William L. Peterson
There was a real BEVERLY HILLS COP meets LETHAL WEAPON feel to this baby in the beginning that got my attention and held on tight. The story was clichéd all to hell by now’s standards, but to be fair, this was probably one of the first flicks to sport the old “Cop’s partner gets smoked with a couple days left on the force” curve ball (and the fact that the dude who get’s iced actually says, “I’m getting too old for this shit” after the initial action scene was icing on the cake). And on that note, the dialogue was something else, but I laughed my ass off when the term “douche bag” came up, surprised that it goes back that far.
Though the acting wasn’t exactly Oscar caliber, I dig William L. Peterson (YOUNG GUNS 2, THE SKULLS, C.S.I.) and was completely into his bad ass, Denzel from TRAINING DAY cop character. I’d break every rule in the book to get revenge too. Willem Dafoe’s villain was money in the bank, literally. He made the counterfeit business look easy (if only it was) and hat’s off to a man that can encourage lesbianism between his woman and other chicks and not get punched in the face for it (if only THAT was as easy). The smooth Blu-ray finish is impressive, you’d never know this made in 1985…at a glance that is.
TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA brought me back to the eighties in a big way and I’ve made abundantly clear in the past, I loved what the eighties had to offer in cinema now and forever. I miss seeing guys get shot in the face, it doesn’t happen nearly as much as it used to. Now I was thrown for a loop by the ending, but it worked in a “that shit could really happen” sort of way so I’m not complaining. The lawyer looked like he was playing all sides and I can’t believe he didn’t die, but the lesbian drive into the sunset was a nice touch. This isn’t a flick you need to rush out and watch tonight, but if you caught it back in the day I can see the appeal of wanting to watch it again.
Commentary: Director William Friedkin walks us through the film by focusing on how he felt about each of the key elements used and those involved. This would have been better with some cast involved.
Counterfeit World: “The Making of To Live and Die in L.A.”: This half hour behind the scenes look adds some flavor but is heavy on movie clips. I still dug it though.
Alternate Ending: This thing didn’t make a damn bit of sense as one of the main characters was miraculously alive after being shot in the face. Right.
Deleted Scene: This lone scene was short, uninteresting and virtually worthless. Pass.
Stills Gallery: We get a bunch of movie pics, but nothing that jumps out at you.
Previews: We get two for the feature film as well as some MGM classics like FARGO and DARK BLUE.