Watch a live chat with ‘Die Hard’ cinematographer Jan de Bont


Yippee-ki-yay: “Die Hard” won this week’s Ultimate Summer Movie Showdown.

Watch film critic Justin Chang and his guest, cinematographer and director Jan de Bont, discuss the Bruce Willis action film in the showdown live chat. Starting at 6 p.m. July 23, the virtual meet-up is available on the Times Classic Hollywood Facebook Page. Or tune in on YouTube or Twitter.

“There are reasons to recommend ‘Die Hard’ three decades on — it’s superbly shot (so ... much ... lighting!) and edited, it has Bruce Willis in peak ‘Moonlighting’ smirk-and-bantering form,” says film writer Glenn Whipp. “But the primary reason it still works so well is (Alan) Rickman’s brilliantly bored (Hans) Gruber, a villain who, much like ‘Die Hard’ itself, has been slavishly imitated but never surpassed. Rickman owns every moment he’s on the screen.”


The Ultimate Summer Movie Showdown is the L.A. Times series where each week readers vote on the greatest summer films of all time. Or at least since 1975, the year that “Jaws” forever changed the landscape of summer moviemaking.

Los Angeles Times film critic Justin Chang and director/cinematorgrapher Jan de Boot
Week eleven of the Ultimate Summer Movie Showdown on July 23, 2020 featured Los Angeles Times film critic Justin Chang and director/cinematorgrapher Jan de Boot for the movie “Die Hard.”
(Ken Kwok/Los Angeles Times)

Favorite movies: With theaters closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chang launched the 16-week series in May and invited readers to vote on their favorite films from summers past. Here are the Ultimate Summer Movie Showdown winners so far: “The Avengers” (Week 1); “Bridesmaids” (Week 2); “Mad Max: Fury Road” (Week 3); “Alien” (Week 4); “Finding Nemo” (Week 5); “Jurassic Park” (Week 6); “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (Week 7); “Jaws” (Week 8); “Do the Right Thing” (Week 9); “Back to the Future” (Week 10); and “Die Hard” (Week 11).

To recap the rules: Each week Chang presents readers with a list of 16 movies from 1975 to 2019, all of which were released during a particular summer time frame. You may vote for your favorites on his Twitter account @justincchang. Each week’s polls are posted at 5 p.m. Pacific time Monday.

What’s next: Times readers chose “Clueless” as the Week 12 winner after a close battle with the “Alien” sequel, “Aliens,” starring Sigourney Weaver. Watch “Clueless” on your own this coming week. Then join the Ultimate Summer Movie Showdown at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 30, for a livestreaming conversation on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Actress Lea Thompson goes ‘Back to the Future’ on the Ultimate Summer Movie Showdown.

July 16, 2020