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To Live and Die in LA (Special Edition) (Bilingual) [Import]
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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. Clashing with one bureaucratic road block after another, Chance is forced to break the rules in order to obtain enough cash for a sting operation, in the hope of bringing Masters down. The risks he takes soon spiral out of control though, leading to a wave of violence with moral reprecussions, taking Chance down to a morally ambiguous road from which there may be no return.
One of the things that makes To Live And Die In L.A. work is the fact that the hero isn't exactly a saint. In fact, he can be as "dastardly", as the villian of the film, doing things that are just as awful. Petersen goes to those darker places and gives a great perfomance. Based on Gerald Petievich's novel, the script, written by Friedkin and Petievich, allows for plenty of drama and action. As director and the "father" of the modern car chase, Friedkin almost tops the one he crafted for the aforementioned film, The French Connection...Almost.
For its DVD debut, MGM has put together a nice special edition, complete with some fine extras. The talky audio commentary from Friedkin is a good...but I wonder if it wouldn't have turned out better if Petersen sat in for it as well?Read more ›
However, what I did not expect was for the studio to cut out so many important and pivotal scenes that are essential to develop the story and its characters.
They have BUTCHERED this film when they re-produced it on DVD, and I feel like I have been ripped-off.
I sincerely hope the producer and distributors of this DVD are notified of this gross error in judgement and re-edit the film to include the key scenes that were omitted.
It is truely a shame that they have ruined such a terrific movie classic!
That it was also near introductory roles for Will Petersen and Willem Dafoe almost adds to the rawness of the plot, actors and the roles they play really living on the edge, taking chances. The solitary confinement of 'the job,' the apocryphal manly humor, the viciousness of the bad guys . . . and the good guys, reminds me of McQueen's role in "Bullit," notwithstanding that Bullit's car chase (in that beautiful Mustang) is the only one that comes close to this car chase on the Long Beach Freeway. This one may be the better of the two.
The fine line between the good guys and the bad guys blurs and at times becomes indistinguishable. Also interesting to note is the osmosis whereby, albeit reluctantly, the character played by the confused partner, John Vukovitch (John Pankow) eventually transforms to the character played by Will Petersen (Richard Chance), much like the transformation of Jon Voight into Burt Reynold's character in "Deliverance."
The cinematography is superlative; the techno-rock soundtrack by Wang Chung almost a speaking part throughout the movie. One of the best. 5 stars. Larry Scantlebury
Most recent customer reviews
A classic crime movie of its era. Great plot, great acting and a killer score. True entertainment.Published 4 months ago by bookweasel
i just don't see what all the fuss is about.many people have said this
a great movie,and a good friend of mine raved about it. Read more
This is one of William Friedkins best movies in fact one his last good ones before he started going down in the 90s(though I liked Bug). Read morePublished on Feb. 5 2008 by Terence Tan Co
I actually bought my dvd back in January, and it was a case of me walking by telling my friends about this movie (which they had never heard of) and lo and behold, there it was!!! Read morePublished on May 8 2004 by Ronica Hopkins
In this film, you can clearly see William Peterson's how do you do for over three seconds, and that's definitely more William Peterson than I needed to see. Read morePublished on April 3 2004 by Keith Whitener
Just ordered my DVD. Can't wait. I've burned up my VHS over the years and this upgrade has been a long time coming. Those who "get" this movie just get it. Read morePublished on April 1 2004 by Charles Mason
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