Do heroes in Chinese movies usually die

Should “Die Hard” have a place in the Christmas movie genre?

Elf-fin yes, it should.

“Die Hard” is as much about Christmas as, say, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which many -- not everyone, mind you -- consider to be the greatest Christmas movie ever. I love “It’s a Wonderful Life,” too, but with all due respect to the fine folks of Bedford Falls, it could have taken place on the Fourth of July or Arbor Day, for that matter.

Its message just translates to Christmas season, most would say.

Look a little closer at “Die Hard.” Get past that it centers around an international heist disguised as a terrorist act, or that it features roughly one bloody, gun hole-riddled death about every 52 seconds or so.

If you can do that, you’ll find that it suitably equates to this season of joy. And while it may not be Dickens in its purest form, who are we to judge, to scoff at its Christmas credentials?

Weren’t we the same people who were raised by lauding the geniuses at Rankin-Bass for their stop-motion animation Christmas specials that told tales of bullying (they never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games) and the Island of Misfit Toys, which might have given the U.S. government the blueprint for Guantanamo Bay?

Let he without sin …

“Die Hard” tells the story of a New York cop named John McClane (Bruce Willis) who attempts to reconnect emotionally and physically with the wife (and company executive who has been relocated) he loves by flying across the country to Los Angeles to be with her on Christmas.

While the office Christmas party goes on inside the sky-scraping corporate shrine, a heist ensues. A bevy of cops surround the area and a team of FBI agents is called to the scene. No need. McClane, unbeknownst to everyone, is on the inside.

He warms the cockles of your heart with “yippie–ki-yay” bravado by walking barefoot through glass in foiling the heist and getting the girl. It’s a Christmas miracle that features way too much death and destruction, but there is peace and joy in the end and that's all that matters, right?

More important, its success sets up sequel after sequel -- none as good as the original (duh!), but just like Cousin Eddie -- another iconic Christmas movie character -- says of the jelly of the month club, the “Die Hard” franchise “is the gift that keeps giving, the whole year round.”

For that reason, it earns the 10th spot on my list of all-time favorite Christmas movies.