A few words about…™ Die Hard — in 4k UHD Blu-ray

This ones is easy. Just buy a copy and add it to your library. Once you see it in 4k, there's no going back. 4 Stars

It’s difficult to imagine that we’ve had John McTiernan’s Die Hard, with us for thirty years.

After all that time, it has not lost one iota of it’s thrills or pleasure.

Is it a perfect film?

Pretty much.

Brought to 4k UHD Blu-ray courtesy of Fox, along with HDR, and a huge DTS-HD MA track, it joins that ranks for that tiny number of bona fide true 4k Blu-rays.

And it’s perfect in every regard.

Full film resolution, with requisite grain, perfect color, deep rich blacks, and stable as a rock.

Bruce Willis still shines through. Alan Rickman is as nasty as ever. And Reginald VelJohnson still delights.

This ones is easy. Just buy a copy and add it to your library. Once you see it in 4k, there’s no going back.

A magnificent release from Fox!

Image – 5

Audio – 5 (DTS-HD MA 5.1)

Upgrade from Blu-ray – You better believe it!

Pass / Fail – Pass

Very Highly Recommended

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

84 Comments

  1. It's kind of interesting that someday people will look back, and there's going to be this weird period from ~2000 to ~2020 where a ton of movies are limited to 2K resolution because they were made during the early days of digital intermediates. Most things before then can be true 4K and most things after then will be true 4k, but from O Brother Where Are Thou? to now, the majority of movies are 2048×1080 or less.

  2. I think it’ll be akin to the way much of the television we have from a certain era (or eras) is locked in at 480i, either due to being shot on tape, or worse, shot on expensive and good looking film but edited on lower quality tape.

  3. Josh Steinberg

    I think it’ll be akin to the way much of the television we have from a certain era (or eras) is locked in at 480i, either due to being shot on tape, or worse, shot on expensive and good looking film but edited on lower quality tape.

    Absolutely. The shows that had the foresight to shoot on film, going back to I Love Lucy, survive in reruns forever. The shows that were broadcast live (where only a kinescope survives, if anything survives at all) have mostly disappeared from our consciousness.

    At least with the 1980s to early 2000s shows that were shot on film and edited on tape can be resurrected at full resolution, albeit through a very expensive and time-consuming process of reconstruction. I doubt we'll ever see one as ambitious as "Star Trek: The Next Generation", but hopefully we'll see more "Twin Peaks" and "Freaks & Geeks".

  4. I watch Brooklyn 99 with my 14 yo son, and of course There are a ton of die hard references as it is Perralta's favorite movie.

    I received this uhd disc yesterday and the first thing my son said was "whoa, that's a real movie?"

    Can't wait to introduce him to it this weekend.

  5. I think a lot of shows from the shot-on-film-but-edited-on-tape era will quietly disappear. They won’t really be lost, but they’ll fall out of favor by younger generations who will use the metric of whether or not a show is in HD as an arbitrary metric just to limit choices to something manageable.

    To my eyes, the difference between standard definition and HD is the biggest leap. I think 2K mastered films like Star Wars: The Force Awakens will do fine even if they don’t look as good as some other native 4K productions. But I think stuff that’s shot on film but edited on tape can look pretty lousy especially on modern sets, and even worse when compressed for streaming, so I worry about the long term viability of those programs.

    But it’s great to finally have a better-than-decent Die Hard release at long last!

  6. Josh Steinberg

    I think a lot of shows from the shot-on-film-but-edited-on-tape era will quietly disappear.

    Matlock is the one that's most in danger of having this happen.

    Both Murder She Wrote and Matlock premiered about the same time, but MSW stuck to film editing, while Matlock used video. MSW is now being released on Blu-Ray while Matlock doesn't have an HD master at all.

  7. OMG….. SO hard as this is one of my all-time favorites ( My family watches this every Christmas Eve (whether they want to or not) butI'm gonna wait wait for the inenvitable "collection" release in 4k

  8. Robert Crawford

    So was I, but with the current pricing down to $19.99, I used some bonus points to get it down to $16.19 after sales tax.

    Too late for you but it's down to $17.99 at wally world.

  9. Die Hard and Lethal Weapon are not Christmas movies! At least some will argue that, but not me.;) By the way, I'm just joking so let's not get into a full blown "what is a Christmas movie" discussion.:) I'm firing up Die Hard tomorrow and I'm looking forward to watching this disc.

  10. Robert Crawford

    Are you serious?

    Yeah. My brother got me into an "R" rated movie which I always liked at the time.

    I remember really wanting to see it because it starred Bruce Willis(one of my favorite shows was Moonlighting), and honestly the only thing I can think of about the movie is that he cut his feet open, was bleeding, and probably needed stitches.

    Again, I may be wrong. It has been a long time.

