What the Hell Happened to John McTiernan?

John_McTiernan

John McTiernan

John McTiernan was a Julliard graduate who became one of the biggest directors of the later 80’s and early 90’s.  His directing career got off to a quick start.  Within a few films, he was directing the biggest movie star in the world and reinventing genres altogether.  He directed the movies that made Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis into viable action stars.  But soon after, the hits stopped coming.  But McTiernan’s troubles didn’t end with his career cooling off.  The former A-list director spent 328 days in prison!

What the hell happened?

McTiernan attended two of the world’s most prestigious arts schools in Juilliard and the AFI Conservatory.  He graduated from AFI in 1976 and set about a career in film.  He did some commercial work before his big break came.

Nomads - 1986

Nomads – 1986

In 1986, McTiernan wrote and directed the supernatural thriller, Nomads.

Pierce Brosnan, then known for Remington Steele, played a French anthropologist who is an expert on nomads.  Hey, everyone has SOME specialty.  Brosnan dies in the first secene!  Lesley-Anne Down co-starred as a young doctor who attends to Brosnan in his final hours.  Somehow, the future 007 passes his memories on to her and she relives the last week of his life

In flashbacks, Brosnan stumbles upon some “urban nomads” (Roma, maybe?) who seem captivated by a recent morbid murder string. He comes to realize the people are actually Mad Max-evoking Inuit demons that are attracted to violence and death. They gradually begin to take over the city of LA. Brosnan and his wife, played by Anna Maria Monticelli must flee.

The movie got smoked at the box office, opening at number 12, behind Out of Africa, which was in its twelfth week. Nomads was drubbed by critics.  But a certain Austrian body-builder-turned actor was impressed with McTiernan’s tense atmosphere on a small budget.

arnie predator

Predator – 1987

McTiernan followed up Nomads with the sci-fi thriller, Predator.

Arnold Schwarzenegger starred as a muscled-up Delta Force Major who leads a group of macho commandos into the jungle.  But the mission takes an unexpected turn when the soldiers find they are being hunted by an alien monster with dreadlocks.

Predator actually began as a sly (literally Sly) joke in Hollywood. Following Rocky IV, the question was asked: Who was left for Sylvester Stallone to box? The answer came in the form of what, not who. Joel Silver noticed the sci-fi script, and saw an action film in its core. McTiernan, who had only directed one horror film prior, was enlisted to direct.  According to Schwarzenegger’s autobiography, he picked the director based on Nomads.

Schwarzenegger was immediately approached for the lead role.  He was impressed with the originality of the script, but requested a few changes:

The first thing I look for in a script is a good idea, a majority of scripts are rip-offs of other movies. People think they can become successful overnight. They sat down one weekend and wrote a script because they read that Stallone did that with Rocky. Predator was one of the scripts I read, and it bothered me in one way. It was just me and the alien. So we re-did the whole thing so that it was a team of commandos and then I liked the idea. I thought it would make a much more effective movie and be much more believable. I liked the idea of starting out with an action-adventure, but then coming in with some horror and science fiction.

Van Damme - Predator

Jean-Claude Van Damme and Carl Weathers filming Predator

The supporting cast was rounded out by Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed), Jesse “You Can’t Legislate Stupidity!” Ventura, and Jean-Claude Van Damme as the Predator itself.

The original intent was for the Predator to be an agile, sprightly alien. The ideas was nixed when the burly Schwarzenegger went up against the lithe Van Damme. Van Damme was miserable in the costume and let his feelings be known.  According to the Muscles from Brussels:

They did a cast of my body. My feet were in the cast of the alien. My hands were in the forearms, my head was in the neck. I was moving everything with cables. It was a very unsecure, very dangerous type of outfit. It didn’t work for nobody. They put air conditioning into my back, because it was very hot in Mexico. So they did another outfit with a bigger guy, taller guy on the inside. So I was hired, then I was cancelled.

Kevin Peter Hall, imposing at 7’3”, took over the costume and took the character in a new direction.

Next: More Predator and Die Hard

Posted on May 8, 2015, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Director and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 43 Comments.

