Siskel and Ebert Movie Reviews

Original movie reviews untainted by time!

11 thoughts on “Die Hard 2, Ghost Dad, Days of Thunder, May Fools, 1990

  • Die Hard 2 is another great Renny Harlin action joint, and in my book, almost as good as the original. Love their enthusiasm here.

    Lol… love their utter and well deserved hatred for Ghost Dad. Never liked Bill Cosby, never thought he was funny, though I never had him pegged as the drug raping monster he turned out to be.

    Days of Thunder never did it for me. Mainly cuz I don’t care about Nascar racing, I think.

  • I grew up on Bill Cosby and his family-friendly brand of humor, and loved The Cosby Show, as well as the old Fat Albert cartoon. Obviously, different story on his giant flops Ghost Dad and Leonard, Part 6. Classic S & E trashings on both. I’m really saddened by Bill’s legal problems.

    Didn’t see Days of Thunder. It looked to me like a NASCAR Top Gun, and I’m also not a fan of the sport.

  • The love they’re giving Die Hard 2 makes me think they got paid off. It’s a fun movie but it’s so incredibly brainless. Roger even says it, the plot makes ZERO sense. There are three major airports in the Washington DC region alone, never mind all the private air strips and all the major airports in the surrounding states. The planes have enough fuel to fly in circles for two hours but not to fly to another airport? Modern planes don’t even need the landing lights to land. These huge jet airliners can practically land themselves. They didn’t even mention the business with the “Porcelain Gun” that doesn’t show up on metal detectors. Dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Does it come with a porcelain spring, a porcelain firing pin and porcelain bullets? I don’t get it. Is Die Hard 2 better than Ghostbusters 2? Maybe, maybe not depends on who you ask and it would be a close call. Ghostbusters 2 went on their worst of the year show and this got two thumbs up. It just doesn’t make any sense. I think some payola was involved, especially with Gene. After all the great movies he trashed, after all the sequels he trashed, why did this stupid movie earn his seal of approval?

    • I like Die Hard 2, but there’s no way, in a million years, that people will think that Die Hard 2 is better than the original. And what’s with Roger’s hypocrisy? He gave Die Hard 2 stars because he was bothered by the incompetence of the Deputy Police Chief, but he somehow doesn’t seem to mind the incompetence of the Airport Police Captain. And it makes me laugh that Gene put it on his best 10 list of 1990 as the years “best action film”. It’s a fun movie, but, like you said, it’s not really knowledgeable on how airports actually work. And Glock 7s are made in Austria, not Germany.

      • Maybe this time around it didn’t bother him and that he thought Franz’s character wasn’t a big deal as with Gleason in the original. As to the Glock 7 being said it was from Germany, you could argue that Austria could be considered a part of that, or it could be they didn’t catch that error by not knowing about it. I didn’t. I think the first film is better than the second though. This is okay entertainment, but the original just seemed good with John being trapped in the building and seeing him outwit the terrorists.

    • Die Hard 2 was implausible in many ways. Here is one thing that Roger wrote in his review that wasn’t mentioned here: Would anyone actually have the will, means, and money to pull off this operation to save just one drug connected dictator, even if he looks like Fidel Castro? Probably not. Remember Noriega the year before was overthrown and no attempt was made like this to save his ass. In regards to why they can’t divert to other airports, there was talk about the other airports near them shutting down so they’d be getting those other planes. They did direct the ones not in their landing pattern to go to alternate airports though, maybe because they thought they could still make it to landing places that were safe. The others couldn’t. Gene did NOT take payola and it is wrong to even suggest that. I think what he did like was the fact that they tried new stuff in this film that wasn’t in the first film. With Ghostbusters 2, it was basically the same story told a second time, when you compare them. Here it was different. John wasn’t trapped anywhere this time like in the original and he had a bigger amount of terrorists to fight. I did enjoy it. There are sequels Gene has liked. Those are the ones that try to take the story and characters in fresh directions. Most of them do not.

      • Die Hard 2 is basically the same story as well. The John McClane character even quips “How could the same thing happen to the same person twice.” Bruce Willis even said in an interview that the second film alluded to the first far too much. They have him crawling around in the vents again, killing terrorist with the help of a new side kick who also happens to be a middle aged black man. I’m more like Roger, if a movie is fun and entertaining, I’ll recommend it, regardless of how dumb it is. Gene wasn’t like that. He was the bad cop. He gave great movies a thumbs down for the slightest error. You have to ask yourself, “What makes this movie so special?” I believe he gave ‘Apocalypse Now’ a thumbs down. Absurd.

    • It makes sense to me. I saw Ghostbusters 2 in the theater and, as a fan who had watched the original dozens of times on home video, I was very disappointed. It wasn’t funny, the plot was predictable, the characters had all their previous successes undone between the movies, and they tacked on a cornball, preachy ending that was Afterschool Special bad.

      I thought Die Hard 2 was much better than the original and is still one of the most watchable action movies ever made. Any time it comes on TV and I come across it, I can’t turn it off. Since I’m not an expert on airports, firearms or anything else involved in Die Hard 2, any errors in the plot don’t matter to me. It’s extremely fast-paced with incredible cinematography, sound and especially editing. It’s one of those movies like Star Wars where the editing takes it to another level, where it’s really used to create an artistic visual style and rhythm. Stuart Baird was the editor, one of the absolute best in the business (also of Superman, Lethal Weapon 1 and 2, Casino Royale, Skyfall). Willis’ acting, the music and the problems the villains cause also contribute to creating a lot of tension in the movie. It’s just a really exciting movie that makes your jaw drop open at the scale and spectacle of so many of the scenes. It’s much more memorable than the other Die Hard movies.

  • I liked Die Hard 2, but don’t think it’s a masterpiece and not as good as the first. There were definitely moments of implausibility. That plane crash-landing was definitely not realistic, but the effects were pretty spectacular.

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