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Why ‘Die Hard’ Is The Greatest Christmas Movie Of All Time
The holiday season is a time for family, gift-giving, and most importantly forgiveness. Unless you’re John McClane, then it means all that, plus a ton of mayhem and violence.
The 1988 holiday classic centers around John McClane, a New York City detective who’s in Los Angeles to try to save his marriage when all hell breaks loose. A group of heavily armed villains break into McClane’s wife’s office building during their Christmas party and take the staff, including his wife hostage. Side note: her name is Holly, as in “deck the halls” and “fa-la-la-la-la” holly — subliminal messaging on the part of the movie’s screenwriters, no doubt.
It’s left to McClane, played by Bruce Willis, to save the day. Crawling around in air ducts and crashing through a number of windows, he takes out the bad guys one by one before dropping their leader Hans Gruber, played by an acerbic Alan Rickman, some 30 stories to his death.
It may not seem like a Christmas movie at first, but “Die Hard” hits all the marks, if you think about it, it’s basically “Home Alone,” but with live ammo. McClane sneaks about, setting traps, like Kevin McCallister from “Home Alone.” He’s even rescued by an unassuming ally, Sgt. Al Powell, the beat cop who comforts him over the radio and shoots one of the villains at the end, saving McClane. If this doesn’t sound familiar, think about the old man with the shovel who rescues another holiday hero at the end of a different Christmas classic.
Yep, “Die Hard” has more in common with “Home Alone,” than it does with “Lethal Weapon,” another 1980’s action movie set during the holidays. There’s the line — “Die Hard” qualifies as a Christmas movie, “Lethal Weapon” does not.
For the naysayers who argue that two-hours of violent shootouts with terrorists isn’t a solid basis for a Christmas movie, well, they’re not actually terrorists. They’re thieves who planned a massive heist of hundreds of millions of dollars in bearer bonds during a holiday season meant to celebrate charitable giving. It’s like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” but with guns; and in this case, Santa’s little helper drops the Grinch from the top of Nakatomi plaza, which in real life is the headquarters for 20th Century Fox. But the point is that the bad guy is a thief who not only steals on Christmas, but is so possessed by greed he’d commit murder. That’s the ultimate Christmas villain.
Then, there’s our protagonist, John McClane, a loveable but still rough-around the edges father flying across the country to meet his wife (they’re separated) and two kids for the holidays. Hoping to patch things up, McClane comes bearing gifts, like a gigantic teddy bear for his kids, and a dead bad guy bedecked with a Santa’s hat and a message for Hans Gruber.
Photo via 20th Century Fox/Task & Purpose photo illustration by Matt Battaglia
McClane even goes so far as to “wrap a present” for the bad guys. At the end of the film, McClane tricks Gruber and one of his cronies by taping a pistol to his back with Christmas gift wrapping tape. It brings a whole new meaning to “Secret Santa.”
Even the film’s musical score is largely Christmas music, with “Ode to joy” playing intermittently throughout, and occasionally in a different key to make it sound more ominous.
Like any good Christmas movie, the main character discovers the importance of family and friendship by the end, with McClane tearfully making amends with his wife, and hugging it out with his new best friend, Powell.
Yes, it may be unconventional, bloody, and have more swear words in it than people are used to hearing in holiday movies, but don’t be fooled “Die Hard” is without a doubt a Christmas movie, and since it’s one of the few that has partial nudity and tons of dead bad guys, that also makes it the best.
So, in the words of John McClane: Yippee-ki-yay, mother fuckers (and Merry Christmas).
BANGKOK (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea said on Sunday they will postpone upcoming military drills in an effort to bolster a stalled peace push with North Korea, even as Washington denied the move amounted to another concession to Pyongyang.
The drills, known as the Combined Flying Training Event, would have simulated air combat scenarios and involved an undisclosed number of warplanes from both the United States and South Korea.
An opening ceremony will be held Monday on Hawaii island for a military exercise with China that will involve about 100 People's Liberation Army soldiers training alongside U.S. Army counterparts.
This comes after Adm. Phil Davidson, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, spoke on Veterans Day at Punchbowl cemetery about the "rules-based international order" that followed U.S. victory in the Pacific in World War II, and China's attempts to usurp it.
Those American standards "are even more important today," Davidson said, "as malicious actors like the Communist Party of China seek to redefine the international order through corruption, malign cyber activities, intellectual property theft, restriction of individual liberties, military coercion and the direct attempts to override other nations' sovereignty."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".
In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"
It is impossible to tune out news about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now that the hearings have become public. And this means that cable news networks and Congress are happier than pigs in manure: this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future unless Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get back together.
But the wall-to-wall coverage of impeachment mania has also created a news desert. To those of you who would rather emigrate to North Korea than watch one more lawmaker grandstand for the cameras, I humbly offer you an oasis of news that has absolutely nothing to do with Washington intrigue.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.
A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine.