The first thought when watching this is just how weird it is, I mean, to the point where I wonder if a film like this could even get made anymore — it doesn’t really feel like it. Then, even though you accept that this is just fantasy and so you just go with it, you sill wonder: how does he feed himself, how does he put on that tight leather suit, how does he use the washroom… But hey, that’s not the point here, it’s just a fantastical tale that is as fun as it is weird, with of course that unique Burton aesthetic (although at this point it’s still pretty tame, and more colourful than you’d think). I had also forgotten that Anthony Michael Hall is in this, but I’ll say that I’ve never really liked when he plays bully/jock/asshole roles (as opposed to the nerdy roles we know him from in those classic John Hughes films). All in all, it was fun, and a nice way to end the year (I watched it on New Year’s Eve).
I watched the new re-edit by Coppola, that retitles the film to The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone (this is what he originally wanted as a title, but the studio insisted on using “Part III”). In a way I wish I had rewatched the original earlier this year, to then better appreciate how this re-edit affects the film — but I did read an article in which Coppola explains what he wanted to achieve with this revisit, and it did sound like an improvement. I remember liking this movie fine back in the day, but it had its criticisms, and didn’t really compare to the earlier two films. But at this point, I quite enjoyed it, and that could be because of the new edition being better structured — one big change is the opening of the film, which now really sets the stage for everything that comes after (politicking with the Vatican), and I honestly can’t see how the movie would make sense any other way. That’s certainly a sign that he made the right decision with this, even if it did come 30 years later.
Die Hard 2 is pretty much the perfect movie sequel. Sure, it’s not as good as the original Die Hard, but you can’t blame it for that, and it manages to be entertaining as all hell, while playing around with the premise that made the original so great (stuck in an environment that’s being controlled by villains). It’s a shame that none of the subsequent sequels ever managed the same trick — although I’ve been entertained here and there, I’ve never really thought any of them were great. And the climax with the lighter is so incredibly inspired.