Archive for the BATTLES Category

What would happen if Alan Rickman’s characters in Love Actually and Die Hard switched places?

Posted in BATTLES with tags , , , , on December 16, 2016 by Ross McG

 

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This article first appeared on Metro.co.uk

It’s rather strange, given that he stars in two of the greatest festive films ever made, that Alan Rickman once declared on screen that we should call off Christmas.

Let’s put the late, great Rickman’s bah-humbugging in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves aside for a moment, however, and concentrate on his roles in Love Actually and Die Hard.

These two very different Christmas movies (one says you should follow your heart; the other that you should follow terrorists around in your bare feet) have one thing in common: Rickman rocks.

In Die Hard, he plays Hans Gruber, an exceptional thief and lover of nice suits who uses his benefits of a classical education to hold up Nakatomi Plaza in LA on Christmas Eve.

In Love Actually, he is Harry, a disgruntled middle-aged MD of a design agency who dabbles in a spot of extra-marital flirting with his secretary before holding up a queue in Selfridges in London while buying some jewellery.

In many filmgoers’ eyes, both characters are as villainous as Rickman’s Sheriff of Nottingham, but have you ever imagined what might happen if Hans and Harry swapped movies?

No? Well that’s too bad, because I have, so you’re just going to have to lump it.

THIS DECEMBER…

COMES A STORY…

ABOUT A MAN…

AND ANOTHER MAN…

AT THE WRONG PARTY…

AT THE WRONG CHRISTMAS TIME…

BRUCE WILLIS IS JOHN MCCLANE…

AND ALAN RICKMAN IS HARRY…

IN…

DIE ACTUALLY

It’s Christmas Eve in Los Angeles. NYPD detective John McClane (Willis) turns up at his wife’s work in Nakatomi Plaza. Little does he know that an armed gang of German thieves have taken over the building. And little does he know that he isn’t the only unexpected guest at the party, pal…

Harry (Rickman) was in the building giving a design pitch to Nakatomi president Joseph Takagi, but couldn’t get out again to catch his flight back to London because someone got stuck in the elevator.

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Now, John and Harry will have to put their differences aside and team up to foil the heist. One enjoys exercising in nothing but a dirty vest; the other prefers a fine wine while wearing a trench coat. Can these two unlikely heroes come together to save the day?

It’s not going to be easy, but taking down terrorists at Christmas never is. It’s time to lock… and load. Let’s find out what happened When Harry Met Johnny.

The pair are kept apart initially by a series of explosive events. McClane, the ultimate lone wolf, must go to the rooftop of Nakatomi Tower to save a group of hostages by waving a machine gun around.

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Harry came out to the coast, got together with someone, had a few laughs (Pictures: Fox/Universal/Metro)

Meanwhile, Harry is downstairs having a dance with Mr Takagi’s new secretary. The conversation turns to seasonal gifts. He quips: ‘Christmas shopping, never an easy or a pleasant task.’

It’s high-octane stuff.

John eventually turns to Harry for help, calling him repeatedly on his walkie-talkie to ask for back-up. Harry, however, isn’t interested.

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That secretary is giving him all the signs so he makes up some lame excuse to McClane and hangs out downstairs a little longer.

John isn’t very happy about this.

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John is obsessed with taking down terrorists, but Harry just wants to get the girl. Christmas is a time for romance, he tells his new pal, even in a tense hostage situation.

In the end, Harry has to make the ultimate choice – does he save his new partner’s life when he is staring down the barrel of a gun, or does he take the chance to pop back down to the party and ask that secretary how far away her apartment is? Or does he just scream like a big baby?

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Harry thinks he and John might need some more FBI guys (Pictures: Fox/Universal/Metro)

Harry’s decision is eventually taken out of his hands, when the secretary reveals she is the mastermind behind the heist. He takes it all in good humour, telling her: ‘Right, the Christmas hostage crisis. Not my favorite night of the year, and your unhappy job to organise.’

She pulls a gun on Harry and it looks like it’s curtains for our unlikely hero, especially as John is picking glass out from between his toes in a bathroom.

But Harry has a surprise up his sleeve… or, rather, taped to his back. He pulls his own weapon and points it at her. They stare into each other’s eyes for a second… squeeze their fingers on the triggers… and then… BAM! They throw their weapons to the ground and embrace, before having one last dance.

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Their love has overcome machine guns, rancid vests, bloody feet and terrorist takeovers.

The lift is finally working again, so they take it down to the bottom floor and prepare to get on that flight back to London.

John is waiting downstairs. Watching them walk out the revolving doors, hand-in-hand, McClane lights a cigarette, smiles and whispers to himself… ‘Happy trails, Harry.’

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FROM ONE OF THE EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS AND TWO OF THE SEVEN WRITERS WHO BROUGHT YOU DIE ACTUALLY

COMES THE FESTIVE FEELGOOD FILM OF THE YEAR…

ALAN RICKMAN IS…

HANS GRUBER…

IN…

LONDON…

IN…

LOVE HARD

It’s five weeks before Christmas, and the British prime minister David Something (Hugh Grant) is banging on about how great airports are. He obviously hasn’t been through passport control post-Brexit. ‘Love is everywhere,’ he says. ‘Love actually is all around.’

