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#781: A Good Day to Die Hard

February 18, 2013

Notes from the Manager

I have to admit, since I’ve been doing movie jokes again (or rather, jokes about new movies again rather than jokes about movies in general, like in Book 6), I’ve had this nagging feeling that I’ve already done just about every one of these jokes before. Which is probably to be expected after 6+ years of doing a comic strip. And sooner or later, I’ll probably be right. Whenever that finally does happen, sorry! Hopefully it will be different enough that most of you won’t notice.

Anyway. A Good Day to Die Hard opened this weekend. I don’t really hate the sequels; I think Die Hard 2 gets a bad rap, and that it’s actually decent — just not nearly as good as the first one. I never saw all of Die Hard with a Vengeance, but what I saw didn’t really encourage me to see the rest. I enjoyed Live Free or Die Hard as a dumb fucking movie with some pretty fun action. “The new one” looks even bigger and dumber, and the reviews I’ve seen support my hunch, so, like the fourth one, it’s a rental for me, at best.

What I can’t get around with any of them after the second one is that they missed the main thing that made the first Die Hard great: he’s a normal fucking guy. John McClane was the antidote to the Arnolds and Slys of the 1980’s. Now, he’s a superhero, just like the rest. I saw Die Hard for the first time in high school on cable, and it was fucking magic — so for me, these sequels don’t count. When I do watch them, I just pretend they’re about some guy named Jon MacLaine. Or something.

See you Friday.


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Leonard Nimoy (1931–2015)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I was never a huge Star Trek fan, exactly. I love some of the early episodes, and I think Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is one of the greatest science fiction movies of all time. I enjoyed Star Trek III and IV, too, for what they were. I read a bunch of the DC Comics Star Trek stuff at that time, because my brother bought them. And I watched a bit of the Next Generation and then fell off the wagon. Kirk and Spock were my Star Trek, and the Star Trek 2–4 “era” was its peak for me, warts and all, because that’s the “era” that really hooked me. And really, for me, it was all about Wrath of Khan.

In addition to playing Mr. Spock, of course, Leonard Nimoy did a lot of other things. He was on Mission: Impossible. He directed a few movies (Three Men and a Baby!). He was a photographer. He was the voice of Civilization IV. But one thing I really loved of his was Standby: Lights, Camera, Action, on Nickelodeon from 1982–1987, which provided a behind the scenes look at movies like Star Trek III, Return of the Jedi, 2010, and more. Nimoy hosted and occasionally interviewed guests like George Lucas. As a budding film nerd in the pre-Internet Dark Ages, behind the scenes specials like Standby: Lights, Camera, Action were hard to come by. I ate that show up.

Anyway, as you’re undoubtedly aware by now, Leonard Nimoy passed away on the 27th. As cartoonists do when they’re sad about these kinds of things, I drew a picture:

Leonard_Nimoy

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