  1. First, let me formally welcome our newest contributor, oakleya77. He reached out and asked if he could take a crack at a WTHH article for the site. I think he’s done a fantastic job covering the rise and fall of director John McTiernan.

    When I agreed to run the article, I made sure to mention that I have become a little more protective of the series of late. That was my way of saying that I was going to utilize my editorial privilege. Which is another way of saying, “I’m sorry if I butchered your article”. Hopefully the changes I made are acceptable.

    There is one section of the article which I largely rewrote. If anyone has any complaints about the painfully detailed blow-by-blow on Last Action Hero, that’s entire my fault. On the one hand, I don’t want to dwell on one of McTiernan’s lowlights for too long. On the other, the details were just too delicious to leave out.

    So thanks again, oakleya77. I hope we’ll see more from you in the future! Welcome aboard.

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    • I thought you did great job on the Last Action Hero summary part, I kind of skipped over that film. Other than that, not too many changes. Thanks for running the article!

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      • Most of the changes were formatting. Last Action Hero was the only major addition. I threw in the parts about the TV movies he produced because I was wondering myself what he did between Die Hard 3 and 13th Warrior. Plus I think it shows that he’s still in the game, but not at the top of his powers. But you had put in a lot of good work, so I was able to get this up and published in an afternoon.

        I’m a little sheepish about playing the part of editor. But we had some incidents last year that made me rethink my stance. Specifically with regards to WTHH. I guess it’s understandable that at this point in the series, readers expect a certain amount of uniformity of tone, etc. Since then, I’ve set some pretty rigid stylistic choices for what I think readers expect from entries in the series. So most of what I am doing is just formatting articles to read the same way. Pictures of roughly the same size with captions indicating the subject, movie and year. Clip of trailer if it can be found. Maybe some other clip when appropriate. Brief plot summary, behind the scenes stories and/or trivia, critical consensus and box office report. Your article fit most of that already.

        I always feel the need to explain this stuff so the author doesn’t feel like I’m stepping on their toes too much. Anyway, good job. Judging from the comments you’re getting readers are really enjoying it. Speaking for myself, I always find that very rewarding. Keep up the great work!

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      • The Nostalgia Critic’s Real Thoughts On: Last Action Hero:

        Never apologize! NEVER APOLOGIZE!

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        • Last Action Hero:
          http://officialfan.proboards.com/thread/530309/last-action-hero?page=2

          Post by eron on Sep 4, 2015 at 7:20pm
          The first two-thirds of the movie where the kid is in the movie world are absolutely brilliant. Brilliant, I say! I can’t say enough good things about that part of the movie…

          But then Arnold comes into the “real world” and it takes a serious nose dive. The pacing slows considerably. The Ripper character is introduced late in the picture and suddenly becomes the big bad, even though Charles Dance’s character had already been established as the big bad. The real world is established as operating under different rules than the movie world, but all that is forgotten during the final chase and fight scenes with the Ripper. Then Charles Dance comes back, but by this point we’re already spent after the fight with the Ripper and it’s like, “Oh yeah, I forgot about this guy.” And then they kinda sorta go back to “real world rules” which makes for an anti-climactic final showdown. By this point, we’re ready for the movie to finally end, but now the Grim Reaper shows up and the kid has to find the other half of the ticket so Arnold can get back into the movie world. Jeez, just hurry up and end already!

          I can’t think of another movie that I both love and hate as much as Last Action Hero.

          Like

        • Awesomely Crappy Movies: Last Action Hero

          http://www.enuffa.com/2015/09/awesomely-shitty-movies-last-action-hero.html

          Today it’s the 1993 Arnold Schwarzenegger flop, Last Action Hero! Released just a week after the mega-blockbuster Jurassic Park, LAH didn’t stand a chance at the box office and it predictably died a quick death. Last Action Hero tells the story of Danny Madigan, a 12-year-old boy obsessed with Schwarzenegger movies, specifically his fictitious Jack Slater series. Danny frequently cuts school to visit a nearby run-down theater, owned by his elderly friend Nick. One night Nick invites Danny to a private midnight screening of Jack Slater IV, and gives him an old-timey movie ticket which was supposedly a gift from Harry Houdini. Unbeknownst to both of them, the ticket has magical properties, and upon being torn in half, it opens a portal between the real world and the one on the screen. Danny unwittingly winds up inside the film and becomes Jack Slater’s sidekick, and eventually both of them pursue the film’s main villain Mr. Benedict back to the real world to save the real Arnold Schwarzenegger.

