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Die Hard: 25th Anniversary Collection(1988-2013)
A five-disc set that includes the first four films in the Die Hard series and an exclusive bonus disc with a one hour and forty-seven minute retrospective documentary about the franchise.
For more about Die Hard: 25th Anniversary Collection and the Die Hard: 25th Anniversary Collection Blu-ray release, see Die Hard: 25th Anniversary Collection Blu-ray Review published by Casey Broadwater on January 30, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Bruce Willis, Reginald VelJohnson, William Atherton (I), Jeremy Irons, Justin Long, Alan Rickman
Directors: John McTiernan, Len Wiseman (I), Jeffrey Lerner (I), Renny Harlin
This Blu-ray bundle includes the following titles, see individual titles for specs and details:
Die Hard: 25th Anniversary Collection Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Casey Broadwater, January 30, 2013
My guileless side really doesn't understand this new Die Hard: 25th Anniversary Blu-ray Collection. With A Good Day to Die Hard—the next film in the series—coming out in theaters in February, and on Blu-ray presumably a few months later, wouldn't it make more sense to bundle all of the films together later this year for a truly complete package? It's not like Fox would be missing the "25th Anniversary" window, and besides, it would give the studio a bit of time to crank out newly remastered transfers. These discs are essentially the same ones released individually and in the previous Die Hard Collection in 2007, and Blu-ray encoding has come a long way since then. The only thing new about this set is a bonus disc, Decoding Die Hard, which contains a one hour and forty-seven minute retrospective of the franchise, with interviews from several cast and crew members. A decent addition, sure, but probably not worth re-purchasing all four films.
The cynical critic part of me, however, totally gets what's going on here. Fox doesn't want to eat into the Blu-ray sales of A Good Day to Die Hard—fair enough—so they'll doubtlessly release a comprehensive, remastered collection sometime in the not-so-distant future, perhaps with a few new extras to tempt fans into a triple-dip. For now, this "25th Anniversary Collection" is a soon-to-be-outdated way to hype up the release of the new film. It's the way the home video cycle inevitably works. Whether or not to buy this set, then, will totally depend on how die hard of a Die Hard fan you are. If you don't need the bonus disc, you'll be fine with the old collection. If you haven't yet bought the films but want to own them, though, that's a harder decision. Yes, this is currently the best Die Hard collection, but that could very well change. Your call.
No need for a lengthy review of each film here. We've previously covered each disc in the collection, so if you need detailed info, please click on the links below for plot synopses, analysis, video/audio-quality discussion, and a listing of the included extras:
Die Hard 2: Die Harder
Die Hard with a Vengeance
Live Free or Die Hard
Die Hard: 25th Anniversary Collection Blu-ray, Video Quality
The transfers here are identical to the previous releases, which range from decent, but could benefit from a remaster—the first three films—to the spot-on clarity and punch of Live Free or Die Hard. No changes.
Die Hard: 25th Anniversary Collection Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Likewise, the audio tracks are the same here as they are on the previous discs, with demo-worthy sound in Live Free or Die Hard and respectable 1980s/90s audio mixes for the first three movies. See individual titles for dub and subtitle details. Also, do note that—as in the previous stand-alone release—the "unrated" cut of Live Free or Die Hard, which includes dubbed in swearing, is not included here.
Die Hard: 25th Anniversary Collection Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The lone reason to pick up this release—if you already own the films on Blu-ray—is the exclusive bonus disc, Decoding Die Hard, which contains one hour and forty-seven minutes of recently commissioned bonus material, with new cast and crew interviews, archival behind-the-scenes footage, and lots of general discussion about the history of the franchise, its hero and villains, its action sequences, fights, sidekicks, and more. Bruce Willis doesn't drop in to say hello, which is disappointing, but fans will see a lot of familiar faces, including Alan Rickman, Jeremy Irons, Kevin Smith, director John McTiernan, and many more. Is the material worth it? That'll depend on how hardcore of a Die Hard fan you are. Personally, I wouldn't feel the need to pony up the $40 for under two hours of new content, but that's just me. Others might eat this stuff up.
From the menu of the disc you can chose to "play all" or choose each segment individually. There's also a separate section with trailers for each film in the series, including the upcoming A Good Day to Die Hard.
Die Hard: 25th Anniversary Collection Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
No new transfers? No "coming soon" slot to fit the upcoming A Good Day to Die Hard disc? It's hard not to see the Die Hard: 25th Anniversary Blu-ray Collection as anything but a stop-gap release, here to hype up the new film and fill a void until all five movies can be gathered together in one set. The only merits here are the new packaging—which does look classy on a shelf compared to the old plastic case—and the inclusion of a nearly two-hour retrospective on the series, featuring several cast and crew members talking about the making of the movies and their eventual impact on American action films. I wouldn't say the new bonus content is worth a double-dip, but for those who haven't bought any of the previous Die Hard releases, this collection makes a decent purchase. Just be aware that it may be outmoded in the not-so-distant future when Fox inevitably puts out a comprehensive box set that includes A Good Day to Die Hard.
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Die Hard: 25th Anniversary Collection Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Die Hard 25th Anniversary Collection Blu-ray - December 4, 2012
20th Fox Home Entertainment will release on Blu-ray Die Hard 25th Anniversary Collection. This five-disc collection will feature the four Die Hard films and an all-new bonus disc, Decoding Die Hard. Street date is January 29th.
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