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To Live And Die In LA Blu-ray Review

“To Live And Die In LA” is a solid thriller.

After Secret Service Agent Richard Chance’s partner is killed by a murderous criminal (Rick Masters) who specializes in making counterfeit money, Richard vows to get revenge and kill Masters even if it means breaking the law in the process. Aiding him in his quest is his new partner John Vukovich.

Aside from a few interesting plot twists, “To Live And Die In LA” is a pretty straight forward revenge thriller story wise. However, it has a few elements that makes it stand out from other films. First off, the shootouts and action here is intense and engaging. The crazy freeway car chase in particular is one of the best I’ve seen on film. It truly ranks right up there with “The French Connection” and “Bullitt.” Secondly, Willem Dafoe really shines as the villanous creep Masters. Everything from his eerie laugh to his painting burning is memorable here. I wish Dafoe could pull out more performances like this instead of starring in forgettable flicks like “Daybreakers.”

On the downside, there are a few things that bugged me about LA. The 80’s score and music are noticeably distracting and the character of John (played by John Pankow) was quite frankly, weak. His character was wildly inconsistent which I found off-putting.

The 1.85:1 1080p picture quality is fairly impressive for an 80’s catalogue title. The 5.1 DTS-HD audio track, on the other hand, is a bit on the soft side. The dialogue sounds a bit low in spots and the music is cranked way to high. There is definitely room for improvement here.

The extras situation is problematic here. None of the extras actually appear on the Blu-ray disc except for trailers for “Hart’s War,” “The Usual Suspects,” and “Bulletproof Monk.” Instead all of the extras are on the DVD copy for some reason. List of extras include: Still gallery, alternate ending/alternate ending featurette, deleted scene/deleted scene featurette, 2 trailers and other MGM trailers, a making of featurette and an involving commentary by William Friedkin.

March 30, 2010 - Posted by | 1

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