Podcast: Reviewing 'A Good Day to Die Hard, 'Safe Haven' and 'Beautiful Creatures'

Doing what we do because that's what we do for nearly two hours.

Rope of Silicon PodcastThree reviews lead this Friday edition of the RopeofSilicon Podcast as Laremy and I dig into A Good Day to Die Hard, Safe Haven and Beautiful Creatures as we bump up against two hours on today's podcast. We're answering several of your questions, several voicemails, Over/Unders, Buy or Sells and a fun edition of guessing the movie based on its foreign title.

I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. directly on our Google Voice account, which you can call and leave a message for us at (925) 526-5763, which may be even easier to remember at (925) 5-BNL-POD. Just call, leave us a voice mail and we'll add those to the show and respond directly.

An alternative to that option is a new way of leaving us a voicemail directly from your computer. Just click here and no matter where you live in the world, all you need is a microphone and Internet connection and you can leave us a voicemail. Look forward to hearing from you!

As always, I have broken down this episode on a minute-by-minute basis if you would like to skip ahead and below I have featured the information on how to download the podcast, find us on iTunes or merely just listen in your browser.

  • 00:00-4:52 - Introduction
  • 4:53-17:47 - Random bits
  • 17:48-20:44 - [Listener Question] In light of the new Justin Timberlake-David Fincher video, which is essentially just a concert performance where Timberlake continues to ape Michael Jackson, is there a music video either this year or in previous years that you feel would be worthy of say the Oscar for Best Short Film? [marlon wallace]
  • 20:45-23:38 - [Listener Question] I know most people believe that Cars 2 and Brave were very big disappointments for a pixar film since, before those two, Pixar was doing fantastic films. Do you think Monsters University will bad and make people say that Pixar has officially gotten average or that it will be great, and Pixar gets its groove back. I watched the trailer and it looks like the latter is more likely to happen. [Aidan]
  • 23:39-25:33 - [Listener Question] I took a Philosophy class when I was in college that ended up focusing on the representation of different philosophical ideas in film. We watched movies like Memento, 12 Angry Men, Minority Report, Groundhog Day, Rashomon, and Bicentennial Man. My question is: Do you think exposing people to films they may not have normally seen and asking them to dig more deeply into their meaning will help elevate their appreciation for good films in general? Also, would you have enjoyed taking a class like this? I ended up really loving it. [Jennifer]
  • 25:34-27:07 - [Listener Question] What acting made you just completely forget the actor in question, and simply, truly see a real person in his/her performance, if any? [Silrian]
  • 27:08-29:57 - [Listener Question] The twist in movies usually comes down to three possibilities: 1) The protagonist is pretending to be something they're not (Primal Fear, Usual Suspects)... 2) The protagonist is/was an unreliable narrator (Shutter Island)... 3) The protagonist is unaware of some important truth the whole time (Sixth Sense, Fight Club). Could you categorize other "twist" movies? Does knowing that a movie is depending on a big twist ruin it? [Jeff]
  • 29:58-32:45 - [Listener Question] Is there still room to make films based on the Afghanistan/Iraq wars? Or has Bigelow spiked the ball with Hurt Locker and Zero Dark? [Justin]
  • 32:46-44:28 - Safe Haven review (read mine here)
  • 44:29-49:46 - Beautiful Creatures review (read mine here)
  • 49:47-1:04:30 - A Good Day to Die Hard review (read mine here)
  • 1:04:31-1:07:21 - [Listener Voicemail] Ingmar #2 - Nicolas Cage
  • 1:07:22-1:12:14 - [Listener Voicemail] EPayneDDS - Steven Spielberg
  • 1:12:15-1:17:15 - [Listener Voicemail] Paco - John Cazale / '70s Best Film Era
  • 1:17:16-1:20:04 - [Listener Voicemail] Chris - Judging comedies
  • 1:20:05-1:26:43 - [Listener Voicemail] The Colleague - Cliches vs. Genre Tropes
  • 1:26:44-1:33:36 - Over / Under
    • B CinemaScore for A Good Day to Die Hard [The Colleague]
    • 0.5 more films in the 'Die Hard' franchise [Xarnis]
    • 1.5 sequels to 'Beautiful Creatures' [Xarnis]
    • 1.5 war films we get in the next five years set in a pre-Afghanistan war. (I don't count Lincoln as a Civil War film) [Justin]
    • 500 more BnL podcasts [JN Films]
    • C grade by Brad for Jack the Giant Slayer [Aidan]
    • B+ grade by Brad for Monsters University [Aidan]
  • 1:33:37-1:35:34 - Buy or Sell
    • There is a permanent third member to the B&L podcast in the next 12 months [maja]
    • The podcast will keep gradually growing to the extent that most episodes will be over 2 hours [bob phelan]
  • 1:35:35-1:43:10 - Playing the Percentages:
    • % chance James Cameron's the first director to win best pic or director for a 3D film because he's James Cameron. [Elijah]
    • % chance Brad or Laremy drunk dials the podcast question line during Brad's bachelor party. [G-Man]
    • % chance if this occurs, that the voicemail would get played on the air [G-Man]
    • % chance Riva wins Best Actress. [Manu]
    • % chance that Gatsby gets a best picture nom [JN Films]
    • % chance that a movie will be made about Laremy not Brad [JN Films]
    • % chance Ang Lee wins Best Director at the 2013 Oscars [Xarnis]
    • % chance Monsters University wins Best animated feature at the 2014 Oscars [Aidan]
    • % odds that Kim Jong Un listens to the podcast, and has taken Laremy's "bring it on" to heart. [Fox]
  • 1:43:11-1:46:59 - Guess the Film Based on Its Foreign Title [provided by Lukas Mix]
    • He's a Ghost
    • This Hit Man Is Not As Cold As He Thought
    • I Will Marry A Prostitute and Save Money
    • His Great Device Makes Him Famous
  • 1:47:00-1:49:57 - #GoodTweets
  • 1:49:58-1:56:09 - Closing

