Finally ! I've been waiting forever for a proper Blu-ray box set of these films to come along and have been toying with the idea of buying them individually for ages , but always knew a box set was on the horizon so held out. Yes , I know I could have waited until all five movies were available to buy in one neat box set , but couldn't resist this 25th Anniversary Blu-ray set thats available now... I've waited too long !
Whats left to say about the Die Hard movies that hasn't already been said ? I won't bore the pants off you by rehashing opinions on how Alan Rickman is the greatest onscreen villain ever (YES , he should have gotten away with it !) or Robert Davi's line about Saigon being the greatest line ever shouted and that the first Die Hard is without doubt the best of the bunch , as you know this already , so will concentrate on telling you about the Blu-ray quality that you get and whether its worthy of the upgrade.
For the first 3 films picture quality is good and much better than its DVD versions , BUT... You still get the feeling its not as good as they could have gotten them and could do with a further polish. The audio transfer is acceptable and certainly not the worst I've heard , but its far from the best. Die Hard 4.0 being relatively new compared to the others , has a flawless picture and sound.
As for the bonus disc "Decoding Die Hard" this is a brilliant addition , with new interviews with actors/directors/writers (Rickman and McTiernan are the real highlights) and Hart Bochner (who appears not to have aged a day) is a real treat , although weird without the beard , and looking at every aspect of all the films , but at a little over an hour and a half to cover all 4 films , this could and SHOULD have been twice as long. When you have a distinguished actor (who rarely gives interviews) like Mr Rickman sat right in front of you ready to talk about his role as Hans Gruber , you really should milk it for all its worth and I'm fairly certain you're only getting a tiny fraction of footage that was filmed in these new interviews.
The films are of course great viewing and I like them all (DH2 not so much) , but all in all , this is NOT a very good presentation for a "milestone" box set , and when it comes to the picture/sound quality and extras , all the films really are just previous releases "tagged" together and even has trailers for old cinema releases on DH3 , which for me is an absolute no no when buying a box set , especially an Anniversary Edition. Its a shame they didn't do a proper fold out box with an extra slot for the fifth film like they did on the 50th Anniversary Bond Blu-ray box set for the arrival of Skyfall...that would have at least told me someone cared.
I'm glad I now own these great movies on Blu-ray and is definitely worthy of an upgrade from DVD , but can't help but feel this was a wasted and missed opportunity here being the 25th Anniversary and was expecting just a little more effort than this. There seems to be a real lack of any kind of work done here and I may as well have just bought them individually years ago and its only the bonus disc that really makes this box set worth having... Still , this hasn't cost me anything more than it would buying them separately , so I've not lost out. If I'd bought these separately , I would have given 4 stars each for the quality , but this presentation for a "All New 25th Anniversary Box Set" is a real let down and a bit of a copout with only new sleeve covers and a bonus disc to shout about , so have decided its only worth 3 stars for making me feel so disappointed.
When I look at the other "milestone" box sets that I own on Blu-ray (Alien , Blade Runner , Indiana Jones , Bond) you just feel that no effort has been made whatsoever with this , and all that was needed was a proper overhaul/remastering of the first 3 films and a decent box... Just something different that stands out from whats already been available for a few years now , and would quite happily pay a bit more for it (as I'm sure most people would) if the work had been done.
So for those of you who are going to wait for the fifth instalment (which I've not seen yet , so can't comment) in a nice shiny box set , just hope they do an updated remastering of the first 3 before you buy , as I have a feeling that it will be just "tagged on" with this already available box set. If you're as impatient as me and want this now , this isn't the worst box set you can get and its better than some I could mention , but given the hindsight on this , I'd try and wait a little longer until this drops to around £15.