DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

A Good Day To Die Hard, Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy (2013)

An entertaining continuation of the Die Hard series.

Published on June 16, 2013

A Good Day To Die Hard, Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy (2013)

Cast: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch
Director: John Moore
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment 
Video: 1.85:1 for 16:9; 1080p HD color
Audio: English 7.1 DTS-HD MA; Descriptive Audio 5.1; French or Spanish DD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Extras: Theatrical + unrated extended-cut of film; Commentary track with Director John Moore and First Assistant Director Mark Cotone; “Making It Hard to Die” documentary; seven featurettes (“Two of a Kind”, “Back in Action”, “The New Face of Evil”, “Anatomy of a Car Chase”, “Maximum McClane”, “Pre-Vis” and “VFX Sequences”); 7 deleted scenes; Concept art gallery; Two theatrical trailers; Storyboards; DVD copy; Digital copy
Length: 98 minutes, theatrical cut; 111 minutes, extended cut
Movie Rating: ***½      Video Rating: ****
Audio Rating: *****      D-BOX Rating: ****1/2

“A Good Day To Die Hard”, the fifth installment of the popular movie franchise, finds tough New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) heading to Russia in order to track down his estranged son, Jack (Jai Courtney).  Jack has been arrested and put on trial.  John arrives just as a courtroom explosion enables Jack to escape together with a Russian political prisoner named Komarov.  Unbeknownst to John, Jack is actually a CIA operative whose mission is to rescue Komarov and secure the damaging information that Komarov has about a corrupt Russian high-ranking official.  Chased by the police and Russian mobsters, the mission becomes even more deadly when the McClanes discover that Komarov has his own agenda beyond simply being rescued.  It is then up to the McClanes to put aside their family differences and band together to save the day.  I found A Good Day To Die Hard to be an entertaining movie.  Like the previous four entries in the movie series, it provides what audiences have come to expect from a Die Hard film: explosions, gunfire, hand-to-hand combat, lots of action, and funny one-liners from Bruce Willis.  While it may not break any new ground in the action film genre, fans will certainly want to add this Blu-ray to their existing Die Hard collections.

Taking into consideration that the look of this film is intended to be more dark and gritty than sleek and sharp, the overall high-definition video presentation of this Blu-ray disc is very good.  Images are clean and exhibit fine-detail in close-up shots.  Black levels are deep throughout the movie.  Colors are stylized to favor steely blues and warm oranges.  Picture defect mastering is solid with no major flaws or compression artifacts.  The overall surround audio quality is excellent with the English DTS HD-MA 7.1 track.   The soundtrack actively incorporates all of the discrete channels into its dynamic mix.  Dialogue is clean and remains intelligible even amidst all of the on-screen action.  The surround channels are aggressively utilized for the sound effects and music score.  The low frequency effects channel is explosive.

A Good Day To Die Hard is compatible with the D-BOX Motion Code™ System, meaning that if you have the necessary D-BOX equipment, your movie viewing experience will be enhanced by adding both motion and vibration to your chosen seating.  Every motion imaginable is applied in this movie, from hovering to vibration, and from tilting to jolting, for an engrossing experience.  Particular scenes to check out for demo-worthy D-BOX moments in the movie are: (1) the vehicle chase sequence where Jack and Komarov are being chased by Russian baddies and John is in hot pursuit; and (2) the grenade explosion and helicopter crash in the climatic ending.  The D-BOX Motion Code encoding suits this picture and provides a significant enhancement to the viewing experience.

—Calvin Harding Jr.




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