Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - March, 2010


"To Live and Die in L.A." (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Stephen Hornbrook



When a notorious, highly sophisticated counterfeiter murders his partner, Secret Service agent Richard Chance (William Petersen, Manhunter, CSI) 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.



  • MGM
  • 1985, Color, R, 116 Minutes
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC MPEG-4
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Starring William Petersen, Willem Dafoe, John Turturro
  • Directed by William Friedkin
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence:  Yes
  • Sex: Yes, 80's style sex. with synth music. Nudity as well. Including a shot of William's petersen.
  • Language: For Sure


Made in 1985, To Live and Die in LA really shows its age.  The fashion, the cars, and the music all scream mid-80's.  It was a pretty entertaining thriller though.  There is a solid car chase scene and the gun fights are pretty brutal. Friedkin isn't a shy director.  Definately worth checking out.


I was very impressed with the video quality of this disc.  Loads of detail, good color balance, and still retains some film grain. It's always interesting to me when I see such a high quality transfer of a movie from the 80's.  I grew up watching these on VHS, that was the best it ever got.  So to see how these older films really looked is quite enjoyable.

The audio on the other hand, is not as spectacular.  I found myself adjusting the volume frequently as dialog would be hard to hear, but then music and sound FX would be too loud.  The sound quality was so bright and harsh, that it made my teeth hurt.


This disc has a theatrical trailer in HD. Also included is the Special Edition DVD which does contain a few featurettes.