Die Hard DC

It really bothers me we moviemakers use standin cities in their movies, and this weekend’s Live Free or Die Hard in an absolute travesty. DC Is represented by a number of cities that are nothing like DC with giant buildings, a DC where 14th street is an alley, where no quadrants are used, where FBI HQ is actually attractive.

It really amazes me when you go to a flick where the milieu is so important and yet so abjectly broken.

Damn if I don’t hate the movies sometimes.

6 Comments so far

  1. Media Concepts (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2007 @ 12:47 am

    You would have thought the Die Hard filmmakers would get it right this time, after their infamous blunders in Die Hard 2: Die Harder. In that film, the setting was supposedly Dulles Airport, yet it was ringed by huge, snow-capped rocky mountains, and, in one scene, a pay phone is prominently labeled “Pacific Bell.”


  2. Victoria (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2007 @ 8:03 am

    I couldn’t agree more! I saw the movie this weekend, and couldn’t believe the scenery. I could forgive the fact that John Maclain knows where absoluted every building on the Eastern Seaboard is located, because hey, he’s John Maclain. But, I was horrified at the shiny glass high-rises, and where the heck is that toll tunnel?


  3. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2007 @ 8:21 am

    It just made me wonder if any of the writers had ever been to DC. I mean, it’s one thing not to get permission to shoot in DC, but at least do your homework. There’s a Lexington Ave in New York, and definitely a Lexington St. in Baltimore, but only a Lexington Place in DC. And what the heck was that monument style building they focused on several times? That ain’t here?

    So many glass-covered skyscrapers instead of the style of buildings we really have here in this town. It’s just sad.

    Bad writers guild. Bad. No oscar.


  4. Tiff (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2007 @ 9:07 am

    I’ll usually wink at street-level stuff if it looks like the street they filmed on could plausibly be in DC- there were a couple of street scenes that were filmed in Baltimore, but the architecture style was right and I figure, I only recognize it because I live near DC and have been to Baltimore many times, so I didn’t find it too egregious. After all, it’s hard to get permission to shut down a street and wreck cars in the middle of downtown DC.

    But some stuff is just inexcusable. That toll tunnel was ridiculous, and anyone who has ever been to DC knows that we don’t have skyscrapers here- the low profile is a defining feature of the DC skyline. There’s no excuse for that kind of stuff.


  5. ajw_93 (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2007 @ 9:52 am

    The statue that was so prominently shown is on Calvert Street just north of the Inner Harbor. Apparently, it’s a memorial relating to the War of 1812. I thought, “it must be easy and cheap to shoot at that building that was supposed to be FBI HQ” as it is used in at least 2 shows on TV.

    Personally, I was ready for the propaganda and I was a little disappointed about it, not to mention the PG-13-ing of the tagline. This film did have some of the all-time-worst DC “geography”; not as bad as “No Way Out” but worse than “Timecop”? Oh well.

    On the plus side, I think we can all agree that the intercutting of presidential speeches was flippin’ sweet!


  6. Frank L (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2007 @ 1:30 pm

    See I loved this movie, and the fact that they didn’t know DC at all just made it funnier. There were SOO many plot-holes and inconsistencies through out the entire movie, that the DC stuff was just one more sign that these guys were making an action movie where everything else was incidental.

    On top of what was already mentioned, it was a chuckle moment to see the number streets running East-West on the Computer Map, and that Holiday Street was just north of 9th street, and that they passed not 1, but several, Arbys’ on they way to some Federal Building somewhere. I don’t even know where 1 Arby’s is in the District, let alone several.

    Also, my one friend pointed out that apparently West Virginia, Camden, Rutgers, and Deerfield MD are about 3 minutes down the road from DC, and that when John needed to get in the car and drive, there was no traffic, but everyone else seemed to be stymied.

    The comment of the night though was, after the exploding fighter plane scene, another friend turned to me and whispered “What kind of pants is he wearing, cuz they are built to last.”



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