          This is an unabashedly silly premise that had already been much more skillfully explored in Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo, where Mia Farrow’s character goes to see a film so many times one of the characters begins interacting with her and escapes the confines of the screen. You won’t find Purple Rose in an ASM column, as there isn’t anything shitty about it – it’s a very smart, well-made film, unlike this one. Still, despite being a dumbed down echo of Purple Rose, Last Action Hero is not without its charm; it has some entertaining action scenes sprinkled with satire, plus some fun comedy elements. But yeah, there’s a lot wrong with it too.

          The Awesome

          Satire

          Going into this movie I was pleasantly surprised by how much the filmmakers satirized the concept of the summer blockbuster. Last Action Hero pokes fun at the action movie genre at almost every turn (not unlike the way Scream picks apart horror films – RIP Wes Craven), which for a movie nerd like me made for quite a lark. Arnold seems right at home dissecting the very type of film that made him an international megastar, and it’s refreshing to see a mainstream commercial movie actor not take himself too seriously. Inside the Jack Slater movie Danny is able to consistently predict what’s about to happen because everything in the movie is an action film cliche. And of course being an action movie cliche himself, Jack has no idea; on the contrary, he keeps insisting his world is real. This all made for an amusing, self-aware tone at a time when the action film genre was in desperate need of a shakeup.

          Little Details

          This movie is full of fun little moments and in-jokes, like when Danny takes Jack to a video store to prove he’s a fictional character played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the Terminator 2 standee they find depicts the T-800 played by Sylvester Stallone instead. I also found Danny’s action movie daydream version of Hamlet as played by Arnold pretty damn funny (“To be, or not to be….not to be,” Cue explosion). There are numerous cameos as well, like Robert Patrick as a T-1000, Sharon Stone as Catherine Trammel (from Basic Instinct), Danny Devito as an animated police cat, Ian McKellan as Death (from The Seventh Seal), and others. LAH is full of little sight gags and Easter eggs.

          Reality vs. Movie

          The film has a lot of fun comparing what happens in movies to what would happen in the real world. Like for example Jack Slater gets shot multiple times in his movies but escapes with barely a flesh wound, yet near the end of the film his real-world gunshot wound is actually life-threatening. There’s another moment whereupon arriving in the real world, the bad guy Mr. Benedict kills someone and then announces it for all to hear, but no one in real-world New York City cares. In the real world evil often goes unpunished, and good guys don’t always win. It’s ham-fisted but it’s a nice touch.

          Soundtrack

          The soundtrack album was comprised almost entirely of metal songs, a rare thing in early 90s mainstream movies. The fact that bands like Megadeth, Anthrax, Alice in Chains and Queensryche were all represented in a major Hollywood movie was so friggin’ cool.

          Charles Dance

          The cold-blooded assassin Mr. Benedict is played by accomplished English actor Charles Dance, whose performance was one of the few things I liked about Alien 3. Dance is totally compelling to watch in this film, adding both sinister believability and dry comic wit to an otherwise ridiculous bit of storytelling. It’s a shame this character wasn’t in a better quality film.

          Mercedes Ruehl

          It’s hard to go wrong with Mercedes Ruehl, and she improves the film in some small way with what little screen time she has. Ruehl is completely credible and likable as Danny’s street-tough single mom, and again it’s too bad she didn’t reside in a better movie.

          Arnold

          I said this in my Running Man piece, but regardless how one-note his performances or how intellectually devoid most of his movies were, in the late 80s/early 90s there were few actors as reliably capable of carrying a popcorn film as Arnold. Despite an over-the-top accent and superhero build, Arnold has always been very adept at playing an everyman hero we can relate to, and thus we’re emotionally invested in the story. For the better part of a decade, Schwarzenegger movies were must-see summer fun.
          
