A Good Day to Die Hard


A Good Day to Die Hard (2013) Poster

Rating: 2 paws

One quote from the movie that I particularly cared for: “I took Garden.” // “I could have been a dancer.”

Summary of the movie in one sentence: McClane saves McClane which in turn allows McClane to regain McClane and then they kill the scumbags.
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First paw consists of the writing style – this is the technical aspect of the movie. You see the quotes above? That pretty much sums up the writing style of the entire movie. When it wasn’t simply lazy and predictable, it was self-referential. And, before you lambast me for being critical of an action flick, let me assure you that action does NOT have to mean predictable. Suspense (and, I’m talking about the build-up, not the horror) is supposed to originate from unique turns of events. This suffered greatly from lack thereof. I’m actually not counting off for it being self-referential, as this is the fifth movie in a series that’s known for being self-referential. It’s true to form, on that. I refuse to give the paw, due to the lazy writing, but I am impressed with the writers being able to keep the same jokes fresh.

The second paw is “emotional connection” – basically, was I *interested* in what I was watching? Dear writers, you ARE aware that you were supposed to be creating an ACTION MOVIE, right? WTH was with a character-driven, character-development writing style doing in my ACTION MOVIE?! Bad. BADBADBAD. No cookie for you. You inspired me to be annoyed, which doesn’t actually give you this paw for emotional connection. Also, I probably would have cared more about the characters you were so obviously trying to make sure changed in Disney-esque fashion, HAD YOU NOT BEEN SO PREDICTABLE.

Third paw is plot – akin to writing style, but purely about The Story. There was a plot, which I wasn’t completely certain there would be, going in. Although other Die Hards have had surprisingly good plots, action movies are not generally known for their storytelling, and I would have been perfectly willing to accept a rather spotty plot. However, the fact that the storytelling was completely shallow, and the “plot twists” were so blindingly obvious that they might as well have been nonexistent, I want to say that the writers went “plot? we don’t need no stinking plots” and not give the paw. However, that wouldn’t be true to the review scale, so I’ll give you this paw. BUT I SHOULDN’T.

The last paw is “Other Stuff,” which is pretty much anything that doesn’t go into another category but is still note-worthy. Did I mention that the writing was lazy? Yes? Okay, how about the actual shooting of the film itself? As far as I could tell, they tried to make us nostalgic for the early Die Hards, with their updated 80s action flick style explosions. As well as the ending shot, which was a pure waste of time. However, if there was nothing truly exciting in the explosions, at least the film didn’t suffer from shaky cam, and its very few “artistic” shots weren’t obnoxious. Because the lack of being obnoxious in filming an action movie is rare these days, I’ll give the paw. Also? Bruce Willis is hot, so I’d probably give this paw based on his eye candy-worth.

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Beauty Queens by Libba Bray


beauty queens

Rating: 4 paws

One quote from the book that I particularly cared for: “Men have feelings too, you know. You bruise the petals of my manflower.”

Summary of the book in one sentence: Beauty Queens is a wonderful story about how the Liberal Agenda triumphs over Crass Commercialism Ideals.
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First paw consists of the writing style – this is the technical aspect of the book. It was a bit disconcerting, the different points of view and snippets of commercials interspersed through out the book, but I think that Bray actually handled it well, and it wasn’t so jarring that it threw me out of the book. It was definitely a departure from first person, single protagonist writing, and, to be honest, I loved the snippets. Also? she’s hilarious. At least, she feeds my sense of humor. And, as her audience, that’s really all one can ask for.

The second paw is “emotional connection” – basically, was I *interested* in what I was reading? Even while I wanted to throw something at the characters from time to time, I was emotionally connected to them. Actually, me saying that I wanted to throw something is probably a pretty good indicator that I was emotionally connected to the book. And, it’s certainly a book that, simply because of the values it’s preaching, is going to make people connect – either in a good way, or a bad. It rather depends on how one reacts to the values, and preaching.

Third paw is plot – akin to writing style, but purely about The Story. As it’s political/social commentary and satire, and it’s also very Agenda-ed writing, the plot is very predictable and easily seen through. Of course, there’s not much that one can do about that, with Agenda-ed writing. I think that the blatant humor running rampant throughout, and the highly entertaining and endearing characters more than made up for it, though.

The last paw is “Other Stuff,” which is pretty much anything that doesn’t go into another category but is still note-worthy. While I very much enjoyed the book, it also made me want to go read something that was the exact opposite, afterwards, simply to have a more balanced world view. That’s purely a “me” thing, though. Also, I read this book over a year ago, and I still remember bits and pieces of it, and would be more than happy to re-read it. I thought it highly enjoyable.