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UHD Review A Few Words About A few words about...™ - To Live and Die in L.A. -- in 4k UHD & Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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One might presume that a film entitled To Live and Die in L.A, would actually have some Los Angeles-based footage, as opposed to say -- shooting in Vancouver for L.A.

And if one presumed that, one would be correct.

This is an L.A. production, that lives and breathes the city.

But what's more important here is that it's actually a terrific film, directed by William Friedkin, who's created more than a few pieces of quality entertainment. One, you may recall (created 14 years earlier) had a quite extraordinary car chase, beneath elevated subway tracks. That was in another city, which also used locations wisely.

And if you liked that chase - I'll think of the name of the film tomorrow - there's another here, that should entirely live up to your preconceptions of a good car chase.

Kino is releasing this film in both 4k as well as Blu-ray formats, and it's a quality release all the way, beginning with a 4k scan of an OCN (whatever that is). Color, density, back levels, all in place, with a 4k image that's actually worth being in 4k, and looks terrific in projection.

Along with the two discs comes a slew of extras, commentary, interviews, stunts, scoring, productions, deleted scene and alternate ending.

Worth your time and investment as a first purchase or upgrade.

Image – 5 (Dolby Vision)

Audio – 5 (DTS-HD MA Stereo)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Makes use of and works well in 4k - 7

Worth your attention - 9

Upgrade from Blu-ray - Yes

Slipcover rating - 1

Highly Recommended

RAH

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Robert Crawford

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Yeah, I got my 4K/UHD earlier this week, but haven't had time to watch it yet because I was watching other stuff like Ranown Westerns, Force of Evil, Nevada Smith and Oppenheimer stuff including a 7-hour miniseries and then watching the 2023 movie twice. I'm happy you gave it a "highly recommended" grade and will try to watch it in the near future.
 

Charles Smith

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I hadn’t seen it since its release, and only recently reacquainted myself with it (via the Arrow Blu-ray). Loved it.
 

jayembee

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But what's more important here is that it's actually a terrific film, directed by William Friedkin, who's created more than a few pieces of quality entertainment. One, you may recall (created 14 years earlier) had a quite extraordinary car chase, beneath elevated subway tracks. That was in another city, which also used locations wisely.

And if you liked that chase - I'll think of the name of the film tomorrow

Are you thinking of that movie where some French guy has a conniption?
 

bujaki

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I'll give RAH a helping hand. The movie he is trying to remember is called The Marseilles Connection. Terrific thriller. Oscar winner available in multiple color gradings.
 

Sultanofcinema

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I saw this with a friend opening day and the film died. I loved it and remember that week when the NYC and NJ critics destroyed it because of the violence involved. My 4K is on the way and will review on the radio to make up for those critics that were frustrated actors and directors. And the film you may be thinking of with that car chase is la connexion française !
 

jayembee

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Is there a connection between that film and this one??

Note:
But what's more important here is that it's actually a terrific film, directed by William Friedkin, who's created more than a few pieces of quality entertainment. One, you may recall (created 14 years earlier) had a quite extraordinary car chase, beneath elevated subway tracks. That was in another city, which also used locations wisely.
 

Tino

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I have to revisit this film as all
I remember from my sole theatrical screening is hating the ending and being overall disappointed by the film.
 

Jeffrey D

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I have to revisit this film as all
I remember from my sole theatrical screening is hating the ending and being overall disappointed by the film.
I really liked the ending, due to it being unexpected. There aren’t really any characters in the film you can root for- everyone is flawed in some way.
 

sbjork

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I have to revisit this film as all
I remember from my sole theatrical screening is hating the ending and being overall disappointed by the film.
It's exactly the ending that the film needed. The character lives his life at the limits of control and keeps pushing beyond them, which inevitably catches up with him. There are hints of that earlier where he goes a little to far and pays the price for it. It was only a matter of time for him.

I saw it theatrically in 1985, and will never forget the audience's numbed reaction to the ending. Everyone in that era was programmed to expect a coda where we find out that everything is okay, but Friedkin filmed his ending in such a way as to make it crystal-clear that it wasn't happening in this case. There was no room for doubt. Powerful stuff. If you ever do pick this up on disc, via Kino or otherwise, be sure to watch the alternate ending that Friedkin shot in order to placate the studio, but never intended to use. It proves why he made the right choice in his final cut.