          The Crappy

          Austin O’Brien

          Holy shit this kid’s awful. Like embarrassingly bad. Like every time he opens his mouth I wanna crawl into a hole and die. I’m embarrassed for him, for his fellow actors, for the crew, everyone. I imagine that when casting this role the filmmakers must’ve sifted through a mountain of child actors, and seriously, this was the best they could find?? O’Brien makes Jake Lloyd’s Episode I performance look transcendent by comparison. He’s evidently still working today, so I hope to Jeebus he took some acting classes in the past 20 years.

          Execution

          The plot device of a glowing magic ticket is pretty hokey, even for a movie like this. I’m not sure what would’ve worked better, but the gimmick plays out like a dumb children’s film instead of a PG-13 action movie. That said, once the premise is established the movie raises some interesting possibilities but sadly doesn’t flesh any of them out. The Jack Slater film doesn’t seem to have much of a story for Danny to participate in, other than one of Jack’s relatives gets killed and he’s out for revenge. We also don’t get much of a sense of how Danny’s presence changes the narrative. Presumably the Jack Slater IV story ends with Jack killing or arresting the bad guys, so Danny’s being there wouldn’t really affect that outcome. Once the characters arrive in the real world we anticipate the inevitable meeting between the real Arnie and his fictitious self, but that payoff sucks. They have one moment together and nothing comes of it. And as for Mr. Benedict’s real world activities….

          Lame Climax

          Upon crossing over to the real world Benedict discovers that a) he can commit murder without consequence, and b) he can visit movie theaters and populate the real world with their villains, thus wreaking absolute havoc. We see him perusing movie listings in the newspaper for ideas, conjuring so many intriguing prospects. And what does Benny do? He brings back The Ripper, the villain from Jack Slater III, and they recreate the climax of that movie, which we’ve already seen. What a horribly wasted opportunity. Christ, bring back Dracula like you were teasing. Go to a screening of Batman and bring back The Joker. Ya know what would’ve saved this movie, if he went to see Jurassic Park and brought back a fucking T-Rex. Then Last Action Hero would’ve been a monster hit!

          Nitpicks

          -Upon discovering the magic ticket, Benedict delivers a long monologue directly to the camera, laying out for us his plan. He really talks to the cheap seats too, explaining in the simplest of layman’s terms. Yeah Benny, we get it. We’ve been watching this whole time. The rules are pretty simple really. I’m not sure why this explanation was even needed, though he does close the speech with a really cool line, “If God was a villain, he’d be me.”

          -I know it’s supposed to be a movie within a movie, but would Jack’s boss really send a 12-year-old boy out on patrol with him, especially without being able to clear it with the kid’s parents? That seems like a stretch, even for this fictional movie.

          -Tom Noonan plays another creepy, crazed villain in this movie, and as usual that typecasting fits him like a glove. But as The Ripper he seems to start almost every line of dialogue with the phrase “Ya know…” That just bugged me.

          -Given that LAH was aimed at a young audience, having Death from The Seventh Seal appear at the end was an odd choice. I guarantee less than ten percent of ticket buyers to this film had ever seen that one. Maybe they should’ve gotten Bill Sadler to reprise his role as Death from Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.
          
          Conclusion

          It’s a shame Last Action Hero wasn’t written by more creative people, as the premise left a lot of room for smart, existential material blurring the lines between fantasy and reality. Had say, Quentin Tarantino done a film like this it would’ve been pretty groundbreaking and awesome. But instead LAH can’t seem to decide if it’s a typical action comedy or a philosophical study of action movies, and so it never really becomes either one. Still it’s a fairly entertaining piece of cinematic tripe that isn’t anywhere near as bad as most people probably remember it. The filmmakers’ hearts were in the right place, they just failed to assemble all the intriguing pieces correctly.

          Like

    • Is it accurate to say that on his best days, John McTiernan is one of those ‘workmanlike in a good way’ directors? He’s functional but not flashy.

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  2. Hello oakleya77, I really enjoyed the article you posted up about McTiernan. I hope you do one on another director sometime throughout almost the rest of the year.

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  3. Long time reader, First time to comment. I wonder what Mctiernan thought about Die Hard 2. Great article! I learned alot about the painful process of making Last action hero.

