Bruce Willis as a goodie, Alan Rickman as a baddie, bulk explosions and some of the most quotable quotes ever are all jammed into this pinnacle of action moviemaking. Now Die Hard gets the 4K Ultra HD treatment, but is it yippee-ki-yay, or yippee-ki-nay?
The story: It’s possibly the greatest action film ever. It features possibly the greatest villain ever in Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber and well heck, that lead guy Bruce is pretty good, too. You likely know the basic story – New York cop John McClane (Willis) visits LA for Christmas with the family, pops by his wife’s work, gets caught up in the midst of a “terrorist” situation and starts picking off bad guys one-by-one. Beyond the perfectly-paced action, Die Hard is a celebration of family, friendship and, of course, blowing things up – and for many its by far the best Christmas flick ever made.
“Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho.”
The 4K disc: Look at this transfer! Seriously, it’s like all our Christmases have come at once, and unlike the weather outside it certainly isn’t frightful. A new, pure 4K print, the clarity is quite astonishing at times, while the HDR treatment breathes even more life into proceedings. At times Die Hard is quite a dark movie – literally and figuratively – and for the former black levels are superb, with very little in the way of detail lost. There’s a fine grain to the presentation, one that never gets in the way of a wonderful viewing experience. As Die Hard expert Jake Peralta of Brooklyn Nine-Nine might judge it, this transfer is both noice AND toit.
When it comes to the audio, however, Jake may be more reserved with the noiceties. Rather than giving Die Hard the explosive Dolby Atmos or DTS:X remix that it demanded, the existing DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix has been sticky-taped onto that seriously gorgeous transfer. This still means big bad booms when appropriate, and the subwoofer has plenty to do at such times, but in general play audio is very central and just sounds, well, less punchy than we’d have liked.
The standard release contains one 4K disc, however that doesn’t mean a lack of extras. There’s an audio commentary from director John McTiernan and production designer Jackson De Govia, a scene-specific commentary from visual effects producer Richard Edlund, and a subtitle commentary from various members of cast and crew.
Release date: July 4, 2018
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia
Get onto JB Hi-Fi quick for their exclusive two-disc steelbook edition of Die Hard – 30th Anniversary, featuring the 4K disc plus a bonus Blu-ray jammed with extras.
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.