At that precise moment, 27 passengers vomit, and a mysterious figure steps into the arrivals hall.

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It’s Hans Gruber (Rickman), and he has travelled to London to do one thing: pick up some new suits at John Phillips.

But when he spots the prime minister hanging around the airport without his security detail, Gruber seizes his opportunity.

Posing as a German diplomat, he persuades Call Me Dave to bring him back to 10 Downing Street.

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Most. Awkward. Double. Date. Ever. (Pictures: Fox/Universal/Metro)

After the PM has stopped flirting with Natalie (Martine McCutcheon) for a few minutes to concentrate on slightly more important things, like running the country, Gruber pulls a gun on him and subjects him to a humiliating ordeal.

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Gruber has concocted a plan – and the only person who can help him fulfil it is the prime minister. He wants to track down the most annoying people in Britain and erase them from the face of the planet.

Under unspeakable duress and forced to listen to the Girls Aloud cover of The Pointers Sister hit Jump (for My Love) for more than two minutes, Dave cracks and surreptitiously enlists the help of MI5 to allow Gruber to carry out his plan.

Within seconds, the military intelligence agency has supplied the contact information for Britain’s most irritating inhabitants.

Gruber is aghast as he rifles through their files. There’s this guy…

(Picture: Universal)

… and this guy…

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… and this kid.

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Gruber is more determined than ever to complete his mission. He pays a visit to ageing rock lothario Billy Mack (played by Bill Nighy doing Bill Nighy) and makes him dance at gunpoint, just like he did with the PM.

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‘I’m going to count to three… there will not be a four.’ (Pictures: Fox/Universal/Metro)

But the old geezer’s moves make Hans think of the true meaning of Christmas. He spares Bill Nighy (Bill Nighy) but vows to take retribution on jewellery salesman Rufus (Rowan Atkinson).

However, when he arrives in Selfridges, Christmas shopping is in full swing and there’s no way he can kill Rufus in front of so many potential witnesses.

Unfortunately for Hans, MI5 are now on to him, and a dozen agents pile into the department store and a shoot-out ensues.

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Gruber does his best to shoot the glass at the front of the store so he can make his exit, but then someone catches his eye.

It’s Sarah (Laura Linney), and Hans bubby decides he wants to be her white knight. Emitting one last blast of covering fire at MI5’s finest, he dives across the shop floor and whisks Sarah away from danger.

She invites him back to her place and they fall truly, madly, deeply in love. He has a read through Time Magazine while she takes a moment to contain her excitement at meeting such an eligible bachelor.

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And then he turns on the charm…

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… and tells her he wants to give up his life of exceptional theft for her.

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She asks him his name. ‘Bill,’ he says.

‘What, Bill Nighy?’ she asks.

‘No darling. Not Bill Nighy. Bill Clay.’

After spending four weeks together, Hans changes his name legally to Bill and walks out of the deed poll office a new person.

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He and Sarah celebrate by going to a local school’s Christmas production, and Hans/Bill doesn’t kill anyone, not even that little obnoxious kid playing the drums. In fact, he removes the bullets from his gun as soon as he takes his seat.

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Hands up if you love Hans (Picture: Fox/Universal/Metro)

And finally, filled with intoxicating combined joys of love and Christmas, he cannot resist posting an update from his newly renamed Twitter account…

THE END.

OR IS IT….?

AUDIENCES HAVE BEEN LEFT DAZZLED BY DIE ACTUALLY AND LOVE HARD

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AND NOW…

SOME BIG NEWS…

COMING TO CINEMAS AT CHRISTMAS 2018…

DIE, ACTUALLY 2: RETURN OF THE KILLER COMMA

AND…

LOVE HARD 2: HOW GRUBER GOT HIS GROOVE BACK

 

Godzilla 2014 v Godzilla 1998: Who is the best Godzilla?

Posted in BATTLES with tags on May 12, 2014 by Ross McG

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Gigantic mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fearsomest Godzilla of them all? Hollywood doesn’t do shame, so when they pilfer the idea for Japan’s greatest movie monster, why not do it twice? In 1998, we had Godzilla and now in 2014 we’re about to have… wait for it… Godzilla. Catchy title. But can the new Godzilla, released this week and directed by British director Gareth Edwards, knock its older counterpart out.

1. Tagline

Say what you like about the 1998 Godzilla movie – and pretty much everybody who saw it has – but it had a stonkingly good tagline: ‘Size does matter’. Simple and succinct, it’s a real belter. Does anyone know what the tagline for the new Godzilla movie even is? One of them is this: ‘The world ends. Godzilla begins’. Uh, isn’t that a bit of a spoiler? And it’s inaccurate – Godzilla was beginning (in modern Hollywood terms, at least) back in 1998. Ironically though, new Godzilla is three times bigger than the old one.

WINNER: GODZILLA ’98

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The Tweety Bird reboot had got way out of hand. Or foot.