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    • Welcome to the comments section. So glad you decided to jump in. Hope it won’t be the last time.

      I didn’t see anywhere where McTiernan commented on Harlin’s Die Hard 2. I suspect he’s pretty ambivalent about it. When it came out, he was moving on to bigger and better things. So I doubt he even considered taking the job himself.

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  4. Nice work, oakleya77! I knew McTiernan because of Predator and Last Action Hero and was vaguely aware that he had spent some time in jail, but I wasn’t familiar with the rest of his career. I enjoyed your write-up!

    Also, thanks so much for including my favorite on-set photo from Predator: armless Carl Weathers and costumed JCVD. That picture never fails to make me laugh. 😛

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  5. Nice article! Outside of the really big names (Speilberg, Lucas, Tarantino, etc.), I wasn’t that aware of directors and how strongly they influence a film until maybe the last 10 years or so. So I’d never heard of McTiernan until now despite really liking several of his films. Thanks for enlightening me!

    Also, “It was fun, although watching Steven Seagal movies one after another can be soul-crushing.” made my day!

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    • The Seagal quip was from Zak Penn. While understandably disappointed about what happened to his movie, he seems to have had a real sense of humor about the whole experience. That’s part of why he is quoted so heavily in the article. One of my favorite Penn quotes that I actually left out was around trying to get the studio to move the release date. He told the studio that he came up with the idea for Last Action Hero and even he would rather watch Jurassic Park.

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  6. Excellent article, a real breeze to read. I’d also like to point out that I think that the black & white photo of John McTiernan from 1995 makes him look like he could be Pierce Brosnan’s dad.

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  7. Vikings fight cavemen in one of Hollywood’s biggest flops:
    http://www.avclub.com/article/vikings-fight-cavemen-one-hollywoods-biggest-flops-219101

    The 13th Warrior (1999)

    Before The 13th Warrior, there was Eaters Of The Dead: a mucky, rainy Viking adventure, directed by John McTiernan and based on a novel by Michael Crichton, king of the bestsellers. The book, first published in 1976, marked one of the few times that Crichton demonstrated anything like literary ambition. It was a revisionist take of Beowulf, presented as an account written by the real-life 10th-century Arab diplomat Ahmad Ibn Fadlan, complete with notes and footnotes from a fictional translator. In the mid-1990s, when Michael Crichton adaptations seemed like the surest bet in Hollywood, it became a hot property.

    Eaters Of The Dead was shot in the summer of 1997, with Antonio Banderas as Ibn Fadlan. A release date was set, for the spring of 1998, and then moved to the summer as a potential blockbuster. Teaser trailers were released. Then came the early test screenings, the end result of which was McTiernan’s exit and costly, extensive reshoots directed by Crichton himself. Retitled The 13th Warrior, and still credited to McTiernan, the movie finally made it into theaters in the late summer of 1999. There is no consensus on how much it cost, though some estimate that the studio lost as much as $130 million on the project—about $185 million in today’s dollars.

    The surprising thing about The 13th Warrior—at least once you get past the opening credits—is that it isn’t the schizoid mess of clashing sensibilities one would presume it to be, given its production history. Stripped of the novel’s meta-fictional gimmicks and dry humor, and with only some of McTiernan’s vision, it still works well as a medieval adventure yarn. The storytelling is occasionally rushed and clunky, but the action—almost all of it McTiernan’s—is atmospheric and gritty, with combatants as figures lunging through fog, smoke, and rain.

    Punished with an assignment to the land of the Volga Bulgars, in what is now Russia, the effete Ibn Fadlan—essentially a modern-day viewer stand-in—ends up traveling further north in the company of a dozen Norsemen, led by Buliwyf (Vladimir Kulich), the story’s version of Beowulf. (The handling of language is pretty ingenious, with English used to represent anything ibn Fadlan understands, beginning with the occasional word peppered into the Norsemen’s speech.) There, they end up facing the eaters of the original title, a primitive tribe of cannibals who travel hidden in mist and fog.

