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Welcome to the Christmas Movie Shelf, Pal

Is ‘Die Hard’ a Christmas movie?

This is a heated debate that rages throughout the entire year–almost as much as the fictional Nakatomi Plaza skyscraper did that fateful night–for movie fans (and even non-movie fans) of the 1988 action film masterpiece that starred Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman (RIP), Bonnie Bedelia and Reginald VelJohnson (Carl Winslow!) and Alexander Godunov (RIP). Due to the extensive conversation that follows this seemingly fun and nonsensical question, it’s best to exercise brevity whenever possible. With that in mind, here are a few key notes regarding the aforementioned debate.

Just last year, ‘Die Hard’ screenwriter Steven E. de Souza confirmed via Twitter that #DieHardIsAChristmasMovie.

FYI – That specific tweet was covered and discussed on Time’s website.

Yes, that Time.

Then there’s this snippet from a Washington Post article published yesterday online titled “‘Die Hard’ isn’t just a Christmas movie — it’s the best ever, according to its Hollywood distributor” by Eli Rosenberg and Alex Horton.

“Christmas is a liminal ritualized period of carnivalesque inversion during which underdogs and the powerless are briefly elevated above hierarchical structures,” historian Greg Jenner wrote on Twitter. “John McClane is a classic Christmas underdog triumphing over selfish venality.”  

So this is a very real debate. So gloriously real that 20th Century Fox has reignited the topic of its popular film via a recently produced trailer just this week that is every bit as awesome as you’d hope it would be.

Is ‘Die Hard’ a Christmas movie?

Yes. 

Make room, Elf on the Shelf.

The Different Goals in the World Cup

Championships give Cristiano Ronaldo the edge over Lionel Messi as the greatest of all time

(Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images)

What makes a World Cup legacy?

When Spain won the 2010 World Cup whilst executing a transplant version of the famed total football tactics of the Dutch against the Dutch in the final–a surreal case of the body snatchers indeed–coupled with the parallel success of Barcelona at the club level, it became clear that Spain was the soccer capital of the world.

This impressive achievement was stylistic and generational.

Thus far in the 2018 World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored four goals in two games, which includes the game-winning goal in Portugal’s 1-nil win today against Morocco, while Lionel Messi hasn’t registered a goal or assist after 90 minutes against Iceland in the group stage. Both Ronaldo and Messi, for instance, are world-class soccer players and generational icons. The point is whether Ronaldo is genuinely tipping the scale in his favor in real-time in his rivalry with Messi for best player in the world because he’s scored/scoring more goals than his Argentine counterpart on soccer’s biggest stage?

If the 2018 World Cup ends up tipping the scales in this heated debate–this premise being a whole other debate–will goals or style of play weigh heavier in defining the (proposed) best player of his generation?

Either way, Messi will have his shot(s) tomorrow to add some goals to his tournament résumé and for his country, as well as some weight to his side of the scale.

uNequivoCAl stAbility

Was Alabama “unequivocally” better than Ohio State in determining that all-powerful fourth and final spot in this year’s college football playoff?

The only thing that’s “unequivocal” in college football right now is the instability of, well, college football.

Put simply, there were legitimate reasons for and against Ohio State’s case to be the fourth seed in the forthcoming college football playoff next month. This coming from a lifetime Buckeyes fan. To spare you a lengthy relitigation of that fierce debate (a 51-49 decision either way), I’m going to give the megaphone to former Colorado Buffalo quarterback and Fox College Football analyst Joel Klatt. His reaction to the controversial criteria of the playoff selection committee and the playoff’s future, heard and seen yesterday on The Herd radio/TV hybrid program, was insightful and necessary.

Simplicity is one of the fastest routes to unequivocal stability and, equally important, trust. Will the influential power players of the NCAA apply Mr. Klatt’s thoughtful suggestions in the near future concerning college football’s playoff qualifications?

Perhaps, except the NCAA thrives on complicating things and Mr. Klatt’s easier and more rational format could mess all that up.

Fiorina’s Second Debate Win

“In a victory for the former HP CEO, the cable network announced Tuesday that it is amending its rules for qualifying for the Sept. 16 debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library to include all candidates who are polling on average in the top 10 in surveys conducted after the Aug. 6 Fox News debate.”
–Zeke J. Miller (TIME)

This recent development is the sensible response by CNN. Plus, the second Republican debate on September 16th could prove to be the pivotal debate for Carly Fiorina. Why? Her fantastic performance at the “Happy Hour” debate was her first positive introduction to the country and Republican electorate, but now she has high expectations. Mrs. Fiorina has been given the opportunity to articulate her conservative message and vision at the wondrous Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

If Carly Fiorina, in front of Nancy Reagan, can channel the charming wit and grand inspiration of the man for whom the library was built, her ascent in the polls will continue and sustain during the coming months.

To stand out in the house of Reagan, she must not fall victim to or engage in shouted interruptions by desperate poll climbers, but instead rise to inspirational storytelling that illustrates how the United States of America can successfully deal with its dangerous foreign policy threats and how it will rebuild its economic foundation (opportunistic tax reform, spending reductions by focusing on the priorities of the times, structural entitlement reform, a specific plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, legal and illegal immigration, etc.) that will lead to an optimistic (yet attainable) future.

This is her chance at a very rare second first-look. There will be a particularly bright spotlight on Carly Fiorina in how she will deal with the widespread anxiety and turmoil at home and abroad.

What would Ronald Reagan do?

“Peace through strength.”

That seems like a savvy approach for the debate’s venue and for the American people tuning in.