Die Hard

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , on December 11, 2011 by bluehawaii19

Release Date: July 15th, 1988

Rating: R

Running Time: 1 hr. 54 min.

Directed By: John McTiernan

Cast: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Paul Gleason, William Atherton, Hart Bochner


John McClane is a New York City cop who flies to L.A. to visit his estranged wife, Holly, for a Christmas party at her place of work, the Nakatomi building. Unfortunately for everyone at the party, including John, the building is taken hostage by a group of Europeans, headed by Hans Gruber. It is up to John to figure out a way to take back the building and rescue all the hostages, including Holly.


Unlike a lot of people out there, I only recently started watching Die Hard. When I was younger, I probably watched it on TV but have no recollection of doing so. I bought the 3 movie collection a few years back and really enjoy the first Die Hard.

Die Hard is a classic action flick that people either consider a Christmas movie or they don’t. While the movie isn’t directly a holiday film, it does feature some Christmas music, Christmas decorations, and has a Christmas party thrown in.

Bruce Willis makes for a fantastic John McClane. He works as an action star but also throws in a lot of funny one liners. A few others actors were either considered for the role or turned it down but I can only see Bruce Willis in the role. He just worked perfectly.

Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber was pretty good. He is suave and isn’t a downright villain. He tries to reason with people and does give them a chance to survive but doesn’t take any bull either.

I always enjoy Reginald VelJohnson as Al, the cop who responds to John’s plea for help and is the one who believes in John the entire time he is stuck in the Nakatomi building. He is the ray of light guiding McClane to safety. His acting in Die Hard was just really good. He always manages to play a cop in everything I have seen him in (my notably Family Matters).

Overall, Die Hard is the classic action film. It has everything you need for a good time and the movie just flows right along. You get caught up in the action and everything just works perfectly.



Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , on December 9, 2011 by bluehawaii19

Release Date: November 25th, 1987

Rating: R

Running Time: 1 hr. 33 min.

Directed By: John Hughes

Cast: Steve Martin, John Candy, William Windom, Laila Robins, Michael McKean


Neal Page’s plane is delayed, then cancelled. He has to try and figure out a way to make it home in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Unfortunately for him, he decides to team up with Del Griffith, an overly friendly yet sometimes abnoxious shower curtain ring salesman. This decision may be the worst or the best of Neal’s life.


Even though this movie is a Thanksgiving film, I watch it for Christmas. In fact, I already watched it earlier this year, after finally buying the DVD.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is such a classic comedy. Both Steve Martin and John Candy did a fantastic job in both their roles. Even though Neal is the main character, he can be pretty stuck up and rude at times so you do have some sympathy for this character but not a ton. Del on the other hand is a really genuinely nice guy. He is the main reason why terrible things have happened to Neal (without his knowledge) and you really like his character.

The movie offers a lot of funny moments and a good amount of laughs. One in particular is the scene where Neal and Del have to share a room and a bed. When they wake up in the morning, they share a “tender” moment followed by a hilarious yet awkward one. The scene always cracks me up.

The movie really only focuses on these two characters. From time to time, we see glimpses of Neal’s family, but they really aren’t a big part of the movie. When Neal realizes why Del hasn’t been home in years near the end of the movie, it just brings everything together and offers a really nice moment between the two.


My DVD Collection

Posted in Random with tags , , on December 7, 2011 by bluehawaii19

I was previously keeping my collection in a small shelving unit where they were boxed right in and I could never find what I was looking for. Recently, I went to Walmart and bought two bookcases containing three shelves each. When I measured in the store, each bookcase holds around 300 DVDs, if lucky and really cramming them in there. I have mine spaced out and by alphabetical order and category.

I currently have over 350 DVDs and blu-rays (the very tops of each shelf are hidden from view).

The categories are as follows:


– top shelf are family/Disney films

– middle shelf are comedy and Christmas films

– bottom shelf are blu-rays and TV shows


– top shelf are dramatic films

– middle shelf are horror and thrillers

– bottom shelf are action, adventure, and fantasy films

If anyone would like a listing of all the DVDs and blu-rays in my collection, leave a comment and I will make a post for those.

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , on December 7, 2011 by bluehawaii19

Release Date: November 13th, 1998

Rating: PG

Running Time: 1 hr. 25 min.

Directed By: Arlene Sanford

Cast: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Jessica Biel, Adam LaVorgna, Gary Cole, Eve Gordon, Lauren Maltby


Jake is a young college student who gets through life scamming and scheming others. After making up lies to miss going home for Christmas, Jake’s father offers him his classic red Porsche if Jake makes it home at 6 P.M. on Christmas. The only hitch is that Jake is left in the middle of the desert in a Santa suit after a prank is pulled and he has to figure out a way to make it home in time.


