mean, seriously, LULA’S NOT FUNNY IN THIS MOVIE.  HOW DID SOMEONE TAKE THE FUNNY OUT OF LULA?!

Oh… she’s taking a shower.  I’m jealous.  All I want to do is take a nice, hot, steamy shower, but I CAN’T, because apparently my shower is LEAKING into my downstair’s neighbor’s closet, or whatever.  So tomorrow, before I go to work, I have to go to the gym to take a freaking shower.  BECAUSE GOD HATES ME, THAT’S WHY.

Meanwhile, I think I figured out what happened with this movie.  It’s like they’re trying so hard to be a dark, mystery thriller with some patches of sarcastic, Jersey-esque one-liner humor, that they forgot that parts of the book are actually laugh-out-loud funny.  Unfortunately, my sister has the family copy of One For the Money; otherwise, I’d be quoting my favorite parts to prove to y’all that you gotta read the book because the book is OH MY GOD SO MUCH BETTER THAN THIS PIECE OF SHIT.

Hold up — why haven’t I been drinking?!  Agent Coulson!

And all of a sudden she’s going to the range and being a cracker-jack shot?  I CALL SHENANIGANS. 

Okay, I gotta go check something on Wikipedia.  Because Morelli just made Stephanie an omelet, and then offered to band together to draw out Benito Ramirez by pretty much using Stephanie as bait.  And I’m 99% sure that that NEVER HAPPENED.  Er, the bait part.  I’m sure he did make her an omelet. 

Um, hold on one more second: before I go check this Wikipedia thing, can I please have a shirtless Jason O’Mara deliver me coffee in bed?  Please?  (Christ, I could do laundry on his abs.  I … I could do a lot of things on his … okay moving on!)

Jesus, they didn’t even make a big deal of Morelli’s truck blowing up!  The fuck is wrong with this movie?

Okay, I can’t find what I’m looking for.  But I guarantee that there is no way Morelli would EVER use Stephanie Plum as bait, regardless of where their relationship is.

Wow.  What … what the hell was I thinking, all those hours ago when I picked this up from Redbox?  Why did I think it would be fun for me to make fun of it?  I mean, look, I didn’t like Death of a Ghost Hunter, but I had tons of fun making fun of it!  I thought this would be the same, but —

Oh wait.  I know.


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Posted by on May 26, 2012 in Regrets & Bad Decisions