Media

Movie Renter's Guide Number 153 - December, 2007 - Part I

ARTICLE INDEX


"Live Free Or Die Hard"  (Blu-ray)

Live Free or Die HardSynopsis
New York City detective John McClane delivers old-school justice to a new breed of terrorists when a massive computer attack on the U.S. infrastructure threatens to shut down the entire country over Independence Day weekend. 

Specifications

    • 20th Century Fox
      2007, Color, Rated PG-13, 2 hour 9 min
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
    • 1080p
    • English DTS-HD MA 5.1
    • English/French/Spanish DD 5.1
    • Directed by Len Wiseman
    • Starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers, Danny Lloyd
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Strong
  • Sex: Themes
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

I've been a big fan of this franchise since the first one came out but I must say I was a bit skeptical when this one was released. The trailers looked hit or miss for me and I was really nervous about a Die Hard movie that was rated PG-13. Luckily, they delivered. Honestly, this could be better than the last one in a lot of ways. The film has plenty of excitement, great production values and some spectacular action. Sure there are some serious "I don't think so" moments, but what great popcorn flick doesn't have them. The action stays intense despite the lower rating, you just don't get to hear many F-bombs. Fans of the series should be quite happy with the new addition.

Technical

Fox delivers a seriously gorgeous transfer. Compared to the other three films, this one is quite stylized, but it works with the material. It reminded me a lot of MI:III in this regard, with similar shooting styles and contrast levels. Blacks are exceptionally deep and shadow detail is excellent. Fine detail is exceptional, but there were a few moments that the longer shots (especially ones with CG effects) looked a tad soft. Color balance is excellent all around and I didn't see anything in terms of compression issues or banding. This one is great for showing off your new HDTV.

Fox goes full bore on this DTS-HD Master Audio track. This movie has some SERIOUS bass that could crumble some of the weaker subs out there. I've been really impressed with the level of spatialness that most of the DTS Master Audio tracks have delivered and this is no exception. The soundstage is quite active, especially in the surround environment, and just seems to drop you right in the action. I have the same complaint on this presentation as I did on the theatrical screening too though, BAD ADR. The dubbing at times is absolutely horrible and obvious. I understand going back in and recording some lines different, but I've never seen it so apparent in a big budget film like this. Outside of that though, this is pure ear candy.

Extras

Extras include a feature commentary and a look at the history of the franchise. You also get a somewhat cheesy Java game based on the concepts of the film, a documentary on making the film, a great little gag interview with Kevin Smith and Bruce Willis, a music video and the theatrical trailer.