JW: Re Die Hard, I love it! Would definitely put it on the thread! At the press screening in 1988 I couldn’t get anyone to go with me. Bruce Willis (then known for Moonlighting) in an action movie? No chance. And then it was so brilliant! Alan Rickman! It’s perfect script-wise – though Steven E. de Souza never did anything else remotely good, and neither did John McTiernan.
RG: I knew you’d like Die Hard! It seemed really solid from a writer’s perspective. I love how they string out Rickman realising that Willis and Bedelia are married – it’s almost like a love triangle, with the family photo the incriminating object. (I love objects used as storytelling – I’ve been rereading the Cameron Crowe/Billy Wilder book. Obviously they discuss the broken compact in The Apartment but also the hat in Lubitsch’s Ninotchka – how it represents the main character at different stages or something.)
I’d have to quibble with you – I loved McT’s Thomas Crown remake. Watched it again recently, it still holds up. Whatever happened to Rene Russo? So good in this. She was the 90s.
JW: Can’t agree with you there. But I have a memory that Nomads was fun. I saw it on video about 30 years ago. With Adam Ant! Rene Russo was in Nightcrawler (good!), looking exactly how she did in the 90s.
RG on Goodfellas: Yes the Copacabana Steadicam, amazing cos we have to be just as impressed as Lorraine Bracco is. So there’s a narrative reason for making it breathtaking. My students this year were minus-10 years old when Goodfellas came out. I saw it on opening day. ABC Canterbury. I’d just started uni!
JW: With Goodfellas, I officially ‘didn’t like’ Scorsese. I always remember Gilbert Adair saying it should be pronounced like journalese! Anyway, because of my being so stubborn, I didn’t really appreciate it till a year or two ago, when I saw it for the umpteenth time on ITV4. I’d forgotten it had Samuel L. Jackson in it! I think it’s Scorsese’s best by miles. (Not that I’ve seen them all.) Taxi Driver’s good but it always seems like a b-movie that’s inexplicably got bumped up budget wise. Now it would star Denzel Washington!