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To Live and Die in LA - MGM - Blu-ray Print E-mail
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Written by Chris Mayo   
Sunday, 14 February 2010
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Directed by: William Friedkin
Written by: William Friedkin, Gerald Petievich
Produced by: Irving H. Levin, Bud S. Smith
Cinematography by: Robby Müller
Editing by: M. Scott Smith
Music by: Wang Chung
Cast: William Petersen, Willem Dafoe, John Pankow, Debra Feuer, John Turturro
Year: 1985
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1 h 56 min

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Based on a novel by Gerald Petievich, To Live and Die in LA is a film written and directed by William Friedkin (The Exorcist, Bug) and is another crowning accomplishment of his eclectic cinematic career.  Now, the film has made its high definition debut from the folks at MGM and 20th Century Fox.

William Peterson (TV's CSI, Manhunter) stars as secret service agent Richard Chance who becomes obsessed with bringing down the man responsible for the murder of his partner and friend (via shotgun to the head), 2 days shy of his retirement.  The antagonist is money counterfeiter extraordinaire, Rick Masters (William Dafoe, Antichrist).  In order to get near Masters and enter his world, Chance goes under the guise of a wealthy businessman, interested in purchasing counterfeit money.  In order to strike a deal, Chance needs to front $30,000 to illustrate his business legitimacy.  Secretly enacting this plan without secret service awareness, Chance hears of a man flying into town with $50,000, so he convinces another agent to go with him on a heist for the cash.  Shit hits the fan during the heist though, finding Chance in a sticky predicament.  Determined, he tries to cover his ass while still trying to take out Masters.

To Live and Die in LA is a supreme example of a perfectly implemented 80's action crime film.  Since our leads are Peterson and Defoe, it goes without saying that the viewer is in for a treat.  Each character is unwavering in their paths to get to where they want to be, which heightens the excitement and intensity of the film.  Chance is almost unhealthily consumed by avenging his partner's execution, to the point of committing an illegal activity (conducting the heist).  This particular sequence culminates with an amazing car chase and shootout that is top tier action at its finest.

Surprisingly, the film is rather violent, which wasn't expected.  To Live and Die in LA is a very 80's feeling film, with an extremely 80's score.  The title sequence which is neon green and vibrant red is very telling of the film's time period.  However, this whole 80's vibe embellishes the excellence of the film. 
Did I mention that William Peterson's schlong makes a cameo in the film?

MGM/Fox delivers the goods with To Live and Die in LA on Blu-ray in 1080p HD, with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, with MPEG 2 @ 18 MBPS.  For a 25-year-old film, it has aged well, and has never looked so good.  The audio is presented with both English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio and 4.0 Dolby Digital as well as Spanish and French options.  The supplemental features appear on Disc Two which also contains the DVD of the film.  We begin with an audio commentary with director William Friedkin.  'Counterfeit World' is a 30-minute making of.  There is an 'Alternate Ending Feraturette' which explains why the film "needed" an alternate ending as well as the 'Alternate Ending' itself.  There is also a 'Deleted Scene Featurette' as well as 2-minutes of deleted footage.  A 'Stills Gallery' a theatrical and teaser trailer complete the extras.



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 Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 16x9 1080p MPEG 2 @ 18 MBPS
 Region: A
 Audio: 5.1, DTS-HD Master Audio

 - Commentary with William Friedkin
 - Counterfeit World making-of
 - Alternate Ending Feraturette
 - Alternate Ending
 - Deleted Scene Featurette
 - Deleted Scene
 - Stills Gallery
 - Trailers

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