Yes, I saw Die Hard in the theater during its original run and my dating days. Bruce Willis was really at the peak of his game then. He was coming off the success of Moonlighting. Being young and a good looking kind of every-man, he had it all. He married the smoking hot Demi Moore the year before. Yeah, pretty much every straight guy on the planet was envious.
Now that Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with aphasia, you will see a lot more channels running the Die Hard franchise. My brother had the Die Hard collection when I was looking for something to watch that wasn’t already in my movie collection.
What to watch now
Alan Rickman is best known for playing Severus Snape on the Harry Potter series but I believe his role here might have been his best. The dude was just gifted at playing upper class evil. If you don’t believe that, check out Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Pay attention to his role and how well he delivers here. We are all of a certain age now so we can let the action be part of the background.
Remember, this was either the first, or at least the biggest to date movie to show all of the empty shell casings on the ground. There was actual running across broken glass. Most movies of the era (and today) have all kinds of fire coming out of the gun but no casings.
The first 10 minutes are a way-back machine
Most of the rest of the movie is kind of timeless. Okay, you have to ignore the “car phone” and size of the computer monitors in some scenes to make it “timeless” but you understand what I mean. Kids today won’t understand the “golden age of corporate work” that this movie represents. In a post #MeToo era, that age may never come back.
Men had to wear suits and women had to dress nice. Excusing the 80s bad hair, most corporate offices had women trying to dress as sexy as they could without wearing a blatant slut outfit. It was an office culture thing. The never married twenty-somethings and the divorced late thirty-somethings and even forty-somethings all did it.
The Christmas party
That “office Christmas party” in the opening segment, those used to actually happen. It was both weird and glorious. Most of those women wouldn’t date a co-worker because it would be too stressful seeing them every day if it didn’t work out. This was a policy every guy of that era heard uttered at least a thousand times. These same women would have a few drinks at the office Christmas party, grab a dude and sneak off to an office to have sex on the desk.
I kid you not, that happened a lot. Usually it was the desk of a boss or someone who annoyed them. They wanted to leave their mark, yes, I did get tapped on your desk, but not by you. It was really a thing. Enough bosses got pissed about the state of their desks after the Christmas party that such parties started happening off-site.
Yes, when off-site there were always a few assholes. Pretty soon there was a cash bar instead of open. Then they had to be called “Holiday Parties” and now they don’t really happen at all.
During the 80s this really was a cultural thing and most of the time it was initiated by the women. Yes, the #MeToo thing was happening at the multi-million dollar level but during the holiday party, the hormone level in the room shifted and men were the prey. Once the first woman bagged a dude and came back out to socialize, all the rest of the women could tell. Subconsciously there was an “Oh shit! I don’t want to be left out or get an ugly one!” mentality that went around the room.
Pay attention when the terrorists start kicking in office doors, because that was just starting.
For those of a certain age, watching this movie 30+ years later will make you wax nostalgic. This is especially true if you worked in big city corporate office buildings during the holiday parties. The action was great. Alan Rickman was phenom. Even if you are watching alone in a room the hairdos are so foofed you will find yourself smelling Aqua net.
You could smell that stuff from a good thirty feet away. Dudes that were allergic to it simply couldn’t have sex during the 1980s.