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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


 

Directed by William Friedkin
USA
1985

 

When a notorious, highly sophisticated counterfeiter murders his partner, Secret Service agent Richard Chance (William Petersen) launches a furious vendetta to capture the man responsible. But master counterfeiter Rick Masters (Willem Dafoe) is always just one step ahead of Chance in William Friedkin's thrilling, suspenseful crime drama. With violent shoot-outs and a turbulent chase scene reminiscent of Friedkin's own THE FRENCH CONNECTION, TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. broke with tradition by making the ostensible hero as morally reprehensible as the villain he pursues. Clashing with bureaucratic obstacles, Chance is forced to break the rules in order to procure cash for a sting operation, but the risks he takes snowball into an avalanche of violence and moral repercussions, leading to a morally ambiguous cul-de-sac from which there may be no return.

***

Spectacularly photographed by Robby Muller and atmospherically scored by the duo Wang Chung, ''To Live and Die in L.A.'' is resolutely modern. It is most involving when Mr. Friedkin keeps it mindlessly kinetic, least so when it even begins to consider the moral implications of its characters' behavior. The occasional flashes of feeling here - for instance, the surprising tenderness Eric Masters shows for the beautiful dancer (Miss Feuer) who is his accomplice and lover - are as enjoyably gratuitous as a car chase or shootout might be in another sort of movie. Today, in the dazzling, superficial style that Mr. Friedkin has so thoroughly mastered, it's the car chases and shootouts and eye-catching settings that are truly the heart of the matter.

Excerpt from Janet Maslin at the NY Times located HERE

Poster

Theatrical Release: November 1st, 1985

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Comparison:

MGM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MGM (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

1) MGM  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD LEFT

2) MGM - Region FREE Blu-ray RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

Reissued January 4th, 2011 at a cheaper price!:

Distribution MGM - Region 1 - NTSC MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:55:40 1:55:53.196
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.27 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s  

Disc Size: 40,293,090,492 bytes

Feature Size: 38,796,521,472 bytes

Average Bitrate: 38.00 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:   DVD

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0) DTS-HD Master Audio English 3706 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3706 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DUBs: Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
Subtitles English, Spanish French, None English, Chinese, French, Korean, Spanish, none
Features

Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85

Edition Details:

• Feature length commentary by director William Friedkin
• Counterfeit World: The Making Of To Live And Die In L.A. (29:55)
• Deleted Scene and Alternate Ending Featurette
• Deleted scene featurette
• Photo Gallery and Trailers  

DVD
Release Date: December 2nd, 2003
Standard Keep Case
Chapters: 32

Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Disc Size: 40,293,090,492 bytes

Feature Size: 38,796,521,472 bytes

Average Bitrate: 38.00 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Contains the Special edition DVD which has:

• Feature length commentary by director William Friedkin
• Counterfeit World: The Making Of To Live And Die In L.A. (29:55)
• Deleted Scene and Alternate Ending Featurette
• Deleted scene featurette
• Photo Gallery and Trailers

On the Blu-ray:

Theatrical trailer (2:05 in HD!) and Previews  

Blu-ray Release Date: February 1st, 2010

Standard
Blu-ray cases
Chapters: 32

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: MGM Blu-ray - January 10': Firstly, This Blu-ray A/V is just great - a huge leap beyond the Special Edition DVD from 2003. Plus it actually contains that special edition with the abundant extras.

The issue here is how do YOU get your hands on this AVC-encoded Blu-ray? I mean, I've got it - shouldn't you have the same opportunity? At the writing of this comparison Amazon nor any other e-tailors that I've investigated have the product definitively listed yet. It only says 'Title has not been released' - although the last scheduled release date was February 1st, 2010. THAT should be very do-able folks. Stay tuned for ordering information!     

 

Everything visually has improved - fleshtones colors radically tighten up but detail appears to be the biggest recipient of the 1080P resolution. The disc is dual-layered with a very high bitrate (6 X the DVD). There is some varying degrees of healthy grain visible on the progressively transferred Blu-ray. Darker scenes show a bit of noise but overall this is a stupendous video rendering. I'm extremely impressed with the presentation it gave from controlled tight black levels to a dramatic escalation in sharpness and detail. This looks as good as I have ever seen To Live and Die in L.A. - WOW - LOVE that combination of grain and detail!

The Blu-ray sports and occasionally bombastic DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a resounding 3706 kbps. It takes the car chases, fires, gun shots and thumbing music rhythms of the score and pounds them out of your surround with healthy vigor. This is as big an advancement over the DVD Dolby as the video is. There is great bass here. Both offer subtitle options, more on the Blu-ray, and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

Okay the Blu-ray disc itself only has a theatrical trailer and some previews BUT this is a 2 disc affair and the second disc is the old Special edition DVD complete with the film (in SD) and the excellent commentary by director William Friedkin, 1/2 hour featurette: Counterfeit World: The Making Of To Live And Die In L.A., a deleted scene and an alternate ending plus some discussion of the removed scene, and finally a Photo Gallery. 

I've never enjoyed this film as much as I did in my Blu-ray viewing. Debatably Friedkin's 2nd best film and this new package is a must-own in my opinion. I'm relived that MGM have done this properly (I feared an MPEG2 single-layered effort). One of our higher recommendations! Buy without fear!       

Gary W. Tooze

 



Menus

 

1) MGM  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD LEFT

2) MGM - Region FREE Blu-ray RIGHT


Special Edition DVD Extras (DVD is included in the Blu-ray package)


Screen Captures

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) MGM  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) MGM - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) MGM  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) MGM - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) MGM - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) MGM - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) MGM - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) MGM - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) MGM - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

1) MGM  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) MGM - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) MGM - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


DVD Box Cover

Reissued January 4th, 2011 at a cheaper price!:

Distribution MGM - Region 1 - NTSC MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray




 

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