Finally, I do have one quick request. If you could give us a review on iTunes it would be greatly appreciated.

You can listen below, on Stitcher, download the audio in .mp3, iTunes format by right-clicking here and saving it to your computer or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. It's up to you.

NOTE: Apple's iTunes randomly checks for updated episodes, so sometimes the latest episode may not be immediately available in iTunes.

You can find Laremy's writing here on RopeofSilicon.com and also at Film.com and on Twitter at @Laremy.

Winter 2013 Movie Box-Office Draft
Brad vs. Laremy

Laremy's Picks
MovieDateBudgetBox-OfficeCurrent Total
Promised LandJan 4$15m$7.5m-$29.9m
The Last StandJan 18$45m$27.6m-$84.8m
Movie 43Jan 25$6m$23m$8m
Hansel and Gretel: Witch HuntersJan 25$50m$129.3m$4.3m
Stand Up GuysFeb 1$15m$2.9m-$34.5m
Side EffectsFeb 8$30m$11.5m-$63.4m
Beautiful CreaturesFeb 13$60m$0
Escape from Planet EarthFeb 14$40m$0
A Good Day To Die HardFeb 14$92m$10.8m-$219.4m
Dark SkiesFeb 22$0
Brad's Picks
MovieDateBudgetBox-OfficeCurrent Total
Texas Chainsaw 3DJan 4$20m$34.2m-$15.7m
Gangster SquadJan 11$60m$87.2m-$62.7m
Broken CityJan 18$35m$19.3m-$68.1m
MamaJan 18$15m$78.1m$40.6m
ParkerJan 25$30m$16.m-$58.5m
Warm BodiesFeb 1$30m$47.3m-$27.6m
Bullet to the HeadFeb 1$55m$8.9m-$128.5m
Identity ThiefFeb 8$35m$42.1m-$45.3m
Safe HavenFeb 14$28m$0
SnitchFeb 22$0

The Winter 2013 Movie Box-Office Draft competition involved both Brad and Laremy "drafting" ten films each in hopes of scoring the largest net total by taking a film's worldwide gross subtracting two-and-a-half-times the reported budget. The film must be released in January and February of 2013. The draft took place on December 21, 2012 during the RopeofSilicon Podcast which you can listen to right here.

Listed above is all the most recent data as of this post. Budgetary information is not necessarily accurate and will most likely not be accurate until closer to or after each film's release.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/navaneethks/ navaneethks

    Cool new way to leave a voicemail

  • Stephen

    Unfortunately, I think A Good Day to Die Hard will get a decent Cinemascore. I saw it last night and there was a bunch of clapping at the end. It was appalling.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Xarnis/ Xarnis

    Someone in one of my classes today said Safe Haven was "SO Good"
    I can't believe it. And tons of people I know are rushing to see Die Hard 5, and will most likely praise that when they return.
    I think I'm losing faith in this generation.