  11. I rewatched the first four and saw for the first time the fifth Die Hard this Winter. I was impressed at how well the original aged: still an exceptional and genre-shifting movie. I was disappointed at how badly 2 and 3 aged for me. But the fourth, with Justin Long, was still really good, and even more relevant today (despite the overly ridiculous Harrier sequence). And the fifth…ugh.

  12. Vincent_P

    I agree with Robert re: DIE HARD really being a "perfect movie", and UHD is glorious. I wish Jan De Bont would go back to being a cinematographer.

    Does de Bont work at all anymore? According to IMDB, he hasn't directed anything since 2003 and his only credit of any sort since then was executive producer for 2012's "Paperboy"…

  13. Bryan^H

    Yeah. My brother got me into an "R" rated movie which I always liked at the time.

    I remember really wanting to see it because it starred Bruce Willis(one of my favorite shows was Moonlighting), and honestly the only thing I can think of about the movie is that he cut his feet open, was bleeding, and probably needed stitches.

    Again, I may be wrong. It has been a long time.

    I don't want to oversell it but it's a heckuva movie. I envy you not remembering much of it.

  14. Robert Harris

    Realized I forgot to mention the logo.

    It’s my perception, that the wrong Fox logo has been on this film, possibly from day One.

    Yeah, it seems they incorrectly attached a flat Fox logo to this 'Scope film, so it's "stretched" and distorted. As I recall, it looked that way on my old laserdisc copy, as well.

    Vincent

  15. I was watching Paul Blart the other day. I know..comedies like that isn't my thing and I truly had never seen this one.

    While I came away with a kind of "meh" it's alright, but I still would rather watch King of Queens, I couldn't help but think of one thing. Is this Die Hard or what? Guy stuck in the middle of a kind of terrorist hostage situation check….loved one is one of the victims..check…cheeseball boyfriend wannabe is almost the one that gives it all a way (ok this was a changeup..but really really close)….bad ass skilled henchmen….a walky talky situation where he doesn't want to talk to the FBI dude.

    Ok, so maybe I am dim and other people have caught on to this way earlier, but I couldn't help but smile thinking of the original great movie. In the laserdisc days this movie was supreme…and in THX goodness.

    Looking forward to this one.

  16. Dave H

    Same as before.

    The digital code also does not redeem in 4K.

    That's a bummer. Do you know if the HDX stream is a downscale of the UHD stream, or is it the same HDX stream it was six months ago?

    Sam Posten

    Too late for you but it's down to $17.99 at wally world.

    Thank you for the heads up on this! I was going to hold off and wait for a better price, but I don't see it getting much better than this for a while now. And it had dropped 3 cents in price since you posted this.:)

    I have HD copies of 2 through 4 but I never upgraded my "Five Star Collection" DVD of the first one from 2001. So even though I don't have a 4K setup yet, this future proofs me and still represents an upgrade from a 17-year-old DVD.

    DaveF

    I rewatched the first four and saw for the first time the fifth Die Hard this Winter. I was impressed at how well the original aged: still an exceptional and genre-shifting movie. I was disappointed at how badly 2 and 3 aged for me. But the fourth, with Justin Long, was still really good, and even more relevant today (despite the overly ridiculous Harrier sequence). And the fifth…ugh.

    The fourth one is my second favorite after the original, too — especially the R-rated cut that restored the blood and foul language. Then the third one, with the second one bringing up the rear. We won't talk about the dreadful fifth one at all.

  17. I want to like #3. The villain and plot are all good. But the ‘90s race politics and reverse racism schtick don’t work for me in 2018. YMMV.

    But #4 is still aces. It feels die hard through and through. So much, that I wanted a Justin Long and Elizabeth Olson spinoff.

  18. Saw 45 minutes of this yesterday and was very impressed with the transfer.

    Full disclosure: only checked into this thread because I thought the 20th Century Fox logo looked horizontally stretched. Glad I did. Question answered. :rolling-smiley:

  19. Weird little audio mixing anomaly I noticed at 46:07- when Reginald VelJohnson slams his police car door which is on screen-right, the sound of the car door slamming comes from the left, on both the 5.1 and 2.0 tracks. The wonders of stereophonic sound!

    Vincent

  20. Robert Crawford

    So was I, but with the current pricing down to $19.99, I used some bonus points to get it down to $16.19 after sales tax.

    Most UHD reissues are ending up at $14.95 e.g., A Few Good Men now at Amazon.

  21. ArnoldLayne

    Most UHD reissues are ending up at $14.95 e.g., A Few Good Men now at Amazon.

    It depends on the studio. You won't find many Warner or Disney titles that low. Sony, Lionsgate and at times, Fox have been that low.

  22. Another half baked catalog title by Fox in the sense that they again failed to add a Dolby Atmos track that was already completed. They did this with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and The Revenant too.

  23. DanH1972

    Another half baked catalog title by Fox in the sense that they again failed to add a Dolby Atmos track that was already completed. They did this with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and The Revenant too.

