American action movies may be dead, at least according to the New York Times, but even the Paper of Record can't discount the impact of "Die Hard."
"If you can't get behind 'Die Hard' as a great American movie, then I'd argue that you hate greatness, movies and America," wrote Adam Sternbergh in his New York Times Magazine RIFF on Sunday.
He's right -- at least about that, if not the idea that American action movies are dead (see: "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" and "Safe House" for recent examples of excellent Hollywood studio bombast) -- something proven by the fact that "Die Hard" still influences filmmaking to this day.
Case in point: for the second time in a week, a spec script described as "'Die Hard' on a..." sold; Deadline.com reports that Universal has acquired "Speeding Bullets," a "Die Hard"-like buddy-cop throwback (never mind that "Die Hard" wasn't a buddy cop movie). This comes on the heels of Sony picking up James Vanderbilt's spec script for "White House Down," described as "'Die Hard' in the White House." John McClane is officially like Hansel: so hot right now.
In honor of "Speeding Bullets" and "White House Down," enjoy this brief history of "'Die Hard' on a [blank]" feature films, where a lone person must stop something bad from happening in some unexpected place. Yippie-ki-yay, y'all!