    It’s not hard to pick up the signature of McTiernan, one of the great action stylists, on certain scenes; his striking, lopped-off sense of framing is a dead giveaway, as is the smoky, rainy atmosphere. Nor is it difficult to pick up what kind of film McTiernan set out to make—one that was darker and moodier than the finished product. It may not represent his original vision, but it remains a fun, old-school adventure flick that is, in stretches, beautiful.

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  8. The CineFiles Podcast: Episode 12:
    http://thisisinfamous.com/cinefiles-podcast-12/

    Eric Cohen

    May 14, 2015

    Podcasts, The CineFiles Podcast

    In Episode 12 of The CineFiles Podcast we discuss the rise of Hispanic film makers such as Robert Rodriguez, Guillermo Del Toro, Alex De Iglesia, Nacho Vigolando and Alfonse Cauron among many others. Whether they hail from Mexico, Spain, Chile or Argentina… they’re leading the charge of the Latino auteur. But first, we review the films we’ve recently seen: THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, THE LONGEST DAY, WILD CARD, the Arnold Schwarzenegger zombie flick MAGGIE, both versions of THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY, THE OVERNIGHT and APPLESAUCE. And then we get into the news – oh, wait.

    Thing is… we recorded episode 12 before the AGE OF ULTRON podcast uploaded last week. So we apologize if our news discussion is three weeks old at this point. But, hey, it was the week of THE AVENGERS and we thought you’d want to hear our two cents on that asap! Anyhoo. As usual pull up a chair, pop open a beer and press “play” on your media player of choice. And feel free to respond by giving us your thoughts on episode 12 of The CineFiles Podcast.

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  9. 13 Reasons ‘Die Hard With A Vengeance’ Is The Only ‘Die Hard’ You Need:
    http://www.mtv.com/news/2164109/die-hard-with-a-vengeance-anniversary/

    by Kat Rosenfield 5/19/2015

    Twenty years ago, after two blockbuster movies and a five-year wait, the “Die Hard” franchise roared back into theaters with the explosive “Die Hard with a Vengeance.”

    The movie was released on May 19, 1995, and it was an instant classic, thanks to a smart script, exciting plot, and the absolutely stellar chemistry between Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. But not only was “Die Hard with a Vengeance” a great movie, it was also arguably the best of its kind: unstoppable, and untoppable.

    Below, we round up the reasons why the third film in the series is the greatest “Die Hard” that ever was, or ever will be.

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    • Oliver, Richard and Duncan discuss DIE HARD.

      Like

    • 10 Fascinating Backstories Behind Famous Movies

      http://whatculture.com/film/10-fascinating-backstories-behind-famous-movies?page=4

      Die Hard With A Vengeance Was Very Nearly Lethal Weapon 4

      Have you ever sat down to the third John McClane outing, Die Hard With A Vengeance, and thought to yourself, “Hey, Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson have really got a Riggs/Murtaugh/Lethal Weapon thing going on here”?

      You wouldn’t be the first to make such a comparison.

      There’s a good reason for it, too, because Die Hard With A Vengeance was originally envisioned as a potential Lethal Weapon 4, long before Lethal Weapon 4 was about Mel Gibson and Danny Glover trying to land a punch on Jet Li.

      Die Hard With A Vengeance initially existed as a spec script called “Simon Says” by a writer called Jonathan Hensleigh, see, which producer Joel Silver read and tried to option as the fourth instalment in the Lethal Weapon franchise. Clearly he saw something of the Riggs/Murtaugh relationship in the script’s bantering duo and thought it could be perfect for the next chapter in the franchise.

      For some reason, though, the sale didn’t work out, and director John McTiernan – who directed the first Die Hard flick – eventually nabbed the script for himself, turning it into Die Hard 3. But there is something very Lethal Weapon-esque about the final film, so you can understand how it almost came to be number 4.

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  10. Really great post, would not have thought this was your first!

    The only problem I had was your treatment of one of my favorite movies, “Rollerball” (1975!). I absolutely would not call the world therein a “mild dystopia.” It’s not hellish, but I think it realistically portrays a world of vast manipulation and greatly diminished expectations for meaning.

    Lebeau and I talked about it recently. 🙂

    BTW, oddly, I didn’t find the remake to be nearly as terrible as people said it was going to be. It was just mediocre with some decent scenes here and there.

