71 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 1999
At the end of the Eighties the action movie genre, which had flourished throughout the decade, began to stagnate. Cinema goers had seen enough explosions and gunfights cloned from the same formula made popular by Arnie and Sly. Both of these men were moving in the direction of comedy and action movies needed something new.. something fresh. In stepped John McTiernan and Bruce Willis with DIE HARD. Willis, most famous at the time for the comic T.V. Series 'Moonlighting', made a perfect ordinary-man-in-an-extraordinary-situation action hero. He was believeable as John McClane and not immune to being hurt. He blead and felt pain, a first for the genre. And yet his cool confident delivery of a great wisecracking, intelligent script made him all the cooler. But most credit should go to Director John McTiernan, king of the sophisticated action flick. He made action movies slick, smart and full of pace and wit while never letting up on the bullets, cars and bombs front. Special praise must go out to Alan Rickman too whose performance as chief baddie Hans is to this day one of cinemas finest, moving convincingly from cool, calm and collected to desperate and nervous, never once seeming anything less than utterly ruthless and calculating. Die Hard is a great movie for a number of reasons but adding three dimensions to the action genre is this films finest achievement and anyone who has not sampled its delights before now would be wise to get a copy as soon as possible. But don't see it on T.V. oh no, because it is never without significant and completely unnecessary extra editing for violence and language. Enjoy it on video or DVD if you can, see it in all its original splendor, it is arguably the greatest action film ever made. And then go see the sequels.. they rock too!
42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2007
Because of the fact that the new Die Hard movie is coming out, 20th Century Fox has discontinued the GREAT Special Edition DVD's of the first three Die Hard DVD'S, and are replacing them with newly-packaged one-disc versions with only half of those original DVD's features. This DVD, the Special Edition Steelbook, is the only DVD that Fox has just released worth buying, because it is a repackaged edition of the original Two-Disc Special Edition of Die Hard. Hopefully Fox will do the same thing with the other Die Hard movies.
Bottom Line: Forget the new Die Hard boxset, get this instead and wait for the other ones.
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2001
When I bought the "Die Hard Ultimate Collection" set, I really didn't think they would be able to do much with the very first Die Hard. It's a pretty old movie. I really didn't know if they could do much to improve the picture and sound quality of the movie. Well, I thought wrong, for when I watched this movie, I was completely shocked and stunned. I said to myself, "I can't believe they made this movie better."
This has to be one of the best transfers I have ever seen. The picture is ten times more crisper and sharper than the older DVD version. When the terrorists shoot out the glass windows to trap Willis, you can literally see every single piece of glass landing on the floor. Also, the sound is explosive and very impressive, especially if you can watch it in DTS. When I watched this new version of "Die Hard", it was like seeing it for the very first time.
If you are not familiar with "Die Hard", here's the story: Bruce Willis is John McClane, a very short tempered New York cop. He goes to California, hoping to patch things up with his wife, who works at the Nakatomi Plaza. All of that changes when a group of terrorists, armed to the teeth with guns and explosives, decide to take over the building. Now, the only one who can stop them is McClane, and believe, he's not too thrilled with the idea, but he knows he's the only one who stands a chance against them. McClane goes on a one-man war, running around the plaza, taking out the bad guys, and trying his best to stay alive. As soon as he hears the first gun shot, McClane knows he's about to have a very bad day.
This is a must have for anyone who loves "Die Hard". I know some might be hesitant since they already have the first box set, but believe me, it is worth it. Filled with non-stop action and thrills, "Die Hard" is a classic, and should be seen by all who loves action films. Again, I must say this is one of the best transfers I have ever seen. An easy five out of five, without question.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2007
Die Hard Blu-ray far exceeds the Five-Star Collection version I own on DVD > I directly compared the two and the upgrades are incredible. The Blu-ray video is exceptional in almost every way. In my opinion the Blu-ray viewing exceeds the theatrical experience. The surround sound mix is sick > making great use of sub and back speakers. If you are a fan of the original Die Hard you will not be disappointed in the least with this release. Everybody knows Die Hard is one of the best action movies ever > highly entertaining and just as cool as it was 20 years ago. A classic flick given a great Blu-ray release > this is a no-brainer purchase. I highly recommend buying this Blu-ray.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2001
Sure, this first installment of the Die Hard trilogy came to theaters 13 years ago, but to add freshness to this classic action ride, director John McTiernan and his crew technical craftsmen and producers have united to bring the power of INTER-action to the DVD viewer in their own home.
You, the viewer, can examine and re-examine, review and re-edit bits and pieces of the film in the editor's workshop section. Believe me, you've never seen anything like this before. Besides being fun to have the power over what you're manipulating, an added appreciation for the craft of editing is easily achieved. The entire screenplay is also on the second disk, word for word as it originally was handed to the actors. This allows the views to see how the script evolved in the hands of those who made the film. The usual outtakes, bloopers, and deleted scenes are here (fairly standard nowadays), too. Commentary and behind the scenes words from those who were there are also here for your enjoyment.
