Die Hard: Ultimate Collection (Die Hard / Die Hard 2: Die Harder / Die Hard: With a Vengeance / Live Free or Die Hard)
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Directed by Renny Harlin, the 1990 sequel, Die Hard 2 (unofficially referred to as Die Harder), doesn't match the level of the original, but it's still an exciting thrill ride with some terrific action sequences. One year after the Nakatomi incident, McClane (Willis) is awaiting his wife's (Bedelia) plane to arrive at Dulles Airport when he stumbles onto a plot to paralyze the entire airport, including all the planes trying to land. It's up to McClane to take on the cadre of bad guys despite all the bureaucrats standing in his way, and before the planes run out of fuel and crash to the ground. The cast includes William Sadler as rogue military man Col. Stuart, Dennis Franz as the latest bureaucratic cop to get in McClane's way, Richard Thornburg as the annoying reporter from the original movie, John Amos as a special-forces commander, early-in-their-career John Leguizamo and Robert Patrick as terrorists, and future politician and Law and Order actor Fred Thompson as the head of air traffic control.
The third film in the series, Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), was again directed by John McTiernan and uses a different concept. The villain (played by Jeremy Irons) claims to have planted bombs all over New York City and gives John McClane (Willis), now alchoholic and separated, a series of clues to try to track them down. Along the way, he's aided by, and eventually teams up with, a Harlem shopkeeper named Zeus Carver (Samuel L. Jackson). The interplay between Willis and Jackson is engaging, but better suited to the Lethal Weapon franchise it was previously considered for, and not till the end does the movie return to the familiar McClane-vs.-villains-showdown format.
Twelve years after Die Hard with a Vengeance, the third and previous film in the Die Hard franchise, Live Free or Die Hard finds John McClane (Bruce Willis) a few years older, not any happier, and just as kick-ass as ever. Right after he has a fight with his college-age daughter (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a call comes in to pick up a hacker (Justin Long, a.k.a. the "Apple guy") who might help the FBI learn something about a brief security blip in their systems. Now any Die Hard fan knows that this is when the assassins with foreign accents and high-powered weaponry show up, telling McClane that once again he's stumbled into an assignment that's anything but routine. Once that wreckage has cleared, it is revealed that the hacker is only one of many hackers who are being targeted for extermination after they helped set up a "fire sale," a three-pronged cyberattack designed to bring down the entire country by crippling its transportation, finances, and utilities. That plan is now being put into action by a mysterious team (Timothy Olyphant, Deadwood, and Maggie Q, Mission: Impossible 3) that seems to be operating under the government's noses. Live Free or Die Hard uses some of the cat-and-mouse elements of Die Hard with a Vengeance along with some of the pick-'em-off-one-by-one elements of the now-classic original movie. And it's the most consistently enjoyable installment of the franchise since the original, with eye-popping stunts (directed by Len Wiseman of the Underworld franchise), good humor, and Willis's ability to toss off a quip while barely alive. There was some controversy over the film's PG-13 rating--there might be less blood than usual, and McClane's famous tag line is somewhat obscured--but there's still has plenty of action and a high body count. Yippee-ki-ay! --David Horiuchi
Top Customer Reviews
Packaging: Book type of disc holder which certainly takes up less room on your shelf. Unfortunately, the pages each separate disc goes into are made of smooth cardboard. Be careful so as not to scratch the disc in any way. While the front page is indented from the back making it a touch easier for you to grab a hold of the disc's edge rather than use thumb and forefinger to grab the playing surface, I still do not like this type of packaging. It is not as horrible as the Raiders of the Lost Arc collection or the even worse, Clint Eastwood 35 Films, 35 Years collection, but this type of packaging is far from ideal.
Die Hard..the original movie in blu ray boasts an excellent video transfer despite a lower Mbps average than the other films. There is a sharp focus and strong contrast in the transfer and no appreciable grain that you would really notice. Colors are realistic and details, even in the darker areas, have depth to them.Read more ›
You already know the movies, so let's get to the overall package.
+ DTS MA on every movie that really reinvigorates the films
+ Good set of extras, not a single feature from the standard DVDs is left out, making you think these are the definitive versions to have
+ Special box saves you space on shelf and keeps discs safe. It's a little bigger than the Planet Earth - The Complete BBC Series [Blu-ray] boxset (without the slipcase).
+ Exactly the same discs as individual releases, so you're not getting gimped versions of the already released BD movies --they're the same.
+ Live Free or Die Hard is a total show-stopper, demo material, A+ reference disc. Both in terms of video and audio, this is one of the best movies to showcase what High Definition is all about (and the movie itself is a great ride, btw)
- In the first three movies, both subtitles and dubs in spanish are CASTILLIAN, not Latin American. Why on earth did FOX included castillian dubs/subs on an AMERICAN, region locked disc, goes beyond me. They should know by now that most latin people HATE the castillian dubbing, specially when these movies have such great voice acting. Granted, I always prefer to watch movies in their original languaje w/subs, but there's always the chance to borrow or watch the movie with people that prefer to hear it in their own language. Even the regionalized castilian subtitles are distracting. This is not a problem on the 4th movie.Read more ›
When I think Blu-ray, I expect high quality video and sound, otherwise there is no point to buying a blu-ray version of an already existing dvd.
The first two movies, Die Hard 1 & 2 from the 80's, look terrible visually. FOX did a horrible job in re-mastering these for blu-ray, or they did not re-master them at all. It is possible they used the regular dvd's and just up-converted them without remastering/restoring them digitally. Sound is decent. The third film, Die Hard with a Vengeance is more recent from the 90's, but it doesn't look great. The fourth film does look good and sounds great, but it would be more convenient to just purchase the fourth film as a blu-ray version and get the first three on regular DVD if you don't own them already. You would save a lot more money and you would be getting the same thing as this box set here. FOX definitely messed up with this whole set.
UPDATE: If the price does drop under thirty and you don't own any of these movies, the set is worth purchasing. If you already own the movies on DVD, the upgrade isn't worth the price. Wait for a new remastered version to be released in the future. Many shots are soft in Die Hard 1 and Die Hard 2. It's hard to believe that the films were shot this way with the focus so soft.
Updated to three stars after rewatching the films multiple times again.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love the Die Hard series. When I got the set, it had a duplicate of the third and no Good Day to Die Hard.Published 13 days ago by Jeffrey L. Sprague
What can we say that hasn't already beeeen said!? If you love the Die Hard movies and especially if you figure up watching them (mid 80s baby), they are formatted so beautifully... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Daniel Przywalny
Very disappointed that the last movie with his son was not included in this set!!!!Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
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