Tag Archives: Movies

How John McClane Saved Christmas – Why Die Hard is the Best Christmas Movie

Everyone has their movie that comforts them during bad days, sickness, loss, and anything else life can throw at us. For my boss, its My Best Friend’s Wedding, for my father in law, its Princess Bride, and for my husband, its Fifth Element. Mine? Well, mine I’ve seen at least half a dozen times this year alone. Not only is it my go-to film, it’s also the greatest Christmas movie ever – Die Hard.

File:Die hard.jpg

Courtesy of Wikipedia

For those of you who are not familiar with this gem, Die Hard was released in 1988 and tells the tale of a recently separated young career woman, Holly Gennaro (Bonnie Bedelia), and a New York City police officer, John McClane (Bruce Willis). Holly moved to Los Angeles for her career while McClane stubbornly stayed behind in New York. McClane agrees to visit the family in Los Angeles for Christmas. McClane joins Holly at her company Christmas party, which is crashed by a group of well organized terrorists, lead by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman). While all the party guests are corralled into the main space, McClane slips away and begins causing madness and mayhem for the terrorists. McClane begins to take out the terrorists one by one, and involves the local police, including beloved Al Powell (Reginald VelJohnson). Once the police get involved, the media crews quickly follow, bringing us the much hated reporter, Richard Thornburg (William Atherton). Thornburg digs up dirt on McClane and broadcasts his and Holly’s children on air, causing Gruber to take Holly hostage. After McClane takes out most of the terrorists, Gruber’s true plan is uncovered. They aren’t terrorists at all – they are high end thieves looking to steal 640 million in bearer bonds.

Maybe the movie is so great because of Alan Rickman’s quick and biting wit, the fact that Bruce Willis has hair, the 80’s style hair on all the women, or how much you just love to hate William Atherton. But the reason Die Hard is the best Christmas movie is so much more than all these components. A great Christmas movie has 4 components; family issues, sentimentally, nostalgia, and violence. All the best traditional movies fit these criteria; think A Christmas Story, Home for the Holidays, and Home Alone.

The movie starts off with the family in disarray, McClane living in New York and Holly and the two kids (John Jr and Lucy) living in Los Angeles. They are on the brink of divorce, even though its clear that they still love each other.
Their relationship is rocky;
“Only John can drive somebody that crazy”
“Would you tell her that for me Al? Tell her John says he’s sorry”
but the dynamic seems to work for them.

When reporter Richard Thornburg discovers that McClane has family in the Los Angeles area, he endangers the lives of the whole family by showing up at the Holly’s house and interviewing their children on live TV. This triggers Hans to recognize Holly and connect her to McClane. All the while, the terroists are attempting to break into the 80’s super high security vault. Once they are successful, Ode to Joy blasts as they clean out all their take from the vault.

At the end of the movie, McClane rescues Holly, who has been taken hostage by Gruber, and they are reunited. There is nothing like a near death experience to reignite the spark and bring a family together. That and Holly punching Thornburg square in the face. (Side note, good for her!)

 

So when you are sitting around with your family this holiday season, skip the traditional “Christmas” movies and rent (or watch if you already own) Die Hard.

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Educating [Geeks] Drinking Game – Big Trouble in Little China

The 5

Happy Friday geeks! We’ve got a Big Trouble in Little China Drinking Game hot off the presses. So gather around your favorite people, pour yourself a drink and tune in to the Porkchop Express. And if you haven’t heard our Big Trouble in Little China episode, give it a listen.

Big Trouble in Little China Drinking Game Rules:

  • Take a drink anytime someone mentions a Chinese Hell
  • Take a drink if Lo Pan twitches his nose or wiggles his little fingers
  • Take a drink whenever “green eyes” are mentioned
  • Take a drink if Jack tries to pull off something heroic and fails miserably
  • Take a drink whenever Rain, Thunder or Lightening show up
  • Take a drink whenever someone says “Jack”
  • Take a shot whenever someone says “Jack Burton”
  • Take a shot if one of the three storms use their powers
  • Take a shot if you’re watching with friends and someone says “What the F***”
  • If you are the one who said “WTF” take a 2nd shot
  • Finish a sake bomb (or bombed drink of your choice) if Gracie and Jack kiss
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Educating [Geeks] 17 – Big Trouble in Little China

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This week on Educating [Geeks] geekhosts Alice, Cassie and Megan are joined by Nathan Blackwell of Squishy Studios and Voyage Trekkers for a discussion about the 1986 John Carpenter film Big Trouble in Little China. Stick around at the end of the episode for a list of drinking game rules!

And if you’re so inclined, be sure to check out Nathan’s blog post about the film.

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Educating [Geeks] Drinking Game – Blade Runner

Deckard Drinks

Planning to watch Blade Runner this weekend? Make sure you’ve got a friend and the Educating [Geeks] Drinking Game rules with you!

  • Take a drink any time technology that doesn’t exist is on screen
  • Take a 2nd drink if you really wish it did
  • Take a drink every time you hear a whisper
  • Take 2 drinks if you’re not sure if you heard a whisper
  • Take a drink any time you see someone smoking
  • Take a drink any time you see a Chinese person in a role of commerce
  • Take a drink any time you see an ad (coca cola, red pill lady, pan am)
  • Take a drink any time you’re confused about who might be a replicant
  • Take a shot any time Gaff leaves origami behind
  • Take a shot every time a replicant changes their facial expression in the blink of an eye

Bonus overused trope rule: Computer photo enhancement scene (Zoom! Enhance! Pan!)
Drink for the entire scene whenever appropriate. Any time Deckard says:

  • Track
  • Enhance
  • Pull back
  • Stop
  • Right
  • Left

Do you have some drinking game rules of your own? Share them in the comments!

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Educating [Geeks] 10 – Blade Runner

Dystopia

 

This week geekhost Bri gets an education on the 1982 Ridley Scott film Blade Runner.

 

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