Die Hard with a Vengeance, the third in the series, is one of the most viewed movies among my sister Amy and I. I would never sell short the first Die Hard, with its classic unwilling and unlikely hero story that develops in that a perfect blend of action, humor and tension. It’s got tremendous rewatchability, with a wide variety of lines that can be repeated – almost everyone I know has a different favorite. I am always torn between Hans Gruber’s reading of the special message on Tony’s sweat shirt (Now I have a machine gun, Ho Ho Ho) and Ellis’ horrible attempt to negotiate with the terrorists. (Sprechen ze talk? Hans, bubie, I’m your white knight).
I don’t know why we gravitated so heavily to the third movie. Maybe it was Samuel L. Jackson’s involvement or the great cat and mouse game that keeps the movies middle section moving at such a rapid pace. It’s been rerun on various networks more and more over the years, and every time it is on, Amy and I are on the phone reciting our favorite lines before they happen.
This brings me to the scene in question – the riddle involving a three gallon jug, a five gallon jug and trying to fit exactly four gallons into one of them. It’s a great riddle and every time this scene comes on I like to remind myself how to solve it before it occurs. This happened one time in college where we documented the step by step details by drawing the steps on a piece of poster board. After years of going back and forth with my sister about this movie, it seemed like an obvious painting choice for her birthday present.