    Like

  11. Also, I knew nothing about this director and felt I got a very good picture of his career in one go. Very educational!

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  12. Schwarzenegger: Studio messed up Predator sequels:
    http://www.denofgeek.us/movies/predator/247570/schwarzenegger-studio-messed-up-predator-sequels

    Arnold Schwarzenegger claims that no Predator sequel “has been satisfactory to the audience.”

    Terminator Genisys continues its global roll out with $135 million banked worldwide so far and counting. Arnold Schwarzenegger, meanwhile, continues to do his bit to promote the film, and as part of that, he’s taken part in a Q&A session for Reddit. And there, the subject of the Predator sequels came up.

    Writer and director Shane Black – who, of course, had a role in the original film – is working on a new Predator sequel. And asked whether he was likely to participate, Arnold Schwarzenegger said that he wasn’t attached at this stage, but that Black is a “very talented guy.” He also revealed that the original Predator was one his “absolute favorite” projects.

    He did not say the chopper line at the Q&A.

    He reserved some stern words for the sequels to the film, though. Thus far, there’s been Predator 2, Predators, Alien Vs Predator and Aliens Vs Predator – Requiem. It would be fair to say that Arnie isn’t a fan.

    “The sad story is that sometimes studios do a great job with creating sequels, and sometimes they really screw it up bad, and it all has to do with greed,” said the Batman & Robin star. “They sometimes want to do it really cheap and make as much money as possible, so they don’t hire the right cast or the right director.”

    He also argued that “so far, no Predator, no matter which one they did after the first one has come out, has been satisfactory to the audience.”

    We wait and see if whatever Shane Black comes up with can impress Mr Schwarzenegger more.

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  13. Predator (1987) : John McTiernan…

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093773/board/flat/244657571?p=1

    Where would you list him as far as best Action Directors go? Yes, this film has a mix of genres but I’d say his action scenes stick out, especially the ambush, effing PERFECT!… Who would you list above him, if any, in the genre?

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  14. https://www.facebook.com/groups/thecinefiles/permalink/10153691905100795/

    The death of Alan Rickman has me thinking of my favorite role as Hans Gruber, what I still consider the watermark of action films!

    This has me thinking of DIE HARD director John McTiernan. Now here’s a guy that has a pretty impressive resume.

    Like

    • Alan Rickman passed away? Bummer. I really liked him in “Dogma” amongst other roles in which he’s probably remembered more for.

      Like

  15. 10 Box Office Flops Much Better Than Their Reputations

    http://whatculture.com/film/10-box-office-flops-much-better-than-their-reputations.php/8

    The 13th Warrior

    Budget: $160 million

    Worldwide Gross: $61.7 million

    Delayed for more than a year due to poor responses from test screenings, The 13th Warrior had a lot of people, including some of the actors involved, weary of its final product. But even after numerous re-shoots and edits, this movie came out the other end like a more polished version of Conan the Barbarian. And…why is that somehow a bad thing?

    Indeed, one of the biggest criticisms lobbed against the Antonio Banderas medieval action thriller, is that it seems trapped in the 80s. But if that’s meant to somehow diminish the brutal action sequences that feature limbs being chopped off and blood spurting out of every major orifice in the human anatomy, then it’s totally unfair to lambast a movie for earning it’s R rating.

    Carnage candy is everywhere in this movie, but beneath all the blood and guts is a story of a man seeking to initiate himself into a group of which he seems to be ill-equipped to fit in with. It’s like a less patronizing version of Dances With Wolves.

    Banderas plays the part with an air of mystery about him, and moves effortlessly between the battle scenes and the quieter moments with his new comrades. It’s not exactly Gladiator, but it certainly gets the job done.

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  16. John McTiernan talks directing Die Hard 6, Expendables 4, Conan 3. https://t.co/JsQIeWPM7G

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  17. ‘Die Hard’ Director John McTiernan Ratchets Up War Against Bank That Kicked Him Out of His Home

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/die-hard-director-john-mctiernan-888442

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  18. Film-sets that were a notorious NIGHTMARE to work on….

    https://www.datalounge.com/thread/16916169-film-sets-that-were-a-notorious-nightmare-to-work-on….