The UHD is beautiful, although there are some inconsistent flesh tones in it, some of them exaggerated even more by the HDR grade. The scene in the prison yard when the gang makes a move on John Turturro is really, really orange, much more so than in any other previous version -- even more than on the accompanying Blu-ray that used the same master. It's not necessarily a problem, but some people may not like it. Still a great master overall, though.
 

Robert Harris

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Could the flesh tones be intentional?
Difficult to know. Depends upon who did color, who oversaw the HDR, who did QC, and whether everyone’s final work was checked against something of reference value.

If not it’s just a color.

Reminds me of the comment of one of the great Disney animators (was it Mr. Johnson?) when asked what he thought of the color on a new release of (was it Bambi?)…

He said something akin to “They’re nice colors… They’re not our colors, but they’re nice colors…”
 

sbjork

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Do you have the Arrow blu-ray to compare with?
Arrow, Shout!, and MGM. Again, those orange tones in the prison yard are even stronger in HDR than they are in Kino's own Blu-ray, let alone any of the previous ones. It doesn't look bad, but it definitely strays from the earlier master(s). I'm not saying that it's wrong, but it's definitely different. The scene prior to that, with Willem Dafoe and Steve James making their deal to put the hit on <redacted>, also has much stronger orange tones on Dafoe's skin than in any Blu-ray version, Kino's included. Both of those scenes are set with the sun on the horizon, so it's likely an interpretive choice to mimic sunrise/sunset lighting.

It's just a change to be aware of. I still highly recommend the disc.
 

Sultanofcinema

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It's exactly the ending that the film needed. The character lives his life at the limits of control and keeps pushing beyond them, which inevitably catches up with him. There are hints of that earlier where he goes a little to far and pays the price for it. It was only a matter of time for him.

I saw it theatrically in 1985, and will never forget the audience's numbed reaction to the ending. Everyone in that era was programmed to expect a coda where we find out that everything is okay, but Friedkin filmed his ending in such a way as to make it crystal-clear that it wasn't happening in this case. There was no room for doubt. Powerful stuff. If you ever do pick this up on disc, via Kino or otherwise, be sure to watch the alternate ending that Friedkin shot in order to placate the studio, but never intended to use. It proves why he made the right choice in his final cut.

The UHD is beautiful, although there are some inconsistent flesh tones in it, some of them exaggerated even more by the HDR grade. The scene in the prison yard when the gang makes a move on John Turturro is really, really orange, much more so than in any other previous version -- even more than on the accompanying Blu-ray that used the same master. It's not necessarily a problem, but some people may not like it. Still a great master overall, though.
Agree with you about Turturro's face actually being orange before the guys make a move to kill him. Also this is repeated on Petersen and Pankow's face for a very brief moment as the car chase starts. Otherwise the disc is really great, sound included. I do see that there are certain times the picture is a little too dark.
 

RickardL

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Arrow, Shout!, and MGM. Again, those orange tones in the prison yard are even stronger in HDR than they are in Kino's own Blu-ray, let alone any of the previous ones. It doesn't look bad, but it definitely strays from the earlier master(s). I'm not saying that it's wrong, but it's definitely different. The scene prior to that, with Willem Dafoe and Steve James making their deal to put the hit on <redacted>, also has much stronger orange tones on Dafoe's skin than in any Blu-ray version, Kino's included. Both of those scenes are set with the sun on the horizon, so it's likely an interpretive choice to mimic sunrise/sunset lighting.
Ok, thanks. The Arrow blu-ray"Features a 2016 4K restoration from the original 35mm negative supervised and approved by William Friedkin", was Friedkin involved in the making of the UHD as well?
 

Bartman

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I rented the MGM laserdisc, then purchased it. Apparently video stores across the country reported it as their most stolen rental, that shows good taste in movies and bad morals? The MGM Blu-ray got middling reviews so I waited for the Arrow. I'd like to see a comparison of the Arrow & this KL?
 

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