We all know the States unburdened itself of class systems when it shrugged off the British yoke but our man McClane is nonetheless a working-class stiff. He doesn’t have fancy words or a tailored suit, instead he’s got something better and more essential: integrity. Along with that goes a 12-month backlog of New York scumbags and he can’t just up and leave when the love of his life gets a great job in the most liberal snowflake part of God’s green Earth.

Fuckin’ California.

California ruins everything. Comedian Andy Zaltzman called Los Angeles “the logical conclusion to western civilisation” and Die Hard agrees. Holly Gennaro got a great job at a Japanese corporation and took the kids with her when she moved. Back in New York, a working man could bring home the bacon to his stable nuclear family. His wife might work — hey, it’s the 80’s, not the 50’s — but she doesn’t earn more than her husband.

Not in L.A., though. In L.A. it’s like someone else won WW2 and the wrong side won the culture war. Holly is a hotshot making six figures at a Japanese company. Bonuses, Rolexes, a corner office. Coked-up wannabe alpha-male executive Ellis defers to her. Powerhouse businessman Takagi respects her. When machine-gun-wielding terrorists come calling she stands up to the worst of them: even Gruber respects her.

John McClane resents her. She didn’t just take the kids and herself when she left, she took his idea of what men are supposed to do and be. She loves him, sure, but she doesn’t need him.

Fuckin’ California.

I guess? I dunno. I got into a discussion on twitter a few years back with someone who thought of Die Hard as a feminist parable. I don’t think it is. To me the film is about a crisis of masculine identity, an idea specifically of straight white masculine identity that deserves to fade and vanish. The climax has Gruber grabbing Holly’s Rolex so he doesn’t fall off the side of Nakatomi Plaza. McClane loosens the band from her wrist and Gruber falls thirty odd storeys to his death… she embraces John and in my mind embraces New York over L.A., status quo over change, the traditional nuclear family over being an independent woman, patriarchy over equality.

Just to be clear, I do not approve of this message!

But it is the message. And it’s also part of what makes Die Hard so great. The craft of the film — the perfectly devised action sequences, the idea of one resourceful person taking on an army, the commonsense of the working class over the pretense of the ruling class, the scene where Gruber orders his goons to shoot the glass because he knows that McClane has no shoes — amazing. And most of all, McClane’s vulnerability. He’s not Rambo or Conan or Luke Skywalker born to greatness. He’s just some guy whose bare feet are as delicate as the next person’s.

It’s got the best and smartest action sequences, it’s beautifully shot, the script is elegant and efficient and clever, and while its message is not something laudable its message is perfectly expressed.

As an aside I also really like Burton’s Batman, the Alex Garland/Pete Travis Dredd, and all of the Star Treks. Good gravy do they have their problems. It took until 2018 to get a gay man in space with Star Trek: Discovery? Please.

Fuckin’ California.

Captain America: City of Churches

This week we climb, groggy and disoriented, from the cryogenic chambers in the fortified underground bunker deep beneath Shoot The Glass headquarters, to bring you another episode of the podcast!

For the main event we talk Captain America: Civil War. And we kinda agree that it was a great film. Which is weird, because we disagreed a lot about films in the past. Hey, is long-term memory-loss a normal effect of such an unusually long hypersleep? Nah. I’m sure I’d remember.

We also catch up with loads of interesting and noteworthy films that we missed while we were under:

The Martian
Straight Outta Compton
10 Cloverfield Lane
The Revenant
Hail Caesar!
The Hateful Eight
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Steve Jobs
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

The great thing is that we disagree about all of these films, just like the old days. Wait, is short-term memory-loss an effect of hypersleep? Nah. I’m sure I’d remember.

So grab your shield, or wings, or flying super-suit, or hammer, or magic psychic powers… or just bring kickass you. Whatever you bring, you’re gonna have to choose a side ’cause it’s Pete v Justin on the Shoot the Glass podcast!

To Be Continued

This week we talk Dope, the latest of Cruises’ missions in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and the Amy Schumer/Bill Hader rom-com Trainwreck.

We also say a sad but only temporary goodbye to Pete who is heading off on paternity leave. It lends a somber tone to this episode I think, but really it’s the happiest news there could be. Good luck Pete and Megan and the as-yet-unnamed little bundle of joy I’m insisting on calling Awesome Wells!

And… do enjoy this latest episode of the Shoot the Glass podcast!

Abusive Dad Swimming Movie

This episode we talk Paper Towns and Ant-Man, Pete recommends the THX Optimizer, and for homework we have The Spectacular Now and the excellent interview Kevin Smith vs Edgar Wright.

