Movie Reviews: 13 Hours


13 Hours directed by Michael Bay

Would you like a testosterone injection? 

I’ll do you one better. 

Watch this movie.

I used to be a fan of Michale Bay films as a teenager. Bad Boys, The Rock, Armageddon, and all of the 360 camera moves they eyes can take. It was awesome.

Then there were the transformer movies and I became jaded. I knew he was talented to make all sorts of action movies, perhaps even picking up the mantle of McTiernan, but all that was spent on CGI popcorn flicks. 

I warmed up a little with Pain & Gain, which I thought was pretty damn funny and went back to his roots as a buddy action movie director. 

I watched 13 hours and I’m here to say something I would not have imagined 5 years ago.

Michael Bay is back.

13 hours is a stupendous action film that focuses less on the politics and the grey area of international intervention and the repurcussions of it. There is no message of “Join Now.” There is no jingoistic good vs evil.

Here, the Spartans aka contractors are the heroes of the film, something not recognized very much in military circles, especially after the Blackwater incident in Iraq gave the whole industry a black eye. 

Where is the line between uniformed combatants and personal security detail?  Where does their authority come from? Can they act with their own conscience with rebellious patriotism that bureaucrats and cautious military brass wouldn’t want to risk? 

The casting was pretty damn good. John Krasinski was someone I didn’t see as a star, but now I do (let’s just hope he stays away from Romantic comedies) The other 5 men in the fire team all did a fine job. They looked like men who lived a life of guns, beards, and creatine.

The movie had me focused until the very end. 

I don’t know what is a better film, this or Zero-Dark-Thirty

Movie Rating: 10/10 Fire Teams

Movie Reviews: Die Hard

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When people ask me what my favorite action movie is, I tell them Die Hard.

When people ask me what my favorite Christmas movie is, I tell them Die Hard.

When people ask me wha my favorite romance is, I tell them Die Hard.

People think I’m strange.

This classic is three genres all rolled up into one explosive holiday film that makes everyone kind of root a little bit for the masterful Alan Rickman and his quest for a big ass payday and a life on the beach collecting twenty percent. The story is a little bit fish out of water, and a little bit one man vs. the world and every copycat afterwards was a “Die Hard in on a boat” (Under Siege or Speed 2) or “Die Hard with the President on a Plane” (Air Force One) or “Die Hard with the President” (Olympus has Fallen or London has Fallen or White House Down) or the many other variations. Many have tried to replicate the essence of what is Die Hard, but none has matched it, not even Bruce Willis.

Maybe it was Nakatomi Tower. Maybe it was blowing it up. Maybe it was the broken glass or crawling through air ducts. Maybe it was the sheer odds or the overzealous FBI or incompetent Police Chief. Maybe it was Sgt.Powell as a sidekick with a massive guilt trip or Karl as a man out for revenge. Maybe it was John somehow finding a way to mend his relationship through all obstacles. The movie has something for everybody, with director John MicTiernan showing off his finest work.

One time, while on a cruise with my girlfriend at the time, I rushed through the midnight pizza bar in a rush. The pizza maker on the top deck asked me if I was enjoying the club below. I shook my head and said, “Nope, Die Hard just came on the tv in the room. I gotta get back down now.” The pizza man looked at me inquisitively and nodded slowly. I think maybe he understood, or thought I was a strange late night guest. The next night when I went to grab a midnight pizza the guy asked me how the movie was, and although I had seen it maybe twenty-five times by that point in my life, I said the only thing on my mind.

“Yippee-Ki-Yay.”

Movie Review: 11/10 (off the damn charts)