“Die Hard”: (a) tradition-bound and obstinately opinionated. Originally, the 1988 classic action phenomena had alternate reasons for its title than it’s latest two sequels, and though I remain a fan of even Live Free or Die Hard, it is clear that something has gone horribly amiss. Yet, despite absolutely abysmal ratings from both critics and disappointed fans—apparently more frustrated than Indiana Jones fans—it has taken the box office.

Well, I think it was a fantastic idea to open on Valentine’s Day. In fact, female voters generally rated the latest installment in Bruce Willis’ franchise higher than male voters. But allow me to make the observation that not everyone is in a relationship. The single men went to watch A Good Day to Die Hard this weekend. The single women went to see Safe Haven, which is exactly as terrible.

Both films suffer from the worst pitfalls of their genre, but actual couples likely had that tug-of-war I mentioned last week. What do you do when everything new in theaters is terrible? Well, likely, you stay home and watch a movie relevant to your own relationship. It’s more meaningful, and sure to result in a smoother night where no one complains about having been convinced to see something horrible on Valentine’s Day.

I’ll admit to being a fan of the Die Hard series, except for 2. Die Harder is the perfect title, since there was little imagination in that installment, which had the same plot as 1. But everything that gave the series charm is absent this time around. This is literally not Die Hard by its very definition, noted above.

It’s been six years since the latest one, and this is the best they could do? But you’ve heard all this already. What’s important to understand is that Willis is more himself than McClane, but that still sells tickets. Likewise, Beautiful Creatures is appropriately titled, as that’s all the entire film seems to be about. Looking at the stars involved. It’s just another young adult novel cashing in on the trend, and it’s sad. It depresses me.

Oddly enough, the worst rated film is the animated picture. I didn’t expect it to be Finding Nemo but my goodness! How awful. From a director whose first time it is directing a studio film, writing anything, and the Weinsteins that brought you Anne Hathaway’s only performance as dull as Dark Knight Rises via Hoodwinked!, I can absolutely assure you that Escape From Planet Earth isn’t a mistake to be made twice.

Nothing good is coming out next weekend, but Dwayne Johnson’s Snitch should steal the box office away as an easy replacement for Willis’ failed action yarn. And don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Keri Russel absolutely, but Dark Skies’ trailer alone is enough to avoid that movie, but the director is awful too. I’d watch The Fourth Kind instead.

…and what on Earth is Inescapable? It looks like Taken, with reversed stars.

 

The Weekend Results

1.) A Good Day to Die Hard (Fox): Opening weekend, with $25 million.

2.) Identity Thief (Universal): Second weekend, with $23.4 million.

3.) Safe Haven (Relativity): Opening weekend, with $21.4 million.

4.) Escape From Planet Earth (Weinstein): Opening weekend, with $16 million.

5.) Warm Bodies (Summit): Third weekend, with $9 million.

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