2. Music

The new Godzilla has a score by the wonderful Alexandre Desplat from the last two Harry Potter movies, but come on, old Godzilla has Jamiroquai with Deeper Underground and a terrible CGI video. And it has Puff Daddy shouting at Jimmy Page’s guitar. It’s a no-brainer. Come on, say it with me… ‘AH-HUH… YEAH. AH-HUH… YEAH.’ Anyone else think Puff says ‘Tom Hulce’ instead of ‘time halts’ in this song? No, just me? Ah okay.

WINNER: GODZILLA ’98

3. Dialogue

There’s a few decent lines in the new Godzilla trailers. One is Ken Watanabe’s ‘The arrogance of man is thinking nature is in our control… and not the other way around.’ That’s a good one. But is it as good as these gems from Roland Emmerich’s earlier Godzilla?

– ‘Negative impact? That’s the goddamned Chrysler Building!’

– ‘I’ve always wanted to join the French Foreign Legion.’

– ‘That’s a lot of fish.’

No.

WINNER: GODZILLA ’98

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Mmmm… fish!

4. Cast

While watchers of old Godzilla have to make do with the charisma-free zone that is Matthew Broderick, they do receive a double treat in return: The Simpsons alumni Harry Shearer and Hank Azaria – the latter even references his yellow alter-ego, bartender Moe, by moaning ‘Aw jeez’ at one point. Alright, so new ‘Zilla has Bryan Cranston post-Breaking Bad (reckon Walter White could probably defeat Godzilla on his own) and I love David Strathairn in anything, but then old ‘Zilla pulls its trump card: Jean Reno. Jean Reno doing Elvis.

WINNER: GODZILLA ’98

5. Godzilla

Unfortunately, the 1998 Godzilla looked pretty dreadful, like a velociraptor dressed up in a Godzilla costume. It was rubbish. And it had a face you wanted to punch. New Godzilla, on the other hand, just looks like…. well, Godzilla. Some seriously good creature design has gone into this bad boy. Love his mountain range of spikes on his back and his relatively tiny mouth. It just looks real. This isn’t a documentary, is it?

WINNER: GODZILLA ’14

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Cool Godzillas don’t look at explosions

The Big Spy Battle… Bourne v Bond v Salt v the two blokes from Spies Like Us, as well as some other ones

Posted in BATTLES with tags , , , , on February 28, 2012 by Ross McG

To mark the release of spy v spy flick This Means War (yes, it’s finally being released: all those adverts on buses and the annoying 10-minute previews before movies you actually paid to see weren’t for nothing you know), starring Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy, Ross McG does some spy v spy action of his own. Or spy v spy v spy v spy v spy v spy v spy action. Continue reading

The big giant end of the year New Year’s Eve battle

Posted in BATTLES with tags , , on December 13, 2011 by rossvross

Last year we had Valentine’s Day, this year it’s New Year’s Eve, which is released this week. A dozens-strong all-star cast turn up, shoot a couple of scenes, get paid, movie execs make millions, audiences have one potentially crap film broken down into lots of nice, easy-to-manage little pieces – everybody wins. Be warned though: Christmas Day, All Hallow’s Eve, St Patrick’s Day, St Swithin’s Day, A Random Person’s Birthday will all follow. Here, Ross McD and Ross McG from pit the cast against each other. Continue reading

Dirty Dancing v Footloose

Posted in BATTLES with tags , , , , on September 30, 2011 by rossvross

The Footloose remake is on the big screen… the Dirty Dancing remake is in the pipeline. What better time then to revisit the originals with an 80s face-off featuring Sunday shoes being kicked off and Swayze’s shirt being ripped off. Ross McD and Ross McG pit these two dancing giants against each other. Read the arguments below and decide which movie is best. Continue reading

Alien v Unforgiven

Posted in BATTLES with tags , , , , , , , on August 18, 2011 by rossvross

To mark the release this week of genre mash-up Cowboys & Aliens, Ross McD and Ross McG are pitting an epic western against a scary sci-fi in this week’s movie battle. So slip on your chaps, strap your laser gun to your holster and get ready for one hell of a fight. And remember: in space… no one can hear you scream for your rifle… Continue reading

Harry Potter House Battle: Gryffindor v Slytherin

Posted in BATTLES with tags , , , , , , on July 13, 2011 by rossvross

After seven books, eight films, nine-and-three-quarter platforms and ten long years, the Harry Potter Saga is finally at an end. We’ve seen a lot of comings and goings through Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but one question still remains: which house is the best? The goodly Gryffindors or the sneaky Slytherins? Ross McD and Ross McG don the Sorting Hat… Continue reading

Avatar v Ferngully: The Last Rainforest

Posted in BATTLES with tags , , , , on June 23, 2011 by rossvross

Eco movie warriors Ross McD and Ross McG have gone green by putting together a very special environmentally friendly battle – except there’s nothing friendly about it. Which of these nature nurture movies is top of the food chain? James Cameron’s blue epic…or the film it’s supposedly based on? Continue reading