  • http://letterboxd.com/ragingtaxidrver/ RagingTaxiDriver

    This comment sorta goes along with what Xarnis said above

    Listener Question:
    In my Film and Lit class there were some side conversations going on about Django, and how much they loved it. But when I asked why they liked it so much, it was because of all the shooting and that's about it. So long story short, does it bother you when someone likes a film for the "wrong" reasons? Or do you feel that anyway that the audience likes a film is acceptable? [RagingTaxiDriver]

    • http://letterboxd.com/ragingtaxidrver/ RagingTaxiDriver

      Oh, and

      Buy or Sell:
      A 2012 movie gets released by Criterion.

      My bet is on Moonrise Kingdom or Perks of Being a Wallflower

      • Jake17

        Moonrise will. All of Anderson's movies have had a Criterion release at some point.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/navaneethks/ navaneethks

    To anyone who reads this: What is The Criterion Collection? And why does it receive such high praise? Are all the movies in the collection that good?

    • Susan

      Criterion is a distribution company that focuses on the release of movies, traditionally of the foreign, art-house or classic variety. They tend to focus on auteurs (Mike Leigh, Akira Kurosawa), releasing a large breadth of their work, from their most acclaimed films to the lesser known ones. They tend to release about five a month, traditionally working hard to get the most pristine visual quality, a large collection of extras and usually a book of essays about the film or director.

      Whether all of the movies are good is surely up to a given person's taste, but it's safe to say the vast majority of them (80% and above) are at least worthwhile to great pictures.

      It's praise comes from the work put into their releases, the quality of its contents, and Criterion's effort to bring about discussion for classics (The Third Man, Tokyo Story) to lesser known modern works with large critical followings (Naked, Shame).

      • Jake17

        Does Shame have a Criterion release? I know Steve McQueen's other film, Hunger, has one, but I wasn't aware Shame did.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

    Laremy: "The more troubling than Osama is the targeting of US citizens via drone and again, it's like well, those guys are over there committing terrorist acts; when you do that you're automatically treason, and if you're treason you can be executed."

    - The assumption that an individual the US government drone bombs is a "terrorist" or is "committing terrorist acts" is a misconception. The Obama administration classified any "military age males" who happen to be in a "battle zone" as a "militant."

    There was a rather lengthy article that was published in the New York Times last year which highlighted this:


  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Manu/ Manu

    [Listener Question]
    Much like the discussion about Argo, and whether a win is good or bad for the Academy, what do you think about the lobbying/campaigning process that supports a particular performance or film? Is this good or bad for the Academy? How could one tell if a performance/film was rewarded because of lobbying instead of it's true artistic value? [Manu]

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/DiscoPaco/ Disco Paco

    Proof that Laremy has gotten sucked down the critic hole (and I paraphrase): "Did I spoil Side Effects? Oh well. You should've seen it already. It's been out two weeks."

    No, Lar it's been out one week. As a critic you saw it two weeks ago though. :)

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/the%20colleague/ the colleague

      No kidding. And what about us living in Not America, having to wait till April to see it? I tell you, that Laremy. ;)

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Jennifer/ Jennifer

    With all of the recent mass shootings that have taken place in the US do you think there's a chance of a film or films being made about any of these events or do you think studios will be weary to invest money into this type of project because of the negative backlash it would most likely receive from the public? Also, if a film is made, do you think public outcry against it would result in minimal box office success or will the opposite take place?

  • adu

    Hey Laremy and Brad

    Yes, I am not ashamed to say I liked The Hobbit. I loved the book, and the movie followed that quite well (including the embellishment), and then there was a lot of that returning to Middle Earth nostalgia. That said, I agree the film has flaws.

    As for me wanting it to be a single movie, to be honest I never wanted it to be that. The book as much as I loved it, was too brief on details in many parts and I always wanted more details (battles, secondary characters etc) if it were ever brought to the big screen. So yeah, I wanted two and them announcing a third was a surprise. But I'll take it. I believe there is room to expand on those appendices (at least for Tolkien fans). So yeah, I'm on board and look forward to the next two and your imitations of Smaug :)

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Jaffas85/ Jaffas85

    Playing the Percentages:

    % of people who listen to the podcast who don't live in the United States.

    Buy or Sell:

    - Within the next five years Kate Hudson will finally turn her career around by finally taking another substantial role (whether supporting or lead) in a quality movie.

