One of the movie watching highlight eras of my teen years was the mid-80s. Films like Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, and the William Friedkin directed thriller ‘To Live and Die In LA’ which I have owned on VHS, DVD and now added to my collection is the beautiful 4k restoration BluRay from Arrow Films.
Having just watched the film today, its was such a fresh and crisp viewing. Of course the story hasnt changed, the fantastic score and songs by Wang Chung havent changed but the look of the film is even more glorious than it was,(and its always looked great) I cranked up the volume on my TV loud as I knew the songs would belt out and please my ear drums and they sure did.
So. If you havent seen To Live and Die In LA then what can you expect? Well where on earth do I start.
Released in 1985, Directed by William Friedkin who gave the world The French Connection, Sorcerer, The Exorcist and Cruising, and who would later on give us Killer Joe, Bug, and Jade. To Live and Die in LA tells the story of money counterfeiting, FBI agents, murder, and considering William Friedkin gave us one of the best chase scenes on film in The French Connection, he might have topped that chase with the one featured in To Live In Die in LA. But I’m not telling you more about that. You need to check it out for yourself.
With a cast list that features names who went onto become household names such as William Petersen (CSI), Willem Dafoe (Platoon), Dean Stockwell (Quantum Leap), John Turturro (The Big Lebowski), Debra Feuer (Miami Vice), the film is brilliant populated by talented actors. In fact everything about the film is wonderful and for me anyways it still holds up fantastically. Okay so perhaps a few of you might not be a fan of 80s soundtracks but hell yes. I want to play more Wang Chung music right NOW!
The restoration of the film is great showing the Los Angeles cityscape in lovely 4k. The sunsets and sunrises look hot and from the moment the opening titles kick in with their unique font we know that we are in for a visual treat.
But its not just the film that Arrow have done a fantastic job on. The special features (as they are with most Arrow releases) are indepth with around 2 hours worth of interviews with various members, a featurette on the stunt work that focuses of course on ‘the chase’ and even a short featurette on an alternate ending that I am so glad they didnt use. To put the finish to the great list of special features is a feature length commentary by Mr Friedkin himself.
All in all Arrow have brought to the world another fantastic home release.to their fantastic catalog. Well done folks!!! Whilst so many films are still waiting to be released and updated on formats. Its great that To Live And Die in LA has reared its head into the 4k special edition arena
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
• Brand new 4K restoration from the original 35mm negative supervised and approved by director William Friedkin
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
• Optional 5.1 Surround and 2.0 Stereo audio (with DTS-HD Master Audio and Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Audio commentary by director and co-writer William Friedkin
• Taking a Chance, a brand-new interview with actor William Petersen
• Doctor for a Day, a brand-new interview with actor Dwier Brown
• Renaissance Woman in L.A., a brand-new interview with Debra Feuer
• So In Phase: Scoring To Live and Die in L.A., a brand-new interview with composers Wang Chung
• Wrong Way: The Stunts of To Live and Die in L.A., a brand-new interview with stunt co-ordinator Buddy Joe Hooker
• Counterfeit World: The Making of To Live and Die in L.A., an archive featurette containing interviews with Friedkin, actors Petersen and Willem Dafoe, and others
• Alternative ending
• Deleted scene
• Stills gallery
• Radio spot
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by the Twins of Evil
On Dual Format from Monday 21st Nov. 2016