The best appreciated bonus is the amazing clarity of the digital transfer. Cinematographer Jan de Bont's dark and moody work is seen sharper and clearer than anything which could have been put on a silver screen in any cinema house. The full-bodied sound is spectrually sharp and defined. This is how all film experiences should be.
If you're tired of DVDs which are little more than "theatrical trailer, feature, and scene selection" (and SOOOOO many are just that), then get your hands on this special set right away and see what the DVD experience is all about. For those who don't yet own DVD, this would be the perfect excuse to invest in a player. My only warning would be to not expect all these fabulous goodies on every DVD you buy--for now. I know this set is going to revolutionize the way companies package and "re-package" their upcoming DVD releases.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2001
WOO HOO! One of the greatest action movies of all time in a collector's edition dvd!
Amazon fails to tell you exactly what will be included on this dvd ... here ya go!
Audio commentary with director John McTiernan and production designer Jackson DeGovia
Audio commentary with special effects supervisor Richard Edlund
"Subtitle Commentary" with cast and crew
Original making-of featurette
Original newscast footage seen in the film
"Editing Suite and Sound Mixing Studio" interactive feature
3 interactive magazine articles
DVD-ROM features, including game demos and full screenplay with scene access
7 TV spots.
Not to mention THX DTS SOUND! This one is gonna blow out your windows!
Can't wait?? NEITHER CAN I !
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2009
I don't feel that I need to say much about the movie -- many others have given excellent reviews. Suffice it to say that I love this movie and have watched it time and time again.
Where I'm disappointed is with the Blu-Ray release. This picture is nice and crisp, but the high-definition transfer seems substandard, with colors washed out in places. This might be due to the age of the materials used in the transfer, but that's just speculation.
A bigger disappointment was the lack of bonus features. There are a few bonus items on the disc (most totally uninteresting), while on the DVD special edition there are quite a few more special features. Blu-Ray discs are supposed to have so much more capacity for data storage that it surprised me that ALL of the bonus features from the DVD were not included. This mean I have to keep my DVD copy if I want to have access to all the special features. This is very feeble thinking on the part of the 20th Century Fox, as it makes me less likely to grab a Blu-Ray version of something in the future.
25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Off-duty cop (Bruce Willis) saves hostages and dispatches the sadistic bad guys against overwhelming odds; a simple plot, done many times since this 1988 thriller, but never done as effectively. The difference: This movie is well-written, well-acted, and well-directed. The script balances heart-pounding action with funny one-liners that always make me laugh out loud. Bruce Willis is wonderful as the Rambo-esque superguy who outwits, outplays, and outlasts the heavily-armed killers, and reveals just enough of his tender side to endear his character to the audience.
Willis is backed up by outstanding supporting players who add depth and surprises: Reginald Veljohnson is the sympathetic cop Willis talks to via radio during his ordeal. Alan Rickman plays the cruel, urbane gang leader with devilish flair. He is assisted by the talented Alexander Godunov as a ruthless killer.
The production values are top quality, the action never stops, and each stunt is unique and utterly stupendous. I heartily recommend Die Hard to those who love action films and those who just love excellence in film.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2010
Several reviewers have stated this is not much better than the DVD OR that it's an upconvert. Neither is true. The quality is true 1080P and looks as good as the original elements will allow. Frankly it looks as good if not better than when I first saw it, which was at USC film school, a week BEFORE the film opened! (Yeah, I was one of the first in America to see it, followed by a Q&A with McTiernan afterwards.)
Oh yeah, also -- I'm a post-production encoding tech, I stare/compare SD to HD transfers all night long at my job, I know the difference. In fact, in many cases, I'm one of the guys in the chain QCing the picture you see in your homes.
If you wanna see a bad Blu Ray that really is just a lousy SD upconvert, then buy "Silence of the Lambs," an indefensible move by MGM video. I'm writing them now and sending that blu ray back for credit.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2009
I've seen this movie now in the theater, VHS, DVD and now on blu-ray. I can say for sure that the Blu-Ray version is the best version around. Anyone that tries to say that this version wasn't encoded up to blu-ray standards and is basically the same quality as dvd is full of it. Sure there are some scenes that are blurry - they were blurry when the movie was filmed guys, blu-ray isn't going to clear that up. What it did do was really bring to life the rest of the movie that was shot in focus. There are a select few scenes where the color is off-balanced as well. The other 98% of the movie is done fantastically well. I for one am glad that i took the chance on it. Trust me, it's a clear upgrade on an HDTV from the DVD version.