Almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
The family is in flux, and signs of trouble are widespread. Expectations remain high. But realities are disturbing.
It's rare that the sequel to a good movie lives up to expectations. Such is the case with Die Hard 2, the somewhat-muddled but still entertaining return of Bruce Willis' John McClane. Fortunately, the original Die Hard was good enough that there's room for the second installment to be enjoyable while still not matching the pace or possessing the flair of its predecessor.
Live Free or Die Hard may work better for an audience that doesn't know much about the series is than it will for Die Hard die hards, who will be wondering who that impersonator is and what he did with the real John McClane. The original Die Hard came out of nowhere to blitz the 1988 summer box office. The fourth installment arrives with a weight of expectations that Atlas would have trouble shouldering and, when the dust settles in September, it's unlikely that Live Free or Die Hard will be one of this year's big success stories.
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