Yippee-ki-yay – DIE HARD is being shown at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater tonight

Die Hard PosterThe Nakatomi Plaza Christmas Party of 1988 was one to remember!

Relive it all as the CALS Ron Robinson Theater shows Die Hard tonight at 7pm for only $5.

Facing Christmas 3,000 miles from his estranged wife and two children, New York policeman John McClane flies to Los Angeles bearing presents and hoping to patch up his marriage. He then becomes the only hope for a small group of hostages, one of whom is his estranged wife, trapped in a Los Angeles high-rise building when it is seized by terrorists on Christmas Eve.

The film stars Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Paul Gleason, William Atherteon, Hart Bochner, James Shigeta, Alexander Godunov, De’voreaux White, and multiple Tony nominee Alan Rickman.  Directed by John McTiernan, it was was written by Jeb Stuart and  Steven E. de Souza based on a novel by Roderick Thorp (which was originally intended to be for Frank Sinatra.)  It was nominated for four Oscars: Sound, Film Editing, Sound Effects and Visual Effects.

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Film starts at 7:00 p.m. Beer, wine, and concessions will be available!

DIE HARD tonight at the CALS “Not-Quite-Holiday Film Fest” at the Ron Robinson Theater

Image result for die hardIt’s a wonderful life, unless you happen to find yourself in Nakatomi Tower on Christmas Eve. Tonight, John McClane utters his famous “Yippee Ki Yay…….” quote as part of the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) ”Not-Quite-Holiday” Film Fest.

Starring Bruce Willis, this 1988 film also features Bonnie Bedelia, Alexander Godunov, Reginald Vel Johnson (and his Twinkies), Paul Gleason, James Shigeta, William Atherton, Hart Bochner, and De’voreaux White.  It was also the first theatrical film of the ever-cool and charmingly evil Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber.

It starts at 6:30 pm at the Ron Robinson Theater, 100 Rock Street in Library Square.  Admission is $5. Tickets are available at ronrobinsontheater.org.

As part of the holiday film series, concessions at Ron Robinson Theater include an expanded hot drinks menu and gourmet candied popcorn options.

The Not-Quite-Holiday Film Fest is sponsored in part by The Point 94.1 and The Ride 106.7.

Back to School Cinema: THE BREAKFAST CLUB

breakfast-club-movie-poster1The Back to School Cinema week ends with what may be the only school film to be set on a Saturday, 1985’s The Breakfast Club.  Written and directed by John Hughes, this Chicago-area high school film both exploits and explodes high school stereotypes.

As the nerd, the jock, the stoner, the loner and the princess, five tackle teen issues during detention in an upscale high school library.  It has to be upscale – it has a Henry Moore sculpture in it.  (It is a copy of Standing Figure Knife Edge which sits in downtown Little Rock.)

It seems like pretty much every Hollywood actor under the age of 25 was considered for one of the five roles in this movie. The lucky five – Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall and Ally Sheedy – helped define their generation of actors. Their work together in this movie and others helped create the brand of the Brat Pack.

Borrowing a concept nearly as old as time, Hughes pits five unlikely strangers against each other in a confined space. While united against Paul Gleason’s sadistic principal, they also grapple with ever-shifting alliances and antagonists.  It is no surprise that each student discovers the others are equally unhappy and uncertain, but that doesn’t lessen the charm and emotional tug of the movie.


12 Days of Christmas Movies : DIE HARD and DIE HARD 2

Though not the typical holiday fare, both DIE HARD (1988) and DIE HARD 2 (1990) take place at Christmas time.

Christmas parties, Christmas travel and references to Santa Claus are present throughout these movies.

Bruce Willis’ John McClane is an Everyman hero in these movies. His performance combines macho bravura with humor, frustration, exhaustion, honor, compassion and rough edges.

Bonnie Bedelia, as his long-suffering but independent-minded wife turns what could have been a caricature into a fully-fleshed character.

Reginald VelJohnson adds humor and a sense of redemption to the first movie. He also makes a welcome cameo in the second.

One of the joys of the first movie is Alan Rickman’s deliciously slick villain. He relishes the role. Rickman’s portrait of a nemesis is so compelling the audience is almost sad to see him disappear at the end.

For the second movie, the villains are less interesting, but the plots twists and turns make up for that.

Veteran character actors William Atherton (in both), Paul Gleason (in the first), Fred Thompson, Dennis Franz, and Art Evans (in the second) flesh out the movies as skeptics and/or foils for Willis and Bedelia.

These two movies are definitely period pieces. The plot points would be much different now in this day of smartphones, social media, and truly 24 hour news cycles. It was also amusing to see 74 cent gas. IMG_5077-0.JPG