    - Dakota Fanning will make the transition into being a successful actor as an adult.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/navaneethks/ navaneethks

    The Hobbit really isn't as bad as you guys make it sound. Yes it should have been 30 minutes short and the beginning is a drag and sort of boring. But in the end it comes out quiet good. Cinematography is stunning as usual (but it won't win an award for it), other than couple more slow moments in the movie, its a 7.5/10 for me.


    8.5 or above IMDb user rating for the second Hobbit movie (currently 8.3 for Hobbit 1) [Nav]

    1.1 Billion dollars worldwide for The Hobbit 2 (9.56 million worldwide for the hobbit 1, the general audience has liked it much more than the critics) [Nav]

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/navaneethks/ navaneethks

      CORRECTION!!!! *956 million worldwide for the Hobbit 1

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/maja/ maja

      Agreed. Overall I believe The Hobbit is a pretty average movie - even Brad agreed with this by giving it a C+. I think it's more of the disappointment of it rather than it being a terrible movie that draws the ridicule.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Xarnis/ Xarnis

    I should really stop reading IMDb user reviews. I skimming through the Zero Dark Thirty reviews and I saw tons of 1/10 reviews bashing the editing, direction, and dialogue. It just annoys me.

    [Listener Question]
    One could argue that Zero Dark Thirty is a huge story of character development. There is little character exposition in the beginning in the film, but rather, we see Maya develop and grow as the movie plays out. Do you think this helped the film? Should more films take this approach? [Xarnis]

    2 more films set in Middle-Earth [Xarnis]
    7.0 on IMDb for 'The Great Gatsby' [Xarnis]

    Playing the percentages
    % on RT for 'Before Midnight' [Xarnis]
    % the 2014 Oscar Best Picture winner comes out in the first half of 2013 [Xarnis]

  • Aidan

    10 years until a Pixar film wins Best Picture.
    Buy or Sell:
    A Good Day to Die Hard makes Brads top ten worst films of 2013.

  • JN Films

    1.5 Oscar noms for Wes Anderson's next [JN Films]
    10% chance that Wally Pfister is back as director of cinematography for Nolan's next [JN Films]
    75% of humanity hates YOLO & SWAG [JN Films]
    2 kudos within the next 3 podcasts for Corbin #dontmesswithcorbin [JN Films]
    0.7 billion total debt combined in the current box office draft when it's all said and done [JN Films]
    50% RT Score for Snitch [JN Films]
    25 % RT Score for Dark Skies [JN Films]
    2.5 films with multiple Oscar wins [JN Films]
    10 filmmakers that are active participants on Ropeofsilcion.com [JN Films]

    Buy or Sell
    Chuck Norris will train a militia in Arizona [JN Films]
    Spielberg's next film will only get technical Oscar noms instead of major category noms (i.e. War or the Worlds (Tech) vs. Munich (Major)) [JN Films]
    Eric Bana will star in a movie that involves bananas [JN Films]

    • Jake17

      Dark Skies looks so bad it'll be lucky to get above 15% on RT.

  • Stephen

    Updated: Both Die Hard AND Safe Haven got B+ Cinemascores. Good lord. (shakes head)

  • Aidan

    Buy or Sell:
    One of you guys gives Oz the Great and Powerfull a B- or over.

  • Jake17

    4.5 Oscar noms for David O. Russell's untitled Abscam project. [Jake17]
    2.5 months until the French Connection come back on the podcast [Jake17]
    3.5 movies that Terrence Malick makes and releases this decade (he has at least two lined up for release from 2013-2015)
    Playing dem Percentages
    % Side Effects makes both Brad and Laremy's year end Top 10 list
    % Jennifer Lawrence becomes the 2nd woman to win two consecutive Best Actress Oscars for Silver Linings Playbook and Serena. (Last time this happened was 1936-37 for Luise Rainer) [Jake17]
    % RT score for Spike Lee's Oldboy [Jake17]

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Cordia/ Cordia

    % chance David O. Russel's Abscam film will also receive acting nominations in all acting categories
    % chance The Palme d'or winner or audience award at Tiff winner wins best picture next year

    2.5 oscars for Lincoln
    1.5 Oscar wins for Slp
    3.5 oscar wins for Argo
    350 million worldwide for a good die to die hard.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/LukasMix/ Lukas Mix

    Jeez, Laremy, I'm mighty impressed!
    You got 2 out of 4 foreign movie titles right and pretty quick too.
    Guess it's "try harder, try again" for me.