I was able to get the DVD for a cheap price and watched it as part of the movies I watch every year for the holidays. The movie is a decent Disney live-action film starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas in the day of his Home Improvement time. The best thing I can compare it to is Planes, Trains, and Automobiles but not nearly as good or funny.


It’s a Wonderful Life

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , on December 3, 2011 by bluehawaii19

Release Date: December 25th, 1946

Rating: G

Running Time: 2 hr. 15 min.

Directed By: Frank Capra

Cast: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Henry Travers


It’s a Wonderful Life is one of those classic Christmas films that is good for the whole family.

James Stewart stars as George Bailey, a man who has always tried to do good by others. After an unfortunate event at his office, he learns he is worth more dead than alive and contemplates suicide. Luckily for George, his guardian (wingless) angel, Clarence, prevents it and after George makes a wish of him never having been born, Clarence grants it. George is then shown how those he cares about most would be affected by this wish.


James Stewart did a fantastic job as George Bailey. He really has a wonderful life but he doesn’t appreciate it until the end. Donna Reed was also really good as Mary Hatch, the young woman who fell in love with George as a child and would be in love with him until the day she dies. Henry Travers made a good Clarence, who is assigned the task of helping George in exchange for his wings. Lionel Barrymore did a fantastic job as grumpy, evil old Mr. Potter because I despise him everytime he is on the screen. He is the sole reason why George considers suicide and there are no redeeming qualities to his character.


Home Alone

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , on December 3, 2011 by bluehawaii19

Release Date: November 16th, 1990

Rating: PG

Running Time: 1 hr. 45 min.

Directed By: Chris Columbus

Cast: Macaulay Culkin, Catherine O’Hara, John Heard, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Candy


I always find time to watch Home Alone every year for the holidays. I was five when this came out in theatres and it has been a tradition to watch it on television once a year. I recently bought the DVD (own the original VHS) so now I can watch it whenever I like.

This movie is such a classic. What kid doesn’t want to have the situation Kevin does? Being home alone to do whatever you want is just what most kids wish could happen. Of course, that can be a dangerous thing, but still…

Kevin is left behind when his family go on vacation to Paris. When he wakes up and realizes this, he believes it is because of a wish he made the night before after being fed up with always getting dumped on. Kevin is in complete heaven and discovers he can do anything he wants but soon starts to miss his family. At the same time, his mother is trying everything to make it home to Kevin and a couple of thieves (Marv and Harry) have cased the house out. It is up to Kevin to be the man of the house and defend it against “The Wet Bandits” while at the same time, trying to keep a good household.


This movie is a classic. I grew up with it and still love it to this day. The traps Kevin sets up are nothing short of awesome and you can almost believe he is able to rig up his house the way he does. I even enjoyed the subplot with Kevin’s neighbour. It wasn’t a huge part of the movie but Kevin freaks out everytime he sees Marley but learns not to judge a book by its cover. I enjoy John Candy in everything I have seen him in and even though his part is small in this, I still really enjoyed his character.

The movie does have a few sequels but only the second one matters and in my opinion, almost as good as this one.



Posted in Reviews with tags , , , on December 3, 2011 by bluehawaii19

Release Date: November 23rd, 1988

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 1 hr. 41 min.

Directed By: Richard Donner

Cast: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Glover, Carol Kane, Bobcat Goldthwait, Alfre Woodard, Buddy Hackett


The second holiday film I watched is Scrooged. I bought the DVD to add to my holiday film collection. I hadn’t seen this movie in years and it was still a good watch.

The premise for those that haven’t possibly seen the film:

Bill Murray stars as Frank Cross, a cynical TV executive who only cares about himself and making lots of money. Shortly after firing someone for giving their thoughts on Cross’ idea for a Christmas special, he is visited by spirits and is shown the past, present, and future.

The movie is one of many retellings and adaptions of the classic Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.


I don’t really have too many parts of the movie I didn’t like. It isn’t a film I would watch all the time, like Christmas Vacation though. Everyone in the film did a good job in their different roles. I actually didn’t know that Brian Doyle-Murray (who played Frank’s father) was Bill Murray’s real-life brother. John Murray (who played Frank’s brother) is also Bill Murray’s real-life brother. I have seen Brian Doyle-Murray in a lot of different films, including Christmas Vacation as Clark’s boss, but didn’t know he was related to Bill Murray.