Blu-ray Review: TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. (1985)

MGM/Fox Home Entertainment
Runtime: 116 minutes
Release date: February 2, 2010
MSRP: $24.99

Starring: William Petersen, Willem Dafoe, John Pankow, Debra Feuer, John Turturro, Darlanne Fluegel, and Dean Stockwell.
Screenplay by Gerald Petievich and William Friedkin, based on the novel by Gerald Petievich
Directed by William Friedkin
Rated: R

When his veteran partner is killed three days from retirement, maverick U.S. Secret Service agent Richard Chance (Petersen) pursues murderous artist/counterfeiter Ric Masters (Willem Dafoe) no matter the cost.

Authenticity is the first word that comes to mind when considering this movie, from its basis in the work of former Secret Service agent Petievich, to Friedkin’s shooting on location on a $6 million budget, often using the first or second takes of scenes. The result is a very fast, yet psychologically compelling thriller.

I won’t spoil the innovative ending for anyone who hasn’t seen the movie. Suffice it to say I agreed with Friedkin’s choice and thought it fit a film that pulled no punches.

This release includes the film on one Blu-ray disc in 1080p high definition with lossless audio and a second DVD with the film in standard definition, director commentary, making-of featurette, stills gallery, deleted scene, and alternate ending (previously released in 2003).