Five Ways Something Ruined My LifeFive Ways ‘Die Hard' Ruined My LifeErin Mallory Long

Here we are at week two of Christmas movies (the first week was Home Alone) and yes, you read that correctly, we are discussing Die Hard. First of all, it’s important to note that I have an enormous crush on Bruce Willis. (Since my husband is a bald man he finds this to be an acceptable crush for me to have so it’s all good.) Also, he dressed up as John McClane for Halloween last year so it’s doubly fine.

Secondly, Bruce Willis is in several episodes of Friends, and Die Hard actually gets a few shout outs. I love and always say Ross’ quote, “Yeah, well John McClane had plans!”

One year we even made Christmas cards that were Die Hard-themed.

And I mean, the whole thing is centered on a Christmas party at an office. So, to adapt a quote from Argyle, the awesome limo driver who picks up John McClane, “This IS a Christmas movie!”

1. Started My Bruce Willis Obsession

As previously stated, I’m obsessed with Bruce Willis. I’m the only person in the world (probably) who liked Surrogates, to give you a frame of reference. So that’s the level of Bruce Willis dedication we’re dealing with here. I mean, yes, I had a Ben Affleck poster from Armageddon in my room but that’s only because that’s what was available to me. Duh.

Okay, but even if you’re not me how could your heart stay in tact when he finds out his wife is using her maiden name at work??

Bruce Willis, to me, is just a perfect action star who I just want to see in anything (I also feel this way about Tom Cruise which usually people fight me on. He may have personal issues but he’s a great movie star, you guys!)

And even though I don’t agree with his criticism of Live Free or Die Hard (I personally think it’s a logical progression of what John McClane is now capable of doing as a result of his experiences in the other movies), I love Michael Scott’s explanation in The Office about John McClane and how awesome he is.

Michael: You know what, here’s the thing about Die Hard 4Die Hard one, the original, John McClane was just this normal guy. You know, he’s just a normal New York City cop, who gets his feet cut, and gets beat up. But he’s an everyday guy. In Die Hard 4, he is jumping a motorcycle into a helicopter. In air. You know? He’s invincible. It just sort of lost what Die Hard was. It’s not Terminator.

(Side note I loved everything about last night’s episode which involved reciting Die Hard and then making Erin watch it)

2. Made Me Terrified to Go Barefoot Anywhere

I mean, legitimately, the entire movie is terrifying. Obviously.

No one is sitting around going, “oh, PLEASE let my Christmas party where I’m seeing how things are going to go with my estranged wife be attacked by a group of terrorists. That’d be BOSS!”

No one would say that.

But I REALLY get grossed out by the parts where they shoot out the glass and his bare feet are just SHREDDED. I spent my childhood barefoot by a lake, letting the calluses build up on my feet but I am a huge wuss when it comes to SHARDS OF GLASS IN YOUR FEET. I’ve stepped on my fair share of thumb tacks and things but the amount of glass he gets in his feet and then walks around on is astounding.

Basically John McClane is the opposite of a wuss and I can’t live up to it and neither can most of us.

3. Gave Me Conflicted Feelings About Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman, though a jerk in Love Actually is still so good and I can watch and love. Even as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies I can get behind him and just love his evil ways (which of course are all to help Harry in the end and everything but you don’t KNOW that for most of the time).

But he is a scary, evil terrorist with a weird accent in Die Hard and I can’t get over that (except that I do find him attractive).

I DO love when he reads the “Now I have a machine gun. Ho. Ho. Ho” message because his “ho ho ho” delivery is the best thing I’ve ever heard. Alan Rickman is the best and him playing this terrible terrorist is a real conflict for me but since he’s so young and skinny I can sort of pretend he’s a different person. Sort of.

4. Makes You Hate the FBI…and Therefore Love and Respect Mr. Winslow

Basically, in most things, when the FBI is on the screen, you are supposed to hate them. Die Hard is no exception. The LAPD is there doing their job and the FBI blows in and takes over.

I mean, any time the FBI is around on Law and Order: SVU you know they’re just there to jerk around the detectives and get in the way of good, honest police work. Whatta bunch of yahoos!

Even on The X-Files, which is all about the FBI, the FBI guys are still mostly jerks. Obviously Mulder and Scully (and Skinner sometimes) are cool but then nobody else at the FBI knows what’s up. Another exception to this is Twin Peaks where Special Agent Dale Cooper is the best person ever but again, has kind of jerky higher ups to deal with.

Especially with the FBI guys pushing the LAPD out of the way in Die Hard you just can’t help but be like, “yeah! Let them do their job!” You just have to side with Reginald ValJohnson. It’s impossible to not.

I mean, he did have to put up with Urkel all those years, for crying out loud.

5. Totally Warped My Perception of Los Angeles

Before I moved to L.A., I only had movies and TV shows to teach me about the city of Los Angeles, you know?

So I had Clueless and Die Hard and everything that takes place in Los Angeles to let me know what the deal was. And in Die Hard you don’t get a great example of L.A.

Bruce Willis spends the whole movie saying, “f&#*ing California” around every turn and I always found myself nodding in agreement with him. But I really didn’t know any better about L.A. John McClane and Alvy Singer were my teachers of the NYC to L.A. move. And, though I love them, they’re not that great at it.

For the record, my Die Hard ranking is: 1, 4, 3, 2 and I cannot wait for Valentine’s Day 2013 when I will be able to see A Good Day to Die Hard.

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  1. I adore Bruce Willis as well because of this movie. I would drive my parents crazy watching Die Hard over and over when I was little. I was even watching it on my iPad at work yesterday. Lol. My rankings of the movies go in order though.

  2. Die hard 4 is a great die hard movie, I hope 5 keeps the standards

    • Agreed 100%. I don’t know why Surrogates gets hate either, I enjoyed it!

      Erin Long | 12/07/2012 11:12 am
  3. Surrogates is a ngood movie, i can’t understand the hate…

  4. I enjoyed reading your article very much! And btw, I liked Surrogates too :o)

  5. I know what I’m watching tonight!

  6. You think Die Hard 4 (I refuse to use its full name) is the second best Die Hard?! Oh Erin. You just lost so much credibility. It’s PG-13! He doesn’t even say his catchphrase! Also, it’s got Justin Long in it, in a role he was ill-equipped to handle. How can you love what Michael Scott says and then disagree with him entirely? The first 3 Die Hards are action movie classics, with the first being, debatably, the best action film of all time. The 4th one? As far as I’m concerned, the 4th one never happened.

    • This is not the time for this conversation, Dan. I understand and agree with the negatives of 4 but I still enjoy it. And I really would appreciate you not knocking my cousin-in-law, Justin Long.

      Erin Long | 12/07/2012 09:12 am
  7. Watch Alan Rickman in “Sense & Sensibility” and you will love him. He plays a man who is the essence of good. Loved it!

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