    Stay golden, boys

  • https://twitter.com/TooMuchHamza Hamza Zain

    Listener question:

    Recently, I watched Seven Psychopaths for the second time, and enjoyed it a lot more than the first time. The first time I saw it, there were a group high school kids sitting near us who had managed to get beers in with them and were being loud and annoying, which clearly affected how I viewed the film. Have either of you had an experience at the theater where the actions of other movie goers altered your enjoyment of the movie?

    Buy or Sell:

    Brad's use of profanity turns the B'n'L podcast into the B'n'L frotcast. [Hamza]

    Daniel Day-Lewis never takes a supporting role again, due to his method technique. [Hamza]

    Martin Scorsese makes a film in the future (Wolf of Wall Street included) that people consider to be in his top five of all time. [Hamza Zain]


    .5 more Oscar wins for Phillip Seymour Hoffman [Hamza]
    2.5 more movies that Brad gives an F to in 2013 [Hamza]
    .5 more Oscar nominations for Tom Hanks [Hamza Zain]

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/the%20colleague/ the colleague

    Question: People often comment how this director or that director is overrated. In your opinion, which directors, current or past, do you find to be overrated? [the colleague]

    - 2.5 Nicholas Sparks adaptations in the next 5 years [the colleague]

    - Chris Nolan will eventually resort to using second unit [the colleague]

    Playing the Percentages:
    - % chance Brad guesses more Oscar winners this year than in 2012 [the colleague]
    - % chance Laremy guesses more Oscar winners than Brad [the colleague]

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/the%20colleague/ the colleague

      By the way, any last minute Oscar betting advice? 10 bucks on Argo, Spielberg, Day-Lewis, Lawrence, Jones, Hathaway, and Wreck-It Ralph gets me $115. If I go with Waltz instead of Jones, it goes up to $145. Although... I'm a little frightened of QueenBear. Thoughts?

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Manu/ Manu

        Have you considered changing your best actress prediction as well?
        I changed mine best supporting actor prediction to Waltz. Still think it is a toss up and I'm pretty sure I'm gonna lose some money.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/the%20colleague/ the colleague

          I'm dealing with coefficients instead of odds here, but you'll get the gist. A buck on Lawrence gets me $1.50, which is not all that great. However, a $ on Riva would get me $5.50, which is really good. I know Brad said he has her at 45% right now to win, and that's basically a toss up. I'll definitely have to think about it some more before next Sunday.

          • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

            Yeah, and that really is closer to something like 25% ... I don't see Lawrence losing this one.

            • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

              I am wondering why you think the % is closer to 25 chance for Riva to win? That is what you are saying correct? Im hearing its really tight. Although I still have Lawrence for the win. Partly because I dont want to mess up the "juju"!!!

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/navaneethks/ navaneethks


    Life of Pi is the dark horse for Best Director at the Oscar awards

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/EPayneDDS/ EPayneDDS


    Why do you think "The Dark Knight Rises" was completely shut out of any Oscar nominations?
    (Seems like it should have gotten a few technical noms at least...) [EPayneDDS]

  • Justin Golding

    After watching A Good Day to Die Hard, what do you believe is going to be Bruce Willis's legacy?

    Have you ever watched a movie where you hated the main character so much that it ruined your enjoyment of the movie? I know that I didn't like Moonrise Kingdom because of my dislike for the little boy main character.

  • http://www.everyeliakazanmovie.blogspot.ca/ IngmarTheBergman

    A "Most Cynical Film Critic" award is created just for Brad. (IngmarTheBergman)
    At one point in the next five years Brad gives a movie somewhere from a D+ to an F that Laremy gives an A- to an A+ (or Vice Versa). (IngmarTheBergman)

  • http://www.everyeliakazanmovie.blogspot.ca/ IngmarTheBergman

    1.5 years before Brad updates his Letterboxd. (IngmarTheBergman)

  • Jeff

    This is an attempt at constructive criticism:
    In response to the John Cazale question, it didn't sound like either of you had really made any effort to do a good research. If you're going to field that type of question, it'd certainly make for better listening if you had checked beforehand and had a few good answers, instead of just winging it. I'm sure Laremy wouldn't defend his Chloe Moretz pick if he looked up her filmography (for instance, Movie 43). Just trying to help make it better - get those 5-star reviews!

  • Chris

    Hope u get this before you record, but I have one last Oscar Q for you. Since the supporting actor Oscar is a toss up, hypothetically, do you believe Leo DiCaprio or even Sam L. Jackson would be the frontrunner if they were nominated instead of Waltz?