    Lord Dalek

    Exactly. Its like the faction here who refuse to buy certain UHDs of older movies because the sound wasn't remixed to full-blown Atmos.

    What? The stems don't even exist for a lot of these to do such a thing and all they have are mixdowns? Nope. No Atmos? No Sale!

    Yup sounds about right.

  24. I don’t have a 4K tv yet but most of the 4K movies I’ve watched still work very well on my 4K player and old fashioned 1080p tv.

    Die Hard isn’t one of them though.
    Very dark and over saturated.
    Well guess I have to wait until I get the new tv someday.

    Oh and I forgot, it’s been so long since I’ve watched the movie I forgot that Huey Lewis was in this.

  25. TonyD

    I don’t have a 4K tv yet but most of the 4K movies I’ve watched still work very well on my 4K player and old fashioned 1080p tv.

    Die Hard isn’t one of them though.
    Very dark and over saturated.
    Well guess I have to wait until I get the new tv someday.

    Oh and I forgot, it’s been so long since I’ve watched the movie I forgot that Huey Lewis was in this.

    Ha. THat guy does looks A little like Huey. 😛

  26. TonyD

    Oh and I forgot, it’s been so long since I’ve watched the movie I forgot that Huey Lewis was in this.

    Great, I'm going to go to my grave seeing that guy as Huey Lewis now. :laugh:

  27. TravisR

    The American dude that mans the front desk when Al first shows up to investigate ("I got $50 bet on them assholes").

    So as I was reading your post, that line came on in the movie. True story.

  28. TravisR

    The American dude that mans the front desk when Al first shows up to investigate ("I got $50 bet on them assholes").

    So as I was reading your post, that line came on in the movie. True story.

  29. TravisR

    The American dude that mans the front desk when Al first shows up to investigate ("I got $50 bet on them assholes").

    So as I was reading your post, that line came on in the movie. True story.

  30. TravisR

    Great, I'm going to go to my grave seeing that guy as Huey Lewis now. :laugh:

    Every time we watch the film, I say to my wife "there's the guy who looks like Huey Lewis". So it's not just me — glad to know. 🙂

    BTW, when "Huey" is watching the USC – Notre Dame football game I get irritated every time, too. Those two teams never played on Christmas Eve — their annual rivalry game would have been played before Thanksgiving.

  31. TravisR

    The American dude that mans the front desk when Al first shows up to investigate ("I got $50 bet on them assholes").

    He should have known the outcome of the game, so I don't feel sorry if he loses $50. USC and Notre Dame played every year before Thanksgiving weekend. (See my other post).

  32. Scott Merryfield

    BTW, when "Huey" is watching the USC – Notre Dame football game I get irritated every time, too. Those two teams never played on Christmas Eve — their annual rivalry game would have been played before Thanksgiving.

    On that note, what business has a Christmas party on Christmas eve?

    Neil

  33. Neil S. Bulk


    On that note, what business has a Christmas party on Christmas eve?

    Neil

    Yes, another faux pas in the film. Only a company run by Ebeneezer Scrooge would make its employees stick around late on Christmas Eve.

  34. Carlo Medina

    A Japanese one that doesn't know the conventions and is driven by corporate greed. No early time off, you gotta be working! Which is why Hans, Geordie, Huey and Fabio had to teach them a lesson.

    Ah, but they are not teaching them a lesson — they are just a bunch of thieves. Not common thieves, but according to Hans Gruber, "exceptional thieves".

  35. Robert Harris

    One of the greatest Christmas films of all time.

    I am glad you settled this. I can now tell my wife that DH belongs in our yearly Xmas rotation. I’ve already told her multiple times, but now she’s gotta believe. 😛

  36. Lord Dalek

    An exceptional thief could tell the difference between John Wayne and Gary Cooper. :razz:;)

    I've seen this movie enough times to get this joke, but not enough times to come up with it myself.

  37. It really upsets me that they are not including the 4K on blu ray. Not everyone has a 4K UHD blu ray player yet. I do have a UHD TV but the player will have to wait for the Holidays, and alot of it has to do with my Blu Ray player. I have a Sony that had the player and the surround sound system all in one, and it would mean I have to get a seperate sound system as well as the player. They should always use the new 4K master for the Blu if they include a Blu.

  38. Brian Husar

    It really upsets me that they are not including the 4K on blu ray. Not everyone has a 4K UHD blu ray player yet. I do have a UHD TV but the player will have to wait for the Holidays…

    I don't have a 4K TV so when I pick up a 4K title (I use the Blu-ray). I think of the 4K disc as something to look forward to. 🙂

  39. TonyD

    Do you have a 4K player?

    Not yet but I have seen the few 4K discs that I've bought on a friend's set up. And I've largely only bought new releases to future proof so I haven't bought/seen Die Hard yet.

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