    I remember reading a piece in Premiere Magazine back in the 1990s about the Sean Connery film Medicine Man…in addition to it being a jungle shoot (rarely easy) Lorraine Bracco, who was just coming off Goodfellas, was a nightmare. Non-stop bitching about everything from the food to the weather to the script, and demanding as f***, with a massive entourage (nannies, hairstylists, makeup artists, acting coach, etc etc). She drove Sean Connery and the director John McTiernan bats*** and was loathed among the crew. At some point it was arranged that McTiernan would convey any direction he had for her to her acting coach, who would in turn pass it on to Lorraine, because McTiernan refused to deal with her shit any more. Connery stopped speaking to her as well. And after all that trouble, her performance was a disaster, on a par with Kate Capshaw’s in Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom. It pretty much killed her brief career as an A-lister. The Sopranos rescued her from the dump, years later.

    —Anonymous

    reply 85 2 hours ago

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  19. Earwolf Forums → Earwolf Productions → How Did This Get Made? → Bad Movie Recommendations → Rollerball (2002)

    http://forum.earwolf.com/topic/3472-rollerball-2002/

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  20. McTiernan on WatchMojo’s Top 10 Action Movie Directors

    Like

  21. Forgotten Film Gems: The Hunt for Red October

    https://dejareviewer.com/2014/01/21/forgotten-film-gems-the-hunt-for-red-october/

    Dive Hard

    Director John McTiernan passed up the opportunity to make the sequel to his classic action film Die Hard to make this movie. What other reason do you need to see how great this film is?

    The Hunt for Red October continues many of McTiernan’s themes and motifs from Die Hard:

    The main character hates flying, and he is forced to confront his fear over the course of the film.

    He starts the film at an airport.

    No one in authority believes him at first.

    He has to crawl through a tight space during an action sequence.
    He buys a teddy bear for his daughter.

    There’s someone on board the submarine/inside the building that the conspirers hadn’t planned on (the cook/John McClane).

    There aren’t enough similarities to do a full Movie Matchup, but it’s interesting to note that McTiernan was in familiar territory bringing The Hunt for Red October to life. He was also at the top of his game at the time, having made two perfect action films just before this one. His career went mostly downhill in the ensuing years, with the exception of Die Hard with a Vengeance. It’s sort of melancholy to watch this movie knowing that it was one of his last hurrahs.

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    • 10 Amazing ’80s Directors Who Lost Their Mojo in the ’90s

      https://dejareviewer.com/2014/07/29/10-amazing-80s-directors-who-lost-their-mojo-in-the-90s/

      John McTiernan

      John McClane crawls through an air duct.Who doesn’t love Predator and Die Hard? John McTiernan wrote the book on how to make the perfect action movie in the late ‘80s. He started the ‘90s in superb fashion with The Hunt for Red October, which is still the best Jack Ryan movie to date. But then he made the ambitious but absurd Medicine Man and Last Action Hero. He tried to recover with Die Hard with a Vengeance, but then he dropped the ball again with letdowns like The 13th Warrior and a remake of The Thomas Crown Affair. In the early 2000s, a few lame films and an arrest prevented him from mounting a comeback.

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  22. Die Hard humanized (and perfected) the action movie

    http://www.avclub.com/article/die-hard-humanized-and-perfected-action-movie-245062

    Die Hard director John McTiernan knew the way ’80s action movies were supposed to look. The year before making Die Hard, he’d directed Schwarzenegger in Predator, a movie that might represent the peak of the man’s movie-hero inhumanity. Predator ends with Schwarzenegger’s character surviving a thermonuclear blast—a feat he accomplishes by running away and then jumping. If a towering dreadlocked alien had blown up a WMD right next to John McClane, John McClane would be dead. But given the slightest bit of daylight, he would find a way to wriggle through. (Oddly enough, both Schwarzenegger and McClane crawl through waterfalls in their movies. But Schwarzenegger is deep in the jungle, while McClane is 30 stories above Los Angeles, in a fancy office where someone has exactingly recreated Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater.

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  23. Retrospective / Review: Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)

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