We also give our very first on-request shout-out… the requester remains anonymous and you’ll have to listen to find out who gets shouted to!

So remember: whatever you do don’t cross the streams, don’t talk about Fight Club, don’t talk about Fight Club, and don’t feed Pete and Justin after midnight on the Shoot the Glass podcast!

The Good, the Bad and the Beefcake

When you make a sequel, sometimes it’s okay to abandon the depth of the original just to have a laugh. But other times it’s a fucking travesty. This week we talk a coupla sequels with Magic Mike XXL and Terminator: Genisys.

For homework there’s Soderbergh’s original Magic Mike and Cameron’s undying, unstoppable classic, The Terminator.

So come on down to the gym and feel the burn with Pete and Justin on the Shoot The Glass podcast!

Come as You Are

Hullo there!

This episode Pete reports on some top-shelf TV with the recently-premiered Empire and the recently-cancelled Hannibal before we move onto the main show with Pixar’s latest, Inside Out. We also talk documentary Kurt Cobaine: Montage of Heck and the Melissa McCarthy-starring comedy, Spy.

For homework, there’s Terminator Genesys which we’ll be talking about next week but, more importantly, listen to some Nirvana.

So put on those cufflinks (explosive darts), straighten your bow-tie (hidden camera), and just relax and be yourself (international superspy) with Pete and Justin on the Shoot the Glass Podcast!

Activate the Death Panel

This week we talk TV with Game of Thrones and just a touch of Veep and Silicon Valley, we briefly discuss whether Marvel is dull, and finally we examine one particular film, a monster that escaped the containment of expectation and rampaged through the box-office, Jurassic World.

For homework we have a flick we’ll be talking about next episode, the Melissa McCarthy vehicle Spy. And if you can’t make it to the cinema for that you can stay in with the excellent Bridesmaids.

So grab the kids and the camera and come ride a dinosaur with Pete and Justin on the Shoot the Glass Podcast!

Two Wolves

This week we have a lamentable lack of Pete Wells but a joyous excess of Alec Fraser!

Alec is something of a comic-book expert so we talk a lot about the film and TV ventures of Marvel and DC. We also talk Mad Max and discuss in some depth a film we saw just for this episode, the latest Disney flick Tomorrowland.

For homework we have one of Alec’s favourite books The Long Earth and an old favourite film of mine, Explorers.

So don your favourite cape and cowl and come stand on the edge of something tall to get the best possible hero-shot with Alec and Justin (and an extra providing the silhouette stand-in for Pete in the background) on the Shoot The Glass podcast!

Nine Tenths of the Law

A bit of a mixed bag this week! Pete saw the Helen Mirren starrer Woman in Gold and caught up with the action vehicle that was meant to launch Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the successor to Schwarzenegger, The Rundown (aka Welcome to the Jungle). It was our homework from like two years ago or something. Shoot The Glass: we get there in the end!

The big one, though, is the Alex Garland-written-and-directed sci-fi meditation Ex Machina. We spoil it after the music plays so, without wanting to give away our feelings about the film, I heartily entreat you to see it before you listen!

For homework we have two of Garland’s previous writing efforts in Dredd and Sunshine and from the director of The Rundown we have the best dumbest and dumbest best film you’ll see in a while in Battleship. In honour of the recent passing of King Arthur himself Nigel Terry we have the classic Excalibur, directed by John Boorman.

On the Boorman front our final homework suggestion is the spectacular Zardoz starring Sean Connery in his undies and a giant floating stone head that spews guns onto a bunch of weird troglodytes also in their undies. It truly must be seen to be believed… keeping in mind that “spectacular” is not necessarily a positive adjective. “The penis is evil!” is an actual quote from this film. I’ll just leave you with that.

So come and look yourself in the mirror in an intense and meaningful way with Pete and Justin as we ask ourselves: what is a soul?

The Madness of King George

What a lovely day!

This week we have complicated feelings about SBS doco Struggle Street and comparatively simple ones about the long-awaited and much-hyped Mad Max: Fury Road.

If you haven’t seen Fury Road, go and see it before you listen. Like, right now.

Why are you still here? Go!

For homework there’s Australian doco So Help Me God and, of course, George Miller classics Mad MaxMad Max 2: The Road Warrior and Babe 2: Pig in the City.

So put on your best thousand-yard-stare as you drive out into the wasteland with Pete and Justin on the Shoot the Glass podcast!